Thursday, April 29, 2010

#105 unofficial etsy featured seller - myimaginaryboyfriend

#105 unofficial etsy featured seller - myimaginaryboyfriend
Date joined etsy -1/3/06
Sales to date - 454
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Erika Kern. I have 2 adorable rescue dogs, Viola and Gracie. When I started my Etsy shop I lived in Brooklyn, NY and worked a regular 9 to 5 in addition to my crafting but about 2 years ago I decided to make this crafting thing my full-time gig so to save money I moved back to my hometown of Bakersfield, CA.

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

I wake up at 8 but thanks to coffee, the internet, and the dogs, I usually don't start working until about 9. I've been doing a lot of designing lately so I spend a good chunk of my time researching and drawing. Other than that the day is filled with stitching and e-mail and the occasional freelance writing gig.

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

I've been making things as long as I can remember. My Mom's side of the family was very creative. Most of my childhood was spent building things out of dumpster diving treasures with my Grandpa and stitching with my Mom. My Dad is more technical. I think both sides come out in my work since I'm known for my creativity with precision.
As a kid I loved drawing and painting, cross stitch, decoupage, paper mache, and pretty much any other craft you put in front of me.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I started doing local NYC craft fairs at the end of 2005 and had a lot of success. Etsy just seemed like the next logical step.

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

I signed up for Etsy in June of '06 but didn't load up the shop until July. My first sale was August 13,2006. So about a month.

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

In no particular order:
Food: grilled Gruyere and ham sandwiches, proper Mexican tacos, anything with cucumber, brownies with lots and lots of walnuts, toast with strawberry jam
TV Shows (Only 5? I watch a LOT of TV): Mad Men, Doctor Who, 30 Rock, Ashes to Ashes, Project Runway
Bands (Again, only 5?): Elvis Costello, the New Pornographers, Spoon, They Might Be Giants, Calexico

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

I keep telling myself I'm gonna learn to play guitar. I've had one for 5 years but have yet to find the time and money (at the same time) to take proper lessons. I'd also like to start taking tap dance classes again.
As for crafts, I'd like to get better at screen printing and I'd love to try my hand at pottery. I' also like to begin working with leather to make fancy handbags. I have some lovely pieces of leather but I need to practice before I cut into them.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Do craft fairs. Start locally and then try out of the larger ones in your area. Find a fair that best suits your work. Don't apply for Renegade Craft Fair if you're work is more classic and traditional. There are tons of artisan fairs out there where your work will shine.
I usually see a big uptick in traffic to my shop after a big show weekend. You'll get a mix of sales from people who meant to shop the day of the show but didn't and from folks following up on the internet.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Lindamade - I have 2 of her adorable crochet hats and I get mad complements every time I wear them.

Caitlin Kuhwald - Her illustrations are so beautiful. I just wish I could afford one of her original paintings. . . until then, I'll have to settle for the beautiful prints I have.

Ms Craftypants - My best friend Becca makes the most AMAZING baby and parent items. Her diaper clutch is an inspired example of "necessity is the mother of invention."

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is ______.
No, I'm at 452 right now, I'd be overjoyed to see it at 700 in a years time. Though, if it hits 1000 I won't be sad. . .

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