Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#76 unofficial etsy featured seller - jewelera

#76 unofficial etsy featured seller - jewelera
Date joined etsy - 10/2/05
Sales to date - 653
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Derya Aksoy. I’m originally from one of the most beautiful and oldest cities in the world: Istanbul/ Turkey. I’ve been living in United States for about 7 years, currently in beautiful Orange County, CA. I’m married to a wonderful man, who is also Turkish and very supportive of my creative endowers. I have 2 tiny finches as my first pets ever, named Glitter and Pistachio; I believed they were very much in love, and then I found the boy (Pistachio) bald after leaving them alone for a few days. Now they are in different cages.

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

My jewelry business is my full time job now, so most of my energy goes to my work no matter if it is week days or weekend. I usually go with the flow honestly; I was never a type of person who will stick to the schedule. I have a studio in Santa Ana artist village, but sometimes I prefer to work from home also, that means my mess is divided between home and my actual studio! But I always manage to get things done even if I have to lose sleep over it! Evenings and nights are my productive hours as I’m a night owl. During the day, I check my e-mails and etsy convos several times for questions and requests , photograph my new designs and then list them. If my sales are very busy or I need to finish a wholesale order in a short time period, I usually do everything at the same time multitasking. If I have more time in my hands, then I work on designing new pieces and stocking on my popular items.

Other than work, I like to spend some time with my friends, having a lunch or a short shopping trip. I also love going to thrift stores and antique shops to get some inspiration as well as to find little odd things to use in my designs.

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

It all started when I was 6-7, my best friend’s mom was our neighbor, who was an artist. She used to draw and make paper dolls for my friend. Whenever we set up our paper house (like classic doll houses but everything paper) with my friend, she always had new paper dolls with beautiful outfits added to her collection, which I’d fall in love (a little jealous too!) Then one day, I asked her mom to draw one for me and she did. First I started copying the silhouette from the original drawing, but before I know I was drawing my own dolls and creating new different outfits! That is when I started dreaming about being a fashion designer one day and that took me to study fashion design in high school, then Set and Costume Design in College.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I started making jewelry when I was fairly new at living in US, and at the time my English level was closer to below zero! As a person who just graduated from college, and is not used to staying home all day I had to do something with myself, and that’s why I wanted to try my hands on jewelry making. After a while our little 1 bedroom apartment turned into a bead shop, and that’s when my husband met my messy crafter side (poor guy). As I had many finished pieces in my hand, I started thinking about finding an outlet to try selling them. One day I saw a link to Etsy from somebody’s blog (unfortunately can’t remember the source now) and that’s how I found out about etsy, which was fairly new at the time but looked like a perfect outlet for. Has been my favorite since then.

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

It has been long with me and Etsy, so I’m not really sure as I didn’t put anything to my shop right away, then I was on and off on it until I decided to really make the best of my shop almost a year ago. Also, compared to now I pretty much didn’t have any idea about how to promote, even how to tag my items correctly for a long time! It was pretty much me trying to sell on Etsy blindly.

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

I’m not very picky when it comes to food and I like to try new cuisines at every chance I get! Pretty much anything from Turkish cuisine, and as individual foods; cheese (feta the most), onions and garlic, veggies, watermelon and paninis are my favorites.

I don’t watch tv that much, but I try to follow project runway when it is on.

I’m very eclectic when it comes to music. I like to listen Pandora station when I’m working and my favorite genres are ranging from 50’s-60’s oldies to Rumi. That doesn’t mean you won’t see me enjoying some hip hop also!

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

Is there anything I’d NOT like to try my hands on when it comes to arts and crafts? Nope, not really. I’m even surprised I could keep my main focus on jewelry designing this long, otherwise I want to attack every kind of other ventures. Recently though, I have been seriously craving to get dirty with some clay to sculpt things. Sewing also, especially to incorporate it with my jewelry!

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

The most important thing is having great photos, then doing everything they can to spread the word; facebook, blogging, great customer service, vending at local shows, having a mailing list, submitting their shops or items to other online publications. I like to follow the Etsy Storque for tips and Etsy forums also! Improving your shop should be a never ending work I believe.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

It is so hard choosing only 3, but here it goes;
yellowfield7
Ninainvorm
HAREandDRUM

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is 1500


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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

#75 unofficial etsy featured seller - lorelei1141

#75 unofficial etsy featured seller - lorelei1141
Date joined etsy - 2/23/07
Sales to date - 1121

-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets,
favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I live 2 different lives. Online, my persona is Lorelei Eurto, jewelry designer extraordinaire. I'm called Lorelei by my online jewelry peers- and it's a bit weird but that is my given name.
In my regular day to day life, my name is Lori. It's what my Momma calls me. It's what my friends know me as. But I answer to either one. I live in upstate NY, smack dab in the center of the state. I have one fur kid- my kitteh Marley. Married to my college sweetheart, we endulge in the occasional ice cream sandwich, and are both addicted to reality tv.

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

My mornings are the busiest time of day for me. I wake up fairly early at the crack of dawn, 6am. Before I head to work my full time day job at a local art museum, I tend to my jewelry business stuff: blog, prepare shipments, answer emails and convos, and sometimes shop online for beading supplies. I am the assistant registrar at the museum, from 9-5, where I maintain and keep inventory of the large art collection, and do lots of mundane paperwork. After I get home and we eat dinner, I head up to the studio and create jewelry while listening to Pandora radio on my laptop til we go to bed. This is generally 3-4 times a week. On the weekends, I tend to bead during the days and keep my evenings free to hang out with hubster.

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

I was always interested in the arts, and throughout high school my focus was art classes, but mostly music. I studied the Flute and had every intention of following that dream but things change in college. I took a few art classes in college but fell out of love quickly with the professor mandated class agenda. I moved into the direction of art history and museum studies after getting a job at the art gallery on campus.


