Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#152 unofficial etsy featured seller - pillowhappy

#152 unofficial etsy featured seller - pillowhappy
Date joined etsy -2/12/08
Sales to date - 888
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

my name is shellie jernigan and i live in wilmington nc. i have 4 kids ages 22, 20, 9 and 7 (last one's a girl!), and 2 dogs, brandy and wilson. and a cute and fun husband.

my favorite ice cream is peanut butter and chocolate.

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

let's see. a normal day is waking up early (and i'm not a morning person), and getting the young kids off to the school bus. then, i usually go back to bed. i love sleep, and comfort. probably why i was drawn toward creating pillow designs!
then, i have coffee, check emails, and convos. i stay at home with the kids, so i try to do anything that involves driving around town while the kids are in school. i mix in mom stuff like grocery shopping and cleaning with fabric shopping and sewing.
i will sew a couple of hours, and package as well while helping a little bit with kids' homework. then, before i know it, it's dinner time, and usually i'm doing a little bit of sewing in the evening when the kids go to bed. i create when the spirit moves. i stop my normal orders and create a piece. it's important for me to create new things and keep my shop fresh, and my soul happy!

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

i took piano lessons beginning when i was 5. i loved music and crafts. at school, i took the art projects very seriously. i loved art. i also was the "bossy director" in many neighborhood productions. we'd make up a variety show, and bring all the parents into a garage to watch. i also loved creating haunted houses in our basement and stuff like that. when i got a little older, i sang a lot, and faked my way into auditions for dancing. i actually made it further than i thought! i never took dance, but always loved dancing too. my sister was the artist....she went to college for drawing and painting. i thought i'd be a business person of some sort and never really thought of myself as creative.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

my sister in law and i were talking on the phone. she mentioned etsy and we started looking at the site for gifts, etc....we both decided we wanted to "make something". she is an excellent photographer and well, the only thing i was doing at the time was sewing slipcovers for my couches and old chairs. i was going crazy doing that. i thought to myself, "i want to make something!!" and so i started by looking for cool textiles and fabrics and turning them into pillows.

after a bit, i began dreaming about pillow designs. i loved creating new pillows , and each pillow was a canvas for me to create "pillow art". it's been quite a pleasant surprise that i enjoyed this so much, and that people were enjoying my pillows!

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

i think it was 60 days! and how exciting that first sale is! i still remember it! someone bought my little dandelion messenger bag i made. i couldn't believe it!

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

i love avocados, guacamole, salsa, cilantro and tortilla chips. i also love popcorn, and i'm kind of a popcorn snob. i make it myself in a special popper. every night pretty much!

tv shows: arrested development, the office, 30 rock, hoarders, intervention, and "I made it out alive".

bands: i like a lot of different music. lately, coyote grace, tracy chapman, and now i love pandora. it opens me up to more of music i love.

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

i play the guitar a little bit and write my own music, but i've also wanted to always learn the banjo and the harp.

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

relist every day which keeps your shop fresh when people are looking for your type of items.

be true to your style and let it evolve and grow. don't try too hard to do what you "think" you should do. be inspired, and see what happens. don't be too desperate to make etsy work. just focus on creating something lovely, and doing your best with your customers. i love my customers.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

sawgrasscandles.etsy.com

sherylsprattdesigns.etsy.com

thebeeskneesdesigns.etsy.com

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

i don't have a number. (it makes me feel pressure) plus, i'm not a great numbers person. but i do hope to have more customers that are thoroughly pillowhappy!


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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, June 29, 2010

#151 unofficial etsy featured seller - bunnywithatoolbelt

#151 unofficial etsy featured seller - bunnywithatoolbelt
Date joined etsy -7/1/07
Sales to date - 515
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I live in Portland, Oregon with my sweetheart and our sportalicious dog Weegee. My very favorite ice cream is vanilla, but I'm mad about fruit sorbets too.

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

I usually wake up and spend a few hours taking care of stuff on the computer while I have my coffee and get the day started. This mostly means catching up on email or designs for custom orders. Sometimes it also includes listing new items or renewing expired ones, or writing a blog entry. Quite often it also includes reading the New York Times online, checking in on Facebook, and seeing what made the Etsy homepage. I figure out what my priorities are for the day during this time and set some goals. At some point in mid-late morning, I go out to my studio, which is a separate building in my backyard. I work until around dinner time and then hang out with my little family.

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

Much like my current life, I *always* had a project or two going on when I was younger. I was really into collage, which evolved into doing graphic design layout by hand and xeroxing stationery, postcards, etc which I sold to my friends. (this was in the early 80's before anyone could do this stuff on the computer!) I had an annual tradition of making an elaborate collage and obscure trivia calendar between the ages of 14 and finally retired the project a few years ago when I was 39. I called it the Wonder of the Age Calendar and printed around 100 of them every year which I gave as presents and sold a few too--it evolved into a huge labor of love that took me over a week to create and I miss it sometimes (took care of a lot of my holiday gift giving needs!)
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

About 4 years ago, my employee was selling her work there so I started looking at it. I didn't think it was right for me at first--at the time I was making my living with a wholesale greeting card business and a sales rep handled all sales and promotion of that work. The Bunny with a Toolbelt stuff was more of an occasional side project for me and I only sold through galleries or museum shops for my one of a kind work. But I also was feeling like I wanted to transition out of that card business and so I slowly figured out how to make Etsy work for me. I have been a self-employed artist for over 20 years and although I used to do my own promotion by mail when I started out, it had been about a decade since I had to do my own promotion and so much changed. Although I was an early adopter of using the internet for self-promotion, it took the general public a long time to feel comfortable spending money online.

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

Hmmm.....I don't remember, but it definitely wasn't right away. But like I said before, I had a learning curve to contend with--now it seems so duhhhh obvious, but I had the most horrible pictures of my work up there at first. I didn't understand how to use the five images to really show my work off, and my product descriptions weren't very compelling either. I kind of limped along and very slowly my sales have steadily increased.

