Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Behind the Making of Great Treasuries

I love to create treasuries. 
I joined the statteam simply because it was a treasury team and at the time I was just discovering my love of creating treasuries. It seemed like a perfect fit and it was. I would love to land one of my treasuries or one of my items on the Etsy front page, it seems to be the goal to accomplish at Etsy.

I have heard many people say, that they don't understand the point of building treasuries, or they are not sure how to get started. I also understand, that at first, you may not be quite clear on what type of items would be good to include in a treasury to make front page. It has taken me a long time to figure these things out, and I have not quite mastered it, but I feel like I have finally gotten some experience and have put together some front page worthy treasuries, I just haven't gotten lucky enough to be picked. It seems like the odds of being chosen for front page are like the odds of winning the lottery big time and that hasn't happened yet either. Only a few times, I have gotten 4 numbers, or won $100 on a scratch off, which is comparable to having my treasury featured on Craft Cult front page or Etsy Treasury Hunter blog, or perhaps winning a Statteam Treasury Challenge. Yet I remain positive and hopeful that someday, I will hit the big one. :) 

So what does it take to put together a good treasury? 

I am going to share my insight into building treasuries. I am going to break down three of my favorite treasuries and explain my process...how I searched for my items, why I picked the one's I did, and where my theme/inspiration came from, which is really the beginning for me.  I always try to start with a theme, whether it comes from a challenge or something that pops in my head, like a song. About 85% of my theme ideas, come from songs, but I love music so that makes sense. Some people find great themes in movies, books, or current events. No matter where you get your inspiration, I think the funnest way to create a treasury, is with a theme in mind.

But, this first treasury was not really created with a theme, I did it kind of in a hurry, so I used color for my theme. It was created for a Statteam Challenge, the challenge word was "breath". Since, I wanted to do a color themed treasury, I decided to try and include all statteam members. The first thing I did, was browse through Into the Light's shop, because she was the winner from the week before, and I needed to include one of her items. Everything is so colorful in her shop and the photos are so beautiful. Since everything was so lovely, I decided any color would work, so I picked blue, that is my favorite color.  I searched for "Statteam blue" and found some lovely items to choose from.
I think each picture pops, most of them are on white backgrounds, and really highlights the blue items. The dragon's eye painting from AndiPace, was the highlight of the treasury, it is a stunning piece. I knew I wanted to include one of her works in my treasury, so I picked that one because it is bold. Then I found other items that match the shades of blues found in this painting. I titled it, "Beautiful and Breathtaking Blues." To my surprise, it was chosen to be featured on Etsy Treasury Hunter blog, just out of the blue they picked me! I had never heard of this site before and as you can imagine, I was so thrilled to have something I curated, featured there. For a newbie like me, this was almost as good as Front page, (sort of like winning that $100 scratch off). 

Since the creation of that Treasury, I have learned a lot about building treasuries and using the trending themes set by Etsy's Merchandising desk. Every month, Etsy releases exactly what they want featured on the front page, and it is our jobs to give them what they are looking for! This next treasury was also created for a Statteam Challenge. The theme was "class," so this time, I decided to use the trending Etsy theme, which was back to school, and create something that might have a chance at landing front page! It didn't land front page, but it did win the challenge and it was featured on Etsy Treasury Hunter Blog.

I started my process by browsing through Lilithine's shop, she was the winner of the week before, and she had a lovely orange bag, displayed with some books in it, and I thought that is perfect. So the next thing I did, was build my treasury around that bag. I started searching for items from the statteam first, I searched "statteam orange school"...then I searched "statteam orange clothes"...finally I searched "statteam orange" and just picked the best items I could find that had something to do with going back to school...it is very difficult to find all the statteam members, when their items are not tagged "statteam" this is why tagging is so important. So as I am finding items that I think will work, due to the color and photo quality, I start adding them to my favorites. After I have selected all the statteam members I can find, I move on to shop the rest of Etsy. This time, when I search "school supplies orange"  I get many more results. I also decided to add a clock since my theme was "Time for Class". I really think the clock became the focal point of the treasury...it is important to consider the first 4 items, when creating your treasury, because when you are looking at the treasury pages, all you see is the first 4 items, if they are interesting looking, then many people will click on your treasury and view it. The more views you get, the higher up the page, your treasury will go. Once your treasury is on page 1, many people will be viewing it, including people from Etsy as they are looking for that perfect treasury. It is also important to remember that the only time your treasury has a chance at climbing that ladder to the first page, is during the first few hours of curating it. Really, within the first 8, after that it moves down hill. They say that the first 5 hours, is the crucial point, where all the views, clicks and comments really make an impact, so when you create a treasury, you need to promote it as soon as you are finished, so you can start getting all the views possible. 
Also, make sure, that if you start a treasury and save it for later, that you create a new one, by copying and pasting the  items in a new treasury. You don't want your treasury to say that it was created 10 hours ago, right away when you finish it... This will really hurt your chances of making front page.

