Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#201 unofficial etsy featured seller - dippylulu

#201 unofficial etsy featured seller - dippylulu
Date joined etsy- 8/22/07
Sales to date - 2422
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

People either call me Dippy or LuLu. It isn't anywhere near my real first name but I've been called those names for over 20 years so it's kinda stuck with me. I split my time between Vermont, London, and France. Yes, I am extremely lucky and tell myself that every day. I will eat almost anything once apart from foie gras.

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

In Vermont it's kicking back with Mr Dippy and making lists of things that need to be done that never get done. I also work on my shop and try to get those ideas that have been hanging around my head into production. In London it's commute to work doing the daily drone. In France it's arguing with French builders and getting nowhere fast with them.

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

I guess everyone answers this with a big astounding yes, don't they? I think most kids are creative but it's how they channel it. I was obsessed with logos and packaging from a very young age and would even collect cigarette boxes off the street because I thought they looked stylish. My mum didn't like me doing that for obvious reasons.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I was a buyer for a while and suddenly thought I may as well have a go. I didn't have any clue what I was going to sell. It just developed as I went along.

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

This is going to sound odd, but it was 20 minutes. I know. I couldn't believe it either. I was not prepared, had no clue what to do, and was giddy with how much silly money I was going to make. OK, so reality set in when it took 2 weeks for the next sale. ;)

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

I don't own a TV so that makes it difficult to keep up with the trash TV I like to follow. Thank gawd for the internets. Food could be the local Thai to beef pho to homemade moussaka to roast dinner made by Mr Dippy to frites from a trashy van on a side road in Lyon. I feel too old to name any bands. Way too old.

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

Mr Dippy attempted to teach me how to play the piano but when it came to using two hands I lost it. I have zero hand eye coordination. Soap making has always intrigued me as does any kind of B&B craft. I have an incredible sense of smell to make up for the 2 left hands.

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

Gosh, that's a hard one. I think it's extremely difficult to be new on Etsy these days. Of course have the best photos you can possible take (I'm STILL working on that) as they are your key promotion for the product. And just having something for sale that people want and at a price they will pay for it. Without that all the best promotion in the world will not sell your stuff.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I have way more than 3 but these are the first 3 that come to mind:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/bipolarbettygoods -- I desperately want to be as clever and funny
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtMind -- Super stylish
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lilarubyking -- Really gorgeous jewelry

-One year from now, I hope...

To be alive and healthy. I don't think I have the right to ask for anything more. :)

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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, August 30, 2010

#200 unofficial etsy featured seller - obsoleteworld

#200 unofficial etsy featured seller - obsoleteworld
Date joined etsy- 12/10/06
Sales to date - 1298-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Jeannie Paske, I am a self-taught artist with the exception of the one year I spent a lot of money that I didn’t have to go to art school. I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband and old Alaskan Malamute. I like the look of sunlight through leaves, open fields on windy days, stop-motion animated films and most recently, ping pong.

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

I spend my days moving from one activity to the next and then back again. Usually, I am working on anywhere from three to ten paintings at a time. I sketch, paint, stare at my laptop and package up prints. I frequent the post office and work a few days a week as a bookkeeper at a local pet supply store to help pay the bills. Other than creating art, I spend my time going for walks with my dog, gardening or catching up on a good book when I have the chance.

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

I was quite fortunate grow up in a creative family. I spent a lot of time drawing with my siblings as a child. I also spent a lot of time outdoors. Imagination was a valued gift from early on.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

A friend of my husband’s came for a visit and suggested that I start selling on Etsy in the winter of 2006. I had quit my full time job to pursue my art, relocated back to Portland and was looking for a place to showcase some of my work online other than my website. Etsy turned out to be a really wonderful thing.

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

I listed some prints around seven o’ clock one evening and had my first sale within an hour. Etsy was a little less crowded in those days and your listings stayed at the top of their categories for a bit longer, so people had more of a chance to find them. I was thrilled to have a sale so quickly.