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

foods: all kinds of sushi, fresh Dungeness crab in the winter, a gin martini with a twist on Friday nights, and my family's recipes for Chinese Chicken salad and gazpacho which I make annually.

tv shows: Six Feet Under, Southpark, Project Runway, Daily Show, Dexter

music: Elvis Costello, M.I.A., Ella Fitzgerald, Modest Mouse, Michael Jackson's early stuff

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

I would really love to study ikebana some day--it's a Japanese method of flower arranging. I took a single class once, but it's a fascinating practice that takes years to really learn.

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

I think it's incredibly helpful to have a blog. I mostly use mine to show my new or custom designs and I don't get too chatty there, but it allows me to tag items and I believe search engines find me as a result. I know it could be better if I had more diverse content like interviews or promoting other work I like, which I do on occasion, but really I mostly do it to showcase work in a way that increases my chances of being discovered.

I would also say that one of the big things that helped me get noticed on Etsy was an article I pitched and then was allowed to write for their handmade weddings section.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?


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

1000 I guess--although this really depends--sometimes I get larger commissions which makes less "sold items" for equal time/income. I just want to keep making new and exciting things that make people smile!

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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, June 28, 2010

#150 unofficial etsy featured seller - PearsonMaron

#150 unofficial etsy featured seller - PearsonMaron
Date joined etsy -3/28/07
Sales to date - 1748-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

A: My name is Adam Maron. I live in Southern California. I have a daughter. We both
enjoy ice cream however I like my ice cream in a cup while she likes the kind you have to push through a tube. My favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, pistachio, and butter pecan.

Q: I’m Quincy person. I am married to Adam and have a lovely daughter with him. I don’t really care for ice cream. (I might be convinced to eat a bit of green tea ice cream once in a while if pressured) I also have two slightly annoying yet lovable cats.

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

Q: Our daughter usually wakes us up sometime after sunrise .

We make breakfast and if it is a day she goes to pre-school Adam will take her and I will work in our office either making things or doing computer work.

I like to listen to music, podcasts and watch bad television on my computer while I work. Surprisingly my computer keyboard still functions even though it has had glaze spilled on it and is covered in ceramic dust.

When Adam is back from the school drop-off he heads into our studio which is a master bedroom that has been converted into an absolute mess of art supplies.

When our daughter is home we take turns playing with her while the other one of us works. One of us is usually working until about 9 or 10pm and if we can we fit in a video or reading before bed.

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

A: I was always creative however I didn't realize I was an artist until I was around 18 or 19. My parents bent over backwards not to stifle our creativity, to the point of allowing my sister and I to write and draw on the walls of their home. I started out drawing and then as a teenager I developed an interest in cell animation and began doing illustrative paintings on cells with cell vinyl. A year or two after that I took a local ceramics class and was amazed with the medium, and immediately started creating ceramic sculpture.

Q: Have always been creative. I did loads of painting and paper doll making as a kid. I was also quite fond of making things out of colored pipe cleaners.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

We feel a bit dumb for waiting so long. We discovered Etsy about a year prior to signing up. Seeing all the amazing artists on etsy is really inspiring.

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

About a month.

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

Q:
Aloo Palak
Garlic Nan
Vegetarian Sushi
Pad See Ew
Nachos

Mad Men
Lost
Six Feet Under
30 Rock
The Office

Wizz Jones
Sibylle Baier
Bob Dylan
Nico
Leonard Cohen

A:
Pizza, hard salami, olives of any kind, guacamole, ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lost, The Office (both British and American), Seinfeld,
and Celebrity Hoarders (is that a show?)

Elliott Smith
The White Stripes
Black flag
Slayer
Nick Drake

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

A: Yes. I am interested in soap making, jewelry making, and the art of
stained glass, and clay animation.

Q: Yes yes yes. All of it. I know how to bake, have tried wood working and used to play an instrument but I’d love to try more things. I’m thinking about starting with sewing. Adam can sew so I might force him to teach me. I figure if I’m going to be wearing ugly clothes with cat hair on them they might as well be handmade.

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

I think keeping your shop active is important. List new things as much as possible. Find blogs that might make a good fit to showcase your items and submit to them or advertise with them.

Be kind, honest, and original.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Q:
JustinDurand http://www.etsy.com/shop/justindurand
Domestikate http://www.etsy.com/shop/domestikate
Tugboatprintshop http://www.etsy.com/shop/tugboatprintshop

A:
Badhairmountain http://www.etsy.com/shop/badhairmountain
Mattdpictures http://www.etsy.com/shop/mattdpictures
OwlyShadowpuppets http://www.etsy.com/shop/owlyshadowpuppets


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

Q:
Is it bad luck to answer that question? I don’t want to place hopes on a number. We just want to do better each year. Being an artist, every month is a struggle to make ends meet. I guess our hope is not to struggle so hard; to make enough of a living to not worry about providing for our family. I think that’s sort of the universal desire of most people. We just want to make a living making things that we love.

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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, June 27, 2010

#149 unofficial etsy featured seller - herbolution

#149 unofficial etsy featured seller - herbolution
Date joined etsy -7/6/09
Sales to date - 908
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

We are Sasha and Veronika living in NJ. We have no pet but we have many herbs :). We love nature, spend time outside in parks and forests and we enjoy growing our food and other plants.

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

There is no “avarage day” in our life – all days are special, beneficial and educational. If we are not walking in forest or exercising, we are reading books and magazines; if not reading, we are creating new products formulas and inventing new beneficial natural skin care and eco-goodies for home; if not creating, we are discussing global problems and how to fix them in one day :); if not talking, we are enjoying freshly squeezed juice or green smoothie or salad from our garden; if not eating, we are taking care of our customer's orders.

