Thursday, February 18, 2010

#35 unofficial etsy featured seller - annastrunk

#35 unofficial etsy featured seller - annastrunk
Date joined etsy - 11/6/08
Sales to date - 336-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Well, my name is Christine Lally and I live in Fond du Lac, WI, but I am really a transplanted Jersey girl! I am married to my high school sweetheart, Sean and we have two great kids-Sarah who starts college in the fall and Ben who starts Kindergarten in the fall (yeah, a bit of an age difference there, but it keeps things interesting!). A day of bliss for me is hanging out with my family, watching classic movies with some mint chocolate chip ice cream-it doesn't really take all that much to make me happy! :) Or if the weather is nice, I love to just find new places to explore-it really doesn't even matter where!

-Describe an average day in life of "you".

Whew! That's a tough one! I have A LOT of variety in my days, but usually I'm up to see my daughter off to school (she's a senior, but she still likes to chat with mom in the morning before she heads out for the day). Then, I check the computer to see what is going on in my shop, email, etc. Then it's time for my little guy to get up. My attention is pretty devoted to him and getting the house running smoothly and then he has his "shows" to watch (Handy Manny, Imagination Movers, etc.), which gives me time to sit with him and work. When he's up, I pretty much concentrate on prep work-cutting out fabric, making bows, cutting ribbon hangers, restocking supplies, etc. Then we swing into dinner/family mode. I save all the work that requires fine sewing and concentration for the time when he goes to bed for the night. Actually, I'm up quite late most nights-I like the quiet of working on detailed work by myself...

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

Absolutely! From the time I was about six until college, it was tough to find me without a sketch pad and a pencil box! When I was little, I had an obsession with drawing horses-it's all I drew!! But that all changed when my family moved to Brazil for four years-there were a lot of old Hollywood musicals on tv down there at that time and I developed a real passion for costuming (from any era!!). I used to steal my mom's curtains (the cafe curtains with all the ruffles) because I kept trying to make those big fluffy dance petticoats that were all over the musicals from the 1940's and 1950's! I kind of took a break from drawing/designing for a while but picked it back up again about 10 years ago when I really started getting interested in Jane Austen's work.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Well, I had been trying to find a way to combine all my passions (classic literature, sewing, costuming, etc.) but never really got serious about it. Unfortunately, I lost my mother suddenly in July 2008. I was really devastated and wondered how I was going to get through the upcoming holiday season (she so loved Christmas!). I wanted Christmas to remain a happy, magical time for my own children (especially the little one), so I knew I had to find an outlet...a project. My mom's mantra was "Just Do It" looong before Nike came up with it. So one day in November, a couple of days after my birthday, I woke up and said "today is the day I start my shop on etsy!" I cannot tell you how empowering and therapeutic it has been for me!! I love my shop!

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

When I first started, I only had one item in my shop (and it wasn't even a sachet!)...gradually I was able to add a few more things and got my first sale about three weeks after I opened. As a newbie, it felt a lot longer! LOL

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

Top 5 favorite foods (probably none of which are good for me!)
1. Lasagna
2. Cheeseburgers
3. Just plain low carb pasta with a little teeny bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese
4. Cheese!!
5. Mint chocolate chip ice cream (I'm a real fan!)

TV Shows:
1. Cake Boss!!
2. Pretty much anything on Turner Classic Movies
3. 19 Kids and Counting
5. Imagination Movers (sure, it's a Disney show for kids but I like the message!)

Bands: (I'm embarassingly Old School)
1. Tavares
2. Glenn Miller
3. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
4. Dion and the Belmonts
5. old school Jackson 5

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

I would LOVE to try soap making!! I am always admiring the beautiful bath/body shops and creations here on etsy and would love to be able to create some of that magic!! Oh, and I'd like to be able to knit something other than reeeeallly long rectangles!!LOL

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

I would say that the biggest piece of advice I could offer new sellers on etsy is to believe in what you are doing and realize that running a business (online or otherwise) is more of a marathon than a sprint. Promoting is kind of like that too. Any opportunity for your shop to be seen is a good one! The more you are seen, the greater the chance that you will increase your sales. Often, small, new shops don't have a very large advertising budget (if one at all-I still don't!) so I've found these things to be helpful:
* The etsy forums: not only can you learn tons here but as you participate, you increase your exposure. I can't guarantee sales from doing this but you will increase your etsy presence!
* Twitter: I don't twitter that often, but when I post a link to an item in my shop, my views go up, up, up! If you do use twitter, be sure to "tweet" about more than just the things for sale in your shop. I have found that lots of people are interested about how and why you create too! This doesn't need to take a lot of time either...I am on/off twitter in about 10-15 minutes every day.
* Flickr: You can't directly advertise here but you can include photos of your work, etc. and this does help drive traffic to your shop.
* Facebook: You can create a page specific to your shop where you can share all kinds of stuff with friends, family and potential customers!
* A kind of Facebook for crafters. I've gotten a lot of traffic into my shop from being a member of this site. Check it out!
* Try another selling venue in addition to your etsy shop!
* Try alchemy on etsy.
* Start a blog
* Try offline advertising too-business cards, etc.

The suggestions that I listed above are all pretty much free-check them out, see if they are right for you and see what happens! You never know!! Good luck!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

1) Darvahlous (digital collage sheets-GORGEOUS!!!)
2) Pemberley Dreams (beautiful regency era bonnets and clothing)
3) Pretty Wit (charming, homespun whimsy-cozy comfort things!)

-By New Years Eve 2010 I hope my number of sold items is

I don't really like to put a number where I'd like to be but I would love to surpass the 500 sales mark! (GRIN!!)

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