Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#55 unofficial etsy featured seller - imadeyouabeard

#55 unofficial etsy featured seller - imadeyouabeard
Date joined etsy - 10/10/08
Sales to date - 490

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

My name is Erin Dollar, and I run the one woman beard emporium called I Made You A Beard. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, the ultimate beardy city, where I currently live with my lovely cat Frida.

-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I try to handle most of the typical "business stuff" in the morning: answering emails, processing orders, etc. This means that I can use the afternoon and evening to work on more creative projects, making custom orders and developing new items for the shop. I try to spend some time every day working on a new project, rather than continuing to just make the same products over and over again. I spend at least a few hours every day just sewing beards, often making custom beards with crazy colors.

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

All kids are creative, and I was no exception. I was lucky to have a mom who encouraged my creativity as I grew up, and I never felt pressured to give up my artistic pursuits as I entered adulthood. I’ve dabbled in lots of different media, drawing, photography, printmaking, sewing, etc. I’ve always felt free to try new things, and implement new methods and techniques into my daily art making. While my beard business is currently my main source of income, I still think of it as just one project in my life of making art.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I noticed that a lot of my favorite artists and illustrators had shops on Etsy, and I wanted to join in on the fun. I had just graduated from college, was having trouble finding full time work here in Portland, and wanted to be part of a creative community. Etsy was a great way to put my work out there, and share my creative projects with a larger audience. I’d displayed my fake beard project in a couple different places, and friends were begging me to put them up for sale… little did I know I’d become known as “that beard lady.”

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

Not too long, although the anticipation was kinda stressful. As a new seller, you see all the success stories, people who’ve made thousands of sales on Etsy, and you wonder, “Can I ever get there? What should I reasonably expect to achieve?” Luckily, I received a ton of really positive responses right away, which encouraged me to keep at it while I waited for the sales to come in.

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

1. Peanut butter toast with sliced banana
2. Roasted butternut squash
3. Fresh peaches
4. Stumptown coffee
5. Khao Soi Kai (curry noodle soup) from Pok Pok here in Portland

1. 30 Rock
2. Arrested Development
3. Honestly, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather watch. I could watch re-runs of those two shows and nothing else.

This is a tough one, so I’ll just list what I’ve been listening to a lot lately:
1. M. Ward
2. Why?
3. Dert
4. Yo La Tengo
5. R. Kelly (For some reason, I will never get tired of “I’m a Flirt.” That song is ridiculous.)

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?

I am teaching myself how to quilt, which is probably one of the more difficult things I’ve attempted in quite a while. It’s way trickier than it initially seems.

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

You know, I still don’t feel like I have a good grip on what works in promoting an Etsy shop. The best thing you can do is just to make work that is really unique, and that you are proud to put out into the world. Being able to talk about your work in an entertaining way helps too, and working with bloggers and other creative people to bring attention to your work through word of mouth seems to be the easiest way to drum up business.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I bought a necklace from Spinthread that I am obsessed with. I would buy everything in her shop if I had the cash.

Stephen and Shauna from somethingshidinghere were super supportive of my shop early on, and were really an inspiration to me when I first joined Etsy. Their creativity is an awesome addition to the Etsy community.

Everything Sarah Neuburger of thesmallobject makes is incredible. I mean, have you SEEN her shop?? It’s crazy good.

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

I’d be really happy to break the 1,000 mark on Etsy, that would be a great milestone! Fingers crossed!

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