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Rainforest Design® Blog

          contributions by our designer and director, Roslyn Zelenka.

If you get Roslyn in a story-telling mood about how Rainforest Design® cameos began and got to where it is today, she can go on for hours non-stop and keep you fascinated by the synchronicity of events that have occurred and continue to occur. A true believer in the "Law of Attraction", she feels that she was "chosen" for this project when Andy Ike first walked into her office and took out of his jean pocket, wrapped in toilet paper, a little shell cameo frog on a leaf, carved by a friend of his, a Wounaan Indian. Her life hasn't been the same since. Her goal is to create a sustainable cameo industry in Panama, using the extraordinary talent of the Wounaan Indian artisans, and innovative designs inspired by the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest that surrounds them.

You can read all the stories about the beginning days of Rainforest Design® cameos, starting with the blog entitled, "From Toilet Paper Wrapping",  and stay current with what's going on in cameos with Rainforest Design® by following these informative blog posts. In addition, there may be a few other topics of interest to Roslyn, thrown in for good measure. She is fascinated by technology, 3D printing, nature conservation, just to mention a few.

Here you will find the most recent blog postings. Start anywhere you like. For older postings, go to www.blograinforestdesign.blogspot.com

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Covid-19 Business Survival Guide - Creating Pop Up Stores
Well, it’s been over a month since my last blog and I am still sheltering in place in Atlanta. Panama airport is not open for international flights until the  last week of June. So what can one do to promote business when everything is still pretty much closed? So this is a story of what I have been doing this last month. I titled it Covid-19 Business Survival Guide because I want my business to survive and not only just survive, be stronger and better.

I have been watching lots of Instagram “live” sessions and am amazed at what I have learned by doing so. There are actually live auctions on Instagram and I am particularly impressed by a couple of young ladies selling antique jewelry from their home. They have an audience that tunes in to their sales events that they conduct practically daily. They announce what they will be selling in advance with the prices listed on Instagram. With their live camera setup and ability to focus close up on the jewelry you really can see what you are buying. They offer layaway terms...it’s a real business. Customers ask questions via the chat and they answer them. You want it, just write SOLD. You want it on layaway SOLD, layaway. It’s not difficult, but they do have a back office person keeping track of sales and terms. So, with this example in mind, I decided I need to get a store on Instagram to link to my business page, so what links to Instagram? #Shopify, and it is free for the first 90 days. Perfect.

Shopify offers different themes to design your website, a few for free and the rest for a fee. I wanted something simple and straightforward and free. There is actually a theme called “Simple”, so I picked that one. The defaults theme is something called “Debut”, and it took me a while to figure out how to get rid of that one and switch theme. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable and computer literate, and have actually designed programs, but actually building a website requires a lot of patience. I think I could recommend to them, Shopify, that is, how to simplify some of the things you have to do, but that I will save for another time. It took me a few days to complete the process to my satisfaction, uploading all of the photos, creating alternate text, etc. Before you can go live, you do have to give them a credit card and choose the plan you want to start out with. They tell you it takes an average of 229 accesses to the site to get the first sale. I think I have 5-10 as of this writing, and I am hoping they don’t count mine.

Once I had my Shopify store running, I  could link it to my Facebook business page. That approval was really pretty quick, and ads on Facebook to promote the SHOP NOW button can start for as little as $1 a day for a minimum of $5 with a target audience of your choosing, by age, sex, geographical location, interests, etc. I’m running an ad now from my Facebook page @rainforestdesig. The integration here is really cool. Learned this from another Instagram persona.

My goal, however, was linking this online sales channel to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, so I can post a picture and tag it to redirect to my Shopify store. I am still waiting for Instagram to approve my store on Shopify. It has been several days. Sad face.

While I have been waiting I decided to check out a website recommended by a friend that only works here in the USA....#Poshmark.

Poshmark is so easy to set up a “closet” or “boutique” for selling online. If you have the pictures and a  description of what you are selling, size and prices, of course, it really takes about a minute or two to list an item. The presentation on your page is: last comes out first, so you might want to consider that when entering the items to sell. If you modify anything it is considered like something new and will move to the top of the listing. Within five minutes of entering my second jewelry item, someone contacted me wanting to buy it. Unfortunately, it was a scammer, who wanted me to contact them by email and was offering to pay outside of the Poshmark ecosystem. What is impressive, however, is that my boutique has been open less than 48 hours and I have 250 followers already. Some of them have shared my product info and honestly, a million people have received that recommendation. I have never had anyone share a tweet or a posting on any online entity who has had 625k followers before. This is free advertising at its finest. Oh, and. I forgot to mention, you can post from Poshmark to #Twitter, #Facebook, #Pinterest or #Instagram. The Twitter post shows the actual picture, not just the link (as it does when sharing from Instagram). The Pinterest link creates automatic a Poshmark album. This is really cool.

So now I can proudly say I have two new pop up stores on Shopify and Poshmark, adding two new sales channels while in the USA. Will let you know how it all works out in the next couple of weeks.

Here are the links:

Rainforest-design.myshopify.com
On Poshmark.com search @rainforestdesig

Stay well, stay safe,

RZ

#blackliivesmatter


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Rainforest Design® invites you to browse our exotic shell cameo jewelry, inspired by the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest. 100% handmade in Panama by Wounaan Indian master carvers from the Darien rainforest region of the country. Eco-friendly, Fair Trade. Creating extraordinary cameo jewelry since 2004.