Saturday, May 29, 2010

#135 unofficial etsy featured seller - rjcharms

#135 unofficial etsy featured seller - rjcharms
Date joined etsy -4/10/08
Sales to date - 824
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Online I go by my initials, RJ, and I live in a small town just outside of Toronto, Canada with my husband and our demanding kitty. Kitty likes to spend his day 'helping' in my office {he's especially helpful when I'm trying to take product shots!}. Did someone say ice cream? Yes please!

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

I wake up and check my emails, then enjoy a breakfast smoothie while catching up on blogs. After that I work on any new orders and reply to convos, then after a usually healthy lunch I work on new products, take care of my own blogs, as well as my "other" job ~ that of housewife, which these days includes gardening so it isn't all bad! *lol* I try to wind things down in time to have a few minutes just for me before the mister gets home and it's time to get dinner going. And as hard as I try, without fail I'm back online at least a few times during the evening.

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

Thanks to a crafty and creative mom, creativity has always been a big part of my life. I wanted to be an artist from the age of seven, and fulfilled that dream when I received my BFAH degree, majoring in screen printing.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I already had my own website set up and was doing craft shows, but when Etsy was created I was totally drawn to the community aspect of it and the potential built-in customer base. Of course I also loved that it was all about handmade, vintage and supplies!

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

With my first shop {I currently have three!} it took 9 days back when Etsy was in it's infancy, with RJ Charms it took surprisingly only a day! {But that doesn't mean it's been an easy ride ever since!}
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Artisan cheese and rhubarb from my backyard, any dancing show {I'm addicted!} and recently I've been listening to the Flight of the Conchords almost daily.

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

I've tried so many fun things in my life, but there are so many more still to try! I'm currently an avid baker and have so much fun playing in the kitchen! I also recently discovered the world of homemade natural cleaning products... which means that soap making is only a hop, skip and a jump away!

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

Do promote! And do it outside of Etsy! And don't get too caught up in the forums, they can be helpful but they can also be a big time suck, time that can be better spent promoting your shop!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.thelittlereddoor.etsy.com
http://www.kootsac.etsy.com
http://www.transcanadateam.etsy.com

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is... 2000!



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

Friday, May 28, 2010

#134 unofficial etsy featured seller - finestimaginary

#134 unofficial etsy featured seller - finestimaginary
Date joined etsy -11/2/06
Sales to date - 404

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

My name's Kim, and I live in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK. It's a large town situated close to the countryside and between two major UK cities. I live with my boyfriend (who's a super clever astrophysicist), two kitties, and 3 fish in a cute and colourful house that we're in the process of renovating.

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

The alarm goes off at 6am every week day, and we press the sleep button 3 times (without fail) and end up getting out of bed at 6.30am. I check emails from over night whilst watching the BBC news and drinking coffee. I get ready for work (the day-job! boo!) at 8am and walk to the office, stopping off at a local coffee shop on the way for another latte. In my day-job I'm a web developer/designer, a skill which has lent itself neatly into my other-life as a creative. Lunch times I spend in coffee shops of the library, reading or sketching. When I get home I do more design work, process orders that have come in throughout the day, head to the gym, watch a miriad of TV boxsets (Lost, buffy, torchwood, true blood etcetc) and relax.

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

I've always been creative, but I did also want to be a vet until I was about 16. However, the creative side won out and I ended up doing a degree in interactive art. I would say, though, that my degree was pretty pointless and the work that I do now is completely separate from it. Oh well! :D

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I've used several online portals to sell my wares, from my own site to ebay, but when etsy came along it seemed the perfect place to get more exposure for my products whilst getting to know like minded sellers – everyone's trying to make it in their craft, it's lovely!

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

I had an account for a while without actually having any items for sale on there, but I'd say it took me a good few weeks!

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

Wow, hard! I'll do them in no particular order :D

Food...
Tacos, indian curry, ramen, icecream & bread (uum yeh, fresh warm bread.. super good)
TV shows...
Doctor Who, GLEE!, Lost, buffy & true blood (these change every so often!)
Bands...
AFI, coheed & cambria, the smiths, lady gaga & brand new (5 is a small number, just went by my top 5 recent plays on lastfm!)

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

I'm *always* trying my hand at new things, crochet is something I've been learning recently. I'd really love to try embroidery again soon, too.

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

List, list and list some more! Then hit the forums, get chatting! Browse etsy and add items to your favourites, strike up relationships with fellow sellers. Make treasuries!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/HidenSeek – We have two prints by this illustrator on our landing.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/berkleyillustration – And we have 4 by this illustrator, too
http://www.etsy.com/shop/emandsprout – my good friend Lindsay runs this cute shop with adorable shoes & shirts.

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

1000! I'm bringing in some new products in the next few days and I'm hoping everyone will like them! :)


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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

#133 unofficial etsy featured seller - lolabot

#133 unofficial etsy featured seller - lolabot
Date joined etsy -4/27/08
Sales to date - 708
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is erin and i live in lovely colorado springs, colorado. there are a lot of weirdos in this town, but the view i have out of nearly every window makes it worth it. my household consists of my boyfriend and i, a crazy (and gigantic) dog, a couple furry kittens, and 1.5 kids. i suppose the dog and i are both gigantic at the moment, so i shouldn't give him such a hard time. we like to ride bikes and climb mountains and take walks, but lately there's been a lot of crocheting and watching Bones on Netflix.

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

right now, all i think about all day long is eating. but when i am eating i can focus on other things like my regular job (a non-crafty, 8-5, normal person-type job) and getting to come home and make stuff. and then i keep eating.

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

i've always had crayons or markers or a tube of glitter in my hands. i probably glued them there by accident.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

i was making all kinds of things and i didn't have enough people to give them away to. my stockpile of product was overflowing, and i wasn't entirely sure if anyone besides myself would want any of it, but i had to at least try! it's not like i could just stop making stuff...