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

Veronika's both parents are professional artists so she has no choice but to be creative, and Sasha is amazing Veronika how he is able to create his ideas of efficient business running, eco-frienedly everyday household solutions, healthy lifestyle changes and ability acting busy doing nothing :)

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Desire to create, to deliver power of herbs, to offer environmentally conscious alternative, to run a store where you can shop with no fear or suspicions, and finally a desire to have an Etsy account :), all led us to start selling on Etsy.

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

One week. And after that it just went crazy :)...

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

~We try to eat mostly raw, therefore our favorite foods are: green smoothie, fresh juice, strawberries&raspberries, raw almond scramble, raw sesame halva.
~We do not have TV set, so nothing to watch (we try to stay away from fear, negativity, disappointments and noneducational entertainment).
~ Music: Enigma, Era, Delerium, Mythos, Deep Forest etc.

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
Sasha would like to do Aikido, and Veronika would like and will very soon try natural organic soap making :) (oh, and also Sasha dreams to build a shop for Herbolution from natural cob, which should be happening in near future)

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

Be confident in what you make, don't cheat and be honest with you customers as with yourself. Also give customer service as good as you never received yourself.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
LoveForEarth (Reusable Produce BAGS and everyday napkins), EcoChicHandKnits (organic hand knits for personal and home use)

-One year from now, we hope our number of sold items is ...

We hope to have 2000 new customers that switched from conventional products to natural and organic herbal alternatives. The number of sold items doesn't drive us as much as number of conscious customers.
If you want to be one of those conscious customers – here's a chance for you to get 15% discount if you mention this interview at checkout and we'll refund you the discount.

Check out Herbolution's sites:
Website: http://www.herbolution.com
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/Herbolution
Blog: http://herbolution.blogspot.com/


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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, June 26, 2010

#148 unofficial etsy featured seller - mujoyas

#148 unofficial etsy featured seller - mujoyas
Date joined etsy -3/5/08
Sales to date - 302
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi, my name is Muriel, I’m 24 years old, student of Industrial Design and Metalsmith for the last 6 years. I live in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, in Argentina.
I love chocolate, so chocolate ice cream would be great! I also like to travel, share a “mate” with friends, go to the cinema, to art exhibitions, and a lot of more…

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

Well, days I have to go to university I get up early, travel one and a half hour to get there, the class last four hours, and then I return home. (Luckily I don’t have to travel anymore for the day :) When I come back, the first thing I do is turn on my computer, and check all… mails, Etsy, Flickr, Facebook, etc. Then I have lunch, and I’m ready to go to my studio to work.
Days I don’t have to go to university I spend almost all day at my studio working and the rest of it, studying and making models.

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

I always had an interest in art and craftwork. I remember, when I was a child, I wanted to be an inventor when I grow up.
As a teenager I started by my own to work with german silver wire, and then I decided to learn how to work with metal in a more professionally way.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Well, I first found the website (I don’t remember exactly how, searching in google I think…) and I instantly loved it. I thought it was a perfect place to sell my products because of the emphasis Etsy makes on handmade products. Also, I saw a great opportunity to sell worldwide, a very exciting a new experience to me!
And the most attractive thing… working at my workshop and selling through internet at the same time at home, that’s a pleasure. :)

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

I think one or two days, I was very lucky… my first buyer was an argentinean girl who also has an Etsy shop, munieca (www.munieca.etsy.com) Don’t miss the opportunity to visit her beautiful shop of art , paper jewelry & paper crafts.

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

Top 5 favorite foods: I have a sweet tooth, so… chocolate, cakes, brownies… I also like all kind of seafood .
Bands: Radiohead, Catupecu Machu (is a local band), Rammstein, Bjork, Metallica, just to post a few.
-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 how to make pottery and sewing, but in a couple of years, I have to graduate first ;).

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

I don’t know if I’m the best seller to say this but from my experience I think great photos are essential, a great description of your products and conditions, variety of products, and a lot of promotion! Promote your products everywhere you can, show everyone your work, your latest activity and your workshop.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Agustina Fernandez Orfebre www.aforfebre.etsy.com
2212 jewelry www.2212jewelry.etsy.com
Paola Zakimi www.holli.etsy.com

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

600



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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, June 25, 2010

#147 unofficial etsy featured seller - SaritasJewelryBox

#147 unofficial etsy featured seller - SaritasJewelryBox
Date joined etsy -12/30/08
Sales to date - 427Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Sarita Jefferson. I live in Boston, MA with my boyfriend, my cat Dustball, and my dog Pugin. I've lived in the Boston area most of my life. My favorite ice cream is chocolate with brownie chunks in it. with sprinkles on top :)

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

I work full time as an English as a Second Language teacher and student counselor. I teach basic English to adults from all over the world. It is very rewarding because some students enter the class not being able to speak and understand English at all. It is exciting to see their continuous improvement. After work, I enjoy different hobbies like gardening, biking, and going for a walk with my dog. In the evenings and on weekends, I usually work on my jewelry creations. I make new jewelry for orders that have just come in, and I am also in the process of photographing more jewelry to add to my etsy store.

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

Yes, growing up I loved drawing, painting and pottery. I took art classes from elementary school through college. I started making jewelry five years ago and that is now my main focus. Although occasionally, when I find the time, I love to draw.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

A friend of mine, who is an artist in Boston suggested it to me. Before etsy, I was selling in a few boutiques in the Boston area.

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

I got my first sale in about 10 minutes! It was very exciting. My second sale, however, took about two months :)

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

Top 5 favorite foods- Bean and cheese burritos, anything chocolate, Grape Nuts, blueberries and raviolis

Top 5 tv shows- Nurse Jackie, Curb your Enthusiasm, The Office, 30 Rock, and South Park. Anything that makes me laugh, I guess!

Top 5 bands- Manu Chao, Spearhead, Vampire Weekend, The National, and of course Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!

