Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Save Handmade Toys!

Hey Handmade Fans!

You may have heard about this already...I'm talking about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act.

This Act technically went into effect on Feb. 10th of this year. However the guidelines will not be enforced until Feb. 10th of 2010. The Act was originally conceived to help ensure that mass-produced toys (think massive toy factories in China) are using quality safe products in the toys that we purchase for our children (ie - no toxins like phthalates and lead). The importance of having safe toys is something we moms understand and support.

However too many things were not thought through in the development of this Act and the voting process. Essentially the new guidelines will effectively destroy any and all smaller toy companies and certainly individual artisans making quality, safe and creative handmade toys for children.

Kristen and Liz say it the best at their post on Cool Mom Picks - click HERE to read about it. There are a TON of ways that you can help fight this Act and save small toy companies and even more, individual handmade toy artisans from losing their livlihood and ability to provide the general public with awesome, creative, wonderful, SAFE handmade toys.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Review Options

Would you like to have a review done of your product on Gonna Want This-Handmade!? Make sure to read the Vendors Tutorial, found HERE.

Next step would be to decide what type of review you'd like. There are currently three options.


Giveaways are HOT in blog-land! I have personally entered giveaways on blogs that have had over 1,000 entries! Having a giveaway review can dramatically increase the immediate advertisement of your product and website.

How does it work?

In a Giveaway Review, you provide me with one regular product to review and agree to send a similar product free of charge to the winner of a giveaway advertised on Gonna Want This-Handmade!  The feature & giveaway post will be active on the first "Win It Wednesday" that is available after you sign up for a Giveaway Review.  The giveaway will be advertised on Blog Giveaway Linkys & Carnivals and multiple high profile blogs to gather attention.

As part of the giveaway, readers will be required to visit your website/online store and report back in their giveaway entry something from your website that will indicate that they had visited. This will send hundreds of potential buyers to your site - nearly all for the first time ever!

While the giveaway is under way, the review process will be too! The product being reviewed will be used several times as indicated so that an accurate review can be formulated. Where applicable, the product may be used with family members, pets and/or relatives & friends so that a full analysis can be done.

After the giveaway closes and a winner is announced, the final review of the product will be posted on Gonna Want This-Handmade! 

This is the best option because readers are more likely to respond to a giveaway, and will pay more attention to your products and site as a result!  Signing up for the Giveaway/Review also guarantees two posts about your products and store, which means more marketing and visability for you!  In addition, for signing up for a Giveaway/Review combo, you will receive 3 months of a free advertising spot on Gonna Want This-Handmade!


The general review does not include a giveaway. In a general review you provide me with a regular product that you would like reviewed. The product being reviewed will be used several times as indicated so that an accurate review can be formulated. Where applicable, the product may be used with family members, pets and/or relatives & friends so that a full analysis can be done and at times a guest reviewer will write the review post.

Depending on the topic being reviewed and how many other products are "in line" to be reviewed, the review will likely be posted on Gonna Want This-Handmade! within 3 weeks of the receipt of the product to be reviewed.

Artisans who select the Review Only option will earn one month of a free advertising spot on Gonna Want This-Handmade!

 As mentioned above, giveaways are a major favorite amongst blog readers.  Everyone likes to win something!  Even better to win something you really like!  Because of the ability to advertise such giveaways on a number of other independent sites, giveaways typically garner much more of a response of both regular readers and newcomers to the blog than the review or 'Feature Friday' alone would.  This means increased exposure for you and your products/store!

The feature & giveaway post will be active on the first "Win It Wednesday" that is available after you sign up for a Giveaway Only option.  Giveaways will typically remain open for one week.  Once the giveaway closes and a winner is announced, you will be provided with contact information for that winner and will be expected to follow up to ensure the giveaway prize is provided to and received by the winner.

Artisans who select the Giveaway Only option will earn one month of a free advertising spot on Gonna Want This-Handmade!

 For handmade artisans that are new to selling, have a limited budget/inventory or have very high priced items, it may not be feasible to do the giveaway review.  But participating in 'Feature Friday' will allow such handmade artisans the chance to have their products and online store featured.  The post I write will contain information about the products along with several pictures.  There may be a few short 'interview' questions I ask the artisan to complete as part of the post.  I encourage artisans participating in 'Feature Friday' to consider offering a special discount to readers who purchase an item from their store.  This could be something like 15% off or free shipping.  This type of offer is optional however, and at the discretion of the artisan.

To begin the review process, contact Holly after reviewing the guidelines HERE.

I look forward to working with you!

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 09 February 2009

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact Holly.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review My Product! (A Tutorial for Vendors)

Do you have a product you'd like to have reviewed on Gonna Want This-Handmade!? Read below to ensure that your product fits the guidelines and learn more about the benefits having a product reviewed can bring to you!


