Thursday, August 26, 2010

#198 unofficial etsy featured seller - wrenwillow

#198 unofficial etsy featured seller - wrenwillow
Date joined etsy- 7/4/08
Sales to date - 533-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Marla and I live in the Hudson Valley in N.Y. I live in an apartment over a storage unit office with my 2 year old daughter Wren Willow, my husband and a lovable bedlington terrier. I really love our apartment though it is a bit odd to be surrounded with storage units as far as the eye can see. We like to call it zombie fortress zero because we are up high, surrounded by a gate and have no neighbors.

-Describe an average day in life of "you".

I'm a teacher in my day job and I work in New York City and commute via a train. It is a 2 hour ride each way. My typical day during the school year is to get up at 5 am and catch a train, get home around 6pm and spend some time with my daughter. I usually answer any Etsy convos and do new listings at night. It is hard to keep it all balanced and not get burnt out. I sleep on the train.

I feel so very fortunate to be on summer vacation right now. My typical day in the summer is still to get up really early and do some work before my daughter wakes up. I try to screen in the mornings. While my work is drying I photograph new listings. Then I edit the photos and post them in the afternoon. I dye in an old speed queen wringer washer that I wheel out of the kitchen closet. I have a lot of respect for the women who came before me who actually used these machines to do laundry! I try to dye in batches and usually do that throughout the day on the days I dye. I've found multi tasking is very important to get anything done.

-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

I was creative growing up and was considered the class artist. I loved drawing as a kid. It is amazing to me now to witness how artistic my daughter is.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

My friends and family kept encouraging me to sell on etsy. When I was pregnant with my daughter I started making her onesies. I was not satisfied with the colors you could buy, everything was pink or blue! I began dyeing my own and then hand painting them. The hand painting was a labor of love and what I began selling on Etsy. Over time I switched over to silk screen because I could repeat the same design. I had done some silk screening in high school and actually really enjoyed doing the baby clothes this way because I found there was so much freedom in using only 2 colors, the ink and the dye.

-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?

I think it took a few months to make my first sale on Etsy. Those were long months! I learned a lot in those months though. Selling on Etsy isn't just selling your handmade wares but there is a whole culture to learn about and I remember my head was just spinning in the beginning. I think a lot of new sellers expect to be instant successes and that is probably rarely the case. There is a lot of tweaking involved, both in what you do and how you do it. I don't think there is any set formula for success but it helps to have good photos. I'm always trying to work on mine. I'm also a big believer in loving what you do. I don't make things that I think will sell well, but things that speak to me in some way and i hope others see that too.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

I'm a vegetarian and have been since I was 12. My favorite foods are pizza, mashed potatoes, Mexican food and ice cream! Lately on T.V. I've been totally enthralled with Whale Wars and Mad Men though i don't get to watch TV very often. I'm usually busy listing or drawing new designs at night, and when I do take a break to watch TV, I fall asleep more often than not.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I'd really love to try new crafts and I wish I had time to go back to painting as fine art, which I used to do.

-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

My best advice to those looking to promote their shops is to make treasuries. I make treasuries for fun and I've met so many amazing people that way. Treasuries are one of my favorite things about Etsy. Building a treasury is a creative process in and of itself, and very rewarding.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

There are so many shops on Etsy I love but if I had to pick three, I'd pick:

-One year from now, I hope...

One year from now I'd love to not be commuting 4 hours a day to the city and staying at home with my daughter and doing Etsy full time. What a dream, right?

Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at
As always, thanks for reading :)