Friday, February 26, 2010

#43 unofficial etsy featured seller - blackbirdtees

#43 unofficial etsy featured seller - blackbirdtees
Date joined etsy - 2/20/08
Sales to date - 668-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Jody Dyer, and I live with my boyfriend of 6 years in a cozy Seattle apartment. We also share an art/print studio just down the street, so it's a wonderfully short commute. for ice cream flavors, this is a difficult one for me. Currently, I've got a little thing for salted caramel, so I'll go with that for now.

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

Luckily, there isn't really an average day in the life of Blackbird Tees. I get to change it up from week to week depending on how busy my online shop happens to be. When sales are up, I'll take care of all correspondence, printing and packing orders, re-listing, etc. I usually schedule wholesale work for the slower times of year in order to fill in the gaps. For instance, now I'm working on a large order for a festival in MA, and I'm also drafting & prepping new designs that will launch this Spring.

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

I was a daydreamy kid, skipping off to play outside, humming constantly, and always getting my hands dirty. I loved reenacting musicals in my living room, building forts, and most of all, baking. Still to this day, the smell of butter, flour, and chocolate is so comforting and therapeutic for me.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

A very sweet friend of mine, Angie (the woman behind the Twilight bags- kept telling me about Etsy and encouraging me to sell my tees there. I created my shop in February of 08, but it wasn't until January of the following year that I actually took the initiative to really get involved in that community and invest substantial time and effort.

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

Within a week of editing all my tags and beginning to re-list regularly, I had my first sale. And for the most part, it has been a wonderfully steady, symbiotic relationship with Etsy. The more effort I invest, the more I get out of it.

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

Favorite foods: bittersweet chocolate, almond butter, coconut, goat cheese, curry
TV shows: The Wire, Homicide, News Radio, Seinfeld, Alan Partridge
Bands: Beach House, The Wrens, MGMT, Neko Case, Sharon Jones
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.

Handmade truffles, but I'm sure I'd gobble them all up and there would be no evidence of my hard work ;)
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Engage with others in any way that feels natural for you, whether that's going to participate in festivals and farmers markets, reaching out to boutiques with wholesale information, starting a blog, taking part in the Etsy Virtual Labs, etc. Learn some marketing fundamentals, like how to write a great press release and pitch your work to a magazine, blog, or newspapaper (Design Sponge has a fantastic series of guides for any & all of this:

Also, I would just emphasize the power of tags and re-listing when it comes to Etsy. Learn how tags work, and how to make the most of them. Etsy has several Storque articles on this subject. As for re-listing, set a spending limit for yourself, i.e. $3 a day or $60 per month and consider that your marketing budget. Remember, you can write off marketing expenses at the end of the year, but be realistic and do only what you can afford.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
-By New Years Eve 2011 I hope my number of sold items is:

3000. Hooray!

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