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

Yes, I would love to get better at knitting. I got the book "Knitting for Dummies" one Christmas and learned how to knit a scarf. I have made a few scarves, but have never learned to make anything else. It would be great to make a hat and mittens to go with them!

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

My advice to new etsy sellers is to try different strategies to promote their shops and see what works best. These are a few things that have worked for me.

Make sure your pictures are great! This is your best way to make it into a Treasury, and possibly have your artwork be featured on the front page of etsy.

Relist items throughout the day, a couple at a time. If I stay up late, I list items late at night. I get more views per item listed and more international sales this way!

Try out an etsy showcase a couple times. I have had varying luck with these but on average sell 1 - 3 pieces of jewelry when I do showcases. If it doesn't work, then try advertising on a different website, like craftcult.com, or try facebook and twitter.

I also include 20% off coupons to my customers when I ship out their orders. This provides them incentive to come back to my shop again.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/pachamamanativeart Pachamamanativeart is run by my friend Pedro, who just opened his etsy store. More amazingly beautiful artwork will be added to his store soon!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmallEarthVintage There are lots of cool vintage items in this shop.

and also

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShawnDuBois This shop has some fun and unique mosaics.

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

1000.

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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, June 24, 2010

#146 unofficial etsy featured seller - chicalookate

#146 unofficial etsy featured seller - chicalookate
Date joined etsy -1/9/06
Sales to date - 891

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

Kate Kehoe. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my cat Moose. My favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip. Diet Coke makes my world go round. When not being crafty I am a book fiend and love movies (I spent many years working at an independent video store) I am very lucky to have friends and family that are supportive of what I do. Except for Moose… he just doesn’t carry his weight.

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

I have a full time job at a University Library so a big chunk of my time is spent dealing with magazines an journals. I get home around 4:30 and can start my creative day then. Each day varies a bit depending on what I need to do. I may spend the evening cutting album covers for notebooks, matting photos or making coasters. A lot of what I do feels a bit like a little production line so I try and let myself have regular “creative dates” where I just let myself have fun. I also have a great group of people around me who like to get together for craft nights which is always good for a burst of new energy.

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

I was fairly creative growing up. I do remember making bookmarks out of scrap paper for the school library. And making candles with my dad and doing hook rugs. (I used to love the rug catalogs… and imagined making one of the huge oriental style rugs!) My grandma tried to teach me to knit. I managed to get a few squares of an afghan done, but then lost interest. She also taught me a little basket weaving. I still have one we made together.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was looking to start a website of my own, but felt a little overwhelmed by the options. At the same time I was looking for a crafty tutorial and stumbled upon Etsy while doing a google search. I loved the feel of the site… which in January 2006 was much different from what it is today.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?

My first sale was in 5 days to someone I knew. The first non friend sale came on day 8.

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

Foods… cheese, diet coke, bread, homemade chocolate chip cookies, black bean burrito
t.v. shows… I haven’t had t.v. in years, but I do love Buffy and Glee
(Movies are easier… Amelie, Real Genius, Independence Day, Clue, Thin Man)
Music… Lanterna, Tori Amos, Depeche Mode, Iron and Wine, Frank Sinatra

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?

Might be easier to ask what I wouldn’t like to try my hand at. Here are a few of the ones that are ranking pretty high these days. I would love to learn bookmaking. (There is a great paper store called Hollanders in my town that offers classes so it is on my list) Sewing is another thing on my list. I have no drawing talent, but I would love to try taking a beginner art class.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Be selective… if you spend too much time promoting you won’t have time to create. I use facebook and a blog. Occasionally twitter. But I have found that sometimes it is better to talk about my creative process, things that are catching my attention or other artists I like rather than just promoting my shop. Sister Diane over at CraftPod has some great podcasts about promoting your shop without getting annoying to the people who follow you.
I also do a lot of shows and talk up my shop there. I do a weekly art market here in Ann Arbor. And I have organized several shows for the Etsy street team I help run (Go MICE!) I would recommend people find some local shows to participate in. It is a great way to get feedback on your items which can help you decide what to list.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Oh this is rough! But right now I especially love
http://www.etsy.com/shop/britsketch
http://www.etsy.com/shop/madewithlovebyhannah
http://www.etsy.com/shop/DuttonArt

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

1300.

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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, June 23, 2010

#145 unofficial etsy featured seller - cupkozy

#145 unofficial etsy featured seller - cupkozy
Date joined etsy -12/31/07
Sales to date - 1315
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi there! My name is Dinah and I currently reside in Los Angeles - The San Fernando Valley (to be exact) where the term "valley girl" was coined! I share the digs with my beloved and my pet turtle, "Myrtle". Our pad is also home to the CupKozy factory. There is a lot of creativity flowing around here since my boyfriend's recording studio shares a space with CupKozy. Needless to say, things can get a little crazy in there but music + sewing make a pretty great combo! Fave ice cream flavor? Peanut butter Chocolate - yummm

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

First thing's first - breakfast! I follow that by changing into "work clothes" because I tend to be a lot less productive in my PJ's. I check email and TRY to do as little internet-related stuff as I can because I can easily kill an entire morning Facebooking and Tweeting! I do most of my sewing during the afternoon hours while listening to my favorite Pandora station. Depending on how busy my shop is, I crank out orders until around 2 pm., then I'm off to my 2nd home - the post office!

Evenings when I'm not sewing I'll usually catch-up on the numerous blogs I follow, maybe ride my bike through the neighborhood or cook up some trouble in the kitchen. I love tricking and impressing my meat-eating boyfriend with all of the tasty vegetarian substitutes I can come up with - muhuhahaaa! I like to wind things down late at night with a netflix or a good book.