-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

After picking up Stringing magazine, and teaching myself all the jewelry basics, I started buying beads. I bought more beads than I knew what to do with. Jewelry was created at a fast pace, and all of a sudden I had this total influx of jewelry that I had no idea what to do with. My husband actually suggested that I try to sell it online, especially since I was tapping into the joint checking account a little more often than he cared for. I am pretty sure after googling "sell handmade jewelry" online, I found Etsy immediately and signed up right away. It was February 2007.

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

My first Etsy sale came in June of 07. I had only listed a few things in the beginning and one of my college friends bought a necklace. I was thrilled! The excitement of making a sale has never really ended for me. I am so pleased everytime I see that email come in from Etsy.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

French Fries
Diner food
Salmon patties
Chick Peas
Vegetable Tempura
Survivor
Big Brother
Chelsea Lately
Modern Family
The Office
Sia
Dave Matthews Band
Tracy Chapman
Pearl Jam
Ray LaMontagne
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?

I'd love to start playing my flute again, take some private lessons. I miss having music in my life. I've talked about picking it up again for years and years and just haven't gotten to it yet.
Being a Mother is also something I'd like to try my hand at but we're working on that.

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

Online social networking sites! I love using Facebook, my Blog, and Twitter to promote my jewelry. Blogging is one of the best things I've gotten into, and it's such a habit now that I feel weird when I can't get to it, which isn't often because I try to blog every day. I read a lot of different blogs and if I could give advice to bloggers it would: BLOG OFTEN!! Doesn't matter what you say really, but I love a blog that is updated often.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I can only pick 3!??! I have 38 pages of favorite sellers!

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
1500 sales!
That might be a lofty dream but really, I'd be happy with any sales, whether it be 10 or 1500!

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

#74 unofficial etsy featured seller - BeckyM

#74 unofficial etsy featured seller - BeckyM
Date joined etsy - 4/18/07
Sales to date - 1106-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Becky Morello. Currently, I live in Florida. My husband is in the military so we move quite frequently. I have 2 girls. Sydney is 3 years old and our new daughter, Aubrey, is just 2 months. My favorite ice cream is Bluebell's Cookies and Cream - hands down.

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

My first job is being a mom. I stay at home with my girls so my crafting time is very sporadic. I craft here and there throughout the morning and afternoon, as time allows. I answer emails and relist items throughout the day. My girls have early bedtimes so in the evening is when I get most of my stuff done. I will excerise to get my mind clear and then sew! Some nights are sewing on the machine and other nights are hand sewing on the couch. I usually hit the sack around 10 pm. I have to say I usually get large chunks of work done on the weekends when the hubby is home to help out.

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

Definitely. I loved to play with dollhouses so I would make tons of things for them - tiny clay food, blankets, tissue paper flowers, etc. My mom taught me how to sew. She quilted. My dad hobby is woodworking. I definitely got the "crafting" bug from them.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I thought what I made was cute and thought "Why not?" I love to make things but there is only so much that will fit in the house. I was hoping it would go well so I could still create but not keep it all.

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

Honestly, I don't remember. I was registered on Etsy for awhile before I actually listed my goods. I had to muster up enough courage to take the leap.

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

My favorite foods are cupcakes (even though I don't discriminate against any sweet baked good) and watermelon.
I like to watch Fox News, The Office, and Chuck.
My favorite band is Shane & Shane and listen to them while I am home. I usually listen to fast beat top 40 while excerising. I enjoy broadway music also. I don't think they could be any more different from one another.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I would like to knit or crochet. Although, I realize that I would rather know how to do a few things really well than just be a "beginner" in a lot of things. I also enjoy supporting other artists and their talents.

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

I think your photos are everything. You get picked for treasuries when you have great pictures and therefore make it to the front page. Also, the Etsy staff will use your pictures for Storque articles and gift guides - which bring a lot of exposure. I think relisting just 1 or 2 items a couple times throughout the day is key too. I recommend just doing 1 to 2 items, not your whole shop all at one time. People get an idea of what your shop offers without having to spend multiple dollars everytime you relist.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

There are so many talented artists on Etsy. I can't believe the level of some of them. It's incredible.
www.Nataliaraya.etsy.com She makes the most lovely jewelry. Sterling silver, pearls, and flowers - oh my!

www.magicbeanbuyer.etsy.com I love her little figurines. So charming and cute!

www.BornWithIt.etsy.com She makes the absolute cutest bird rattles ever.

I have something from all these shops and I can't say enough about them.


-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

Quite honestly, I don't have a goal. I just take one day at a time. I am still humbled and thankful that I have had success.

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

#73 unofficial etsy featured seller - mck254

#73 unofficial etsy featured seller - mck254
Date joined etsy - 3/5/06
Sales to date - 899-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Mimi Kirchner and I live in a suburb of Boston, MA. I am married, have 3 mostly grown-up kids (20's), and a goofy orange cat named Mango. And the ice cream thing? Boston is the ice cream capital of the world and we have so much high quality and interesting choices, so what is my favorite? Soft serve with a chocolate dip. Yes, a bit embarrassing.

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

Get up, spend an hour (minimum) on the computer doing email, reading my morning blogs and my favorite advise columns. Then, upstairs to the studio. Mornings are my best work times- if I don't get to the studio in the morning the day is usually shot. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I work. Lunch and a little more computer time. If I have orders, I turn into the shipping department. Walk to the Post Office and do any other errands. Back to the studio, make dinner, more computer- evening blogs, studio, bed.

