#173 unofficial etsy featured seller - StudioCherie
Date joined etsy- 4/22/08
Sales to date - 1878
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
I grew up in Seattle, and we frequently visit family there. I live with my husband and our three children in Eastern Washington. Spokane is a lot like Seattle only more sun and less traffic. I like Tully's coffee. When I want to treat myself, I go for chocolate Tillamook ice cream, sometimes with a little Frangelico on top. I have a secret love-hate relationship with Nordstrom Rack. My man and my kids think I am a total nutcase, but they wouldn't have it any other way. We have no idea what "normal" looks like.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
We don't know "average" either. LOL I try to make something everyday. My husband wishes it was dinner more often. I sew, I photograph, I write, I draw, I read, I send emails, all in no particular order. Sometimes I dream of having a staff. Sometimes I wonder how much more I could do if I were organized.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I have always been more expressive with my hands than verbally. How to describe my first art project? Let's just say it was followed by a full day of cleaning of my crib and my walls. If I had been able to talk, I probably would have said "Hey, I need some finger paint up in here." My mom kept me well supplied after that. Growing up, I sat at my mothers feet as she sewed for herself. I can still remember my favorite garments and wishing I was big enough to wear them too. I used to take the scraps and make clothes for my Barbie. In 6th grade I made a small quilt, and in 7th grade I started sewing my own clothes.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I never wanted to be a manufacturer so I spent some time looking into having my designs made elsewhere. What I found was a business model that involved inventory, sales reps, trade shows, and a whole lot of paperwork and follow up that made my mind swim. I could get investment capital and hire those things out, but then I would be a boss and have a boss, neither of which appeal to me. I really just wanted to stay creative and license my ideas to other people. It was with licensing in mind that I took a look at Etsy. What I saw there was a built-in test market for my products (people who shop on Etsy could replace the function of trade shows and reps.) I also saw a grass roots licensing market for my patterns: people who sew and want to make money selling their creations. The PDF patterns make my ideas a concrete product that can be easily licensed. When someone buys a pattern from me, it comes with a cottage licensing agreement, so as long as they are making it themselves and mentioning me in their marketing materials, we are good. I am open to manufacturers for commercial licensing deals as well. Simplicity approached me to license my patterns for their catalog. My first Simplicity pattern is coming out in December. Frankly, that is a bigger deal than I was planning on for the patterns, so it is quite a thrill.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
I started poking around in April of 2008, I listed a few things by mid June, and July 1st, I had my first sale - to someone in Tasmania, which was immensely exciting for me.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
My favorite foods are in Seattle at Il Terrazzo Carmine, House of Hong, and a little Vietnamese Place off of Jackson. I don't have a TV, but I have long list of favorite movies. Music, I like a pretty wide range from The Clash, to the Gypsy Kings, to Pat Metheny. Country music makes me laugh, but I don't listen to it. Gospel music is awesome. My daughter and I get up and dance at the end of every movie. Credits music is always the best.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
My dream is to spend a month in France with my good friend, Kathleen Cavender (kathleenCavender.com), learning plein air painting.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
I don't have a blanket answer that could cover everyone on that. I think some items like jewelry and soap can be branded and well represented at local boutiques to gain a following. Gaining a following online is just plain tough for anyone. All you can do is make the best product you can so that word gets around when you do get customers. Photos are 99% of the online shopping experience with accurate or enticing descriptions being the other 11% (Yes, I know that adds up to more than 100% - you have to be willing to give it 110%.)
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
I hate that you limit it to 3, because I have so many friends on Etsy. I am going to name 2 that I consider to be emerging talent, artists whose work you should collect now: Sarahndippity, and PlanetJanetArt. And the Vintage seller who inspires me with her curation talent is Westbournegrove. That left out 298 of my best friends.
-One year from now...
Another licensing deal or two, 12 more patterns, a slipcovering video tutorial, and a clothing line. Does that sound ambitious?
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 :)