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

when i opened my first shop on etsy, i think within a week i had started making sales. it was very exciting, even though most of the items were being bought by my sisters and friends. a few months later i opened my current shop, and it's been steady since the beginning. i feel very lucky to have wonderful customers who come back again and again.

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

foods:
this is a dangerous area at the moment... i'm just going to go with all. all foods are my favorite.

tv:
lucky for us, we can watch tv on the internet!

Bones
30 Rock
Big Love
Modern Family
Futurama (the original 4 seasons)

bands:
The Mountain Goats
Andrew Bird
Jose Gonzales
Kings of Convenience
They Might Be Giants

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

I've been trying to learn a 2nd language for years. and when i say "try," i mean i've been complaining about not being able to learn a new language and telling everyone that "this year, i'm just going to take a class!" but then never getting around to it. one of these days...

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

re-listing! aside from casually mentioning things on my blog or on flickr, re-listing is basically the only thing i do.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

MATTY8080
The Black Spot Books
erinsaidso

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

i'd be happy if i only had 5 sales ever. the making is what i enjoy. the selling is totally just a bonus.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#132 unofficial etsy featured seller - factorygirlashli

#132 unofficial etsy featured seller - factorygirlashli
Date joined etsy -10/23/08
Sales to date - 500
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Ashli Crowe, and I live in Charleston, Illinois. I have no kids (yet), but we do have a lovely cat named Moses. I don't have a favorite ice cream flavor, but I absolutely love ice cream. I would eat it all day long if that were at all advisable.

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

My average day: wake up around 10-11 am... open up the macbook and check out Etsy. I reply to convo's, leave some treasury love, and check to see if my shop got any new hearts overnight. Then I make my daily treasury and get ready for the day. I work at a local coffee shop either in the afternoon or evening. So depending on when I work, I pack orders for Etsy and spend time with my husband (as long as he's not working, as well).

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

I've always been a crafty/creative person. My mom was the same way, and it always inspired me to create things. I took a few art classes growing up, was involved with 4H, and I competed in art, music, and drama competitions in junior high and high school. I went to Culinary School in college.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was a buyer on Etsy for a long time before I decided to start selling. I knew I was crafty so I just thought that running an Etsy shop was something I could do. I decided to go for it a few months after I got married last summer... I was working as a very part time cake decorator, and my husband was working a lot of hours as a firefighter/paramedic. I needed something else to pass my time. I began making jewelries and cards and started a shop!

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

My first sale came about 3 weeks after I listed my first item. It was from a friend.... he bought a necklace and two cards for his girlfriend.

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

Top 5 foods:
-Cheeseburgers
-Cupcakes
-Chai
-Whole Grain Bread
-Cheese

Top 5 TV Shows:
-Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
-Arrested Development
-Project Runway
-It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
-Saturday Night Live

Top 5 Bands:
-Coldplay
-Copeland
-Death Cab for Cutie
-Nirvana
-Foo Fighters
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I'm really thinking about getting into stamp carving. I see so many cute hand carved stamps on Etsy..... I just think it would be fabulous to make my own stamps. I would also learn to love how to play the guitar and/or banjo.

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

At first, I thought all I had to do was list a few items on Etsy. I thought I could just sit back and wait for my 10 items in my shop to sell. I quickly realized that I was going to have to consider myself married to my shop if I wanted to get anywhere. I got on twitter, facebook, a blog.... started promoting myself everywhere I could imagine. I started adding more items, and things started to sell. Also, I realized that my shop needed to have a theme. My shop had an identity crisis at first, but now it is cohesive and works a lot better together.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

oh my goodness... just THREE? I have about 41+ pages of favorite shops. I've always admired darlingtonia and long to have a pair of her mocs http://www.etsy.com/shop/darlingtonia
I also am currently obsessing over this photography shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/irenesuchocki (especially the hot air balloons in paris photo)
And I really look up to Celia at GlitzGlitter... she's really helped me grow as an Etsian: http://www.etsy.com/shop/glitzglitter

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

I'm sitting at 500 sales today, after about 10 months. One year from now, I would love to have 1,000 sales.
--
Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#131 unofficial etsy featured seller - vadjutka

#131 unofficial etsy featured seller - vadjutka
Date joined etsy -8/7/07
Sales to date - 319
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I am Judit Wild, and I live in Budapest, Hungary. I have done many things in my life so far: first I studied photo journalism, then I was journalist for 10 years. While writing articles I finished my sociology studies, and started to work as a sociologist as well. I stopped writing articles 3 years ago, and now I work as a sociologist besides making jewelry.

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

I have a part time job, so I spend half of my week (2-3 days) in an office. I work as a market researcher for a big publishing house. On my office days I dont make jewelry, but usually I spend 1-2 hours with my jewlery shop: uploading new products, answering convos, updating my team’s blog (blog of the European Street Team, called: Hand Made Europe, link: http://handmade-europe.com/ ) and chatting a little bit with my team mates. The rest of my week is devoted to jewelry making. On these days I check my shop, convos etc in the morning, and then I make jewelry the whole day along. I have a lunch break (checking mails, uploading new products etc.), and then I continue with making jewelry. Usually I stop it around 7-8 pm, and I like to go out a little bit for a few hours to clean my brain.

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

Yes, I was. I remember myself as sewing clothes for my Barbie doll, sewing bags and pillows for myself in elementary school. In high school I was making earrings, but I stopped it after a while, and did not even do anything "creative” for 10 years. I continued making jewelry 10 years later (in 2002) where I stopped in high school.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I have been selling my jewelry since 2003 in small shops and via e-mail, so I just wanted to try a new method. And Etsy looked so inspiring, with full of inspiration and visual inputs.

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

5-6 days. I was thrilled


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

Croissant with butter and orange juice, Jasmine tea, Oi va voi (this is a band).


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

Yes: I want my own sewing machine – it has been a dream for me since high school. At the moment I live in a very small flat, and my fabrics and jewelry supplies are already taking over my flat, so I dont have room for a sewing machine. But I am sure I will have one in the future!