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

I come from a family where making was part of our life. We spent lots of time drawing, banging boards together, cooking, and being outside. I'm not sure how creative I was- I didn't think of myself that way. I was always very interested in all kinds of needlework and fiber arts. I did embroidery, knitting, sewing and moved on to batik, macrame, and all the other hippy arts of the late 60's and early 70's when I was in High School.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was made aware of Etsy through the many craft blogs I was reading at the time it started up. There was a lot of buzz about it. Many bloggers whose work I liked were opening shops and seemed to be having some success. I was blogging too and decided that it would make sense to use Etsy as my online shop instead of trying to set up something on my own. It seemed a very risk-free experiment since the cost for entry was so low.

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

I opened my shop on March 5, 2006 and made my first sale on March 25. After that, I didn't make another until June 1, which seemed like a very long time.

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

Foods- chocolate, tomatoes from the garden, almonds, fresh peaches, half-sour pickles.

I haven't been around a tv for so long that I don't have any favorite shows. I sometimes catch some of the Daily Show online and I do love Jon Stewart.

No bands either. I have very eclectic tastes in what music I listen to- which is encouraged by our local college radio station, WERS. The music ranges from show tunes to A cappella, kids music, classic rock, soul. I let it all flow past. Oh, and then I love any kind of music if one of my kids is singing it.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I want to try drumming someday. And in my dreams I'd learn to speak another language.

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

Join an Etsy team or two. If there is not one that seems right for you, start one. I got so much out of being part of a local team during my first few years on Etsy.

That said, my standard advise to people who ask me is don't expect Etsy to do it all for you. Etsy should be one part of the way you sell and promote your artwork. I have been blogging for 6 years and have slowly built up a following. I also participate in the Flickr craft community which is amazing because it is so international. I love Twitter. Facebook continues to confuse me. I do some retail markets and meet people and hand out cards. I teach classes. I say yes to anyone who wants to interview or profile me and use my images to promote my work on their blog. All those things drive traffic to my Etsy shop.

I have never done the things that are often recommended- I've never participated in the forums- too scary! I don't relist. I've never made a Treasury. If you focus on the marketing that feels comfortable for you, you are more likely to do it consistently. You don't have to do everything!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

So many! If I had an unlimited budget for Etsy, I'd run over to-
Rob Ryan- http://www.etsy.com/shop/misterrob
Natalya Sots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/natalyasots
Chroma Lab- http://www.etsy.com/shop/chromalab

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

2000

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

#72 unofficial etsy featured seller - bullfinchbarbury

#72 unofficial etsy featured seller - bullfinchbarbury
Date joined etsy - 12/3/07
Sales to date - 370-Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

My name is Lia Bowen (bonjour!) and I am the colour addict responsible for Bullfinch & Barbury. I am found most often in the sprawling suburbia of Philadelphia - a comfortable distance from Center City as well as the little towns and farms of Bucks County. I am a member of the Etsy Artisans Gallery team and the Grains of Glass open studio.

I love Poirot and Poiret respectively. I have a preoccupation with gemstones, orchids, and sea anemones. The summer is my favourite season - I combat the winter with a healthy dose of mangoes, chocolate and black tea. I have a sweet, black cat named Evelyn and five uppity Lionhead rabbits (this wintry time of year, they resemble a herd of sheep).

-Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I work in research and content writing for a small marketing company by day - by night I fire up my kiln and light up my torch to make jewelry.

I enjoy cooking and baking - seeking out new recipes or unusual ingredients. I also love flowers and putting together flower arrangements (a past vocation) and taking long, brisk walks to help me think/plot/dream about whatever is on my mind.

Every couple of months, I feel the urge to plan an elaborate dinner party - usually themed to suit the menu. Last year's parties included a WW II Underground Meeting and a Mystery on the Orient Express party. (I got to dress up like a vamp named Honoria Barbury and play murderer - I "poisoned" an unsuspecting young man by putting powdered sugar in his wine.)

My sister, Sarah - a cellist whose hours of practicing used to inspire me through the walls that once separated our bedrooms - now lives in Baltimore with her lovely husband and family. I love driving along the fields of Towson to get to their house, stopping at Boordy Vineyards to buy a bottle of wine for dinner. Most of all, I love to see the adorable "baby faces", my nephew and niece and enjoy the unparalleled hospitality of Sarah and her husband, Nathan.

-What first made you want to become an artist?

When I was 13, I read a novel and there were no pictures in it, so I got out pencil and paper and began drawing that I thought each character would look like. From that point, I wanted to be an illustrator for children's books. When I was at university, I took one metals and jewelry class, and fell in love with the medium, the power tools and the most excellent prof. I've ever had: Karen Misher.

I still like to draw, and watercolor when I can, but it seems like the majority of my ideas are expressed in metal.

-Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

Little glimpses of things inspire me - a decorated cake in a bakery window, the worn edges of a much-loved antique, or a brave little snowdrop flower raising its head from the frozen soil.

I work with sheets of metal and spools of wire - each piece is measured and cut, then soldiered or riveted and shaped to form one of a stack of bangles - or a cocktail ring - or a delicate necklace. At this point, I enamel each piece; a process that calls for multiple coatings of vibrantly coloured enamel and repeated firings in a 1400 F degree kiln.

Before I started making things for Bullfinch & Barbury, I worked at a commercial jewelry store. The rings designed were done so on a computer, a machine cut the model out of wax, more machines cast the metal, tumbled and refined the surface . . . each item was "untouched" by human hands until the creative process was 3/4 of the way finished. (And this was considered a 'custom design' as opposed to everything else that was made hundreds at a time.)

Part of the reason I love my enameled work is because it is very hands-on, each piece is a little different from any other - and the use of color was so therapeutic after so much of the white-stones-in-white-metal that was spat out of the commercial jewelry industry.

-What handmade possession do you most cherish?

When I was a child, I bought a tiny horse figurine carved out of pink soapstone - something about its size in relation to my smallish hands made it irresistible.