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

Raspberries, coffee, cereal, grilled cheese and tomato soup.
I don’t have a lot of time for television, but Twilight Zone, Arrested Development, Northern Exposure, Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Muppets are some past favorites.
I have a difficult time narrowing bands down to just five as I spent a decade of my life working at a record store, but lately I like the Books, Owen Pallet, Penguin CafĂ© Orchestra, William Basinski and my husband’s music project, Eluvium.

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

Yes! All of the above as well as sculpture and filmmaking.

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

Social networking, art/craft fairs, a good blog and website.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Manymuses, Irenesuchocki and Sgstucky

-One year from now, I hope...

to have a book finished, a short film in the works and be doing some extensive traveling.
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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, August 27, 2010

#199 unofficial etsy featured seller - emmaklingbeil

#199 unofficial etsy featured seller - emmaklingbeil
Date joined etsy- 10/21/07
Sales to date - 582-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name's Emma Klingbeil, I live in a very quaint/(SMALL) mid-Wisconsin town with my boyfriend Chris and spotted cat, Poopy - don't ask, the name just stuck...her new official name (her nickname being "thunder bunny") is Poopy Pooperson, Attorney at Law where we imagine her wearing a smart navy blue pant suit. She brings a lot of entertainment into our small apartment. Ice cream - honestly I'm not a big fan...Chris is the ice-cream eater here.

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

Hmm...an average day. I've recently started getting up early - I used to have pretty late mornings, but found the day to go WAY too fast, so I added a little more discipline in my life to get things going...the early morning is amazing. The first thing I do is put music on, then check out etsy - see if anything happened in the evening hours. Then, go out and for a walk or run in the woods...sometimes take a spill or two thanks to the plethora of mud, then get ready for "work". For the most part, I consider myself a full-time artist; I do work part-time as a framer at a local shop after a stint of cake decorating, and go to school for traditional illustration online (academy of art university). I've got a new little art shop/studio with my mother, Sandra Klingbeil and sister Ivy Klingbeil. So all day we work on art and hopefully sell some. You can see our website that Ivy created at http://www.exvotostudio.net. After a hard day of creating, I usually have to go to the store since I apparently hate buying more that one meal at a time...go home, make dinner, drink some wine with Chris, check out etsy again and eventually go to bed.

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

All I know how to do is art...my mom always had paint and paper out for my sister and me, and my dad brought REAMS of old printer output paper home for us to tear through. My father's also a musician, so music and art were constant in the house. Another common past time activity was making robots out of boxes with my sister; we did a lot of "building".

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I think I first heard of etsy through my mom showing me an article in "the Home Companion" by Mary Engelbreit. It was a little blurb ad in the back, I checked it out and one day painted a quick little picture, posted it in my new etsy shop. It was pretty exciting - in the first 30 minutes after posting it sold! I new right away it was going to be a great venture.

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

food -
sandwiches!!
roasted peppers
anything pickled
hummus
curry

tv -
not a huge tv watcher...we never got one after the issue of needing the cable-box thing, but we do watch off the internet.
right now it's "penn and teller's bullsh*t"

music -
anything that Mike Patton's doing...everything Patton. can I stress that enough?
the National
Les Baxter's always enjoyable
the Knife
Mumford and Sons
Saul Williams
Kings of Leon
Al Green
Jane's Addiction
Dub Trio
throw in some Slick Rick
okay I'll stop.

-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 play SOME instrument...my dad's a stand-up bass player - and dabbles in pretty much everything else. My sister can also play guitar/piano well - I however have no talent with music. I'd like to try my hand at anything... Maybe some metal-work one of these days... I'm working in encaustic right now which is pretty neat.

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

Post things often...it's really easy to get lost in the vastness of etsy. I find if I renew things regularly, and post new work (I'm slacking lately) my work doesn't get too lost in the art category. Also getting involved with blogs have really helped get the word out...I'm working on Merchant Circle right now. Advertise your shop in other areas - magazines, get a mailing list started.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

poodlebreath
elsita
joncarling

-One year from now, I hope...

Jeez - the pressure! Have some more art shows in various areas...I'm quite happy where I'm at right now; if that continues, maybe with a bit more full-time work and independent selling, that'd be super fantastic. I'd love to be doing more free-lance illustration work...maybe have a studio with windows.