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

I would suggest for the very fresh sellers to participate in giveaways (they can always submit it to etsygiveaways.blogspot.com), and to trade with others. A lot of people dont believe in paid advertisements, but I do - with limitations. If you see the ad campaign as a tool introduce your brand to new people, and do not expect instant sales from it, than I think blog advertisements can help. I dont say, that everyone should spend a lot on this, but it worth a try on well-establised blogs, that have reasonable prices for the beginners. Also, listing/ relisting couple of times a day is very good.

And one last thing: I just bumped into this post on rikrak’s blog – she is offering a kind of tutorship for those who want to develop their handmade business. She is a very experienced and helpful seller, maybe it is a good idea to ask her advice once or twice.

http://rikrakstudio.blogspot.com/2010/05/hire-cheerleader.html


-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/fleurfatale


http://www.etsy.com/shop/irisoconnor

http://www.etsy.com/shop/annarubyking


-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is... 700.

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

#130 unofficial etsy featured seller - kaboogie

#130 unofficial etsy featured seller - kaboogie
Date joined etsy -11/27/07
Sales to date - 657
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Audrey Hussey, and I came by that name the old fashioned way...I married it. I occupy a large compound, er, house, in northeast CT, with my husband, 6 redhead kids, ages 3-15, and 2 large dogs. It’s a loud house. My kids are mostly homeschooled, so it makes for a very busy life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

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

Four of my kids are in a school this year, all coming home next year except my high schooler, so the day starts with chaos. Once I drive them to school, I come back and do lessons with my K student. I get all of my errands, emails, household stuff done, pack any orders to ship, and grab whatever leathers I need to work on that day. I may even sew a bit. I’m making props for the homeschool prom again, so sometimes I’m building or painting a bunch of giant daisies or a soda fountain, working on my perennial beds or just enjoying other homeschool mom company. Then lunch, projects with my 6 & 3 yr old, then off to get the kids and ship if needed. Once home, mayhem ensues while I organize dinner, work, feed, clean, then I’m at the machine until bedtime. Sometimes I even get a shower in.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

My dad is a sign manufacturer/designer/stained glass artist/renaissance man, and mom was always making some gorgeous knitted things, and taught me to repurpose. I would make animated cartoons in dad’s studio, draw with Walter Foster books, or make shoe box model houses complete with furniture, and decorated in mod greatness, like our home. Mom is a decorating genius.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

My best friend is an etsy seller http://cozycoleman.etsy.com who is featured in the Regretsy book for her AWESOME momma doll (this brought her SO much attention, AND sales, don‘t knock it!). She got me hooked when I ripped up hubby’s leather jacket and made my baby a pair of shoes. This was late ‘07. Now she laughs at me because I’m obsessed. She’s my sounding board and greatest supporter.

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

A week or two after I joined. I made the mistake of listing everything I had the first day. A couple of my good friends from Yahoo games chat (where I used to waste my days away in total goofiness, but it was fun) bought from me, made me so happy! I joined the CTEtsy team right away and one of them also bought a pair. Once I learned the art of consistent and well spaced listing, sales dribbled in, slowly, then consistantly.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

It’s not a food, but Chai Latte is my biggest vice. I love it. I clear the shelves of Oregon Chai mix. I love large, comfort food meals. Shepherd’s pie, beef stroganoff, lasagna. I don’t watch TV shows, but I love epic, period movies. Sense and Sensibility, Gladiator, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Big characters, gorgeous costuming, great cinematography. I am a political junkie, mostly, so I’m watching news most of the time. I’m stuck in the 70’s music wise. Our dinner music tonight was Kansas Masque. I’m taking my teens to see them with Styx and Foreigner next month. I love Jeff Beck and old Rod Stewart, Grand Funk and Aerosmith, the druggie days.

-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 learn to weld. My brother and his son do, and the son makes furniture from old tools, signs, etc. I used to make wood toddler furniture & sell it, I am a furniture designer at heart. My first job was at an interior design firm designing store interiors, so I would design displays made from real things, phone booths, pool tables...I'd also love to do more sign painting, I'm pretty good at it, but can be better.

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

You first need people around you who are HONEST. Who will critique you with love and good intentions. Then with your gorgeous photos that you HAVE to learn to take, make use of every promotional site you can. Don’t just promote to other crafters. Add everyone you can to your twitter, facebook page, flickr page (join GROUPS). Submit to blogs, magazines, even call your local newspaper/TV morning shows for a local artist feature. I actually emailed The Better Connecticut Show and was a guest my first year. Do craft shows, but do good, juried shows. If you can't get in those, learn from it! Find the better shows and pay the higher fees, just prepare yourself. Provide EXCELLENT customer service (yes, this means convo them when they buy and when you ship). Stand behind your product, and your customers will be loyal. I’ve had 2nd, 3rd and 4th time buyers.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Many, many shops I love.
http://mayleesgarden.etsy.com makes the ONLY laundry soap I use anymore. I can inhale her basil & clove soap all day.
http://mamacitabeadworks.etsy.com made me 6 of her teeny pewter minnows to represent my kids for my charm bracelet and I cherish them!
http://spidercamp.etsy.com makes the coolest, snarky, fun, ugly bunnies and will put anything you want on them. I've bought about 7 of them. And they stand up to my kids’ beatings.
I love so many! http://stoopher.etsy.com, http://wickedsoaps.etsy.com, http://morganstreet.etsy.com and I could go on and on!!

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is ...

Oh…..I’d love to hit 1000. The wholesale orders I do get lumped in, so over the last 2 years, including shows, I know I’ve sold almost 1000 pairs, but it would be nice to see that number of sales.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

#129 unofficial etsy featured seller - thebeadedlily

#129 unofficial etsy featured seller - thebeadedlily
Date joined etsy -1/18/07
Sales to date - 1083
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Sarah Kelley and I was born and raised outside of Savannah Georgia, where we still live. I have a cat, Rip, that I found in Egypt and a cockatoo, Mirka. I like quiet places.