Right now, I have an embellished T-shirt from Eliza and Axel and a deep blue shirt from Unabashed Apparel - both almost guarantee I will have a brilliant day whenever I wear them (they must be good luck). ;)

-Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes Short Stories
1000 Years of Solitude
Bleak House
The Golden Compass
LotR

Lawrence of Arabia
The Saddest Music in the World
Little Dorrit
The Philadelphia Story
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ;)


David Bowie
Muse
Vaughan Williams
Sting
Giacomo Puccini

ClassicFM.co.uk
Ganoksin.com
Anthropologie.com
FrenchBedrommCompany.co.uk
LiteraturePage.com

-What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Give your Etsy shop an identity - a bit of your personality. You want your work and your shop to reflect a sense of identity or individuality. Consider what expresses the driving force behind your creations - or who you are as an artist. Create a logo or a specific font to "brand" your shop banner, blog, facebook, invoices, mailing labels, etc. This makes your work look more professional - but also, each purchase from your shop becomes an exciting, unique experience for your customers. It's the details that make your shop more memorable and fun for you and your customers. Let your self shine through!

-What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?

I love the chat rooms - especially the organised chat sessions (the virtual labs) where shops are critiqued . . . I love seeing other people's shops! I also really enjoyed browsing through the gift guides and treasury because it was great to see what people had "found" and how they curated collections of hand-made or retro goodies.

-How do you promote your work?

Right now, I'm utilizing every free method of spreading the word about my work. This means I Tweet, Facebook, Treasure-ize and blog about my work, my friends' work and my favourites. I just started putting together a mailing list for my fans and offering "give-aways" to thank them for supporting or admiring my work. Every once in a while, I feature some new pieces in a showcase slot on Etsy - though I've found that it is best to snag the top category. So, in my case, I purchase a showcase under "jewelry", rather than the subcategories like "bracelets", "necklaces", etc. because they get less views than the top categories.

-In ten years I'd like to be...

Living in a stone farmhouse on the edge of a retired field - I envision a long driveway, a well-behaved dog asleep on the porch, and a smashing young man busily working alongside me on a hobbie/passion of his own. I would like to keep rescued horses, host dinner parties, and perhaps get a degree in art therapy and reach the position (academically and financially) to offer therapy at no charge. My goal is to return to working in precious materials like gold, platinum and diamonds, but retain that priceless quality of individuality which only comes from being made by a pair of human hands. Also, perfecting the techniques behind French cooking would be nice. ;)

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

#71 unofficial etsy featured seller - julienjaborska

#71 unofficial etsy featured seller - julienjaborska
Date joined etsy - 10/22/07
Sales to date - 544

-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Julien Jaborska and I've just recently married my wonderful wife Karen, moved from NJ to Portland, OR, and taken up my crafting business full time. We have a cat (Pocket) who lives inside our apartment, and several neighborhood strays who come by our windows to visit. If you can consider it ice cream, my favorite is Purely Decadent's Peanut Butter Zig Zag soy ice cream. I also like bikes.

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

I don't really have an average day, but I do try to stick to a weekly schedule for belt making. Everything else (shipping, collecting supplies, creating new products, cooking, and other drudgery) gets fit in between that whole production.

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

I do remember that I enjoyed drawing a lot. I also had lots of big, grand ideas for things that I would never get around to finishing. Now when I have big, grand ideas for things I will occasionally finish them months later. Things sure have changed!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

My wife (who was still my girlfriend at the time) and my friends said that I should try selling after I made my first bike tire belt for myself. Months later, I did just that.

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

I was actually lucky enough to put my first items up just before Christmas of 2007, so I got a couple of sales right away. After that was a long period of slowly building up sales over time.

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

I make a pretty delicious vegan pizza, and some pretty awesome vegan burritos. I also eat A LOT of chips and salsa, and Ginger O's. (They're like ginger flavored oreos.)

We don't have cable anymore, but we do watch some shows on DVD or the internets. Futurama is an all time favorite. The Office. Scrubs (the earlier seasons). Daily Show/Colbert Report. Been re-watching Home Movies (from Adult Swim) too.

Love the Decemberists. Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Metric. Death Cab. Architecture in Helsinki. This is more of a "What I'm currently listening to" list.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I tend to dabble in a lot of different things. I like woodworking and am mediocre at it. I've been taking a welding class which is a lot of fun. Eventually I'd like to learn an instrument of some kind, but it'll probably happen when I'm old and retired. I'd like to try out home brewing, but it'll have to wait until we get a bigger apartment. Hopefully I'll be learning how to make bicycle frames soon, and, even more hopefully, it will turn into my new full-time job.

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

Do it better than I do. I think the best thing that I do is take nice pictures. (At least I hope they're nice!) My shop has mostly grown through word of mouth, which has led to features on lots and lots of blogs. Blog features have really been the most helpful form of promotion. I've started my own blog too, since I think people like to see what you are doing both inside and outside of your business. Also, if you're lucky enough to live near a craft market of some kind, go there! Meeting people in person and telling them what you do is great, and is also a lot of fun!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

picapicadesign - My friend Liz's (of Cosaverde.com) shop.
VeloGioielli - A new friend who also sells at Portland's Saturday Market. We help each other out since our customer base is pretty similar.
bicyclepaintings - I hope to one day have one of my bikes done.

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

I'm going to say 1000, on Etsy. Right now I'm at about 500, and since this will be my first year doing it full-time, I think it's a reasonably attainable goal.
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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

#70 unofficial etsy featured seller - randitan

#70 unofficial etsy featured seller - randitan
Date joined etsy - 2/7/06
Sales to date - 386-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Randi Tannenbaum and I live in Maryland. I have 2 wonderful grown daughters who are each artists in their own right. I get my most enjoyment from being able to work in my studio, creating art using bits of the flotsam and jetsam I come across everyday.

-Describe an average day in life of “you”.

I don't have an average day. I am more like the guy on the old Ed Sullivan show who used to spin plates on long poles. He would run from plate to plate spinning each a little so that they would all stay up in the air. I'm that guy, except instead of plates, I run from project to project to order...

