Saturday, April 24, 2010

#100 unofficial etsy featured seller - BowWowzerZ

#100 unofficial etsy featured seller - BowWowzerZ
Date joined etsy -9/11/07
Sales to date - 627-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Tina Hallada, I live in Fargo, ND (yes, like the movie Fargo) with my partner Brent, 3 cats (Charlie, Emma, and Bosco) and 2 black Labrador Retrievers (Cinder and Shyla). My favorite ice cream is anything chocolate and I have a coffee addiction. I am a huge animal lover and volunteer for 4 Luv of Dog Rescue, the largest unpaid volunteer rescue in North Dakota, where I serve as Vice President and Foster Home Coordinator. Shyla is our foster dog and has been with us for almost 3 years.

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

My days really vary, but this is probably a typical day. First things first…coffee, then I will check email and convo’s to catch up from the night before. Then as any Labrador owner understands, a dog park trip is in order, regardless of the weather (yes even 20 below, the colder it is the more they love it.) If I want to get anything productive done during the day, they need to be exercised, a good Lab is a tired Lab. So, we will spend an hour or so at the park (this is about the only down time I have during the day, so I try to enjoy it). In between throwing the ball, I will check rescue emails (thank you Blackberry). When I get home, it’s time to start working on orders. Usually around 2pm or so, I will take another break for a coffee run and check rescue emails again. Then, I will be back on emails/convo’s to customers. I try to have all my outgoing orders complete by 4pm, so that I can get them packaged up and on the way to the post office. However, I am a bit obsessed with orders going out as soon as possible, so it’s not abnormal for me to be heading to the post office around 9pm before the last plane leaves town. Plus, it gives me another excuse to get a coffee. At night, I am up late, really late (okay probably too much coffee), so I finish up rescue emails, emails/convo’s from customers again and try to get a head start on the next day with customer orders if there are any still to complete.

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

I really don’t think I was creative growing up. I spent a lot of time with stray/lost animals following me home and attempting to convince mom to let me keep them. I was not creative enough for mom to say “yes”, but was creative enough to find their owners or if we knew that they were truly stray, a new owner.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

When I first came to Etsy I was already selling locally, I hit the local craft shows sponsored by our state to promote North Dakota made goods. I was also wholesaling through some select pet boutiques and my own website. I came to Etsy originally as a customer, I just loved all the creative things that were sold there. It took about a month for me to decide to open a store. There were some very successful sellers of collars established already but I thought I would throw my hat into the ring.

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

How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy? It was a long time, months. I started my shop and then didn’t list anything for a long time and didn’t list much at first. So, it took a long time for the first sale, and my sales were very slow for the longest time. If I did 5 sales a month I was happy. I didn’t promote much but just let my shop run itself.

Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands

Does coffee count as a food? I love anything Italian, warm dinner rolls with butter, lefsa (a Norwegian flatbread), summer squash, and apples with peanut butter.

My favorite tv shows are: The Office, Dexter, Entourage, Seinfeld, and The Amazing Race.

Top favorite bands…I love most anything 80’s. AC/DC, Men at Work, Billy Idol, U2, Pet Shop Boys.

Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I really would like to try pottery again. I attempted in 6th grade to make a sculpture of my cat, Snowball, it wasn’t good, maybe even borderline frightening to look at. Snowball has now passed away, but his old sculpture could use a proper replacement (that I wouldn’t need to hide when small children visit) and I do remember that pottery was fun.

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

Probably to do everything different than what I did. Etsy is fast moving, most sellers can’t just list and then forget about their shop. I would imagine that most successful sellers treat this as a business and that means you spend more time in your shop than what you would even want to admit. 12-14 hour days (if not more sometimes), I think, are pretty typical or perhaps I have really poor time management. So, it’s important to do what you enjoy. When you work for yourself, not only are you the creator, but you are also the accountant, the marketer, the photographer, the packager, the supply buyer, the customer service person, etc. There’s a lot to do and all of those positions are very important to be successful. You have to understand that going in, and figure out what you expect from your shop. If it is a hobby and fun, that is one thing, hanging out in the forums, maybe tweeting on occasion is all you need to do. If you want to make a living then a more targeted approach is necessary.

3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I love DimmalimmHome Beautiful items! Just beyond amazing!
Caseymcardle Her photographs bring me back to the time we spent in Oz and is almost like a mini vacation looking at them! Just beautiful!
And although I have yet to buy from her, ToScarboroughFair has the craziest, coolest hats for cats. They make me laugh endlessly.

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

I would be beyond thrilled with 1500 sales, but I am thankful for every one.

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