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

I get up when Mirka makes it impossible to sleep any longer and drink my coffee while I read my email. I try to go back to bed at a sane hour. What happens in between all depends.

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

Always. I used to make my own coloring books. I played with drawing, sewing, carving, cooking, crocheting, embroidering, cross-stitching, beading.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

It was a shot in the dark. I'd tried eBay before and Amazon auctions, craft fairs, home parties.

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

Maybe a month? A month and a half? It seemed like forever, though I was trying very hard to be patient.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Sushi, pizza, pot pie, cheese, fruit.
I don't keep up anymore. But I was a Trek fanatic growing up and I loved the X-Files.
Bands is worse than TV. I hardly ever listen to the radio. Half of the names that win awards anymore are totally foreign to me.

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

Everything. Art or craftwise there's nothing I can think of that I wouldn't jump at the chance to try.

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

Make your shop beautiful. Make it a nice place to visit. Let your photos, verbiage and graphics reflect the quality of your work. Then attract people by renewing and create a constant influx of new work. Get some business cards. Add your link to the signature of your email. Talk about what you do. Make yourself easy to find.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Limiting me to 3?! Impossible!
Cards: http://www.etsy.com/shop/letterarypress
Art: http://www.etsy.com/shop/paintandink
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeaumontStudio
Beads: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Lutrick
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LisaPetersArt
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MAKUstudio
Clothes: http://www.etsy.com/shop/xusah
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlessedLotus
http://www.etsy.com/shop/dyedianadye
And more, but I'll stop now.

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

2079! Can I hope?

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

#128 unofficial etsy featured seller - prettylilthings

#128 unofficial etsy featured seller - prettylilthings
Date joined etsy -10/9/06
Sales to date - 1024
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

my name is lori marie and i make pretty littl things. i grew up in the SF bay area and i currently live in the oakland hills in a little red house tucked in the trees. i work from a small artist studio in my front yard that i call "the tiny house". my sidekick is a little french bulldog named matilda. she's very good about reminding me to take breaks. we enjoy long walks through the neighborhood, quick trips to the local village and vanilla bean haagen dazs ice cream.

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

anyways, a typical day begins when matilda decides it's time to get up, which is usually around 6 AM. we stumble downstairs and start up the coffee. i spend the first few hours on the computer while matilda snuggles by the nearest heater vent. i like to get all of my surfing done in the morning while i figure out what i'm gonna work on during the day. i also like to do most of my sewing in the morning and i usually do my cutting in the afternoon. i tend lose brain power as the day goes on so it's best to get anything that needs thinking done in the morning.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

i have been making things for as long as i can remember. i have always been creative and i have always made things with my hands....from macrame friendship bracelets to little hippie tank tops for the grateful dead shows. my mom was an interior decorator while i was growing up and i was always very inspired by her wallpaper books and fabric samples. she would let me pick through discontinued styles and i would whip up little bags and such on a borrowed sewing machine.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

i started selling on etsy because it was an affordable way to market my pretty little things online. i don't remember how long it took for my first sale, but there were much less sellers on etsy in 2006 than there are now...so it wasn't as easy to get lost in the crowd. i think it is much trickier to get noticed as a new seller these days.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
i usually listen to music while i sew i also like to watch netflix instant on my laptop. some of my favorite artists are ani difranco and the be good tanyas. i also love slow moving quirky independent films and documentaries like 'Grey Gardens' and 'Herb and Dorothy'.

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

i think it's important to challenge myself as an artist and i like to stay inspired by trying new things. i recently taught myself how to crochet and now i am completely hooked ! i would also like to try my hand at painting and drawing...and i am dying to put together a book of simple projects for people to do on a rainy day or a long summer afternoon with the kids.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
my advice to anyone just starting out would be to start a blog and update regularly, network using social media like facebook and twitter...and provide a product or service that is different and unique from anything else out there.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

my favorite sellers are the ones who are seem to be a fountain of creativity. a few all time faves are:
vivstrauss: http://www.etsy.com/shop/vivstrauss
tamar: http://www.etsy.com/shop/tamar
janethill: http://www.etsy.com/shop/janethillstudio

-One year from now, I hope....

one year from now i hope people that have enjoyed collecting my pretty little things will continue visiting my shop to see what i've been working on and how i've expanded my collection.
--
Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

#127 unofficial etsy featured seller - LarqueByjason

#127 unofficial etsy featured seller - LarqueByjason
Date joined etsy -7/13/09
Sales to date - 887
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My Name is Jason Villeneuve I currently live in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Edmonton is a fair sized city in the province of Alberta most know for the BIG MAll and Wayne Gretzky. I actually come from a painting background and have a fine arts degree as well as a design bachelors degree. So I generally schedule my day with a mix of maintaining my Etsy shop and painting at the studio.

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

Usually my day begins with a coffee and a quick look at my Etsy shop to return e-mails and record what I will need to make that evening. Then it is off to the studio to focus on my painting, most of my daytime hours are spent there and I arrive home around dinner time. In the evening I work on my Etsy orders for the next mornings post office run. I have carved out a small work area for this in my apartment which is very modest and less romantic than most, but it does the trick.

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

I spent my youth in a small northern town called Fort McMurray and didn't have much access to art or other artists. I always knew I was different and I really couldn't place myself until I began art school at the age of 17. After that I fell in love with painting and it was all I could think about, absorbing everything like a sponge. The First two years of art school were the most important years of my life they would shape most of my direction and decisions up until today.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I can honestly say it was a completely happy accident. When I finish my design degree two years ago I took the summer off to paint with the intention to look for design work that coming September. I was finishing up a group of large oil paintings I had been slowly working on throughout the previous years. People became interested in the work and I made several sales, not thinking that I would have this kind of money I decided to take a year off to focus on studio work. A year later I was running out of funds and was planning on getting a design job somewhere in the city. My girlfriend is an illustrator/printmaker and had signed up for Royal Bison and fairly new craft fair in our city. I was planning on going to keep her company so I thought why not make something? Maybe I could make enough for a nice dinner out. So I made some rose earrings out of poly clay and didn't really thing much of it. I ended up making a couple hundred dollars and was shocked. Someone at the craft fair suggested Etsy to me and the rest is history.

