#118 unofficial etsy featured seller - whiskerworks
Date joined etsy -1/13/10
Sales to date - 451-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Amber Babcock and I live near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. My husband Alex is an officer in the Army, stationed here for training. Six months ago we lived in Florida and six months from now we'll be living in Texas. We're renting a house along with our two kitties, Seamus Lucifer Diesel McKitty and Marina Shakira McKitty - or Mr. Kittums and Miss B for short. We're both vegetarians who live off beer and cheese. We have a love for the style of the 1920s and a passion for adventure.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
These days it's Etsy from morning until night. Though it adds up to a lot of hours, it doesn't feel like it because it's been so much fun. I start off my morning with coffee, catching up on emails and conversations, and updating my listings. Then before the sun makes it too hot outside, I use my handy little Dremel tool to sand and drill as many mustaches and lips as I can. Then I move indoors and finish them off by cleaning and gluing before I start packing up orders. My postman comes for pick-ups three times a week, each time taking about ten boxes. I take breaks here and there to check email, relax, hang out with the cats. Then maybe I'll make more mustaches or lips in my kitchen or go back outside during the cooler evening. No matter what though, I always take time out to spend with Alex when he gets home.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
Growing up I was obsessed with the supernatural, loved sunflowers and trolls, played the flute, built forts in the woods near home and took photos of everything I came across. When my mom let me paint my room any color I wanted, I chose black. We also lived in a zoo at times - dogs, bunnies, a chinchilla, a guinea pig, a couple lovebirds, gerbils, and dozens of hamsters. Not to mention all the siblings. My mom is a life-long artist who is dedicated to the color purple - I grew up in a house with purple walls, purple carpet, pretty much purple everything. Creativity came naturally in an environment as eclectic as that. :)
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
My husband is in the military and we had to relocate to Missouri. I was an art director in advertising before we moved. After spending several months trying to find freelance work, I came up with a back-up plan - to see what the market would be for selling handmade mustaches and lips on sticks, which I first made for my own wedding last year. That leap of faith turned out to be better and more fulfilling that I could have imagined.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
I was really fortunate - I had my first sale the first day I joined. I was filled with so much excitement that I literally started dancing around my house. My cats were terrified.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
My husband and I are both vegetarians who can't get enough grilled cheese, pizza and Jimmy John's veggie sandwiches. I also love tofu pad thai and Claussen pickle halves.
As for TV, we're crazy about Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park and Pawn Stars. I also can't get enough of Wheel of Fortune. OK, I know that's more than five.
Bands... so many! Most recent concert was Pearl Jam (last week). I also adore the Be Good Tanyas, Queen, The Beatles and Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas. This list could go on and on though.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
Playing the piano! Never too late to learn something new. Also paper-making, belly dancing and landscaping.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
It's not just about some promotion, it's about constant promotion. Reach out to blogs in addition to starting your own (if you have the time). There are a lot of blogs that will feature your shop in exchange for some kind of a discount or special offer for their readers, which is a great way to get your name out there.
A Facebook Fan Page is an easy way to spread the word, especially since friends and family will likely end up sharing your fan page on their pages as well. I've purchased Facebook ads a couple times but have not found them to be worth the expense.
Joining Etsy groups is great too - I'm a member of EtsyVeg, which has been a nice resource for information and advice.
Building Treasuries is another way to network, plus it's fun. :)
The key though is taking the time and effort to have a really good looking shop - great photos of your items, an easy-to-remember shop name, and smart key words. Use all 14 of your key words! Include your name and your shop name as key words, as well. When it comes to the photos, use all five in each listing. Get close-ups and different angles of your item(s) since that will make buyers more confident in their purchases. Also, repetition is key - the more a potential buyer sees your shop name, the better chance of it being remembered, so add your logo or shop name to some of your photos.
Repeat buyers are the best, so perhaps also consider including a message in your outgoing packages that offers a discount or special offer to get past buyers to come back.
The Etsy Success Newsletter is a great resource for more successful tips - sign up for those emails!
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
Hand-painted baby clothes on ClassyTees.Etsy.com (my mom)
Images of Italy on BorsheimArts.Etsy.com (my sister)
The sweet illustrations of GollyBard.Etsy.com
-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
December seems so far away! Especially since we'll be moving before then. It would be great if I reached 1,500 by that time, though as long as I have enough sales to keep me happy and comfortably busy, I'll be content with whatever number I reach. :)
Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at email@example.com
As always, thanks for reading :)