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

The first crafty project that I remember being really proud of was one of those 1980's stained glass window charm kits that you baked in the oven. I'm afraid to think of how many chemicals I inhaled when I opened that oven door! Another form of creativity I enjoyed as a kid was dancing. My cousins and I used to choreograph routines to Prince or Madonna songs and perform them in front of our parents. We'd often employ one of our younger cousins to flip the light switch repeatedly, in an attempt to achieve a strobe-light effect. This often resulted in several burned-out light bulbs - sorry mom & dad!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was laid off from one of my previous corporate jobs just weeks after I had come-up with the idea for CupKozy, so it seemed natural to give Etsy a try. It didn't hurt that my boyfriend bought me my first REAL sewing machine right around that time, so things just seemed to fall into place. Honestly, Etsy is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and it continues to treat me well. Thanks Etsy!

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

3 whole days - not very long. I had been hyping-up my Etsy shop to all of my friends & family ahead of time, so they were ready to support CupKozy from the start. My friends and family continue to be my cheerleaders and it has really meant the world to me. I appreciate them so much for helping me stay motivated during those times when I'm feeling really burned-out!

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

Foods:
Cheese - I love cheese. Any color, any texture and any level of foot-like stinkiness.
Thai Food - I love the fresh flavors in Thai food. Lime, ginger, peanuts, cilantro, coconut, etc.
Matzo Ball Soup - Simply put, comfort in a cup.
Chocolate - Is this considered a food?
Mexican food - I was raised on this stuff!

TV:
TrueBlood
Cheaters
Good Eats
Twilight Zone
Glee!

Bands:
Depeche Mode
Chromeo
The Cure
PULP
Freezepop

-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 try pottery. My sister took me to visit her pottery class where she made an impressive collection of dishware a few years ago and ever since then I've been wanting to give the pottery wheel a whirl! I would also love to learn as many instruments as humanly possible. One can dream.

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

Try to come come up with an "Elevator Pitch" for your shop. An "Elevator Pitch" is a concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced description about your product that anybody can understand in the time it would take to ride up an elevator. I can't tell you how often I have to use this. I'm pretty shy about tooting the CupKozy horn, so this comes in handy because it's a quick way for me to promote my products without giving my shyness any time to rear its ugly head. Go away shyness, I'm too busy reciting my pitch!

Twitter used to be my favorite promotion tool but now it's Facebook. Twitter is so saturated that it moves way too fast for anybody to ever see your tweets. Make a facebook page for your shop because It's more interactive than twitter. It's a place where your customers can actually communicate with you AND each other. It's just a lot more personal than other social networking sites, which I like.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

-I love giving Crankbunny's beautiful greeting cards!

-Boojiboo makes gorgeous vintage-inspired aprons. I bought one as a gift and it was even more amazing in person.

-RiseAboveGraphics is the best darn screen printer and she has made all of our limited edition CupKozy prints a possibility!

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


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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, June 21, 2010

#144 unofficial etsy featured seller - pinkcherrymama

#144 unofficial etsy featured seller - pinkcherrymama
Date joined etsy -6/5/08
Sales to date - 897
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

hello! my name is roberta montgomery. i live in a cute little town called gardnerville, nv. our home overlooks a historic ranch and we have unobstructed views of the mountains and valley…we are blessed! we are about 30 minutes from lake tahoe, where i lived most of my life until we moved to this valley 6 years ago. i have 4 kids { 3 biological, 1 step..all beautiful!} 3 girls, aged 15, almost 16 and 17 today! 1 boy, age 4….and we thought we couldn't have any more children! our home is filled with kids all the time, 2 dogs, and we have a school of koi in our pond as well…. my parents live with us as well. we are a big, happy, loud family! i love cake batter ice cream with brownies in it ,or, i will settle for vanilla bean with mini chocolate chips :) i love flowers; peony, sweet pea, hydrangea, oh lets be realistic. is it even possible to choose a favorite!? i collect things…mostly by accident….vintage fans, vintage books, vintage buttons…vintage anything! for as long as i can remember, i have dreamed of traveling the world. in 1990, i had the chance to go to russia as a student ambassador at the age of 16. as of yet, that is the most notable travel i have done…but i plan to do much more…my family and i are big time ocean lovers and go to the beach as often as we can...just came back from santa cruz as a matter of fact!.

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

to be honest, my life is very chaotic…a sort of organized chaos, but chaotic just the same. the one thing i can count on being the same each day is my bed…i am one of those people who cannot start the day without making my bed…after that, my world is free to go on as it wishes :) from then on it is like a race all day long…but i wouldn't have it any other way. i make 6 sandwiches each morning; 4 for my hubs and one for the 2 girls { sadly, i only have my step-daughter here in the summers }. then it's off to check emails. the little guys usually sleeps in so i get him ready for the day and then start filling orders. since my parents live with us, almost every morning, the little guy goes on a "hike" with "crumpa" as he calls him. it is so great that they get to spend so much time together. by 3pm, i am scrambling to get to the post office to ship orders….and then, i try to re-group before i start dinner, etc. somewhere in there, i do manage to get laundry, dusting and other bothersome chores done as well! by the time 11pm comes around, i am ready to get in bed with a good book and usually fall asleep reading….

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

as a child, i was very creative. i am the one-and-only child of bob and rosie, so i had to be creative to keep myself busy. my dad is a dental technician and i spent many days in his lab along side him, making small objects from wax and other materials…we lived at the base of a mountain which was forestry land, so dad and i hiked and collected things all the time. i would later turn them into "decorative" items for the house. she saved them all….and still has some of them! i have always loved the mow meticulous, labor intensive projects, even as a child. my dad gave me an xacto knife when i was about 8ish to cut my paper dolls out with precision….i was hooked…paper, glue and glitter just came naturally. i was also very active in local theater and dance...it was my life!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

actually, what started me on easy, was my daughter's 16th birthday, last summer. she wanted a "mad hatter's tea party", like the rest of the world at the time, and i couldn't find things to use for it anywhere on the internet…at least anything that i liked. so, after spending months making everything from invitations to decorations, etc. for the party, my mother suggested i sell them on the internet. i had always loved easy, but never thought i would be able to sell anything…i was just a browser :)

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

it took 2 months for me to get my first sale…at the time, i was selling some quirky dr. suess items and crocheted hats. i also tried selling some of my other designs with no luck. i had 2 sales for about 8 months! i had sketched out a bunch of items that i had wanted to make for my daughters party, but never got around to and decided to try them out…about 2 weeks later, i got a sale and then Boho Magazine contacted me about being featured in their holiday issue…from then on, it was super-chaos! i have been swamped since november of 2009 and still going strong. i have had a few more magazine features, OK Australia, and some online exposure as well…i feel so blessed.

