Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pattern By Etsy - Is it a Good Choice for You?

Pattern is a new seller service offered by Etsy for shop owners who are looking for an easy way to create your own website. It’s an Etsy powered e-commerce shop builder that gives you the option to click a couple of buttons and have your own website set up in about 10 minutes. 

Pattern by Etsy - Is it a Good Choice for You?

Is it a good choice for you? That’s what I’m going to discuss today. Although this platform is very new there is enough information available now to help you consider whether Pattern is the best option for you as a e-commerce website. 


  • There is a 30-day free trial
  • Costs $15 a month + 3.5 transaction fees + direct checkout processing fee
  • Purchase a custom URL from Etsy for $16/year or use one you already own
  • Mobile friendly so it looks great on any device
  • No additional listings fee

  • Quick and easy site set up
  • Choices in themes, colors and fonts
  • Can preview the site before committing to it
  • Manage inventory for both Etsy and Pattern from the same place
  • Looks professional

Although Pattern may be a very good option for you I thought it would be worthwhile to point out some other observations I have made about this new service.

I believe it is a good idea to DIVERSIFY. That is, if I’m going to establish my own e-commerce site (and I have) it is important to me that it is INDEPENDENT of Etsy. Personally, I would not feel like it was my own shop if Etsy is the platform. I already have a shop on an Etsy platform. It would feel like I just opened a duplicate shop on Etsy and that seems redundant to me.

You cannot set up a Pattern site unless you have Direct Checkout available in your Etsy shop. This is not a problem for most people but for some it takes away the option of CHOICE about the matter.

Next, customers who go to your Pattern Site will encounter a HUDDLE when they go to checkout if they don’t have an Etsy account set up. They need to set one up (if they don’t have one) BEFORE they can make their purchase. This could be a huge deterrent to some buyers. To set up an Etsy account they will be sent to Etsy - away from your e-commerce site!

You can add your own custom domain URL (purchased from another site) to Pattern but there is no information available at the moment to reassure you that a domain name purchased from Etsy will work on a platform other than Pattern. If you decide to change platforms later there is a QUESTION as to whether you can use your custom ULR somewhere else.

Since Pattern essentially DUPLICATES your Etsy shop to put it into a more profession format, the information read by Google is basically the same. This may cause a problem for you in the long run according a few reliable sources that I found.

According to Moz.com “When there are multiple pieces of identical content on the Internet, it is difficult for search engines to decide which version is more relevant to a given search query. To provide the best search experience, search engines will rarely show multiple duplicate pieces of content and thus, are forced to choose which version is most likely to be the original—or best.”

Another article by SearchEngineLand.com quoting Google spokesperson Matt Cutts says
“Google may just ignore the duplicate content…..It is more about Google knowing which page they should rank and which page they should not. Google doesn’t want to show the same content to searchers for the same query; they do like to diversify the results to their searchers.”

If you want to rank well in Search on Etsy, you all know that there is a science to doing that which includes stringing keyword phrases together in the Title of each shop item. This is ETSY LANGUAGE and it doesn’t translate well on other platforms. For instance, when I pin an item from my Etsy shop to Pinterest the title doesn’t make sense so I rearrange and add words to the description before I hit the “pin” button.

When your items are formatted into Pattern, they will adopt the same titles that you already have on Etsy but you CANNOT CHANGE YOUR ITEM TITLES in Pattern. You either change the format of the titles you have in Etsy and risk altering your Search rankings there for the sake of having “plain english” titles for Pattern OR you keep your Etsy titles and Search ranking the way they are and “Etsy language” item titles on your Pattern site. You don’t have a choice at this point. This and the Etsy account huddle are deal breakers for me.

There are NO ADD-ONS, third party apps or plug-ins available on Pattern. One being that we cannot track information on “cart abandonment”. That information would be especially helpful knowing that many potential customers may be abandoning their shopping cart if they can't checkout without an Etsy account.

And another biggie for me is that you cannot add a NEWSLETTER sign up option or a pop up box with information. Etsy still holds the bag on that.

For me the decision is clear but I know that many of you are looking at how easy Pattern is to set up and all the other “easy” perks about the site. If ease of setup and/or maintenance has been the roadblock to establishing your own site then Pattern may be the ticket for you. I totally get that!!

I decided to set up my e-commerce site on Shopify and I’ve very, very happy with it. The best part is the customer service!! I wrote about setting up my shop and shared some of the details I found as I got started.

Shortly after I set up my Shopify shop I also wrote about how to easily import your Etsy items into your Shopify shop. And once you do that, you can alter and adjust everything you want!!

I’d love to hear your feedback about the things I mentioned here and your thoughts about Pattern. Please share!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5 Steps to Creating a New Design from Start to Finish

Since my business consistently keeps me busy year round I try to make the most of the days when the pace slows down. For me, this is a great time to develop and create new designs. 

5 Steps to Creating a New Product Design from the birth of an idea to the finished product.


Typically, coming up with new ideas means walking away from my studio space and sitting with a sketching journal. I write out notes and sketch whatever comes to mind. If my daughter is with me, she is also making sketches as we bounce ideas back and forth.

I have to admit, I don’t have just one sketchbook. I have a handful of them going all the time. They’re not just full of little drawings. Each page has notes and dimensions and references to inspiration I’ve found in magazines, books and on the web.


When I’m working in my studio, besides listening to music, I often get caught up on the latest podcasts on my list. More times than not they reference a resource or website that I want to remember and refer to later. My journaling sketchbook is the perfect place to jot those things down but it’s not always within reach so I’ll grab something handy like an envelope from my pile of mail, tear off a corner and make my note.

If you do the same thing don’t stop there. Don’t find yourself wondering what you did with that little piece of paper that contains that nugget of wisdom. Grab some tape and stick in on a page. If you want it to add some cuteness then use some pretty washi tape!

Journals with notes and sketches is where new ideas are born

Journals with notes and sketches is where new ideas are born


Unless I’m just altering one of my existing designs, this part of the process is very time consuming. I recently had someone ask me to create a custom bag for them and it took me weeks to get the dimensions figured out, patterns drafted and placement of the stitched design perfected.

I prefer to use tracing pattern or some other transparent paper for my patterns. I took a pattern drafting class in college and learned that this worked really well for me then and nothing has changed that.

The transparent quality of the paper allows me to see the dimensional grid on my cutting board which helps with making straight lines and figuring measurements. If need be, I tape several sheets of paper together to make my pattern the necessary size.


I learned the hard way that my first pattern is never perfect. My second and third draft are rarely perfect either. To be sure that my pattern will product an item that is exactly what it needs to be, I make a prototype.

Although I would love to make it from my designer fabrics to see how pretty it will turn out, I use a pile of muslin and hand-me-down fabrics so I don’t waste the good stuff.


When all the details are worked out, the pattern is tweaked and I’m set to go, THEN I make the real deal. Yes, this may take several days to a week or more but the end result is worth it. When I put this much work into making sure that my patterns can be used repeatedly then I know I can make beautiful items for my customers that I can stand behind and that they will enjoy.

Monogram wreath clutches | perfect as gifts for bridesmaid or baby shower hostess gifts | www.mamableudesigns.com

I’ve been walked through this creative process since last summer with a new design that my daughter sketched one day as we sat at my patio table. The first bag of this design was introduced just before Christmas and quickly grew to become one of the most popular items in my shop. 

So, as simple as it may seem, my ideas always start out as a sketch in my journal!