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That’s My Impression – Melissa Hansen Sells Beautiful Keepsake Jewelry – Featured Etsy Shop

Melissa Hansen of That's My ImpressionIf anyone understands the meaning of everything happens for a reason, it’s Melissa Hansen, owner of That’s My Impression. What was the result of a dream – literally and figuratively – has become a lucrative online business for Melissa and her young family.

After taking jewelry classes in Cape Town, then receiving additional follow-up education in London and Tennessee, Melissa received her teaching credentials. This allowed her to take her passion for jewelry-making to a whole new level. “I had a dream about the name of my company three years before I started selling jewelry. I started making and selling my jewelry and I was hooked!,” Melissa says.

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While working in a dental office, Melissa was making a nice side income from her hobby of creating imprinted jewelry and selling her unique pieces to friends, family and coworkers. Her customers couldn’t get enough of her personalized jewelry. Who wouldn’t want to wear their children’s artwork or hand prints, and pet paw prints? Melissa soon found herself looking to turn her hobby into a full-time business. On a whim, she decided to purchase her own kiln from a private seller and got more than she ever bargained for. When she discovered the kiln’s owner was soon leaving on a mission to Israel and looking to sell her entire jewelry business, Melissa decided to take the plunge and become a full-time jewelry maker. Talk about kismet!

Melissa opened her Etsy shop in 2010, but her local business kept her so busy she didn’t get around to listing Etsy items until 2012. It took just four days to sell her first piece. Almost three years later, That’s My Impression is still going strong and selling custom jewelry to happy customers all over the world. Melissa also sells her items via her own website.

That's My Impression 1214DogTagHeartCropBesides selling her handcrafted jewelry on Etsy, Melissa has online shops on CustomMade, Hatch.co and ArtFire. Each piece is expertly handcrafted by Melissa using the techniques she’s learned while traveling the globe. Melissa uses only the finest precious metal clays available – all made from recycled materials and absolutely eco-friendly.

“I was first introduced to Precious Metal Clay (PMC) in Cape Town. It was there that I decided that I wanted to become a jewelry teacher and, ultimately, to sell my own artwork. Since then, I have traveled the globe to learn different styles and techniques, both modern and ancient, that I’ve added to my product line,” Melissa explains.

From these precious metals, Melissa creates personalized memorial rings, necklaces, pendants and cufflinks. Each is handcrafted by using an actual fingerprint, thumbprint, hand print, footprint, pet’s paw print, child’s drawing, image, or actual handwriting – all from INK & PAPER or a photo. Molds are rarely used, and only at the purchaser’s request. Additionally, Melissa wants to be sure buyers know that, even if a loved one has passed on, she can still use a copy of their inked fingerprint or a note that they wrote. What a lovely keepsake!That's My Impression DragonflyFeet2Crop

Melissa Hansen loves interacting with clients and customers. Be sure to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. As a special gift to readers of this article, Melissa is offering a 15% off coupon, for a limited time only. Please use coupon code ThankYou215 at Etsy checkout.

~ Article by Susan Barton 

The Liar Test

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Glenn is an entrepreneur and eBook author with a few eBooks under his belt. He runs the Rentamentor Network (more on that in future articles) and says he really likes helping other people. He designed this Truth Test and says he swears by it. With his permission I’m including a brief snippet, in Glenn’s own words, here in this review:

Go to a mirror.

Answer these 3 Questions (And Remember where your eyes look as you answer.)

            1. Where is your car parked now?
2. Where do you keep your toothbrush?
3. Are you wearing shoes now?

NOW…

Answer the SAME questions, but LIE.
THINK UP a new location for your car – SAY it out loud.

NOW…

Notice where you’re Eyes Moved? (Totally Different Place!)

This is what border guards on Canada/Mexico border are trained
to do to Catch Smugglers, AND even if you know what they’re doing.

You can’t BEAT IT. The brain is hard-wired.

My book shows you exactly how to use this in a conversation to invisibly CATCH LIARS, and since they never know YOU KNOW. (Nobody gets ANGRY)

Amazingly helpful for the women Parents with kids & any biz owners – I get referred to.

I’m also here to answer questions. Formulate strategies.
(I can do a Free Conference Call and walk buyers thru this as an Added Value or follow up.)

I get referred all around the world – by women who FEEL their spouse or boyfriend is LYING. But want proof.

This is sort of an Unknown SECRET – But very, very VALUABLE.

Glenn’s eBook, FBI Truth Test – How to Catch a Liar in 60 Seconds, is available for purchase on his website.

Selling On Etsy

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Just about everyone has heard of eBay. Whether you buy or sell products and/or services online, chances are you’ve at least visited the eBay website. I was, at one time, an avid eBay seller. I had a great deal of success selling my handcrafted items and made a nice part-time income from my sales. But, over the years eBay’s rising fee costs and propensity to show favoritism towards super sellers was making it difficult for the little guy (or gal) to survive on their site. So what’s an online seller to do? Well, if you sell vintage products, handcrafted items, craft supplies or provide a unique business service Etsy might be just what you need.

