Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#26 unofficial etsy featured seller - Buttonhead

#26 unofficial etsy featured seller - Buttonhead
Date joined etsy - 9/2/07
Sales to date - 2019

-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi! I’m Ali Puckett (a.k.a. Buttonhead). I make things and think stuff! Recently, after 10 years of living and working in Chicago, I gave up the corporate life and moved downstate Illinois to start my own business, making pinback buttons, magnets, pocket mirrors, stickers, cards, and temporary tattoos! I have a 10 year old pet rabbit, 3 button machines, a Fender guitar, and I like vanilla ice cream.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".

Running a business is pretty time consuming. I work from noon to midnight almost every day. I spend the afternoons crafting my handmade goodies, packaging them for shipment, and making a trip to the Post Office. During the late afternoon and evening, I do general office work (bookkeeping, customer inquiries, restocking, planning, promotion). By the time night rolls around, I’m typically working on graphic designs, print layouts, print testing, and prep for the following day. But all work and no play makes Ali a dull girl! Fridays and Saturdays are usually my days off, and I spend that time watching movies, listening to or creating music, making videos, writing, taking photos, or working on some other random art project. I’m also a history buff and political activist, so I spend time making phone calls, writing letters, researching, teaching, and doing my best to be the change I want to see in the world.

-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

Oh yes! I was always weird. As a kid, I loved to perform. I used to sneak my little red radio cassette player into school, so that I could lip sync Bette Midler songs for all my friends, as full one-woman performances. I always say, I was born to be a drag queen! As I got older, I became involved in theatre, receiving my Associates in Performing Arts. In my 20’s, I spent a lot of time doing live and recorded vocal performances in Chicago under a few different project names. Today, I enjoy writing, filming, and performing in short sketch comedy videos, taking photos, writing jokes, and turning my strange sense of humor into little handmade goodies for others to enjoy.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Well, I’ll tell you a secret: An ex-boyfriend of mine owned a small button business that he just operated as a side gig. He always had fun and extra money from doing it, which I found terribly interesting. We eventually broke up, but I took the idea and made it my own. I found Etsy while I was browsing the web one day, and that’s where the rubber met the road! Etsy gave me all of the resources I needed to get my business moving, and I never looked back. Take that, ex-boyfriend!

-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?

This is a great question, because let me tell you: It took me 2 weeks of promoting my heart out, day and night, just to sell one single $1 button. After that, little by little, the business started growing, like a snowball getting larger as it rolls downhill. For the new sellers out there, believe me, you will get out of Etsy what you put into it. Don’t give up! You can do anything you set your mind to.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Food: Cheese, Bread, Pasta, Hamburger, and Dr. Pepper.
TV Shows: The Simpsons, The Young and the Restless, Big Brother, Antiques Roadshow, Desperate Housewives
Musicians: Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, The White Stripes, No Doubt, Rufus Wainwright

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.

I’ve always wanted to try silkscreening, and I think calligraphy would be an amazing skill to learn. Also, since I like writing skits and scripts, I would love to design and build sets for my own film projects in the future.

-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

There are so many ways to promote your shop to new buyers. I worked with a group of Etsy artists to create a daily video series called Indie 5, which explored the ins and outs of being an indie business owner. If you like watching videos, and you’d like to get 5 different perspectives on this question, you should check it out at http://www.youtube.com/indie5collective. My best personal advice is to focus on the customers you do get, as much as the ones who haven’t found your shop yet. If someone has purchased something that you’ve made, it means they appreciate your work. What an honor! So, be sure to include extra stuff with their order, whether it is freebies, a handwritten note, or info about other projects you are working on. Make that connection count, so that you can turn a new customer into a repeat customer, and watch your business grow.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

LeArmoire: My best friend and amazing punk rock crafter | http://www.LeArmoire.etsy.com
Jelene: Cheerful, colorful, and insanely talented graphic artist | http://www.jelene.etsy.com
Metrogypsy: Goddess of feather fascinators and unique burlesque pieces | http://www.metrogypsy.etsy.com
-By New Years Eve 2011 I'd like to have _____ amount of sales.

A million bajillion?! Haha. Well, I do a lot of business outside of Etsy, but it is still fun to watch my shop numbers grow. I’ve been averaging around 1,000 Etsy sales per year, so by New Years Eve 2011, I hope I’ll be at around the 4,000 mark. Fingers crossed!

Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)