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

I have always been drawn to the creative side of things. Barbie only interested me as a canvas for strange and bizarre hair-dos and costumes. Call it a compulsion to create. I started selling my art out of necessity - when I no longer had room to keep it all.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I found Etsy pretty early in its growth and thought that it would be a wonderful way to quickly get pieces in front of an appreciative audience. I have been doing this for more than 20 years, and I sell several different ways, but you cannot beat Etsy for ease and speed and return on your investment of marketing time and money.

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

It took me about a month to get my first sale on Etsy. Sales really took off once a couple of art magazines saw my work and wrote about it. Blogs like yours also play a large part in pushing the art on Etsy. Thank you!


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

Favorite foods, t.v. etc.? - I'm too fickle, but I AM convinced that the meaning of life may be revealed on LOST.

-Is there anything you’d like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I would like to try my hand at everything! I always have 4 or 5 projects, in a drawer somewhere, of new crafts I am learning. Now I know I suck at knitting.

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

There is a LOT of art on Etsy. Be patient. The investment of time pays off slowly but surely. Pay for showcase spots - it is incredibly cheap marketing. And take advantage of any other vehicle that gets your work out there.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Only 3? I find 5 new favorites every day! Right now I am enjoying the work of these 3 shops that also work with recycled materials:
seen1.etsy.com
sevenply.etsy.com
AmaliaVersaci.etsy.com

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

By 12/21/2010 ... there is no telling where my sold # will be. If I can continue to get exposure like this, the sky is the limit.
--
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

#69 unofficial etsy featured seller - CarolinaCottage

#69 unofficial etsy featured seller - CarolinaCottage
Date joined etsy - 10/21/06
Sales to date - 715-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi! I’m Melanie and I live on the west coast of Florida in New Port Richey, which is a little north of world-famous Clearwater Beach. I have been married for 15 years to my wonderfully supportive husband Dave and have 2 kids - Gage (12) and Nikki (10). We are owned by 2 1/2 Eskie - all are rescue dogs - 2 are purebred American Eskimo Dog and 1 is a mix.

-Describe an average day in life of “you”.

Since I currently have a day job, I get up at 6am (ugh!), and get ready for work.
Commute 1 hour to work.
Work 8.5 hours as a Graphic Designer at a direct mail advertiser (think blue envelope)
Commute 1 hour to home.
The rest of the evening is spent with kids, dinner, dog walking, and working on my art/business.
Sleep.
Repeat.

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

Both of my parents are creative. My dad was a newspaper writer/editor and my mom majored in art in college. She taught oil painting classes in our living room and, since I had little else to do as a nerdy teenager, I took the classes along with her students. I wasn’t a great painter, so she made me paint pictures of buildings and doors - no fruit paintings for me! I would also draw and write stories. Other than that, I loved to read. Still do.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I have been wanting to work from home for some time, and I saw Etsy mention on a WAHM site. Once I saw that, I did a lot of research into what I would like to create. I’m not a WAHM mom yet, but hopefully soon...

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

I believe it was about 10 days.

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

I am a junk food junkie, but in order to manage my weight I’m trying to stay away from most processed foods. Sigh... But when I get to be bad, my favorites are pizza, ice cream, tiramisu, anything you can put butter on. Oh, and I’m seriously addicted to coffee. With lots of stuff in it.

I don’t have much time to watch tv anymore, but when I do, I watch decorating/staging/house hunting shows on hgtv. And I love movies - comedy, romance, thrillers - love ‘em all!

I don’t really have any favorite bands, but my listening tastes run the gamut from old standards to 80’s to new age and top 40.

-Is there anything you’d like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I would love to learn to sew - at least well enough to make pillow cases and simple curtains.

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

Listing and renewing items has been the most effective promotion for me. I’ve bought banner ads on blogs and bought space in some markets and that has worked out pretty well, also.

I have been extremely fortunate that Etsy has done a lot of marketing for me - the FP, the Gift Guides and Etsy Finds. In order to be featured you need great photos and a unique product. No one will care what you’re selling if the photo is blurry and Etsy is always looking for something fresh.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

It’s really mean of you to make me choose just three!
Dolan GeimanOne Black Bird (Diana Fayt) • Foundling


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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

#68 unofficial etsy featured seller - ingridArtStudio

#68 unofficial etsy featured seller - ingridArtStudio
Date joined etsy - 10/26/08
Sales to date - 276

-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc

Multimedia artist, Ingrid Blixt - I live in beautiful Michigan's Upper Peninsula with my husband Nathan and the lovely new addition to our family, little Isabela.

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

Even though I am happy to say I am a full time artist, I manage my studio hours around Isabela's daycare schedule. I do have a lot of exhibits and art fairs and teach workshops so I am very busy but the good part is that I work very well under pressure.

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

I was born in Romania and moved to US after graduating from college. I also studied at an art high school, so I started studying art early. I think I was creative while growing up but nothing out of the ordinary.
Growing up in Romania Byzantine Art had and still has a major influence in my life and art.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I heard about Etsy from a friend and just thought of trying it out. Immediately I fell in love with the whole artist community and the great exposure that it offers.

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

It didn't take too long to have a first sale on Etsy.
First I set up my account and after about a month I started to create my shop, in a few days I had a sale. As you all know, it is so exciting!

Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

I love Greek and Mediterranean foods, tv shows: The Pretender, Twin Peaks and documentaries. Music: Faithless, Gogol Bordello and lots of jazz.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I think I need at least 10 more lives to be able to do everything I want to try out: wood working, sculpture, metal work, movie making, composing music, programming and everything that has to do with home improvement (took a first step here and we made our own floor tiles :-))
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Well, here is what I do for my shop: link from my main web site to my etsy shops, try to be featured on blogs and other sites, have the links to my etsy shops on my promotional materials as business cards, footer of email, brochures etc. and be active in the etsy community. Of course, after you manage to get people to look at you shop, you also want them to remember it so good and creative photos of your work will do the job.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

TheBlackSpotBooks (!!!)
mincingmockingbird
NatureMandalas

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
Well, considering that Etsy sales are a big part of my source of income - I'm not sure what the number might have to be, but I hope it will be enough to keep me going.

