#140 unofficial etsy featured seller - feltmeupdesigns
Date joined etsy -3/2/08
Sales to date - 502-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
I live on the beautiful North Coast of England in Scarborough which is a pretty traditional seaside town. I live with my lovely boyfriend John who has been really supportive and very understanding about the huge amount of fleece which has taken over our 1 bed roomed flat!
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I work in a book shop part time to pay the bills so on the days that I am not there I get up and make coffee around 8.30 and then check my emails, sales and convos. Depending on how many there are this can take from 1-3 hours! After that I wrap any orders and take them down to the post office and walk back along the sea front.
When I get home it all depends how I feel on what I do next, if I feel inspired I will do some drawing or sewing or get the gocco out and do some printing for my other store Inkmeup (http://www.inkmeup.etsy.com) if not I put a dvd on and sit down to felt. I tend to felt till about 4 or 5 pm and then have a break for a few hours when John gets home from work. We always try and make time to have dinner and spend a bit of time together, it can be really easy to neglect your partner when all you really want to do is create, but John is really understanding.
Around about 8pm I pick up my felting needles again and will felt thru to bed time which is usually around midnight. I can't really think of this time as working because I'm usually chatting and watching TV at the same time... I'm the kind of person who always needs to be doing something with my hands!
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I loved everything when I was growing up, my dad trained as an architect and my mum is a craft worker too so there was always something creative going on in our house. I loved drawing best, especially with my dad's pens! He always had great fine liners and markers around.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
A friend MADE me! I was always to scared to approach shops and really didn't want to do craft fairs so etsy was a great place to start selling. At the time I was suffering with depression and had cut myself off from the world so etsy was a great way to start coming back into it without being too scary!
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
I honestly can't remember... I know it took a while. I started my first shop selling bags and pouches shaped like cupcakes, these were wet felted and time consuming to make. Maybe about 2 months before I got my first sale. That was in 2007, I opened the Felt Menagerie in 2008 as a break from the past, I wanted a new start and felt that rebranding myself was a good way to do this.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Foods... anything sweet! I love chocolate
TV shows... I watch loads because the box sets are good to put on when I felt! Criminal minds, Sex and the City and Supernatural are my faves tho.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
Ceramics... I'd love to have a go at throwing a pot!
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
Twitter and facebook are a must, start building a fan base early. Also I think it's vital to have a blog, I am a bit of a delinquent blogger and only blog once a week but you need to start making as many connections as possible.
Etsy has changed a lot since I first started where it was enough just to list every day and renew items regularly, now you have to bring people to your shop. Don't forget to talk about etsy to everyone you know in the real world too it's easy to forget that things exist outside of your computer... I hand out business cards like candy! Use your family and friends to make connections, don't be shy about promoting your shop to people who you know because in most cases they will want you to succeed and spread the word to their friends.
Probably the best thing is to work on your product and grow a brand... good photography is key to getting views and hearts make sure your items speak for themselves, that your backgrounds aren't too cluttered and you items stand out. It really hurts my heart when I see a great product photographed on a kitchen worktop with flash... all you need is a nice big sheet of white card and a good light source and you have a photography studio!
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AliBaliJewellery a real inspiration and a good friend
http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitLane a needle felter that I really admire, I love her stories!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/thelittlereddoor thelittlereddoor I love her houses I have my own little villiage of them!
-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is....
Hmm... 1000? I might have a meltdown if I make that many birds!
Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for reading :)