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

It took about a week to make a sale on etsy, but things didn't start rolling until a couple of months in.

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

Foods
1)Sushi
2)Indian Food
3)Sandwich
4)Burritos
5)Lamb anything

TV
1)My favorite show was Ghost Hunters until
I found out it was fake.This tragedy has turned
me off of tv in general.

Bands
1)Bonnie Prince Billy
2)Wilco
3)Jaylib
4)Mos Def
5)The smalls

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

I find there are so many things I would like to do but not enough time to do it. I'm pretty content with painting and expanding the variety within my Etsy store at the moment.

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

This is a tuff question, because I have found that every store should have a different approach and after about a year on Etsy I'm learning just as much as I did when I started. After you get your numbers up a bit especially during the Christmas season I have had success advertising within Etsy. Do not underestimate word of mouth, do as many craft fairs in your area as possible. I really feel that what separates the successful shops within Etsy is a unique product and not giving up when things are sluggish. The first couple of months are always the hardest and when most sellers give up, if you can muscle through this period and the slower summer season it will lead to positive things. So basically be confident in your work and don't give up.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
Right now I really love PaperMethod its a organic paper jewelry shop. I look forward to seeing its progress and development in the months to come.

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

2000



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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

#126 unofficial etsy featured seller - dbabcock

#126 unofficial etsy featured seller - dbabcock
Date joined etsy -8/30/06
Sales to date - 984
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Deb Babcock and I live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It's high in the mountains near the Wyoming border and is home to over 50 Olympians who have gone to various winter Olympics over the years. I am married to a wonderful man; no kids or pets. Boring as it is and contrary to the color and brightness of my work, I love vanilla ice cream.


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

My average day involves spending an hour over coffee and the newspaper in the morning; followed by going for a hike (summer) or skiing (winter) with my husband, then going into my studio for an afternoon of pottery-making, working on my etsy shop, shipping sales, etc. Late afternoon, I head home or meet my husband in town for dinner at a restaurant. Read a little or watch tv if I'm tired, and to bed. During the growing season, I try to get some gardening in, too. Also, I write a weekly column on gardening for our local newspaper---been doing that for 10 years now.

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

I come my creativity honestly, I think. My dad is a painter and does beautiful calligraphy and drawings; my mom sewed all my clothes and my doll's clothes when I was little; she now makes beautiful quilts.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

A friend told me about Etsy back in 2006 shortly after the site had been created. I was looking for a way to sell my work without having to lug pottery around to art and craft fairs or manage consignment inventories with shops and galleries or have to be tied to retail hours in my studio.

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

I joined at the end of August 2006 and within the first month had my first sale. I'm closing in on 1,000 Etsy sales now. My average sale is around $50.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Favorites: Indian Food; French Food, especially desserts; NCIS and Law&Order; and most of the bands and music from the 60s as well as classical music. As a kid, I played cornet in an orchestra and traveled to England for performances -- hence my love of classical music.

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

If I wasn't doing pottery, another art form I would like to try my hand at is glass. Forming bowls and vases as well as lampwork beads, etc. I have tried knitting but don't have the patience.

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

To promote your etsy shop -- I would recommend joining a team like Etsy Mud Team or Team Etsy Project Embrace or Artisans Collective. The group helps you stay current of promotional opportunities, make treasuries, and provide general support. Secondly, keep your shop very fresh with new listings regularly and great photography. Thirdly, make sure everyone within your own personal network of friends, family and customers knows about your shop. List your etsy address on all emails and business cards, and other materials you might produce for promotional purposes.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Three etsy shops I love. That tends to change and be updated daily as I learn about new and amazing artists who join our community. One of my favorites is Gaialai who I purchase beads from that I use as knobs on my pottery pieces. I just discovered a new jewelry maker whose work I love: knottybeads916. And, I'm very impressed with the quality of soaps at Sagegold. I purchase her soap for personal use and to give as gifts when someone buys one of my soap dishes. I believe in supporting etsy artists and love to buy from them as well as collaborate with them.

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is...

A year from now, I hope my number of sold items is double what it is today. Probably won't happen, but I'll do my best to try for that goal.
--
Have an etsy shop with over 300 sales and want to be a featured seller? Contact me at phletcher@gmail.com
As always, thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#125 unofficial etsy featured seller - limegreenmodern

#125 unofficial etsy featured seller - limegreenmodern
Date joined etsy -1/14/09
Sales to date - 626-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi! I'm Tracy and I currently live just outside of Denver, Colorado. We’ve moved all over the world (my husband and I were Army brats as kids), so now we are always looking for fun and interesting places to move next. I have two great kids, Max, 9, and Mia, 4, who keep us grounded and in one place for now! My favorite dessert would be anything chocolate. I can never have enough.

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

My average day starts around 7:00 by making sure my oldest gets off to school in clothes he didn’t wear yesterday. Then I rush around getting my daughter and myself ready, do a quick check of my email, down a two-shot latte that I make at home, and then head off to my PT job three mornings a week.

I get home mid-day and usually use the afternoon to create. If my daughter is in preschool, I get a ton done. If she’s off, then not a whole lot gets done, but I have her come into my studio and draw while I work. She loves to create things for me to hang up in there. I’ll answer emails/convos, renew here and there, take pictures of new items, basically whatever needs to get done that day.

In the evenings I’m usually running to soccer practice with my son so I’ll peruse the forums on my phone while I wait for him to get done. After dinner, homework, kids to bed, etc; I will usually hang out in the forums a bit while I watch TV with my husband.

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

I loved to draw as a kid and remember making huge master pieces on those large white pieces of packing paper that I would save from our last move. I tried my hand at a little latch-hook rug work and have a scary neon clown rug in my parent’s attic to prove how skilled I was at that..lol. Other than that, I really liked to be outside doing gymnastics on the front lawn.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I had a friend years ago (2006, I think) that sold barrettes on Etsy for awhile and that was the first I had heard of the site. One day she told me she had gotten a big order from Australia and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever.