1 - The final product must be handmade
(this means that elements used to create the product can be commercially produced, but the overall final product must be handmade.  Personally created digital elements (ie - customized cards, blog templates, business cards, etc count in my book as 'handmade')

2 - To request to be approved for one of the four feature options found HERE (giveaway/review, review only, giveaway only or 'Feature Friday'), please e-mail me with the following information about yourself, your business and your product:

A. First & Last Name
B. Contact Information (e-mail address & phone number)
C. What type of feature you are interested in. (Click here to read about review options)
D. Name of Product to be Reviewed (if applicable):

E. Description of Product:
F.  Name of Product for Giveaway (if applicable):
G. Description of Product:

H. Links to any of the following that apply: blog, Etsy store, website, etc.

3 - The item to be reviewed and/or for a giveaway must be provided in its regular form (no sample/travel sizes) and provided free of charge. Shipping must be paid by the vendor.  For a giveaway, the vendor can select US-based shipping only, or international.  E-mail Me to obtain shipping information for review products.

4 - A review will be posted on the blog within 3 weeks of my receipt of the product unless an alternate time frame has been agreed upon between the vendor and myself.


1 - Inexpensive advertising! With a growing readership, having a feature option at Gonna Want This-Handmade is a great way to bring attention to the products that you offer for sale to a population of readers that have an explicit interest in buying handmade!

2 - Anyone participating in a feature option will earn FREE advertising on Gonna Want This-Handmade. If you choose a review only, a giveaway only or a 'Feature Friday', your logo or advertising button will appear in the top advertising spot on the left sidebar for one month - hyperlinked to your website/blog/Etsy site!  If you choose a giveaway/review, your FREE advertising will be for three months!

3 - If you have had a positive review at Gonna Want This-Handmade and you choose to purchase additional monthly advertising, you can do so for a LIFETIME 10% advertising discount!

4 - Any vendor who chooses to do a Giveaway Only or Giveaway Review (click here for more info) will earn additional free advertising on multiple high readership blog sites and Twitter - even prior to the completion of the review at Gonna Want This-Handmade!

5 - Reviews are written in a professional format by a gifted writer that will highlight all of the features of the product - in an unbiased and honest manner!  See Disclosure Policy HERE.

If you have any questions about the Guidelines or Benefits to having a product reviewed with Gonna Want This-Handmade, please e-mail me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to Gonna Want This-Handmade!

I have always been a fan of handmade items. Growing up in a large family, handmade gifts were all that a young girl could give! Seems like that sentiment has come full circle...I love giving handmade gifts as an adult too!

The main difference now is that I have learned that I am not exceptionally talented at making handmade creations myself. I certainly try - and I will continue to try as long as my hands and eyes are in good working order! But I am missing a genetic trait that so many artisans have out there...the eye for it, the knack for putting things together, the TALENT.

Don't worry, I'm not down on myself...there are many other ways I am gifted! But in lieu of my ability to create awesome handmade gifts and products, I have learned that there is a WEALTH of talented artisans on the web creating products of nearly anything and everything you can dream up! Gift items, clothing, self-care products, cooking items, baby items, toys, gifts for him, gifts for her, items for your favorite pet!

Handmade items are creative & original, yes. With your new handmade purse purchased from an artisan online, you won't get the "I saw that on sale at Target" or the "I have that very same one!" type of comments. You will be able to wow the recipient of a gift you give.

Best of all, buying handmade gives you the opportunity to:
1 - Give your business to talented artisans, supporting small businesses!
2 - Buy local on occasion
3 - Ensure that the item you are purchasing was created in an ethical way.
4 - Often be able to have an item customized to your request
5 - Purchase goods that are often made with earth-friendly resources, in an earth-friendly way

There are many more reasons why buying handmade is an awesome choice to make! Leave a comment here and tell me about your favorite reason to buy handmade!

But for many of you, myself included, the decision to buy handmade comes with a quandry too. How many of you have asked yourself these questions: How do I know if the item is of good quality? How do I know if it will hold up to the claims on the website? How do I know I'm not going to send out my payment information online or over the phone & get charged for something but never receive the product? Or what if I get a product that is shoddy or not what I requested...will I be able to return it and get my money back?

For me and likely many of you, these questions may have held you back from buying handmade.
That is where this website comes in! Gonna Want This-Handmade was developed to do honest reviews of all sorts of handmade products and point you to the best of the best out there. These reviews are unpaid and therefore unbiased.

Click HERE if you are vendor who would like a product of yours reviewed.

Click HERE if you are a vendor interested in advertising on Gonna Want This-Handmade.