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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, August 26, 2010

#198 unofficial etsy featured seller - wrenwillow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

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

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kathiroussel
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Huismus
http://www.etsy.com/shop/melfitz

-One year from now, I hope...

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

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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, August 25, 2010

#197 unofficial etsy featured seller - originalsbylauren

#197 unofficial etsy featured seller - originalsbylauren
Date joined etsy- 5/1/08
Sales to date - 802
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Lauren Darby. I live in New Hartford , NY, which is right in the middle of the state, a short drive from the Adirondack Mountains. I have lived in this area most of my life.

I have been married to Tim for 31 years and have 2 children, Megan is 30 and works in politics, and Timmy is 28 and does IT work. Neither of them live in NY, they went where their jobs took them.

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

On weekdays I do all of my errands in the mornings. I try to be home by 12 or 1. If I have customers coming , I start scheduling at 2. I sew almost everyday, between my local customers and my etsy shops. Weekends we play it by ear, but sewing is usually in there somewhere.

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

My mother was a musician, she had a degree from a music conservatory. She taught piano out of our home when I was growing up. We all had to take piano lessons, I also took guitar, and my husband bought me a mandolin for Christmas this year. Music and art were a part of my childhood.

I started sewing in 6th grade. My mother's mother came from a family of 5 girls, and they all sewed. Her eldest sister was a seamstress for a bridal shop for 50 years, so I think I came by my love of sewing naturally. When I was little my mother used to sew outfits for herself when they had somewhere special to go, and she made matching dresses for my sister and me when we were little. By the time I was in high school, I was making a lot of my clothing, and I made both of my prom gowns.

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

When my daughter was little I started doing craft shows, and did them for a long time. I have a dressmaking and alterations business out of my home, and I found etsy just over 2 years ago. Etsy gives me an outlet for my creativity without having to go back to doing shows. I had my first sale about 2 or 3 weeks after I started listing items.

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

My favorite foods are Italian, it is hard to narrow it down. I love spinach lasagna, homemade pasta, pizza. I am also a big fan of cookies, and love to bake.

My favorite tv show is a little embarassing, Days of Our Lives, and I also love Project Runway, The Closer, Survivor.

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

I took classes at an art college so I know how to make jewelry, although I currently don't have access to a torch. I can knit a little. I can't draw or paint, and I always wished that I could, but no talent there. I am starting to get very interested in photography, and hope to find the time to explore that more. I would also love to try my hand at pottery.

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

If I were to give advise to a new etsy seller I would say you need to use quality materials, do the best work you can, and treat your customer like they are the most important, because they are. I always contact a buyer as soon as I become aware of a sale. I try to ship within 24 hours, and I always leave them feedback. Whether you buy a quilt from me or a $6 snack bag, you get the exact same service.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

My 3 favorite etsy shops is a tough one.
I would have to say WarmnFuzzies, Tiffany and I are great etsy friends and she does fantastic work.
Next I would have to choose DorothyDomingo because I love pottery and I have some of hers and it is very well done and original.
Last would be dottyral. When I was new, I found her on a list of mentors and dotty helped me out alot. On top of that, I have bought 3 of her emory pin cushions and they are great.

-One year from now, I hope...

A year from now I hope that I am doing more business on etsy. I just released my first 2 PDF patterns, one in my main shop for my vendor apron and one in my "Too" shop for a girl's twirl skirt. I am hoping to make more patterns and kits, along with continuing to sew.
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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, August 24, 2010

#196 unofficial etsy featured seller - DalenaVintage

#196 unofficial etsy featured seller - DalenaVintage
Date joined etsy- 2/11/08
Sales to date - 399
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hello world, I’m Leslie, owner of Dalena Vintage. I’m a Texas gal through and through but wanderlust tends to get the best of me every now and then. At the moment, I’m based out of Anacortes, a little town on Fidalgo Island in Northwestern Washington. When I’m not working in the shop, you might find me hiking in the woods, cooking up tasty treats or playing Auntie to my brother’s sweet Boxer, Cami.