I had started getting back into jewelry making (did it in college, but then real life took over) and thought it would be a really fun thing to do when my youngest got a little bigger. Finally in 2008 I started planning it, hung out in the forums reading relentlessly (I’m a researcher by nature), started thinking of a name, and then opened in January 2009.

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

My first sale on Etsy was to a great Canadian buyer about 2 weeks after I listed my first items. I started with about 10 things in my shop. I had read on the forums that jewelry was light and inexpensive to ship internationally so I decided to offer international shipping from the get-go…definitely glad I did!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Foods: chocolate, grilled chicken, Wahoo’s fish tacos, steamed broccoli with butter, and Cool Ranch Doritos.

TV shows: I’m a bit of a reality TV junkie and love Project Runway, Top Chef, House Hunters International, and Devine Design. The one drama I absolutely love now is Modern Family.

Bands: I’m a product of the 80’s alternative band era and still listen to a lot of that: The Smiths, Depeche Mode, etc. I love Lady GaGa too though. And at Christmas time I set my TV to play the classic “seasonal” tunes all day long.

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

Played the oboe in 8th grade band marginally well, check.
Knitted quite a few wonky, drop-stitched scarves for myself, check.
Can’t cook to safe my life, so soap making is definitely out for me, so I love to buy it on Etsy.

In all seriousness, I’d really like to continue what I’m doing, and once my littlest is off to school FT, take some more metalsmithing classes to learn new things. :-)

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

I think that the biggest thing you can do for your shop is to create something that differentiates you from other sellers. That is sort of how my earrings evolved. I could never find something modern yet exactly what I liked so I started making my own. Once you find something that is really “you”, I think it just clicks.

I do facebook, blog, tweet, etc; but I really think most people find me by searching on Google or using Etsy's search. Before I opened my shop, I loved to search on Etsy’s forums to read tons of past posts on whatever topic I had a question on. Read everything you can on SEO, rework your pictures, really think about how a buyer would search for your product and then tag with those words.

And always remember that a shop doesn’t just come together overnight. It takes some times to get it all in synch, so don’t compare your new shop to someone that has 5000 sales and feel bad about it. It’s always a work in progress.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

There are so many shops that I really love, as evidenced by my bazillion “favorites”.

I recently bought the most amazing prints from Kathy Panton, an Australian artist, whose shop I just love for all the great bright colors. http://www.etsy.com/shop/KathyPanton

I have a bit of a ring obsession and got one of my favorite rings from Spiral Stone, also from Australia. It's made with chunky beach pebbles from New Zealand wrapped in sterling silver in a stacking ring configuration…devine! http://www.etsy.com/shop/spiralstone

My latest thing is handmade soap and I've bought some really great bars from BeSem Natural Scents! http://www.etsy.com/shop/BesemNaturalScents Won’t ever go back to store bought! I also got the best soap from Dirty Ass Soaps for my kids…super cute puzzle pieces that smell delicious! http://www.etsy.com/shop/DirtyAssSoaps

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items keeps climbing! I’d like to reach 1000 sales by the end of 2010 and still love what I do!

a before (^^^) and after (vvv) of Tracy's studio

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#124 unofficial etsy featured seller - quirkybeauty

#124 unofficial etsy featured seller - quirkybeauty
Date joined etsy -2/24/09
Sales to date - 383Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Dana Gils (nee Cowie- that's my artist name) I live in Toronto with my husband and our 2 cats but we are relocating to my home town of Hamilton to open a studio on Locke St. next month! Chocolate ice cream with stuff in it is my favorite (peanut butter cups etc.).

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

I wake up and check my emails, see if I have any orders and get to work. Each piece is hand cut and hand beaded so they take several hours to make. I usually listen to British programs on my computer while I'm working. I just finished re-watching/listening to the entire Upstairs, Downstairs series which was awesome.

Once I'm done making and packaging the orders I'll walk over to my friendly post office for speedy delivery! I like to make my orders up as quickly as I can to ensure the happiness of my customers.

If I don't have any orders then I will set to work creating new items. Once a new piece is done I will have my photographer hubby take the pics of me wearing them (I am blessed). His website is www.harrygils.com.

I'm also a painter/illustrator so along with my Etsy shop I do that. Here's my other website: www.dcowie.com

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

Oh yes, I was always drawing, painting, singing and listening to music and obsessing over fashion. My walls were covered in Elle magazine pages throughout the 1980s. My mother raised my brother and I on our own. She was very clever and talented so she made most of my clothing. I remember a beautiful rose coloured suit from a Donna Karan pattern that I wore to a family Christmas party in 1990. It had a wraparound styled jacket and palatzo pants. Pretty nice for a 15 yr. old! I could go on and on about the beautiful clothing she made. I enjoyed watching her make things. Sewing and knitting all the time. Too bad the internet and Etsy wasn't around back then, my mom would have made a fortune!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

My sister-in-law mentioned that I should sell paintings on Etsy years ago and finally I decided to try it out one day. I had made a couple of headpieces for my wedding and thought that they were pretty good and why not see if others liked them too so I opened a shop. Over time I began to iron out the kinks in my product and stuck to what I loved making which is the hand beading. It's like drawing with beads.

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

It took me 2 days! Since then I've had super busy months and slow months as well.

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

I love comfort food like roasted chicken and vegetables, most Asian food ( I love rice) and chocolate. I love food and try to buy organic as much as I can. I'm really into British shows like Coronation Street, Only Fools and Horses, Darling Buds of May (stuff like that). My fav. bands are the Cocteau Twins, The Sundays, Heavenly and I'm big into Gospel music as well.

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

Yes, I love to try making anything. I do mess about with baking and cooking and I like to knit. My next thing is to buy a sewing machine so I can make my own clothes.

