#141 unofficial etsy featured seller - strandedtreasures
Date joined etsy -8/26/06
Sales to date - 522-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Sharlene and I live in Stuart, Florida a quaint little town surrounded by the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. I was born and raised in NJ and after college moved to San Francisco where I met my husband. After a trip to Costa Rica we decided we wanted to live somewhere tropical and have been in Stuart now for 7 years. Our condo includes a rescue turtle (with her own pond) and a mini cat. (She never grew to be that big!) Both of us like to be very creative with our home with handmade furniture and wall décor. Basically, he builds it and then I decorate it.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I work constantly or I should rephrase that to “I can’t sit still”. But I have a method to the madness. I’m very organized and I set goals. There’s always a notepad on my desk with my “to do” list. I spend a few minutes each morning noting my tasks and those few minutes save me hours. It keeps me focused and I accomplish more. …I am usually inspired to create jewelry in the evenings. So I get up around 6am, package orders, take and edit photos, and prepare for listing new items. Then I take a look at my web stats and sometimes skim forums to see if there’s something new to learn. I also create marketing pieces for a company outside of my jewelry business so I keep very busy.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
My earliest creative memories were making things with my two sisters. We were always told to go outside and play and we did until the sun went down. We would make acorn pipes, rock people, perfume from flowers, anything we could find in our backyard. My mother signed us up with ceramics when I was about 6 yrs old and during the summer she put us in an Arts ‘n Crafts day camp. She was always signing us up with something with the approach to at least try it and it really helped tap into interests that I might otherwise not have known were there.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I was selling on ebay and when the monthly store fees increased along with my competition, I began looking into other venues. I heard about etsy and so I created an account but I let the shop sit empty the first year. I focused on wholesale and local shops. I learned a lot doing wholesale. I was on a juried site and expectations for professionalism was high so I learned to take better photos and take myself seriously as a business. Going to local shops, talking to retailers helps me grasp a better idea of busy season, buying time and following colors trends.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
Once I started listing items, I got my first sale within a month. But I still had a long way to go with tweaking my shop. I was determined to get something going and didn’t want to get caught up preparing to prepare. I needed to focus on a collection and find what I enjoyed making the most. I was very scattered with designs and products. But it came together over time.
Top 5 favorite foods/tv shows/bands
Grilled cheddar cheese sandwich with sliced tomato on sourdough bread
Fresh Italian 5-grain bread dipped in olive oil/herb mix
Potato wedges dipped in mustard/ketchup
Delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe I have with white drizzle frosting. MMmmm!
Tropical fruit smoothie
Top 5 favorite TV Shows
Top 5 favorite Bands
At The Drive In
The Wedding Present
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?
Floral design. I’ve made a lot of arrangements around my house but maybe eventually open up more to that field.
What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
Create new items often to keep your shop fresh. If you go to a store and the same clothes are there week after week, chances are you’ll stop going. Really good customer service, package presentation, and fast shipping . And of course, photos that reflect your product best. Don’t settle with a description noting “looks better in person”. I’ve spent countless hours re-doing photos and reading about photographing jewelry. Also, there are now so many online marketing options it can be overwhelming. I choose a few I can keep up with (blog, Ad words, Twitter) to help promote my official site and etsy store but mostly I list items very often. I have return customers and they will find something new each time they visit. It also allows me to keep focused at the creative table and less caught up at the computer.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
I think these shops have such beautiful talented work:
AtelierKanawa - http://www.etsy.com/shop/AtelierKanawa
Margolampwork - http://www.etsy.com/shop/margolampwork
AmberSky - http://www.etsy.com/shop/AmberSky
-One year from now, I hope my number of sold reaches... 1,000.
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 :)