#234 unofficial etsy featured seller - plastique
Date joined etsy- 07/16/08
Sales to date - 2087-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
name: jennifer murse. everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, shortens it to jen without even asking. so really i guess i'm "jen murse"
location: los angeles, ca
pets: nope.... no room. i want a dog one day though!
ice cream: tiramisu gelato OR back to basics cookies and cream
fave color combos: grey and pink
fave #: 3
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
well, my day is usually far too long. i have a full time job and plastique* is my "side" business except that it's taken over my life. so basically i get up around 7:45am (sometimes i snooze til 8 and then i'm slightly panicked). get to work around 9:10. work til 6-ish as a web designer. that in and of itself can be very tiring depending on how difficult the client wants to be. i design the front end of websites, mobile apps, etc. it's fun but it can be a lot of hard work. i get home around 7pm and futz around on the internet for a moment. if i feel compelled i'll hit the gym and by the time that's all said and done it's like 8:30. i start working on plastique* work while my boyfriend makes dinner (he's awesome like that!). i'll do anything and everything from make jewelry, answer emails, post new items, shoot photos, or start designing new ideas. if it's a night where i'm packing orders i'll do that for at least an hour or two. typically around 1am i start to panic that i need to sleep but realize i have a bit more work to do. and by 2ish i'm in bed. wash, rinse, repeat. oh and did i mention coffee? i drink a lot of coffee.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
when i was a little kid i used to do a lot of art contests. i didn't really think much of it but i was always doing art contests. somewhere along the way thought i got sidetracked with my love of cash registers and forms. i used to LOVE creating forms for my parents to fill out. and i used to love playing with my cash register. so when i got older and went to college i thought that my love of creating and filling out forms coupled with my love of cash registers meant i liked "business." i also loved movies so i thought, movies and business equals wanting to be a movie producer and work on the business side of films. so i went to USC for business and film and along the way realized that wasn't for me. so when i graduated i went to art school for graphic design and started my career in design. i should have realized that my love for making forms actually meant i liked grids and that's really design. i totally got sidetracked from my true passions as a little kid!
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
one day i was at a store and i saw a plastic ring. so months later i started getting the itch to make my own. i wanted to make the inverted diamond ring out of plastic. i had no idea how i'd do it so i searched for laser cut plastic. i found a place that would do it for me easily and my whole world opened up. i still remember that day. i was literally freaking out over the possibilities. i didn't know where to start. so i just started trying out stuff. i cut a few pieces of plastic and with my extras i thought i might as well post them on etsy. people liked them and as i started making more designs for myself i posted the extras on etsy. i saw the potential so i started making more designs and then in more quantity and the rest is history.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
i don't recall exactly but i'm sure it took a few weeks. it was definitely not right away. but i was ok with that because i wasn't in it for any kind of profit, recognition, etc. i didn't even have a "brand" name at the time. it was just me posting my extra pieces.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
5 foods: sushi, pizza, indian curries, all chinese food, kobe beef sliders from barclay prime in philly
5 tv shows: mad men, dexter, and seinfeld (even if it is off the air)
5 bands: i LOVE music so much that it's too hard to pick fave bands. but if i had to choose one it'd be radiohead. and since i love electronica/dance music my fave remixer is fred falke.
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
i can't sew and i've always wanted to learn. i also want to learn more about working with metals for jewelry. i took a class in silversmithing jewelry and it's hard! i loved it but it's quite hard on the hands. i'd love to get into it more. make molds and do casting. i also want to get into letterpress. i love the texture of letterpress and i think it's a great art that so few use anymore. i once tried to learn the guitar and it was not a success. i think i love music but i'm not musically inclined.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
i am noticing a very big trend in making treasuries. i've read on "etsy success" stories that people make treasuries i guess because it gets their shop out there when they message all the people they put in their treasury but also if their treasury gets picked for the front page, their shop is listed to i believe. i don't quite know all the inner workings of this promotional method but it seems to be something a lot of people do. i for one don't make treasuries. you read my average day. i have no time! i do scour etsy a lot to see what's out there and i buy a lot of stuff. but i don't make treasuries. i appreciate those that make them and put me in them! i think the best way to promote your shop is with blogs. there are some very large key blogs out there in the design world that can really boost your sales if you get picked up for a little blurb on them. i noticed that sales skyrocketed when i got onto blogs. and then of course make a facebook page and a twitter account. you need to employ social networking as best you can. get your friends to tweet about your stuff and "like" your page. slowly it will spread. there was no twitter when i started my shop. wow, that makes me sound old or something even though i'm not. "back when there was no twitter.... we had to do things the old fashioned way...." haha but seriously, twitter is a godsend to small businesses. it's free PR for yourself if you use it properly.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
machajewelry - macha jewelry is SO GORGEOUS. pricey, but gorgeous. i love the raw look and feel to it. i have 2 of her rings.
melaniefavreau - melanie favreau's stuff is just so fun yet clean. in some ways i see it as what i'd be doing if i was using pure silver. i own two of her pieces as well.
boygirlparty - susie's characters are so cute i love them all! and she's around my age and lives in southern california so i aspire to her level of creativity. she does all kinds of art shows and she's just a fabulous artist. i check back to her store a lot.
-One year from now...
well, in february i'll be showing my jewelry at POOL at the fashion tradeshow MAGIC. so that will be my make it or break it moment i think. if it goes well and i am able to pick up a lot more wholesale accounts i might just quit my fulltime job and do this for awhile. there's a good chance i'm going to be moving to NYC next year and if i do that i kind of want to go back to grad school for a masters in packaging design. so a year from now i foresee a lot of changes in my life. i'll also be 30 so it's kind of that BIG year. i'm excited!
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 :)