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

I'm still fairly new (1 year) so I'm also trying to figure this one out. I think the best thing is to make items that you love. Spend time on them and put love and care into them. Find a way to take good quality photographs of your items. If that's learning how or finding a photographer and doing a trade - whatever. It's very important. Then list them in your shop and pray for lovely people to find them.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I really like greatestfriend.etsy.com she has amazing stuff, great communication (key!). She's also really nice and that's important to me. I've been eyeing hoakonhelga.etsy.com for a while and hopefully will buy something soon. I just disccovered Lwangslife.etsy.com today. Lovely dresses and jackets!

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is... 1000.

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

#123 unofficial etsy featured seller - xoelle

#123 unofficial etsy featured seller - xoelle
Date joined etsy -4/20/08
Sales to date - 287
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Laura and I'm a 30 year old Navy wife/Mom/maker currently living in Pensacola, FL. I have a 14 month old son and a little girl due in August. In my former life I was a high school art teacher. I love thrifting and chocolate ganache, and walks through historic neighborhoods. Most of the time I would rather make something than purchase it, so my house is a large project basket.

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

Most days I wake up when my son does- 6:30am or so- and lounge in bed as long as he'll let me. Then I usually spend the day chasing him around the house and sweeping the floors over and over until we both get tired of being in the house and we go out thrifting. Two days a week I send him to work with his Dad and that's when I get to work. On those days I kiss my boys goodbye (at about 6:30am) and start my day with a big bowl of cereal at my desk where I answer convos, pack and ship orders, and catch up the blogs I read. Usually by 10:00am I'm at my sewing machine making bow ties. In the afternoon I'll photograph new items, work on custom orders, daydream about things that I could do with the right equipment, and try to clean my workspace for the next couple of days. Evenings around my house are just about always the same: visit the park, eat dinner, give the kiddo a bath, put him to bed, then snuggle up with the Mr. and watch movies while I cut bow ties out of neckties and shirts.

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

I've always liked making things. I remember gingerbread houses and fashion designs and school projects made out of molded sugar. My parents owned a picture framing shop when I was in high school and I thought then that being an artist was some sort of gene that you were born with. I started college wanting to major in theater and voice but changed majors abruptly my junior year to studio art, having never taken an art class in my life. Making is such a big part of me, but it took me 20 years to figure that out.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I started selling online in other venues when I graduated from college and was overwhelmed with debt- it was a way to use my talents to lower my credit card bills. When I first stumbled upon etsy I thought that it was so wonderful- so wonderful in fact that I needed to get my act together before opening a shop. I planned and researched casually for almost a year before opening a shop. I was drawn to etsy because of it's dedication to handmade and it's acknowledgement that craft is cool again.

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

I got my first sale the night before I had the "grand opening" for my shop.

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

food: pasta with parm and butter, chocolate covered strawberries, pineapple, chimichangas, and ice cream.

tv shows: the office. I don't even own a tv, but we watch online. My favorite movie makers are Tim Burton and Jared Hess.

bands: Harry Connick Jr., Sting, The Beatles, Regina Spektor, and Danny Elfman.

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

so. many. things. machine embroidery, web design, croissant making, and animation, to name a few. I wish that I had more time to get better at: quilting, baking, batik, photography, clothing design, and playing the piano.

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

Love your shop! Be genuine and love what you do and it'll come through. I have paid for advertising in the past and it is never as effective as good photos, products that I care about and believe in, and my interaction with the customer.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kateconsumption
http://www.etsy.com/shop/mypapercrane
http://www.etsy.com/shop/frecklewonder

Not only are these great shops, they are also sweet ladies and savvy marketers. Total role models for me and my little shop.

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is at least double what it is now (so, 574). yipee!


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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

#122 unofficial etsy featured seller - staroftheeast

#122 unofficial etsy featured seller - staroftheeast
Date joined etsy -7/2/07
Sales to date - 1845-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

We are Esther and Estella, mother and daughter duo. We live in sunny Marmaris, Turkey very close to the coast. Beside the two of us we have 14 dogs, all saved from the street or bad owners.

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

We don't have an average day, with 14 dogs we often have surprises like vet visits. A typical day might include a post office trip, grocery shopping, custom orders, unfinished projects, normal life and social activities. We often rotate our creative work pattern, so when we are bored by jewelry we make bags for our bag shop (StarBags).

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

We both always enjoyed creativity, our backgrounds are civil engineering and interior decorating. We have been making things forever, with a low budget creating things for ourselves and home. Making it a business took a while though.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Selling locally didn't really work out or at least not seriously enough to make a living of it. In July 2007 we discovered Etsy and have been hooked ever since. It is not expensive to sell there, and is an ever changing place with plenty of like minded people which has been great.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?

It took us exactly 2 months for our first sale to come. To sell constantly took us 6 months, with hard work on retaking pictures constantly.

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

Favorite food: Pastas, salads, chips
Favorite tv shows would be ER, LOST, Desperate housewives, Monk

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

We constantly try new things, that's also the fun side of having multiple shops to explore many categories and materials.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

What you put in to your shop you'll get out of it. Waiting for miracles doesn't work you have to work hard on your shop and items. Great item pictures, shop announcement, profile, shop policies, item description everything needs to be clear and good to be able to sell.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

EarlyAttic, JessicaDoyle, KreativLink we have great experiences with all 3 of them!

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is ....

Past the 2300, hopefully :)

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

Saturday, May 15, 2010

#121 unofficial etsy featured seller - RUBYrecycled

#121 unofficial etsy featured seller - RUBYrecycled
Date joined etsy -4/21/09
Sales to date - 321
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I'm Hayley, I'm 22 years old and live in England. I'm currently running my own little handmade business in Northamptonshire called 'Ruby Wren Designs'. I live near enough to the big cities to visit, but far enough away to enjoy the countryside and all the wildlife here! I live at home with my parents, my sister and my two rescued cats. My boyfriend of four years, Nick, lives just a few streets away. Everyone is always helping out when it gets a bit busy, or when they think of new ideas I could try out. Ruby Wren Designs is on Etsy as RUBYrecycled, making greeting cards from 100% recycled paper, featuring hand cut designs! The paper I use is wonderful - it's made from 100% recycled paper and elephant poo (yes, really!), and I try to run my business as environmentally-friendly as possible!