Etsy: Just 20 Cents a Listing

For just .20 per item, sellers can list their products for four months (or until the item sells) in a beautifully structured, easily designable Etsy Shop. Etsy was first developed in 2005 and in just a few short years it has become a successful outlet for online sellers. And, it’s no wonder because the site attracts millions of visitors each day.

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Sellers have the ability to include five free photos with every listing. This is an exceptionally generous deal for just .20 per listing. Etsy provides a wealth of assistance, instruction and advice on how to make listings searchable, professional and eye-catching. They truly want your shop to succeed and their comprehensive tutorials are proof positive of this fact.

If you specialize in handmade or vintage products or unique business services I urge you to give Etsy a try. There is absolutely no membership fees, so registering is FREE.

 

Resumes and Why You Need One

As anyone entering or re-entering the job market knows, it can be a difficult and daunting task. Whether you are a recent college graduate, a mother returning to the work force after raising children, one of many recently laid-off workers or are looking for a career change, you need a professional, well-written resume. Tailoring your resume to a specific job market is key. The average employer receives hundreds of resumes on any given week and devotes an average of just 7 seconds before deciding to read further or place it in the dreaded slush pile. The competitive job market makes it essential to have an effective resume.

Most people are familiar with resumes. They’re basically outlines that summarize someone’s work history, experience (personal and/or professional) with corresponding dates. There are different types of resumes, chronological and functional being the most popular. Chronological resumes are ideal for people with a fair amount of work experience because they list past employers in sequential order. You’ll end up with a pretty short resume with little to no work experience listed in this format if you’re new to the job market. If you’re changing careers this format won’t show potential employers that you possess the skills required for your chosen new field. Functional resumes are better suited for this purpose because they focus on your abilities, related skills and strengths. You still list your past employers but they are listed at the bottom of the resume page.

The ideal resume should be one page, but no more than two. As mentioned before, employers sifting through resumes don’t have time to read lengthy resumes. A succinct, concise resume that gets a potential employer’s attention is critical. If writing is not your forte, don’t despair. There are many books written on the subject. A quick online search will lead you to the many resume writing services available to job seekers. A qualified resume writer can create a professional resume for you. Prices vary, but the cost can be well worth it.

Once you have your resume written don’t think it’s time to sit back and relax. Your newly created resume is now your best piece of advertising. Don’t wait to send out your resume only when applying to jobs you’ve seen and read about in your local paper. Upload your resume to online job search sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. Employers regularly make a habit of searching these sites while looking for qualified candidates. Sign up for a free blog site and include your resume in your blog pages, then Tweet about it or share it on your Facebook page.

Don’t forget about writing a cover letter to go along with your resume. A carefully crafted cover letter tailored to each and every job you apply for will help potential employers know who you are and how you can be an asset to their company before they even get to your resume. After the interview, it’s also a good idea to send a thank you email to the interviewer. Let them know you appreciated the time they took to interview and consider you for the position. This leaves a good impression with employers and could very well move you to the top of the candidate list.

Your resume should reflect who you are, where you’ve been and where you want to be in the future.  Your job search, in effect, becomes your primary job and should be viewed as such. Setting out blocks of time to accomplish tasks such as re-working your resume, making cold calls and sending email queries, perusing the want ads, networking with friends and acquaintances and basically marketing yourself is time well spent.

Why You Need A Blog – Blogging for fun and profit

So you have a blog and happily post as often as you possibly can. You write about things that are important to you. You share funny stories about your children, spouse, co-workers, neighbors. Maybe you even use your blog as a way to let off some steam. Unhappy with the customer service you’ve received at your local superstore? Write about it. Your boss is a jerk? Write about him (leaving out his or her name of course). Your husband constantly leaves the toilet seat up or hogs the remote? Share all the irritating details on your blog. There are literally millions of blogs out there in cyberspace so why shouldn’t you be joining in on the blogging fun?

There are many reasons why you should consider starting a blog. Many free blog sites exist so there’s no financial commitment to make. Register, choose a theme and begin posting. It’s as easy as that. As mentioned above, blogging is a good way to share your life with others. Families set up blogs where each member has a chance to post updates to let relatives near and far know what’s going on in their lives. Include photos and videos and it’s almost like being there with your loved ones. If you’re looking to change careers or are currently out of work you should consider creating a blog. Include a resume page and links to relevant accomplishments and you can advertise yourself via your blog easily with one click. This is definitely an overlooked free marketing strategy for job seekers.

