*GIVEAWAY INFO AT BOTTOM OF INTERVIEW!
#47 unofficial etsy featured seller - ajsweetsoap
Date joined etsy - 2/3/09
Sales to date - 439
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor
My name is Denise and I'm a full time working mom with two young children (3 including the husband!) My life is constantly on-the-go, as I leave the house at 6:30 AM and don't return home until 7 PM. My day hardly ends there since I'm coming home to two kids (Justin is 10, Alyssa,4). I usually begin my soapmaking once the kids are in bed and I get some peace and quiet! Needless to say I put in some very long evenings!
I started making soap as a therapeutic way to unwind after a stressful day. I adore making outrageously decadent looking treats that you won't find anywhere else. I truly love hearing customers say "can I eat that?" or "Wow that looks so real!". It's a great, rewarding feeling.
My favorite ice cream flavor? That's an easy one - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! I love the stuff! I can't keep it in the house, though, because it would haunt me until it was gone! Now chocolate - that's safe...We've had a half-gallon in the freezer for weeks!
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
As far as I'm concerned, I've never been good with crafts growing up - I had no patience whatsoever, and I have a mother who could make anything from a piece of fabric and a sewing needle so I gave up! I was much more into writing short stories and poetry. My creative gene didn't kick in until much later!
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
My first introduction to Etsy was from being added to the Etsy Finds mailing list. I don't know how I got on there, but I had no idea of what Etsy was (see, I told you I wasn't creative - no creative person could NOT know what Etsy is!). I took a look one day, and wow, I was amazed! From that point on, I told my husband that I wanted to get involved in something that I could make and sell on there. I just didn't know what I wanted to do!
My first trip to Michaels Craft store was a mission - to find something creative that I could do and list on Etsy. I looked at everything from candles to scrapbooking, but it was when I stumbled across a soapmaking kit that I knew I found what I was looking for! I couldn't wait to rip into the box when I got it home, and aside from the quality of soap leaving much to be desired, I really enjoyed it! I quickly ditched the kit, ordered high quality ingredients from a supplier and began to make what I now consider to be my "Guiltless Indulgences" soap line.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
When I first listed on Etsy, I wasn't thinking of making money. The thought of people all over the world being able to see my craft was exhiliarating to me. I started out posting just a few items, and it took a few weeks for my very first sale (I remember it well - my soap bar with jellybean embeds). I was so excited to get a sale, but once the second and third sale came in, I was pysched! Now I realized there could be money made doing what I loved!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
My soaps depict my favorite food items - desserts! All things chocolatey and decadent! That's why I have so much fun doing what I do! As far as music is concerned, I love Heavy Metal (Metallica is my all time favorite band!) People have such a hard time picturing me as a Metal girl, but I really do love it! Nowadays, I love Top 40 rock as well, since it's so much fun to sing along with the kids!
-Is there anything creative you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.
As much as I love my desserts, I am a horrible baker (maybe that's a good thing)! I love to cook, though and would love to pursue some culinary classes.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
For anyone contemplating opening their own Etsy shop - DO IT! Etsy has the greatest and most supportive group of people around, and there's so much that you can learn from the experiences of others. A successful seller really needs to be true to themselves and their craft, and not worry what others are doing and try to keep up. Set your own pace, and your obsession can become others obsessions too! Rely on Twitter and Facebook networking, because you'll find friends you never knew existed!
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
I admire so many sellers on Etsy that it's difficult to pinpoint only 3. I love the creativity of Auntiescardshop - I often use her notecards and tags with my orders. I also admire the fact that her creativity extends to candles, jewelry and soy tarts, too (how she manages it all so well amazes me!). Arttales, Myotherprincess,TwoSugarBabies and KimArt also deserve honorable mention - I have such great respect for their work!
-By New Years Eve 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
I always set small, achievable goals for myself - my last one was to reach 400 sales by my first Anniversary. I reached it 2 days late (close so I'm still counting it!) My goal for December 31 would be to reach 600 sales! With the great customer following that I've developed, and the new customers that I've been attracting each and every day, I'm considering this to be very realistic. It's something new to strive toward!
Want to win one of ajsweetsoap 's soaps? YOU could win her cheesecake soap.
How to enter: Leave a comment on this post, follow our blog, or tweet about the post (@andalliteration). You can get up to 3 entries by doing all 3 :)
When: We're randomly picking a winner on Friday at 8pm! So hurry and submit your entry.
*UPDATE - vickie won! congrats!
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for reading :)