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

#67 unofficial etsy featured seller - valeriya

#67 unofficial etsy featured seller - valeriya
Date joined etsy - 7/18/08
Sales to date - 867
-Who are you?

My name is Valeriya. I live in central Texas with my two daughters and my husband. I don't have any pets though. Mostly because I had way to many pets when I was growing up. And I know it's a lot of work. My favorite ice cream flavor is mango tango at baskin robins.

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

My day starts off with my husband bringing me coffee at 20 to 6 before he has to go to work. Needless to say I am a coffee fanatic. Most of my time is spent at home with my lovely 2 year old daughter while I TRY to work on my two etsy shops after I take my eldest daughter to school. Then it's just homework, dinner, and then back to my sewing machine.

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

I was. I got my interest in working with fabric from watching my mom's best friend doing it. I also enjoy cross-stitch and knitting.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Needed to compensate for my husband's company giving him a pay cut to shore up their losses. My friends suggested that I should try Etsy. Something I never heard of. That was 2 years ago.

-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
It took about a couple weeks. My first order was for a custom pillow case. I remember it like yesterday.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Stuffed cabbage, Ice Cream, Twisslers.
Greys Anatomy, House, Top Chef, Shear Genius, Project Runway.
I like all kinds of music.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
I would like to do soap making and candle making. If I ever get time in my life.

-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
Try to list new items more often. And re-list the old ones to keep them at the front of the search window. And Blogging.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
KnittingCarnival, HolyCrapClothing, SewLoveFabrics.

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
I don't have a set number. For me it's not the numbers. It's just to enjoy doing it and making a little money on the side is a perk.

--
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

#66 unofficial etsy featured seller -eRosasjewelry

#66 unofficial etsy featured seller - eRosasjewelry
Date joined etsy - 12/11/07
Sales to date - 1562
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc

My name is Elizabeth, I live in San Francisco with my partner and a dog named Jeff.

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

I stopped wearing a watch at the same time I left for Mexico on a spiritual journey. That was 9 years ago. I wake up when my body decides and I go straight for the computer. I check my Etsy shop and my Facebook and work on any other computer related work. I love reading blogs, they inspire me to live a life full of creativity . After I catch up on people and things, I head to the garage and get orders ready to ship. I grab Jeff and we stroll to the post office. By late afternoon, I take a walk or short run through Golden Gate park. Then I head back to the garage until about 8pm. It’s a simple life.

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

I liked to draw and play dress up and I always had a camera but mainly I was a day dreamer.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Etsy just fit. I had taken photography classes in High School and in college so I had that part taken care of and liked the idea of an online store because that meant that I didn’t have to haul my goods from boutique to boutique trying to make contacts.

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

I had my first sale after 3 months and only 20 sales after 6 months. It took time but after I introduced lower priced pieces & things started to pick up.

Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

I love butter and homemade plum jam, asian pears, chocolate covered cherries, champagne, and goat cheese

I have many favorite movies, recently I fell in love with A Single Man with Colin Firth and my old favorites are In the Mood for Love and An American in Paris

I am always moved when I hear a Michael Jackson sing, anything from the 80’s (including Wham), and Nina Simone

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I’ve always wanted to be a painter, I took a drawing class last year and was humbled. I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

I would suggest having a nice price point range (something for every budget)and…
Even if you’ve never taken a photography class, Picassa can help make your photos so much better. You can use the crop tool to cut out any background stuff that clutters up the shot. You can lighten the photo if your photo is too dark, and I like to use the glow tool, to make things look dreamy. And it is super easy to use. It’s any easy free download from Google.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I love:
Sugarbakerdesigns
Beanandthesprout
christinaromeo

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.
I don’t have a specific number of sales I want to have but I plan on introducing new items in all price ranges, and hopefully this (along with more promotion on my blog and my facebook fan page) will help keep my sales up enough to make a living.

--
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

#65 unofficial etsy featured seller - janejoss

#65 unofficial etsy featured seller - janejoss
Date joined etsy - 1/12/09
Sales to date - 288
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Jane Joss is an alias for Alyssa Krismer & Joslyn Krismer. We started out as college roommates and became sisters-in-law when we married twins. We both live in Arlington, TX with our husbands and two children each. Joslyn spends her day job at UTA Arlington and I (Alyssa) am a stay-at-home mom to two boys. We share many common interests including creating, reading, and spending time with friends/family. Joslyn and I contribute to "Jane Joss" in different ways and work extremely well together. We have the same creative vision and drive to make it a success.

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

A day in my life starts with getting my 6 year old off to school. Until he gets home, my activities alternate between working on orders, shopping for supplies, checking and responding to emails, and playing with my 3 year old. The afternoon almost always ends with a trip to the post office. The rest of my day also alternates between family time and "Jane Joss" time. I'm pretty sure I see my husband at some point as well!

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

My creativity in childhood often manifested itself in singing, acting, and dancing. I especially liked to direct (boss around!) my friends in various performances. I later learned to channel that creativity into creating and decorating from my mother. She has a natural talent for making beautiful things. She encouraged, and helped, me to find my own style. She has also given up her sewing machine for the last year to me. I don't think she expected me to use it this long. Sorry Mom!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Our path to Etsy started with a free sewing machine given to Joslyn. We already had a shared love of crafting and decorating, but now we were in need of a project! We taught ourselves how to use the machine and a series of inspirations led us to fabric leaves. Through trial and error, we figured out a way to create our own branches and were thrilled with the way they turned out. We immediately decided we should try to sell them. Joslyn was the one who stumbled upon Etsy and it seemed like the perfect venue for us.

