#188 unofficial etsy featured seller - mousemarket
Date joined etsy- 9/9/09
Sales to date - 425-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Mo Tipton, and I moved from Chicago to Missouri two years ago to live with my now husband, and soon thereafter, my sweet little gerbil, Peep, joined our family. The three of us are now in search of a state to call home with our sights currently set on eastern Tennessee, and we hope to find a piece of land and begin building a cob house within the next few years.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I generally wake up around 8:00 and eat breakfast before checking and responding to any customer emails. If I have orders, I get those packaged up and ready to go, and depending on my schedule for the day, I either start working on new pieces or I photograph and list previously made pieces for my shop. At some point in the afternoon, I post to my blog, I add any new product photos to Flickr, and I Twitter about new shop listings as well. In the early evening, I take a yoga class break, dropping orders off at the post office, and after dinner I'm back to mini-making. Before bed, I go over what needs to be done the following day and respond to any customer emails that may have come in during the day. I definitely work far more than I ever did at a conventional day job, but I love what I do, which makes all the difference in the world.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I was lucky to grow up with very creative parents, and I was constantly working on various craft projects, from papier maché masks to candles, and I loved writing stories and plays, the latter of which my poor parents were often subjected to--bad costumes, crappy dialogue and all. I started modeling with clay as a child, and I remember making foods for my dolls, but nothing quite like what I'm working on today in terms of the level of detail or realism--I was focused more on hamburgers with happy faces and such.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I remember searching on Etsy for polymer clay foods about a year ago, and I was surprised at how many people were selling such items, and of those sellers how many were very, very successful. At the time, I had just finished a more conventional day job, and I was working as a freelance designer, so it was possible for me to carve out a little time every day to start making miniature foods. Once I had a dozen or so pieces, I decided to open shop, and the Mouse Market was born.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
I made my first sale within about a week of my shop's launch, but for the first three or four months, it was common for me to go a week without any sales at all. Slowly, as I discovered more ways to promote my shop, I received more traffic and sales began to pick up, but it was definitely a slow process. I wish that someone had told me in the beginning not to get too bent out of shape over slow sales, because there were definitely times when I considered quitting, so if you're just starting out, hang in there!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
I cook all the time, so it would probably be impossible to pick a favorite food, but falafel is definitely on the top of my list, and I'm a huge fan of Greek-style yogurt--yum! I was trained as a pastry chef, so I'm a huge sucker for anything dessert related, and the more chocolate, the better. I'm not a tv watcher, but I'm a reading fiend, and some of my current favorites include yogic philosophy books by Stephen Cope (he's awesome!), and on the lighter side, comics by Jim Woodring whose work has inspired more than a few of my tattoos.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
I'd love to be able to whip up my own soap, so one of these days I'll try my hand at that, and I'm also hoping to teach myself how to sew. The list of new hobbies I'd like to take up is pretty endless to be honest, but relearning how to play the banjo, knitting, and polishing my French would probably be on the top of the list.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
As much as Etsy pushes for sellers to relist items regularly, I've never noticed that making a huge difference in my sales. However, listing new items definitely helps, and promoting on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and my website have driven a great deal of traffic to my shop. If you can snag the attention of a popular blogger, getting a feature on a blog with a large audience can work wonders, too. On the flipside, be wary of giving out too much of your product to bloggers who do reviews. I've often wished that I could have sold a piece rather than giving it away in exchange for a moderate amount of traffic. Of course, if the blog's readership is huge then it's likely worth it, but choose wisely.
Other than that, find online avenues that you actually enjoy using, whether it's Facebook, blogging, etc., and try not to spread yourself too thin by doing them all. In my opinion, when you focus your energies, you can produce more quality content, which is a much more powerful draw than loads and loads of hastily thrown together material. Also, don't forget offline avenues of promotion, such as handing out business cards or stickers at craft shows or putting up flyers around town where your target audience is likely to congregate. I think everyone's ideal marketing strategy will be different based on their product, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find a good way to reach shoppers.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
Have it Sweet, Satsumabug, and Inner Earth Soaps--plus a gazillion more (I love Etsy!!).
-One year from now, I hope....
I hope to have my own online shop up and running, and my goal is to achieve regular sales on Etsy, DaWanda, and my personal shop. My major project, however, is a miniature food how-to book that I've recently begun working on, and I hope to release that within a year's time.
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 :)