Do you have a business website? If the answer is yes, you should absolutely include a blog on your site. Write articles and how-to’s related to your business field and your customers will appreciate the added information. Let’s say you own a tree trimming business and you have a business website. You can write articles about types of trees to plant, the best time to trim and prune, known diseases prevalent in certain varieties of trees, how to start a leaf compost bin, and on and on. Inviting readers to leave comments and questions gives you the opportunity to put in a good word for your company.

Blogs can be money makers all on their own. Most, if not all, free blogging sites do not allow advertising on blogs. But if you purchase your own domain you can include money-making ads on your blog. There are numerous pay-per-click and affiliate programs available online. By placing company ads on your blog you make money when a visitor to your site clicks on an ad and/or buys a product from the company. You most likely will not get rich doing this but you get paid for doing very little and that’s a pretty good thing. If you have several ads going on each page of your blog you up the ante that much more.

In order to make money from advertising on your blog you need to bring visitors to your site. Submitting your blog to search engines is key. An often overlooked method to bring visitors to your site is to write articles. There are many article network sites where you can submit articles on literally any topic. Your information, including your website address, appears with the article and that translates to free advertising for your site. I will go into more detail on this technique in future articles.

Blogging can be fun, an expressive outlet, a marketing tool and a money maker. Once you start blogging you’ll begin to look at things in an entirely different light. News reports, radio programs, even a trip to the grocery store can all be fodder for your blog writing. Keeping a small notebook and pen with you at all times helps you remember little tidbits of everyday life than can be written about later. Happy blogging!

Please visit my Hubpages profile page

Skim Scam, Flim Flam

I like to paint. I find it to be a lot cheaper than therapy. When I moved from NY to Texas I left so many of my beloved belongings behind (long story). Among those many things were my art supplies. So I recently took a trip to a neighborhood Michael’s Craft Store to begin building my art supplies back up. Seventy bucks later, I was well on the road to painting my way to happiness once more. Until I read a Yahoo article about skimming scams.

It seems Michael’s was recently yet another target of a debit card scam. Seems the arts and crafts chain had no idea what had happened, only finding out when they were contacted by “banking and law enforcement authorities” after they in turn had been contacted by customers. Numerous customers had noticed fraudulent charges made to their debit cards which ultimately had been traced back to transactions made at Michael’s stores. As I read further into the article I saw that the skimming scam had been perpetrated at Michael’s stores across the country. Then I came across a quote stating that several customers at a local Irving, Texas store had had their debit card information compromised. Eeek! That would be me!

I immediately checked my balance online and was relieved to see all was well with my account. Still unconvinced I then called the bank and was reassured that my account was uncompromised and they “had taken care of the informational breach”. Whew. To date, Michael’s claims it has removed all pin pads from all stores, but is still suggesting customers continue to monitor their accounts for suspicious behavior. However and obviously, skimming scammers are getting more and more sophisticated. Actual physical tampering of individual pin pads would have been necessary to conduct a scam like this. How did this happen?

These scams have been around for a few years now, but in the past have mostly been limited to gas stations and ATMS, places that aren’t usually monitored regularly. But the scam is obviously growing and getting more and more advanced. As was the case in the Michael’s scam, crooks were able to slip a tiny device into the pin pads that then allowed them to read the magnetic strip on debit cards as customers swiped them. And then a tiny camera was able to record customers as they entered their pin numbers. Some experts say that the average consumer has a one in five chance of being a victim. Unbelievable. So what are we supposed to do? We need to use our debit cards and most of us don’t feel comfortable carrying only cash. Here’s some excellent advice written by Yahoo Finance contributor, Dan Kadlec:

1. Cover your PIN. Your bankcard won’t work without the PIN. Thieves usually obtain the PIN with a small camera stationed near the card processor. So keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place. It might be a camera. In any event, shield the keypad with your body or free hand when entering your PIN.

2. Be selective with your ATM. Again, look for anything out of place. Any wires exposed? Tape evident? Hardware loose? If so, find another ATM. Use an ATM inside a bank whenever possible. Stay away from ATMs in remote locations or that appear seldom used. These are easy to tamper with and might even be dummy cash machines.

3. Leave some wiggle room. When you insert your card, wiggle it while it’s in the slot. If something seems loose, there might be theft device attached to the swipe hardware. Wiggling the card might jar the theft device from its hiding place.

4. Monitor your accounts. One of the best protections against continued use of your stolen information is to check bank statements regularly. With a debit card, you may be responsible for the first $50 and you must report theft within two business days of discovery and no later than 60 days after the theft for protection. Credit cards have more protections and might be a better choice if you have any reservations about an ATM or processing machine.

5. Look for security cameras. ATMs and gas pumps that are under video surveillance and have cameras aimed directly at the card readers are less likely to be fitted with card-skimming equipment.

6. Keep an eye on your card. When you give your card to a waiter or clerk, be skeptical of any request to swipe it through multiple devices or if they must leave your sight.

7. Be careful at the gas station. Gas stations are among the most prone to skimming. Use a credit card or choose the credit option on your bankcard.