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

My days really vary but pretty much always start with a cup of coffee and emails. I think I might be addicted to both. The day itself is filled with buying trips, wrapping up cute little parcels for customers, photographing and styling outfits for the shop and heaps of photo editing. Oh and then there are the ever glamorous trips to the post office, evenings spent ironing garments and hours uploading new listings! Honestly, I do anywhere from one to all of the above and more in a day.

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

Funny you ask! I’m actually just finished a blog post about a craft book I used to check out from the library several times a month growing up. It was filled with recipes and little craft projects that I was always trying out.
From a creative perspective, I went through a number of hobbies, too many to count really. I loved gardening, sketching flora and fauna, pressing flowers, making crystals, building nests, decorating and redecorating my room, you know the usual kiddo hobbies.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I actually started out selling one-of-a-kind dresses crafted from salvaged fabric. Spending so much time in the thrift stores searching for fabric, I was constantly finding pieces too beautiful to desconstruct. Often they were too big or small for myself but I couldn’t resist buying them anyway. Eventually, I had quite the collection and decided why not just put a few up on Etsy. One thing led to another and Dalena Vintage was born!

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

I was lucky enough to have my first sale within a few weeks of opening up shop without any advertising. In fact, I didn’t begin advertising until July 2009.

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

That’s a tough one, but here it goes…
Cheese enchiladas, avocados, breakfast tacos, massaman curry, maccaroni and cheese. I love rich, savory foods, can you tell!?
The Riches, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Curb Your Enthusiam and Parenthood
Wilco, Jim O’Rourke, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Yann Tiersen

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

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to start. I would love to be self sustainable by the time I die so needless to say I’ve got an ongoing list of things I’d love to learn. Right now, I’m trying to teach myself to play the diatonic accordion. It’s a bit of a challenge to say the least and I’m not that great! I’m also working on my baking skills and I’d like to learn to clog and screen print in the near future.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

It depends on your budget really. Starting out, it can be scary to invest in advertising but it’s also one of the most important things for a new business. That said, there are quite a few ways to promote your shop with a zero balance budget. Word of mouth is a great way to spread news about your new shop. I’ve gotten a bit lazy lately, but I used to find a way bring up my shop in almost all conversations with new people I meet.
This is pretty common practice, but creating a blog to compliment your shop can be benefitial. I started my blog, Dalena Vintage, as a way to talk about vintage inspiration and give sneak peaks of new items. Through the past year though, it’s really evolved and taken on a more personal aspect. I’ve met tons of interesting gals following a similar path and it’s turned out to be rewarding in its own right.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Oh my, just three? Adelaide Homesewn for authentic vintage , Yarn Over Movement for hand-knit loveliness and Little Houses for some of my favorite hand-crafted jackets.

-One year from now, I hope...

To have my own studio! I would love to have a space for indoor photography, private fittings for local gals and general fun having. My dream would be to get to a point where I can hire a couple of other folks to help out with photo shoots , buying and clerical work. How dreamy would that be?


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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, August 23, 2010

#195 unofficial etsy featured seller - gamiworks

#195 unofficial etsy featured seller - gamiworks
Date joined etsy- 6/14/07
Sales to date - 5826
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Erin Sansoucy (aka The GamiGirl) of GamiWorks – chiyogami gifts & accessories. I live in Houston, TX with my fabulously funny husband and our 2 dogs, Lucy & Peanut. My favorite ice cream treats are those little chocolate coated Dibs – Yummy goodness and dangerously addictive.

