What's New: SewAmazin's Studio Shop

When I posted What's New for February, I intended to blog each month with highlights of the newest items in my SewAmazin shops. I haven't followed through on that plan, for a variety of reasons. A lot of changes have been going on and I decided to wait for the dust to settle before sharing any news.

And now I have lots of news to share! To keep it organized, I've drafted three separate posts. This post covers new features for this blog; my next post will introduce my new website; and last, I'll share some of my newest pet bandanas and accessories for pet lovers.

Shop Now on SewAmazin's Studio blog:
When I launched this blog last October, it was intended to be a backup web site and compliment to my shops on ArtFire and Etsy. I consider it my 'home base' that coordinates all my various shops and social links in one central location.

In addition to promoting my own shops and those of other artisans, I wanted to be able to sell some of my finished projects here - if I could find a way to easily integrate a shopping cart with Blogger. My search led me to Ecwid and in March, I added a Shop Now page to this blog that contains a mobile-friendly online store, now open for business.

Here's a sample listing, showing Keli and our Pink with White Flower Medallions Bandana:

 Dog Bandana Pink with White Flower Medallion, Handmade, Custom Sizes

My favorite feature of Ecwid is the ability to add options to each item listing. Now it is easy to order a custom sized bandana because you get to choose your options with the click of a button: choose your style (Scrunchie or Collar Slipcover), choose a size based on drop height and then type your pet's neck circumference or collar length in a text box before adding to your shopping bag. Scrunchie neck ruffles also have a text box to enter the neck size (see Penny and our Hearts and Stars Scrunchie Neck Ruffle for an example).

Another nice feature of this mobile shop is the integration with my SewAmazin page on Facebook. To access this shop when logged into the web version of Facebook, visit my page and click on Shop on Facebook. (As far as I can tell, this link is not accessible through the Facebook app for phones and tablets.)

The secure shopping cart accepts both PayPal and credit card payments. Customers have the option to create an account during checkout, but this is not required.

Because I'm also investing in a new web site elsewhere, I'm using Ecwid's budget-friendly free plan here on this blog. This level is limited to 10 active products; I've only added 4 items so far, but plan to add 6 more, and will probably rotate them periodically.

The shortcut URL for the Shop Now page is: studioshop.SewAmazin.com

Navigating SewAmazin's Studio Blog
The good news is that this blog is mobile friendly! You can read blog posts and access most of the pages, including the new Shop Now page, through drop-down navigation bars. Here's a screenshot of the mobile optimized layout - the Blog Home and Home bars drop down when tapped, for navigation to other linked pages.

There are links and other content contained in the sidebars of the web version of the blog that aren't readily available on the mobile version.

Page and shop links have been added as tabs along the top menu and other navigation links are included on the sidebars, so that it functions very much like a standalone web site. Here's a partial screen capture of the Blog Home (included for those who subscribe by email and feed readers - view this post online to see the full page layout).

On the left sidebar you'll find links to pages About this blog, including Policies, Custom Orders, FAQs and Customer Comments. Some of these pages are still 'under construction' and will be completed as I have time. Just below is a section with links to each of my shops, followed by a section with links to Items for Sale.

The Items for Sale section will eventually have pages for every product type in my shops, with the Pet Bandanas and Ruffles page taking priority so far this year. This page will be a starting point for browsing all my bandanas and ruffles. It has a link list of holidays and themes in text form, arranged alphabetically, followed by thumbnail photos for the same holidays, arranged by calendar order. Each text link or thumbnail will be connected to a blog post featuring my current inventory of dog bandanas and scrunchie neck ruffles for that holiday or theme, with clickable links to active shop listings. I'll keep those blog entries updated to add new bandanas and remove sold out items, and add order deadlines for holidays. My most recent blog post added Patriotic Pet Bandanas and Scrunchie Neck Ruffles.

The left sidebar also contains various ways to subscribe to this blog, by email on a weekly or daily basis, in a feed reader or to follow on Bloglovin'.

On the right sidebar, you'll find a search tool and links to my social sites on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Below that section are two more ways to navigate this site: a cloud list of popular blog topics and the blog archive.

My Handmade Friends blogroll is located on the right sidebar and includes links to the blogs of other artisans. They are sorted with the most recently updated blog at the top of the list.

In addition to promoting my own shops, several times a week, I share the handwork of other artisans in collections from ArtFire and treasuries from Etsy. And several weeks before each holiday, I post link-ups to Countdowns to Christmas and Mother's Day. Other content will include upcoming events where I'll be a vendor and other miscellaneous shop news.

The shortcut URL for this blog is: studio.SewAmazin.com


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