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

~steak, artichokes, shrimp, salad, chocolate…
~history channel, so you think you can dance, 19 kids and counting, pawn stars, wedding shows
~cold play, U2, the clash, jack johnson, trashcan sinatras…and many more…

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

bookmaking! for sure…stained glass, playing the stand-up bass, drums, i would really like to learn to sew clothing… millinery,

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

number 1 thing, LIST SOMETHING EVERYDAY! even if it is just one thing, it will get you exposure in the searches. after that, i really don't know…i have just been blessed i guess.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

OUMA {she made my daughter's prom dress, you can see it on my blog} TopsyTurvy, and silentgoddess {beautiful custom rings!}

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is.... 3000+.


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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, June 17, 2010

#143 unofficial etsy featured seller - urbanlegend

#143 unofficial etsy featured seller - urbanlegend
Date joined etsy -5/11/07
Sales to date - 355-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Kateri Morton. I'm a jewelry maker, office manager, reader and collector of many, many books, eater of cheese, drinker of wine, and a native Vermonter now living in Chicago. I'm single and have neither kids nor pets, but I enjoy a symbiotic relationship of mutual adoration with my best friend's toy poodle, Archy.

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

I have two types of average day. I work in a high school, so during the school year my average day starts with me getting up much earlier than I would like, taking a commuter train to the suburbs, and working as an office manager and general crisis ringmaster in the social work department. During the school year, evenings are my time to design jewelry, manage my business and try to find a balance for my personal life. I have to keep my time fairly structured, as I'm only able to do certain things - like taking product photographs - during daylight hours on the weekends.

I'm very fortunate to have summers off, so my second kind of average day is designed around my own schedule. In the summer months, I get up around 8, have coffee and check my email and blog reader, and then start in on my work list for the day. That could be working on stock for shows, designing new jewelry, communicating with customers, hunting for supplies, taking photographs and writing listings for shop updates, or managing wholesale work and promotion. I also get to spend a lot more time doing fun things in the summer - going to movies, taking trips, working out and seeing friends. I do all those things during the school year, too, but I keep to a much less rigid schedule during the summer (and maybe take a whole day off from time to time, just because I feel like it).

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

I grew up way out in the woods in Vermont, with several brothers and sisters, in a family that made lots of things. My mom taught me to bake and sew when I was very young (although I've never gotten the hang of knitting and crochet), my dad taught me the basics of carpentry. My maternal grandmother was a great needlework artist, and I picked up a lot of techniques from her. When I was in high school I decided I wanted to learn to quilt, so I took a short class and figured the rest out from there. I've always enjoyed making things, and I know a little bit about a lot of different arts, but making jewelry is the only thing I've ever done that comes out looking the way it does in my head. It's very satisfying.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I discovered Etsy through a wonderful food blog called Orangette (orangette.blogspot.com), when the author did a post on buying only handmade gifts for Christmas. I had recently completed a long-term freelance project and was looking for a hobby to fill some of my new-found free time. Making jewelry seemed like fun, so I bought some wire and pliers and started to play around and before long I was really enjoying myself. Etsy was very user-friendly and I was thrilled to have access to so much great work directly from gifted artists. I thought I'd open a shop and see what happened. Three and a half years later, I have two shops and a very satisfying small business. (Not as much free time, though...)

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

I have two shops on Etsy. My first shop is Leaves of Glass (leavesofglass.etsy.com), which I opened on January 11, 2007. I made my first sale 12 days later on January 23. It's still a thrill to me when anyone buys my work, but I'm especially grateful for that first sale, when my photographs were terrible and I had no idea what I was doing. My second shop is urban legend. I chose the name more than a year before I opened that shop, intending to use it for an entirely different line of work that I ended up abandoning. When I decided to open a second shop for my vintage Lucite designs, I found that the name was still active and I went ahead with it. My first sale in that shop was the day I opened and listed my first items.

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

I am forever a fan of pie, coffee, pickles and any kind of curry. Right now I'm really enjoying Indian food, and trying to learn to make several dishes.

All my favorite TV shows get canceled, so I hesitate to mention anything I like that's currently on. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Wonderfalls, The West Wing, The Big Bang Theory (please don't ever cancel it) and Mad Men (please don't ever, ever, ever cancel it). I like good writing and complex, extended character arcs.

Music is harder for me to narrow down to favorites than almost anything else. At the moment, I'm listening to The National, The Avett Brothers, and Jakob Dylan's new album pretty obsessively, and on my forever-playlist you'll find Nina Simone, Tom Waits, and Bjork.

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

I love any kind of fiber arts. I'm determined to learn to knit (I made my first cowl last winter. I finished it just in time for warm weather, and have never worn it.), and I love felted sculpture so I'd like to take some workshops some day to develop some of those skills. It's also a long-term goal to become fluent in another language - French, or maybe Japanese if I'm really ambitious.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

I'm still trying to find my way around good promotion, but I think the most important thing is to be able to talk about what you do. It took me a long time to be comfortable calling myself a jewelry designer and promoting my work, even to people who asked about it, but that's really the number one way that people become interested. The personal connection is what draws people to a place like Etsy. In an extension of this, if you're open to doing wholesale, check out local businesses that look like a good fit for your product and make contact with them.