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

I have my schedule down to a science and I love that I’m the one who designs it. Wake up whenever I feel like it, but usually around 8:30 am. Check emails, convos and the items that sold while I dreamt. Then it’s on to finishing up individual Etsy orders and packaging them all pretty to get them off to shipping. I do tons of International business, so I’m usually at the Post Office 3 times a week. After that, it’s lunch, usually some sort of toasted sandwich & Cheez-It’s. Then nap time. I like to work in the evenings, so this middle part of the day is nice to break it all up. After my nap, I will slug down some coffee, go for a run and then a swim, before starting to work again. The evening work is usually concentrated on wholesale/bulk orders and I’ll snack on whatever is handy the whole time. I will spend 4-5 hours on just 1 order and bang it all out. I don’t like the feeling of being “behind” with anything, and have a bit of OCD, so I make sure to send out orders ASAP! Then it’s wine time at my house with a friend or 2 – usually a light Australian Pinot Noir or Shock Top Brew with an orange slice. Another end to a perfect day!!
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

Growing up, I was a creative tomboy. So I also played a lot of sports as well. But, I loved paper! ANY kind of paper. My dad used to put little sticky notes with loving words of encouragement in my sack lunch and, although I loved those notes, I hated those pale yellow papers. So, I started creating my own stationary for him to use to ensure I received something pretty in those sack lunches. Plain cardstock or construction papers, cut to my specifications, would be embellished with either my own drawings/watercolor paintings or my favorite decorate papers and ribbons. My friends would ooh and ahh over my daily notes and I would end up being requested to make some for their moms to start using. It made my day, every day.

-What made you want to start selling on Etsy?

My Etsy story actually started with the encouragement of my old boss at my “day job” working for an independent furniture/design importer. I had discovered, and started collecting Japanese chiyogami papers way back in high school, but not quite sure what to do with them other than the usual package wrapping, bookbinding or stationary projects. I started making little jewelry pendants with them, as the papers are very fibrous and durable, and they looked like little piece of individual artwork when encased with glass. Was giving them away as gifts, when my now ex-boss, suggested that I try to sell a few. Once I discovered Etsy and knew that was the community to showcase my little wares, it was onward-ho from there.

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

I joined Etsy on June 14, 2007, but didn’t list anything in my shop until July 19th, which I sold 3 items that day – 2 sets of glass coasters & glass tile thumbtacks. It grew from there quite quickly and ended up quitting my “day job” in November 2007 to take GamiWorks on full time. The best decision I ever made!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

My Top 5 favorite foods : bacon, steamed artichokes with lemon butter, filet mignon, anything Mexican, all breads.

Top 5 TV shows : Top Chef, Dragons Den (on BBC), Mad Men, Graham Norton, Modern Family

Top Musicians/Bands ; whoopsies : Dashboard Confessional, Sting, Patty Griffin, The Killers, The Rolling Stones

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

I love to take photos and wish I had more time to play around with photography. I also love architecture and interior design. It makes me happy to help friends/family with their decorating or remodeling ideas.-What would you suggest to new Etsy sellers to promote their shops?

I believe my key to my success was focusing on 1 main unique idea – in my case it’s all about the papers. Then it’s about showcasing them in crisp, clean photos that don’t get lost in the menagerie of other photos on Etsy. But, the best tip I can give is with the title and tags of the products. The title must include a description of what it is. I also give each individual item a “name” that will convey a “feeling” about the piece, but it will always also state what the product is I’m selling.

I gather most of my wholesale accounts also through Etsy, so the more professional your items, packaging, shop appearance and full descriptions, the more chance buyers are going to feel confident that they are getting ready to buy quality merchandise.

-3 Etsy shops you just LOVE?

Sweetiesbykim.etsy.com
SilhouetteBlue.etsy.com
LeenTheGraphicsQueen.etsy.com

-One year from now, I hope...

I am, and my family is, healthy and doing only what we enjoy doing. I’m thankful for my creative life & supportive husband. We always say “if it never gets better than this, I’m happy with this and love my life just the way it is”.

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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, August 21, 2010

#194 unofficial etsy featured seller - cottonmonster

#194 unofficial etsy featured seller - cottonmonster
Date joined etsy- 4/7/06
Sales to date - 732-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi there! I'm Jennifer Strunge from Baltimore, MD. I live with my good friend Sarah, my boyfriend of 12 years, and two fat and lovely kitties in a little stone house high up on a hill. Favorite Flavor, mint chocolate chip (or orange sherbet if I'm trying to be a bit healthier!)

