Jungle Jims, 9/11/14:
The Etsy Blog (Story by Valerie McKeehan), 7/25/14:
Featured Shop: Lily & Val
Hi, my name is Valerie McKeehan and I’m a hand-letterer and illustrator specializing in chalkboard art. I draw all of the designs for my shop, Lily & Val.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to create. Although I never pursued any formal drawing or art training, creativity was a big part of my childhood and was always encouraged. I attribute that to my very artistic mother. My father is an entrepreneur and I get my business side from him.
I graduated from college with a degree in marketing and pursued a career in advertising, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2012 that I discovered my true passion – drawing and illustrating in chalk. By that summer, with the prompting and encouragement of my husband and family, I opened my Etsy shop. After the holiday season that same year, I was able to make Lily & Val my full-time job. Six months later, my husband, Mak, joined me as the full-time business and wholesale manager. We make a great team.
I’m so inspired by the simplicity of chalk art. It’s literally just dust on a surface, but watching a beautiful design emerge from that dust is rewarding. I begin my designs with a very rough pencil sketch. I don’t like to get too detailed in my sketch since elements and details arise when you put chalk to slate. I never really know how the dustiness will shape the pieces, but this variety produces drawings with character.
I make art about things that truly speak to me, and I hope my customers feel that connection. To me, it’s the simple things that matter most. Knowing something I created plays a part in someone’s day, adds to their wedding decor, or provides the perfect gift is incredibly satisfying. My goal is to create artwork that brings joy and encouragement.
Follow Lily & Val on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
All photographs by Chasing Eden Photography.
Pictures included in blog post can be seen at https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/featured-shop-lily-val/
COMPARE & CONTRAST:
In this relatively new age of social media, companies have taken advantage of various social media platforms to benefit their business. As a comparison for the three examples I chose, all include clear imagery as well captivating descriptions of their particular products and services. For example, in their Facebook post, Jungle Jim’s is highlighting one of the myriad of events that they host on a regular basis that adds to its unique shopping experience. This post is designed to to get to customers to come out to Jungle Jim’s to initially have a good time, but also to shop. In the next example, Modcloth uses Twitter to announce and garner excitement about a particular upcoming sale. The platform of Twitter is very effective for Modcloth’s typical demographic and the word can spread much faster through Twitter than other forms of advertising. The last example is a blog post from The Etsy Blog. This particular blog post is part of an ongoing series that features creative and successful Etsy shops. The blog platform is very effective for Etsy because it provides more room for text and detailed descriptions as well a very intimate look into the creator. Because of the nature of Etsy, this format allows like-minded people to be inspired and share in an in-depth way.
Based on this activity and considering overall effectiveness, I believe the best social media strategy for business is Twitter. Twitter is concise, expedient, and effective in conveying information to the world. It mimics the essential principles of successful business in the sense that communication has to be clear and inclusive, while effectively reaching its intended audience.