#40 unofficial etsy featured seller - Sypria
Date joined etsy - 1/4/08
Sales to date - 1598-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Tara Fletcher-Gibbs and I live in North Little Rock, Arkansas with my wife Sarah and our two kids, err… I mean cats, Leela and Fry.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I get up around 7:30 during the weekdays and get ready for my day job (which I haven’t been able to shake yet) and check my email for any new orders that I need to get together and then drive to said day job to work from 9ish to 5ish. I have the fortunate opportunity to do a lot of my Etsy-ing from work as I am secretary with not a lot of work to do. I take care of wrapping and packaging my orders in the morning and then on my lunch break I head to the post office to ship off the international orders that I’m unable to just slip in the mail. I head back to work and make lists and dream my crafty dreams of what I’d like to do in the evening until it’s time to go home and then I cook dinner, have dinner and relist some items before going to bed. On the weekends is when I really make most of my items right now, when the spring and summer arrive I’ll be in my garden all weekend which works out because the summer is a slower time on Etsy (for me at least). I spend a lot of time relisting items throughout the day between gluing, shanking, swirling and sewing. My wife has recently got into leatherworking so I bring my supplies downstairs and we craft together while watching Mythbusters which has been a welcomed retreat from my cramped and lonely craftroom.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
My mother was a very nurturing person when it came to her children. She noticed I had an interest in drawing and put me in kids painting classes at Michael’s (craft store) when I was 5. After that, I was hooked on anything creative. Being the art club president four years through high school, you could say I was pretty dedicated. When I was younger I really enjoyed colored pencil and pastels but after I got out of high school I wanted to express myself in 3-D things. It didn’t even occur to me that wearable 3-D art is called “jewelry”. (This comes from the same person who didn’t realize olive oil came from “olives”, I may be a redhead but everyone else in my family is blonde, it’s in the genes.)
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I had no idea Etsy even existed until January 4th of 2008. There is a band called The Moldy Peaches whose singer is Kimya Dawson. She mentioned on her website that she would be selling her hand-painted tote bags (with robots!) to help her get some extra cash and when I clicked on the link *cue the orchestra* and immediately joined. I think my jaw was dangling on the floor for about an hour while I perused the website. I was exstatic, it was –exactly- what I’d been telling all my friends should exist, and here it was, and two years old no less back then! Then I started getting mad that no one had told me about it. When I mentioned it to one of my good friends mother, she simply quipped, “Oh yeah, I joined it the day they launched the site, you didn’t know about it??” Gr. Grrr indeed.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
I made my first sale about fifteen minutes after I listed it. I had taken pictures of all the things I wanted to list and I was just listing away and when I had about five items in my store I chose to “look at your public shop” and one was missing, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where it went and then I checked my email and there it was, “Etsy Order confirmation..” I was sooo excited and so scared!-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Foods (ONLY five??!):
Homegrown Tomatos eaten like an apple right after pickin’
Fresh Sushi with a Shiner Bock
Paper-thin crust pizza with mushrooms and crumbled Italian sausage
Raw Oysters with some Louisiana hot sauce and saltines and a Sam Adams beer
Liver Pate on super thin crusty bread from Provincetown, MA (with such accouterments as egg whites, relish and mustard)
Man vs. Wild
The Postal Service
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.
I’ve had my hands, fingers, feet and toes in just about everything. I took cake decorating classes with my mom and sister when I was 12. Had a knitting phase, made soap, even tried my hand at wood-burning. I’m going to leave the intricate crocheting untouched until after I’m 40 (15 years to go!).
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
Take very eye-catching photos. Look at your shop from the eyes of a customer. Can you see the item clearly? Is it described in enough detail or would you need to ask questions about it before you bought it? Is it –really- the right price for someone to buy it? Is your shipping and handling accurate or are you just trying to get a couple of extra dollars on the value of your item?
I think that if you take the time and the effort (and the crossed-eyes) to build a beautiful, informational shop then it will sell itself. I’m also a firm believer in relisting your items. You’ve got to spend money to make money. And until Etsy brings in an updated search engine, your items are just going to get buried under the thousands of other items that are for sale on Etsy.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE RollandTumblePress. Christy and Caleb are good friends of ours (Caleb does all mine and my wifes tattoos!) and we purchased the “All I need is you” poster in pink, the “Sweet Dreams” and the “Love Nest” posters and they are absolutely gorgeous. Wonderfully handcrafted and have excellent customer service!
I LOVE Glamarita!!! She made my wedding dress last summer which was made completely out of neckties (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28195038) She uses it as a stock photo now for her custom made wedding dresses. Absolutely amazing seamstress and sooo earth friendly!
And last but not least HydraHeart! She made my custom wedding flats and they were absolutely gorgeous, made perfectly, fit snuggly and are completely vegan!
-By New Years Eve 2010 I hope my number of sold items is 3,125.
That is a –hope-. My first year on Etsy I sold 500 items. On my second year anniversary I had sold a total of 1,250. With that same increase of 150% over the previous year, on my third year anniversary that would bring me to 3,125 items sold. You’ve got to have a goal, be it lofty or reasonable and with a little determination and some creative thinking along the way, you can make anything happen. Now get dreamin’!
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for reading :)