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

Wake up, go to the gym (if I don't "snooze" the alarm) drink some tea and eat breakfast while checking my email, do some photo editing/Etsy listings, head up to my attic studio and start whatever needs to be done that day! Somedays its eyeball or teeth production, but most days I just work on new monsters or cats one at a time, cutting, ironing sewing for as many hours as I can! Pack up orders to be shipped, make lunch, sew for another hour or two and then head to the post, maybe the thrift store, work an hour or so at a rec. center doing arts & crafts, make dinner, bring a project downstairs to hand-sew or stuff while I watch a movie or hang out with friends, read a bit and pass out! phew!

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

Yes, I loved making art projects out of trash or bits and pieces of anything I could get my hands on. My mom was a quilter, so we also had a room full of fabric, batting, and other crafty things that she let me delve into at an early age. I loved drawing, sewing, making sculptures, tiny villages for clothespin people, etc!

-What made you want to start selling on Etsy?

I had been selling my work on my own website with an online shop set up, but it became difficult to manage and had lots of problems. I had heard about Etsy, and decided to use it temporarily until i could get the kinks worked out of my own shop, but it was so easy to use and I liked it so much that I decided to just keep using it!

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

My first sale was pretty immediate, but by the time I started on Etsy I already had quite a following and a huge email list. I just changed the link on my website to direct customers to my Etsy shop and sent out an email explaining how easy it was to use!

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

Foods: Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce, Steamed Broccoli, Palak Paneer, Raw Kale Salad, Panang Tofu with Snowpeas!
I don't have T.V. but my favorite ones I've been obsessed with on dvd are: Twin Peaks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freaks & Geeks, 30 Rock, True Blood
My favorite local Baltimore bands: Entrance, Lower Dens, Celebration, Beach House, Arboretum
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.

I have a child size guitar (my hands are pretty tiny) that I was gifted many Christmases ago…I would love if one day I had enough free time to invest in learning/practicing!

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

Start an email list or facebook fan page to keep customers up to date on what's new in your shop (though be cautious to not overwhelm them with emails/posts!) Also, get out in the real world too. Much of my early online success stemmed from making connections and talking up my business while selling at craft shows and also by wholesaling/consigning my work to other shops!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/irisschwarz
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lisacongdon
http://www.etsy.com/shop/RedPrairiePress

-One year from now, I hope…

I'm as happy as I am right now!
--
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, August 19, 2010

#193 unofficial etsy featured seller - bomobob

#193 unofficial etsy featured seller - bomobob
Date joined etsy- 3/26/08
Sales to date - 1382
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I live in Montreal, Canada. I spend a lot of time traveling, but have always called this city home.

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

I'll usually get out most days to take pictures, but also spend a good bit of time going through old slides, scanning, photoshopping. I'm constantly running back and forth to the labs that I use, then to the post office, then off to another lab. Sometimes it seems like I don't have time for anything else.
Regardless, I still manage to find time to garden, do renovations, cook, and all the other things that I enjoy.

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

I loved to draw and paint, and was pretty good too. But when I got my first camera, I was hooked. It gave me the magic ability to freeze moments in time, and it had such a profound effect on me.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

People had been bugging me for years to sell my photography, but I was never the type to blow my own horn and go around to galleries trying to sell myself. A friend told me about Etsy one day. I'd never heard of it, but as soon as I took a look, I knew it was for me.

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

2 days. The 2nd sale took a month.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Foods...wow, that's tough. I'll have to break it down into big chunks.
Thai
Italian
Indonesian
Vietnamese
Chinese

I don't watch much TV, but I do enjoy The Office (the original British series), Extras, United States of Tara, Top Gear, Lie to Me.

Music is another story. There's so much to be passionate about that I couldn't possibly narrow it down.

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

I do a lot of woodworking, actually, and am a very good cook and baker. I have so many hobbies and interests that it's never really occurred to me to try another. No time:)

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

Don't get too caught up in social media. It's really not all it's cracked up to be. There is no substitute for real human interaction. If you're going to promote, do it far away from Etsy, or you're just not being efficient. Sure, Etsy seller are buyers too, but they're such a tiny minority compared to all those other people out there.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

kitchenstories
kreatedbykarina
heartworksbylori

-One year from now, I hope...

