#61 unofficial etsy featured seller - nowvember
Date joined etsy - 12/6/07
Sales to date - 731
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My Etsy shop is nowvember and my real-life name is Lisa Riddle. I was born and raised in Ohio, but I moved to Portland, Oregon four years ago with my boyfriend Eric. We have no children or pets, but some of our houseplants are holding up okay. I am 29 awesome years old. I have a very expensive bachelors degree in English which I use all the time doing crossword puzzles at the coffee shop where I work. I was able to cut back to making coffee part-time this past year thanks to the (very gradual) success of my crafting business, which has been incredibly exciting!
Describe an average day in life of "you".
Three days a week I get up before dawn to make lattes in the suburbs, come home, take a nap and then craft until bedtime. The rest of the week I get to stay home and craft all day (usually about 8:30 A.M. to 11 P.M. with some meal breaks and maybe a shower thrown in). Occasionally I venture out to buy stamps or go to the paper store, but mostly I sit around in my most comfortable pants and alternate between obsessively refreshing my Etsy page and doing actual work. I usually have some NPR or an '80s crime-fighting TV show I'm half-listening to in the background, and a couple of hand-written checklists of orders I'm working on, e-mails I need to return, and whatever else I have to get done. I'm not naturally a very scatterbrained person, but bouncing back and forth between ten different projects, running to the mailbox, remembering to unplug the hot glue gun, jotting off a quick e-mail, digging around for that one specific tiny scrap of fabric in our messy little apartment is enough to keep me pretty frazzled most of the time.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I've never really thought of myself as being particularly creative, by which I guess mean that I've never been especially imaginative. I think I was pretty clever from a young age, though, and I've definitely always liked gluing stuff together, and making pretty things to give to people, and leaving huge messes everywhere in the process.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I saw an ad for Etsy in Make Magazine and I fell in love with the site right away. I'd already been selling some handmade cards at my work, but it took me a couple of months to work up the nerve (and the technological know-how -- I'd never even picked up a digital camera before) to start listing them online.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
It was actually really quick, probably only two or three days from when I first started listing.
-Top 5 favorite foods
3 corn ( I put corn on pizza and in scrambled eggs. I think it's a weird kind of Midwestern homesickness.)
4 extra sharp cheddar cheese
5 caramelized onions
2 30 Rock
3 Project Runway
4 Twin Peaks
5 (Jerry Orbach-era) Law and Order
1 Neutral Milk Hotel
2 The White Stripes
3 Belle and Sebastian
5 The Pixies
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, etc.
I would really love to get into printmaking. I took a printmaking class in college, when I was way too busy to appreciate it, and I wish that I'd retained some of those skills. It seems like there's been a big renaissance in letterpress recently, and I've always been a big fan of screenprinting.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
The main thing I recommend to friends who are new to Etsy is to make sure to keep your shop active. You can't list five items, walk away and wait for them to sell. Just editing your shop announcement puts you at the top of the Shop Local search feature. Listing and renewing regularly helps keep your shop current and increases your visibility on the site.
A lot of people use social networking sites to promote their work, but the whole Twitter/Flickr/Facebook thing has never been a good fit for me. When I was first starting out (and even now during slow periods), I focused instead on trying out new designs, introducing new product lines, experimenting with new colors and materials, and improving my packaging, photos, and descriptions. I want to put as much energy as I can into my shop, my products and my customer service, and leave the rest of it to Ashton Kutcher.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
juliapott.etsy.com, lanydevening.etsy.com, VintagebyCrystal.etsy.com
There are about a million others, of course, but these three are each doing something really distinctive and striking, and all three make things that are pretty but complex and a little odd, too.
-By New Years Eve 2011 I hope my number of sold items is 1500!
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for reading :)