I also can't overestimate the importance of business cards. Invest in a design that represents you well, get good quality cards, and always carry them with you. People can be fascinated, but if you don't give them a tangible way to remember you when they want to shop, it's all for naught. A good business card tells the story of who you are and helps to draw buyers in.

If you're comfortable with Facebook, that's also a great way to promote your business. I actually don't use it because their privacy policies make me crazy, but I know a large number of sellers who have great success with using a fanpage to promote their business.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

There are literally hundreds of shops I love, and many of my favorite sellers have become dear friends over the years, but I think I'll keep it in the strangers-to-me camp and say pinkcrowstudio, marysgranddaughter and artmind all do spectacularly inventive work that I deeply admire.

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

I abandoned the idea of setting sales goals some time ago. No matter how much you create and promote, no matter how well you monitor traffic trends, there is no way to plan for slump times or boom times. Even when I met or exceeded my sales goal, I never felt a sense of accomplishment about it because I know that after a certain point it's a matter of chance. I consider sales within a certain range to be a healthy rate for my shops, and I do work to maintain that healthy rate, but I no longer set specific number goals. I do make it a goal to increase my wholesale clientele, however, since I can actively pursue that. A year from now, I hope to have five more wholesale accounts than I currently have.

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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, June 14, 2010

#142 unofficial etsy featured seller - FeralWorks

#142 unofficial etsy featured seller - FeralWorks
Date joined etsy -7/8/07
Sales to date - 726
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Melissa Ebbe. I live in Milwaukee with my very supportive husband, Steven, and our two dogs, Hobbes and Josie.

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

I usually get up around 6am. I start off with my breakfast and answering emails, placing materials orders, printing receipts and any other computer-based aspects of my business. Around 9am-10am, I head over to my sewing studio. It’s in a really cool building with a mixture of tenants and other professionals, such as photographers, artists, writers, etc. My studio is a dog-free zone, so it’s where I keep all my fabric and sewing equipment. It’s also where I keep all my shipping materials and back-up stock.

I usually sew until about 4pm, and then pack up orders, and depending on what day it is, head over to the post office. After that, I head home, take the dogs for a long walk (one of the ways of maintaining my sanity) and eat dinner with my husband. Afterwards, it’s back to the computer to answer emails, and do any research that needs to be done for upcoming orders, sketching, etc.

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

I was pretty creative growing up. I took a lot of art classes, did a lot of drawing and sculpting. Both my parents have always been very supportive of my creative impulses. My dad was the first person who taught me to draw. My mom is a quilter, so I used to always watch her sew. Of course, I tried my hand at quilting and hated it, but I still learned a lot of techniques just from watching her.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy? How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?

I helped a friend with a booth at a craft fair. She told me about etsy, and after talking to a bunch of other artisans at the fair, I was convinced that it was something I had to look into. That night I made my store on etsy. It was actually quite a bit longer before I started listing my wares. Once I started listing things, I think it was about a week until I made my first sale.

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

Top 5 favorite foods: I have a sweet tooth… cake, cupcakes, pie and since I’m a Wisconsin girl, born and raised, cheese and beer.

TV shows- Usually when I work at my studio, I like to have tv shows playing in the background to keep me company. I don’t actually get tv reception in my studio, so I mostly watch shows on dvd. I’ve probably seen/listened to The Office, Seasons 1-5, about 30 times. At this point, I don’t even have to watch it anymore (which is great for working).

As far as tv shows that I actually watch and pay attention to: Project Runway (of course), Lost (I’m behind the rest of the world and only just finished Season 5), Dexter, True Blood

Bands: I mostly listen to NPR while I work, though I recently started listening to the collected works of David Sedaris. I’m not particularly dedicated to certain bands, but I like the White Stripes, the Flaming Lips, and the Pixies

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

A lot of the more complicated costumes I’ve been working on lately have required some amount of leather components. I would really like to learn leather-working, such as leather carving and wet-forming.

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

I really cater to a specific community, anime fans, sci-fi fans and video game fans, so I recommend getting involved in the communities where your customers are. I attend a number of anime and sci-fi conventions every year, which I love because I get to meet my customers. I rely mostly on word-of-mouth in order to generate new customers, and I try my best to make everyone happy and make a good impression.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

TattooAnnie, my friend who first got me involved in etsy
Larriva, a really amazing painter, who sells prints for very good prices
Cottonmonster, who just does fantastic work with recycled materials

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is over... 1,000


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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, June 13, 2010

#141 unofficial etsy featured seller - strandedtreasures

#141 unofficial etsy featured seller - strandedtreasures
Date joined etsy -8/26/06
Sales to date - 522-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Sharlene and I live in Stuart, Florida a quaint little town surrounded by the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. I was born and raised in NJ and after college moved to San Francisco where I met my husband. After a trip to Costa Rica we decided we wanted to live somewhere tropical and have been in Stuart now for 7 years. Our condo includes a rescue turtle (with her own pond) and a mini cat. (She never grew to be that big!) Both of us like to be very creative with our home with handmade furniture and wall d├ęcor. Basically, he builds it and then I decorate it.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".

I work constantly or I should rephrase that to “I can’t sit still”. But I have a method to the madness. I’m very organized and I set goals. There’s always a notepad on my desk with my “to do” list. I spend a few minutes each morning noting my tasks and those few minutes save me hours. It keeps me focused and I accomplish more. …I am usually inspired to create jewelry in the evenings. So I get up around 6am, package orders, take and edit photos, and prepare for listing new items. Then I take a look at my web stats and sometimes skim forums to see if there’s something new to learn. I also create marketing pieces for a company outside of my jewelry business so I keep very busy.