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

Within 20 minutes of listing our first products, we were contacted by a buyer. It manifested into a custom order the next day. It really was so exciting for us! The sales were slow going in the beginning. As we improved our pictures and started to get noticed, our sales steadily improved. We continued that momentum by expanding our product line into potted plants and wreaths.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Favorite Foods - anything tex-mex, my mom's french toast, whipped cream from a can, chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving meal
Favorite TV Shows - right now would be The Office, 30 Rock, Chuck, Bones, and Lost. My all-time favorite, however, has to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer (maybe I should have
let Joslyn fill this out!)
Favorite Bands - this is one I definitely should have let Joslyn fill out! I know we both like the
Dave Matthew's Band. I'm sure there are others but that's not my area!

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I know Joslyn is really interested in learning metalsmithing. We met a great pair of girls at one of our shows. Their shop is "F" is for Frank and they do an amazing job. Joslyn and I were very inspired!

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

I would suggest that new Etsy sellers continually strive to improve everything about their shop. Really spend time in the forums and reading the articles provided by Etsy Administration. There is a wealth of information out there. Although we still have room for improvement, good photos are absolutely the key to successful selling on Etsy. Once you have a good photo you have to re-list the items at the right times. Luck is a huge factor, but so is treasury timing. Re-listing in the 30 minutes before the treasury opens seems to really improve the chances of getting in one. The more treasuries you are included in, the bigger your chance of front page exposure. Thorough tagging is also so important. Joining a team is fun and a great way to network (we love our Etsy Dallas!).

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

It's so hard to narrow it down to three Etsy shops I love! Okay, here are my top 3...

lulubugjewelry
- amazed by every new item I see
sewlovefabrics - awesome fabric, very professional, and fast shipping. Can't ask for more!
budanART - Joslyn and I fell in love with this seller's work. So unique.

By December 31, 2010, I hope our number of sold items is more than 700 (although 1000 would be nice!)

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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

#64 unofficial etsy featured seller - almapottery

#64 unofficial etsy featured seller - almapottery
Date joined etsy - 12/4/06
Sales to date - 755
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Lavinia Hanachiuc and at the moment I live in one of Detroit's suburbs.I used to carefully plan my move every couple of weeks and at some point I've made it as far as living for a year in Yokohama ,Japan but now I'm back and learning to love Detroit for the time being.I have no pets ,one child ,I like straciatella ice cream (http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/diaryofafoodie/2008/02/stracciatellaicecream) .If I had a pet it would be the breed of dog I had growing up and I still remember as a gigantic fluffy somewhat smelly furball I tried to sneak in my bed at night http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mioritic.jpg . I was born and raised in Transylvania.

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

I wake up around 7 with the exception of the days I go to the gym and I have to drag myself out of bed at 5. I spend the first hour in slow confusion then I get hurried and start doing lots of things at once. By the time I get out of the home, yelling lists at my husband dragging the child to school and trying to apply make up with on free hand is 5 min before I'm really late. The rest of the day is basically the same. I run to the post office, buy groceries ,cook ,read my email, calls,pick up the kid, go rollerskating, hockey practice, play date, park, depending on what day it is. All this time I think about stuff I would make and try to take mental notes. I carry a sketchbook at all times and write important things down. I work in the evenings and at night and I usually spend the weekends by myself working in clay.

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

I was drawing and painting since I was 3 years old, by the time I was 14 I went to a specialized art high school where I did everything from ceramics to printmaking techniques or designing.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I met a friend at an art show and she told me about it. In the beginning I didn't want to sell I just wanted to meet people,the forums were amazing and I remember spending the first weeks online until 4am each day.I still know many of the artists I've met at that time but everyone quieted down in the last year .

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

After I set up shop with my items it took around a week.I remember the excitement of having a sale it was around 10$ and I lost half the money because I didn't figure out the correct shipping.It was still awesome.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

foods:
sashimi
mashed potatoes,steak and salad
crepes with honey
earl grey
espresso
tv shows

I don't have a Tv but I wasted a week of my life watching the entire Lost season on Hulu. Still can't believe it was all about the black smoke creature.
Better off Ted
Curb your enthusiasm
The office
House (but I skip most medical parts because they make me queasy )
bands;

Franz Ferdinand
Deus
Tom Waits
Tricky
I also love Skin's voice from skunk anansie(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWkpqb6Zo3k)

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I would like to learn to dance fandango and metalworking

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

I think good pictures are the best way to go. They get you in interesting treasuries which increases your front page exposure. Buying some online adds works well too and making sure you keep your shop stocked and fresh looking even if it means rotating items you already have. I make sure I change my featured items for a new look every couple of days.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

this is going to be so hard to choose

http://www.etsy.com/shop/benconservato
http://www.etsy.com/shop/artlab
http://www.etsy.com/shop/nanopod

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is 1000.


--
Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

#63 unofficial etsy featured seller - lindsayart

#63 unofficial etsy featured seller - lindsayart
Date joined etsy - 5/4/07
Sales to date - 471Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

*My name is Lindsay Brackeen. I live in Ferndale, Michigan with my sweet husband and two adorable little girls. We recently welcomed our first family pet, a Giant Schnauzer puppy named Uma.