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

Each day is different but it usually starts with coffee and kitty-hugs, followed by the checking of Emails/Etsy/Facebook/Twitter etc. I usually make cards during the morning and early afternoon, followed by wrapping (in biodegradable cellophane, of course!) and packing ready for posting. After dinner, Nick and I will usually head to the gym, taking the day's orders to the Post Office on the way. Before bed, I respond to the evening orders and make a note of what will need making tomorrow. I work part time as a freelance web editor, updating content and moderating websites for a gift company so I fit that in around card making, along with making time to update Twitter and the Ruby fan page on Facebook.

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


I think I was always a creative child - painting, drawing, play dough! My teen years were spent dabbling in web design and journalism, writing online articles about the gift industry (I was hired to run the websites of my current employer after the company discovered my articles online). My website discussed market trends and product design, as well as reporting on gift and greeting companies at trade fairs and events around the UK. Combining that with my creative side, Ruby Wren Designs was born shortly afterwards! The companies I was involved with as a teenager will always be a huge inspiration in what I do with my own business. I would visit the head offices of some of the companies I admired the most and see the designers at work, which had a huge impact on me growing up...I always knew I wanted to run my own gift business, designing and selling my own products!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I wanted an online platform for my new business venture and Etsy seemed like the perfect place to set up an online shop without needing any e-commerce knowledge or the funds to hire an expert. The community on Etsy is brilliant and my first impression as a buyer was that it was a really friendly and fun place and that the people behind Etsy really supported the independent artist. I love what Etsy stands for and I can always find the most amazing and unique items for sale - who wouldn't want to be a part of that? :)

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

I was very lucky to sign up as RUBYrecycled just days before "Etsy Day" in 2009. Etsy Day was a brilliant day where everyone promoted Etsy and the handmade movement. I got pounced on as a shop "waiting for my first sale", and my lovely first customers showed their purchases in the Etsy Forums as part of an Etsy Day Pounce thread. It wasn't until a few month's later, in Autumn 2009, when my sales started becoming more regular and I decided to start a business from it, rather than just a hobby. I signed up for the Prince's Trust Business Programme in October 2009 - a programme in the UK run by Prince Charles' charity for young people, designed to help under-30 year olds with starting their own business - and have not looked back since!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

I don't really watch much TV but never miss an episode of Bones or House - I would love to be a forensic anthropologist like Brennan if I didn't make greeting cards!

My favourite music to work to is my playlist of Matchbox Twenty albums and Rob Thomas' solo albums...I've warned Nick that next time they tour England, we're going to see them! I've been listening to their albums over and over for years...I remember attending my Art exams at school with Matchbox Twenty in my Discman! Muse is another old favourite, and I currently love Florence and the Machine and Bat For Lashes. Vanessa Paradis is another favourite - I saw her in Paris a few years ago which was an amazing experience and I love to listen to her music, despite not knowing a word of French!

Favourite foods include pasta, pizza and lots of cake! I also love Flumps! Flumps, for those who don't know (you're missing out!!) are lovely, soft, yummy twists of marshmallow sold here in England...My Mum, knowing how much I love them, wrapped some in giftwrap for my birthday last year - it was brilliant!

-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 be able to make my own clothes! There are some amazing sellers on Etsy who make handmade dresses, bags and screenprinted t-shirts and I'm so jealous of their skills!

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

Create a recognisable brand - there are a few sellers than spring to mind straight away who have done this really well. Every time I see something, even a tiny thumbnail in the Etsy search, I can instantly recognise it as theirs and they've become a shop that sticks in my mind - If I'm ever looking for gifts or something for myself on Etsy, it's these sellers that I check out first. They've got such a strong brand identity that they instantly pop into my head before I even begin searching and they're usually the ones that get chosen for the Etsy Front Page, Storque articles and featured in many treasuries too.

I'd also suggest taking advantage of the amazing community that we have on Etsy! When I first started Ruby Wren Designs, I attended a course about starting a business and will always remember being told what a lonely experience it is - they obviously weren't a part of the Etsy community! I've become friends with some truely brilliant artists and Etsy sellers, who have all come together on Twitter and are always available to offer opinions, retweets and news. I'd say the community of Etsians on Twitter is an invaluable thing to be a part of - everyone is willing to help each other out and I've even made it to the Front Page of Etsy as part of my Twitter-friend's treasuries!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Wall Envy Art (www.etsy.com/shop/wallenvyart) is run by my best, best, best Etsy friend, Louise. She sells gorgeous illustrations and vintage book pages framed as artwork, and we've even collaborated on some framed greeting card art too! We live in the same small town and even went to the same school (although a few years apart) but met each other through Etsy, so it's quite an amazing story of coincidences! It's lovely to have someone to talk to about new ideas, plan craft fair attendances and have tea/cake/etsy nights with! It's also brilliant to have a friend who knows exactly what 'a treasury', 'the storque' and 'the etsy labs' are without explaination! :)

Edwina.Simone (www.etsy.com/shop/edwinasimone) is a lovely lady with some seriously funky products! Edwina.Simone is quite new to Etsy but she's someone I've known for a while through our little handmade gathering on Twitter. I love her cushions, made with fabric printed from her own drawings, and the plates she illustrates are so fun! Her blog is brilliant too, with lots of crafty and pet-related updates!

PrinceDesignUK (www.etsy.com/shop/PrinceDesignUK) was where I bought one of my first Etsy purchases, a Birthday gift for my Mum a few years ago! Everything in her shop is so bright and cheery, and I think she's a perfect example of brilliant branding on Etsy! I love her Poppy Bowls!

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is ______.

I hope to have reached 500 sold items in a year from now but I'm really proud of what Ruby Wren Designs has achieved so far :)

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