So how do you promote? 
There are many ways to promote and get your treasury seen. The first thing I do when I finish up my treasury is convo all the people I have featured in it. People like to know when they are in a treasury, it is, after all great promotion for them. Ask them to come view, comment, click, favorite and share. They will hopefully, post it on their facebook pages and twitter, and add it to their favorites so everyone in their circle can see that they have been featured. When you have been featured in a treasury, you should remember to do those things, because it is a great way to expose your shop and increase your chances of getting your item on front page. The next way to promote, would be of course to add the treasury you created to your facebook page and twitter, add it to your blog if you are a blogger. You can visit Craftcult.com for am awesome tool, that will allow you to make an HTML code to put your treasury on your blog, you can also pick treasuries you have been featured in and add those to your blog too. Also on that site, you can visit the vault to see if you have had a front page treasury or front page feature!:)
The next way to promote, is by  sharing your treasury with your teams. All teams have different rules about posting your treasuries, some require you to comment on a certain number above you when posting your treasury. This is how your treasury gets promoted. If everyone just posted and then left, no one would ever see your treasury and then there really is no point in posting it. So please make sure you do your part and promote the ten (or however many is required by your team) that are above you. Leave them a comment and click on a few of the items, if you like it, add it to your favorites. 

Okay hopefully you are still reading this, because I am going to talk about one more treasury. This treasury was created with a song as the theme. 

 The song is from the Zac Brown Band, and it is called "Knee Deep." I love it and I based my treasury on this, hoping it would be good for the summer trends Etsy was looking for. This one was featured on Craft Cult Front Page. 

I started searching for items that had to do with the beach, and of course I picked blue again (it was a main part of the song). I wanted to include some vintage items, and make sure I had items from several categories. I also had in mind, creating a black and white treasury with the blue sort of being highlighted throughout, so I started searching for items like this. Using different keywords from the song to find the perfect item. Like the sail boat, one line in the song says... Wrote a note, said "Be back in a minute" Bought a boat and I sailed off in it, Don't think anybody's gonna miss me anyway."  (it was one of the items that have been removed)
 This is also where the chairs came from, my favorite verse in the song...
Wishin' I was
Knee deep in the water somewhere
got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair
the only worry in the world
is the tide gonna reach my chair

It took a while and lots of searching different key words, but I finally found the perfect items. 

I wish I could show you the entire treasury, I always fill all 16 spots as recommended by Etsy, but it has been a while so some of the listings have disappeared, that is what happens when someone deletes their listing or makes it inactive. 

I hope all my ramblings have given you some inspirations, ideas or thoughts about creating your own front page treasury! Remember to search for items on white backgrounds, and include pictures that really pop and focus on the item being displayed. Also, remember to keep the Merchandising desk information in mind when creating and try to include the themes and items that they are looking for. Be diverse when selecting your items, make sure to include different categories (including vintage) and different shops,  * Never feature your own shop and ONLY include ONE item from each shop in your treasury!! ** That is so important, they won't feature you if you show favoritism to one particular shop! 
Also, I didn't mention tagging, but use all the tags to your advantage, I see so many treasuries with tags to spare...always tag with the themes Etsy is looking for, and remember to include your team tags. Don't forget the color tags, and items like home decor, back to school, fall fashion, summer trends, unisex, vintage...and things like that.
Remember to promote within the first few hours of creating it, check the treasury list to see where your treasury stands...if you see it on page 4, keep promoting, come back and check to see if it has moved up to page 3 and so on...
Remember to have fun and be creative! If you have a song stuck in your head, turn it into a treasury! Practice searching for those perfect items, and hopefully one day, Statteam will be featured on Etsy's Front Page Everyday!   Pin It


  1. Great tips!! Your treasuries are lovely. I hope to see you return to the Treasury Linky on my blog to promote many more of them!!

  2. I love doing Treasuries! Your tips and examples are wonderful!