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

My earliest creative memories were making things with my two sisters. We were always told to go outside and play and we did until the sun went down. We would make acorn pipes, rock people, perfume from flowers, anything we could find in our backyard. My mother signed us up with ceramics when I was about 6 yrs old and during the summer she put us in an Arts ‘n Crafts day camp. She was always signing us up with something with the approach to at least try it and it really helped tap into interests that I might otherwise not have known were there.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was selling on ebay and when the monthly store fees increased along with my competition, I began looking into other venues. I heard about etsy and so I created an account but I let the shop sit empty the first year. I focused on wholesale and local shops. I learned a lot doing wholesale. I was on a juried site and expectations for professionalism was high so I learned to take better photos and take myself seriously as a business. Going to local shops, talking to retailers helps me grasp a better idea of busy season, buying time and following colors trends.

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

Once I started listing items, I got my first sale within a month. But I still had a long way to go with tweaking my shop. I was determined to get something going and didn’t want to get caught up preparing to prepare. I needed to focus on a collection and find what I enjoyed making the most. I was very scattered with designs and products. But it came together over time.

Top 5 favorite foods/tv shows/bands

Foods:
Grilled cheddar cheese sandwich with sliced tomato on sourdough bread
Fresh Italian 5-grain bread dipped in olive oil/herb mix
Potato wedges dipped in mustard/ketchup
Delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe I have with white drizzle frosting. MMmmm!
Tropical fruit smoothie

Top 5 favorite TV Shows
The Office
Seinfeld
Rescue Me
Rosanne

Top 5 favorite Bands
Nick Cave
At The Drive In
Sonic Youth
Pavement
The Wedding Present

-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?

Floral design. I’ve made a lot of arrangements around my house but maybe eventually open up more to that field.

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

Create new items often to keep your shop fresh. If you go to a store and the same clothes are there week after week, chances are you’ll stop going. Really good customer service, package presentation, and fast shipping . And of course, photos that reflect your product best. Don’t settle with a description noting “looks better in person”. I’ve spent countless hours re-doing photos and reading about photographing jewelry. Also, there are now so many online marketing options it can be overwhelming. I choose a few I can keep up with (blog, Ad words, Twitter) to help promote my official site and etsy store but mostly I list items very often. I have return customers and they will find something new each time they visit. It also allows me to keep focused at the creative table and less caught up at the computer.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I think these shops have such beautiful talented work:
AtelierKanawa - http://www.etsy.com/shop/AtelierKanawa
Margolampwork - http://www.etsy.com/shop/margolampwork
AmberSky - http://www.etsy.com/shop/AmberSky

-One year from now, I hope my number of sold reaches... 1,000.

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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, June 12, 2010

#140 unofficial etsy featured seller - feltmeupdesigns

#140 unofficial etsy featured seller - feltmeupdesigns
Date joined etsy -3/2/08
Sales to date - 502-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I live on the beautiful North Coast of England in Scarborough which is a pretty traditional seaside town. I live with my lovely boyfriend John who has been really supportive and very understanding about the huge amount of fleece which has taken over our 1 bed roomed flat!

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

I work in a book shop part time to pay the bills so on the days that I am not there I get up and make coffee around 8.30 and then check my emails, sales and convos. Depending on how many there are this can take from 1-3 hours! After that I wrap any orders and take them down to the post office and walk back along the sea front.

When I get home it all depends how I feel on what I do next, if I feel inspired I will do some drawing or sewing or get the gocco out and do some printing for my other store Inkmeup (http://www.inkmeup.etsy.com) if not I put a dvd on and sit down to felt. I tend to felt till about 4 or 5 pm and then have a break for a few hours when John gets home from work. We always try and make time to have dinner and spend a bit of time together, it can be really easy to neglect your partner when all you really want to do is create, but John is really understanding.

Around about 8pm I pick up my felting needles again and will felt thru to bed time which is usually around midnight. I can't really think of this time as working because I'm usually chatting and watching TV at the same time... I'm the kind of person who always needs to be doing something with my hands!

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

I loved everything when I was growing up, my dad trained as an architect and my mum is a craft worker too so there was always something creative going on in our house. I loved drawing best, especially with my dad's pens! He always had great fine liners and markers around.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

A friend MADE me! I was always to scared to approach shops and really didn't want to do craft fairs so etsy was a great place to start selling. At the time I was suffering with depression and had cut myself off from the world so etsy was a great way to start coming back into it without being too scary!

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

I honestly can't remember... I know it took a while. I started my first shop selling bags and pouches shaped like cupcakes, these were wet felted and time consuming to make. Maybe about 2 months before I got my first sale. That was in 2007, I opened the Felt Menagerie in 2008 as a break from the past, I wanted a new start and felt that rebranding myself was a good way to do this.

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

Foods... anything sweet! I love chocolate
TV shows... I watch loads because the box sets are good to put on when I felt! Criminal minds, Sex and the City and Supernatural are my faves tho.

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

Ceramics... I'd love to have a go at throwing a pot!

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

Twitter and facebook are a must, start building a fan base early. Also I think it's vital to have a blog, I am a bit of a delinquent blogger and only blog once a week but you need to start making as many connections as possible.

Etsy has changed a lot since I first started where it was enough just to list every day and renew items regularly, now you have to bring people to your shop. Don't forget to talk about etsy to everyone you know in the real world too it's easy to forget that things exist outside of your computer... I hand out business cards like candy! Use your family and friends to make connections, don't be shy about promoting your shop to people who you know because in most cases they will want you to succeed and spread the word to their friends.

Probably the best thing is to work on your product and grow a brand... good photography is key to getting views and hearts make sure your items speak for themselves, that your backgrounds aren't too cluttered and you items stand out. It really hurts my heart when I see a great product photographed on a kitchen worktop with flash... all you need is a nice big sheet of white card and a good light source and you have a photography studio!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/AliBaliJewellery a real inspiration and a good friend
http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitLane a needle felter that I really admire, I love her stories!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/thelittlereddoor thelittlereddoor I love her houses I have my own little villiage of them!

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

Hmm... 1000? I might have a meltdown if I make that many birds!

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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 :)