Friday, April 30, 2010

#106 unofficial etsy featured seller - clayswan

#106 unofficial etsy featured seller - clayswan
Date joined etsy -11/25/08
Sales to date - 411 -Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

my name is lyn swan (no NOT the footballl player) :) .... i live in sonoma ca with my daughter (14 years old with no interest in clay, she really loves her violin) and 7 .... yes 7! cats!!!! they keep me on my toes, and always stay out of the studio! no, not really, they get locked in (by accident) from time to time ..... I am originally from New York, after graduating college (school for the american craftsman, R.I.T.) i moved to california. i never looked back, although i do travel back often to visit everyone.

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

each day is spent in the studio, as little as one hour or as many as 14 hours, depending on my show schedule or orders ...... winter is cold and wet, summer very HOT and dry, summer days are as early as 5am, as it can get over 95 degrees by 11 in the morn! yikes ..... that means it is a glazing day, too hot to hand build, the clay dries faster than i can build! i am inspired (and always have been) by color and function. my home is small and therefore dictates each piece be somewhat petite, functional, but with personality, this is very necessary, happy functional pots with happy colors are always necessary. as one customer said to me once when walking into my booth at a show "i feel like i have just stepped into WHOVILLE!" (from the grinch who stole christmas) ... that about sums it up!

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

i have always been a clay addict. i remember being 5 or 6 and sitting in a creek, digging up mud and trying to make a tea set! in the 2nd grade we had a wonderful art teacher who happened to be a potter, he saw the "spark" in my eye when i saw the potters wheel and my first thrown pot way born. from there i never looked back and the teachers were always trying to create more classes for me, there was never enough, i always wanted more art. a tribute to one of those teachers ..... 25 years after i graduated (high school in new york) she came to california and found me ..... was i ever shocked, too wonderful!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

i really got started on esty when i was doing a wholesale show in baltimore (american craft council show baltimore 2009) and the etsy team gave a wonderful presentation, i looked around the room, and realized we are really an aging crowd, but the is really empowered me as the presenters were all around 25 years old! i never looked back, i love the international exposure, i love that etsy is available to ALL, and for me, i love the "ease" of it all, and the ability to try lots of new ideas on a world market!

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

OK .... so, i love pizza, always have ....... i LOVE the big bang theory, and LOVE antiques roadshow (give me lots of new ideas) ...

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

OH YES, i have tried it all ..... photography, jewelry making, weaving, spinning, dyeing, batik, painting, knitting, glass blowing (HARD and frustrating for a potter, i always want to touch) .... i have made soap, clothing, ceramic furniture, and crazy dolls. love to cook and garden ..... you know, there are just not enough hours in the day!

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

i say to all the new sellers ..... etsy is so ABSTRACT .... you may not sell for some time and then all of a sudden BAMB ..... selling like crazy .... you need to approach esty as a business, atttend to it every day (sometimes that is hard) stay with it, list new fun and crazy work, renew work, take inspiration from other etsy shops, chat with people, take their advice .... but always stay true to you, put your personality out there and ...... stick with it! have friends critique your shop, don't be sensitive, listen to them and learn from it, above all you need GOOD photography, people need to really see and understand what they are looking at ... most important .... HAVE FUN!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?


One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

in one more year from now i hope my total number of items sold is 1000.
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at
As always, thanks for reading :)