#22 unofficial etsy featured seller - inblue
Date joined etsy - 9/5/08
Sales to date - 519
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Mary Lynn Schroeder, I live in a small town called Cobden outside of Carbondale, IL (home of Southern Illinois University, go salukis!). I have two dogs and two cats (daschu, chief, mo, and noodle) and my favorite ice cream flavor is Ben and Jerrys Imagine Whirled Peace (love that toffee cookie dough) :) I run a small handmade shop in Carbondale called Dayshift, which features over 40 local artists' work. Between Dayshift and my etsy shop, I have my hands full all of the time!
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
Get up, check etsy, shower, check etsy, make breakfast check etsy...
I would say that I am kidding, but its close to the truth, I spend an enormous amount of time on the web! I always spend some time before I go into the shop just checking up online and getting a list together for what I need to do for the day, who needs to be shipped out, what product needs made. I find if I group it all in the morning I can come into the shop and make everything I need to assembly line style, ie: cutting everything at once, sewing, printing, etc. I spend more than half my day on filling etsy orders, the other portion on whatever the shop needs! I have a working studio in my shop, so I am able to make things while I watch the store. Its eclectic enough in Dayshift to provide a really cool, creative environment to work in! Customers are able to come into the shop and walk right into the studio and put their hands on the materials I am going to use to make their product. There is something really great and personal about that, and I feel like it adds special element to the shop in general.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I colored all the time! I loved to play pretend or just be outside, read and listen to music. In my teens I played music in bands, which turned into a full time gig in my late teens and early twenties. I still always felt like something was missing artistially until I started sewing, I could never put my finger on it, but once I found sewing, everything changed for me.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I had heard of etsy before I entered the crafting world, I had friends who sold on the site. When I started sewing, it seemed like the natural thing to do next.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
Well, my dad was my first etsy sale, so probably it took about day or however long it took for me to call my parents and tell them I was online! After that I think it took about a week and half or so, it was slow going at first, even for the first 6-7 months. It took a while for me to figure out how to approach it, pricing, renewing consistently, etc. It was more difficult for me then because I was working overnights at Steak n Shake and I had just opened up the boutique (I had a shop in a different location before I moved it into Carbondale), so I was spreading myself so thin that I had virtually no time for etsy! Once the shop was doing well enough for me to quit the overnight job I was able to spend more time focusing on my online sales. It took a leap of faith to quit the second job and decide to focus on the shop and etsy, but it was well worth it! Instead of spending overnights serving burgers, I spent my overnights sewing, which was a lot more fun for me!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
1)ice cream (see the first question!)
2) artichoke dip from the global gourmet (one of my fave restaurant/bars here in Carbondale)
5) anything mexican
5)its always sunny...
bands! (this is nearly impossible for me!)
2)chuck ragan/hot water music
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.
Screenprinting! I am always using alternatives to screenprinting, but I would love to take a class and learn how to do it! It seems like the most versatile way to print and be creative, I just need time to learn it...
I have always wished I could do woodworking, being a carpenter sounds like juiced up sewing! I love the idea of making furniture, so hopefully one day I can learn.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
Keep renewing items! Never turn down a blog giveaway or any kind of interest in your product! It is essential to get outside of etsy and promote your etsy site. There are some great featured apps available to etsy sellers, I highly suggest using them to get an idea of who is buying your product, what time of day they are buying it, etc. Everytime I look at who is purchasing from me I am super excited to see how many are first time etsy buyers! That means that people are constantly joining the site, making it vital that you keep promoting etsy in general. Always remember that any press for the site is good for you, even if it isn't your product, it comes around! Do what you can to spread the word about buying handmade, and hit every craft fair you can! Put your etsy site on your business cards, and when you hand your card to people, point out that your etsy site is on it, trust me, it makes a difference. I say the word etsy at least 30 times a day, it honestly becomes a lifestyle, and its by far the best job I have ever had!
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
www.happysolez.etsy.com (Katherine's product is amazing!)
www.ekra.etsy.com (Emily uses all recycled materials to make amazing crochet rugs, and awesome bottlecap necklaces at great prices!)
www.matchwick.etsy.com (these are the best candles! i love them!)
-By New Years Eve 2011 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
250,000 :) If I can't hit a quarter of a million, I would really like to hit 1,000. Its a large goal for me, but the day I hit 1,000 I am throwing a party and taking a whole day/night off work!
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for reading :)