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

* I usually get up before the kidlings so I can grab my coffee and answer emails/check convos. After that I try to get my daily blog post ready. (www.lindsaybrackeen.blogspot.com) Once the girls are up and buzzing around we eat breakfast together. Then my orders are printed and packaged, and set out for the postman. My oldest daughter has afternoon kindergarten, so once we've dropped her off at school, I come home and work on sketches or new ideas alongside my 3 year old. Most of the actual painting I do happens after they've gone to bed or on the weekends. In the summer we spend most of our time outside in our backyard garden and I'll work from a picnic blanket in the grass. Much of my inspiration comes from nature so this works out really well. :)

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

*I've always enjoyed drawing. I took a couple of after-school painting classes in grade school, but other than that most of my creative endeavors probably took form in building forts and making mudpies.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

*Before Etsy, I sold on Ebay. I spent about 3 years there, selling originals only. In that time I sold over 400 paintings. Eventually, Ebay started feeling a bit too "garage sell" for me, and I knew I wanted to set up shop elsewhere. Etsy seemed like the obvious place to start. It was tailored for handmade and my shop could have a much more personalized feel.

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

*My first sale on Etsy came immediately, but that's because I already had a collector base, and I let them know I was making the switch to a new site.

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

*As for TV and bands... I actually prefer the quiet. My girls provide all the noise I need. :) We had television at one time, but never watched it. We had it turned off last year and do not miss it at all. We have Netflix, so if the girls want to watch a Disney flick, we'll catch it that way. As for favorite foods, that's such a hard question. In another lifetime, perhaps I'd be a chef. I love to cook and having healthy fresh organic produce on hand is priority around here. You can see our veggie garden from last year here. ( http://lindsaybrackeen.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-does-your-garden-grow.html) If there's one ingredient I'm addicted to, it's garlic for sure!


-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 have a medicinal herb garden. We see a holistic doctor and avoid traditional medicine whenever we can. Growing herbs for teas and such would just be an extension of trying to live as naturally as we can. Also, I'm working on my sewing skills!

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

* Obvious things like relisting, good photos (product shots & styled photos), having a cohesive feel to your shop, etc. I keep business cards on hand and use my blog to keep collectors updated on what I'm working on. Think about advertising on indie blogs and let the writers know what you're working on. Little features on big blogs go a long way. Be active in the online community in general.

Keeping your shop updated with fresh items is also key. If I'm neglecting producing new work, it shows in my sales. I would also say, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Utilize all the benefits of your online shop, but also pursue local buyers, wholesale orders, and other venues to showcase your work. Markets like Poppytalk Handmade and Paper-n-Stitch are great ways to get your work noticed. It might not mean immediate sales, but it puts your work in front of the right people. I've scored freelance work this way, commissions, wholesale orders, and gallery inquiries.

Lastly, listen to Etsy. They let sellers know what themes and keywords they'll be looking for each month. (http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/tags/from-etsys-merchandising-desk/) Plan accordingly.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

*I love so many Etsians! Some of my faves would be:
Yokoo (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Yokoo)
Moop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/moop)
SkinnyLaminx (http://www.etsy.com/shop/skinnylaminx)

These ladies have a very strong aesthetic. Their products are showcased well and they've obviously put a ton of time into branding themselves. I admire all their hard work.

-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is ______.

*I haven't really set goals like that in the past. Perhaps I should though. I just try to keep gathering inspiration and grow my business the best I can. Some months are going to be more productive than others. One week I make paint my little hands off, and others I might just prefer to piddle around with my lil' gals. I'm okay with that.
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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#62 unofficial etsy featured seller - stringofblue

#62 unofficial etsy featured seller - stringofblue
Date joined etsy - 12/14/06
Sales to date - 948
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

thanks for inviting me to be a part of this!
my given name is Julie Ashton, but I go by "bug" or "j-bug"
I live in a rugged little valley in Southern Oregon but in the
past 5 years I have lived in New Mexico and Georgia.
I am crazy for dancing, especially to funk, hip hop and 80's music.
I have designed costumes for an avant garde theater group,
lived in Bali, I am an unabashed bird nut and my boyfriend is an herbalist.

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

An average day usually it starts with a strong cup of Joe and some
news/weather net surfing. I then try to remember all of the jewelry ideas I
had while negotiating the tumble into slumber and hopefully jot them down.
Then over to Etsy, answer convo's and get to shipping if I was lucky enough
to sell some stuff. Then I finally get cracking at the chaotic
jewelry bench also known as my muse.

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

Yeah, I loved to draw/paint when I was younger. I started hanging out at
the local Art Museum and was mentored by an accomplished local artist who really
helped me in finding and believing in my artistic voice. I was accepted
at some prominent Art Schools but bagged on that opportunity and
backpacked around Europe instead. I still really regret that decision.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Ebay was pretty much the only other venue and well...
I actually did pretty well selling there but its less than ideal.

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

Thats a good question, I had to go look up the date of my first sale.
17 days... Etsy was so different back then.

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

foods:
chocolate
wine
tamales
anything fresh from the garden
yogurt

tv:
30 rock
project runway
no reservations
colbert report
deadwood

bands/music:
i just found "the xx" and am really loving them and
laura veirs new album is awesome.
I am a big lover of Ambient/Electronic but I mostly
listen to KCRW out of Los Angeles.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

heck ya! there are so so many things. millinery, screen printing, wood working,
pottery, beekeeping, cobbling!

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

#1 Provide excellent customer service! Make your customer feel special, like you
made your craft/piece just for them. So many of my sales are from repeat
customers. I am so not motivated by the social networking thing.
I have had some good success advertising on Craft Cult. I was on the Front Page
a couple of times last week (after at least a year of not making an appearance there)
and the runoff from that is just unbelievable. One of my goals for this year is to
become faithful to maintaining a blog and start doing give away promotions.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Just 3? really! I was just looking through my
favorites the other day and thinking about how
many incredible artisans/shops there are on Etsy
and how cool it is to be a part of that.

i just love all of the color & texture here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaTouchables
http://www.etsy.com/shop/leahgiberson
http://www.etsy.com/shop/redyellowandblueink


-By December 31, 2010 I hope my number of sold items is 1300.
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Have a successful etsy shop and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)