#195 unofficial etsy featured seller - gamiworks
Date joined etsy- 6/14/07
Sales to date - 5826
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Erin Sansoucy (aka The GamiGirl) of GamiWorks – chiyogami gifts & accessories. I live in Houston, TX with my fabulously funny husband and our 2 dogs, Lucy & Peanut. My favorite ice cream treats are those little chocolate coated Dibs – Yummy goodness and dangerously addictive.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
I have my schedule down to a science and I love that I’m the one who designs it. Wake up whenever I feel like it, but usually around 8:30 am. Check emails, convos and the items that sold while I dreamt. Then it’s on to finishing up individual Etsy orders and packaging them all pretty to get them off to shipping. I do tons of International business, so I’m usually at the Post Office 3 times a week. After that, it’s lunch, usually some sort of toasted sandwich & Cheez-It’s. Then nap time. I like to work in the evenings, so this middle part of the day is nice to break it all up. After my nap, I will slug down some coffee, go for a run and then a swim, before starting to work again. The evening work is usually concentrated on wholesale/bulk orders and I’ll snack on whatever is handy the whole time. I will spend 4-5 hours on just 1 order and bang it all out. I don’t like the feeling of being “behind” with anything, and have a bit of OCD, so I make sure to send out orders ASAP! Then it’s wine time at my house with a friend or 2 – usually a light Australian Pinot Noir or Shock Top Brew with an orange slice. Another end to a perfect day!!
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
Growing up, I was a creative tomboy. So I also played a lot of sports as well. But, I loved paper! ANY kind of paper. My dad used to put little sticky notes with loving words of encouragement in my sack lunch and, although I loved those notes, I hated those pale yellow papers. So, I started creating my own stationary for him to use to ensure I received something pretty in those sack lunches. Plain cardstock or construction papers, cut to my specifications, would be embellished with either my own drawings/watercolor paintings or my favorite decorate papers and ribbons. My friends would ooh and ahh over my daily notes and I would end up being requested to make some for their moms to start using. It made my day, every day.
-What made you want to start selling on Etsy?
My Etsy story actually started with the encouragement of my old boss at my “day job” working for an independent furniture/design importer. I had discovered, and started collecting Japanese chiyogami papers way back in high school, but not quite sure what to do with them other than the usual package wrapping, bookbinding or stationary projects. I started making little jewelry pendants with them, as the papers are very fibrous and durable, and they looked like little piece of individual artwork when encased with glass. Was giving them away as gifts, when my now ex-boss, suggested that I try to sell a few. Once I discovered Etsy and knew that was the community to showcase my little wares, it was onward-ho from there.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on Etsy?
I joined Etsy on June 14, 2007, but didn’t list anything in my shop until July 19th, which I sold 3 items that day – 2 sets of glass coasters & glass tile thumbtacks. It grew from there quite quickly and ended up quitting my “day job” in November 2007 to take GamiWorks on full time. The best decision I ever made!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
My Top 5 favorite foods : bacon, steamed artichokes with lemon butter, filet mignon, anything Mexican, all breads.
Top 5 TV shows : Top Chef, Dragons Den (on BBC), Mad Men, Graham Norton, Modern Family
Top Musicians/Bands ; whoopsies : Dashboard Confessional, Sting, Patty Griffin, The Killers, The Rolling Stones
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
I love to take photos and wish I had more time to play around with photography. I also love architecture and interior design. It makes me happy to help friends/family with their decorating or remodeling ideas.-What would you suggest to new Etsy sellers to promote their shops?
I believe my key to my success was focusing on 1 main unique idea – in my case it’s all about the papers. Then it’s about showcasing them in crisp, clean photos that don’t get lost in the menagerie of other photos on Etsy. But, the best tip I can give is with the title and tags of the products. The title must include a description of what it is. I also give each individual item a “name” that will convey a “feeling” about the piece, but it will always also state what the product is I’m selling.
I gather most of my wholesale accounts also through Etsy, so the more professional your items, packaging, shop appearance and full descriptions, the more chance buyers are going to feel confident that they are getting ready to buy quality merchandise.
-3 Etsy shops you just LOVE?
-One year from now, I hope...
I am, and my family is, healthy and doing only what we enjoy doing. I’m thankful for my creative life & supportive husband. We always say “if it never gets better than this, I’m happy with this and love my life just the way it is”.
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 :)