Wow. I hope to be closing in on 3000 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 :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#192 unofficial etsy featured seller - plasticouture

#192 unofficial etsy featured seller - plasticouture
Date joined etsy- 4/13/09
Sales to date - 1300
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

The name is Celia, live with husband and a two year old daughter in LA county.

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

I am a full time product designer and took few jewelry design classes back in college.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Started playing around with left over parts from class while baby was taking a nap (well, I was bored) and gave it to my mom later.

My mom's friend took the necklace the very next day and gave my mom $20! I guess that would be my very first sale?!!

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

First sale on Etsy was three month after that, I only had 5 or 6 items listed.

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

Don't have a favorite food, I love many things and you can have anything here in LA. ^_^ Music, I do have many soundtracks from Final Fantasies since I also play the game.

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

I made many things while taking classes back in Art Center, worked with wood, fabric, metal casting, 3D model making and lot more.

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

Have a friend who makes sock dolls and my suggestion to her is to put up few items just to test the water first. Don't worry about making a sell because it will happen once your shop matures.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

My top three Etsy shops and all purchased from.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhiteEarthStudio
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lovechildboudoir
http://www.etsy.com/shop/therunnybunny

-One year from now...

One year from now, it would be great if I still have my Etsy shop but with more original items make 100% by me from scratch.

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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, August 17, 2010

#191 unofficial etsy featured seller - WildWomanJewelry

#191 unofficial etsy featured seller - WildWomanJewelry
Date joined etsy- 12/7/07
Sales to date - 971-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi! I’m Karon. I live with my husband in Fredericton (our small capital city in New Brunswick, Canada) and we spend summers and lots of weekends our cottage about 45 minutes from town. I feel lucky to be close to the water (a river and a lake) in both places- I garden, read, and love to travel, especially to the seaside. I am enthusiastic, neat, love to laugh, am a member of a book club, swoon over any shade of green, believe nachos are an entire food group, prefer chocolate ice cream, am afraid of heights, organize and arrange everything in my line of sight, never miss ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, need more space for my shoes, am married to a fantastic guy, love science fiction, listen to Hawaiian music, am VERY visual, love sunrises and sunsets and sandy beaches, plant hundreds of tulips every year and adore my nieces and nephews! I’ve always loved to make pretty things or make things pretty!

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

An average day in the life of ‘me’… I’d really describe it in terms of my average week, since my days vary quite a bit but I usually ‘hit’ all the following at least once or twice on a weekly basis. Each morning, I get up around 7am and check the shops while the coffee is brewing- convos, overnight activity, sales, Google Analytics, Craftopolis, etc. These provide insightful feedback, especially if I’ve just listed a new design or implemented a new promotion. I organize my work periods throughout the week around my mood, and they include creating new designs, restocking sold items, photography of my jewelry and for The Garden Shed, editing and listing items, promotions (treasuries, team contacts, my blog, my newsletter, visiting treasuries and blogs of my online friends, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter), packaging and shipping orders, ordering supplies or searching for beads I love, paperwork, and all the other assorted bits and pieces as they come up. I love being able to spend most mornings working and then mixing work and play in the afternoons and evenings, depending on my inspiration.

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

Yes, I was creative growing up- always making, decorating, arranging something …words, color and light have always captivated me and inspired me to create objects, environments and moods. I’ve always been an avid reader and photographer and I’ve dabbled in all sorts of crafts ( knitting, sewing, candle making, designing my own cross-stitch patterns and making them, other needlework, endlessly sketching floorplans for the shop I would someday open, painting and gardening to name a few) and then in recent years, fell in love with jewelry making and design!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I became interested in selling online, particularly on Etsy, after talking with a customer at a craft show a couple of years ago. I was looking for some ways to work from home and she told me about the site. I investigated a few weeks later. First of all, I loved the fact that everyone visiting Etsy was already looking for handmade items-much easier in my opinion, than trying to attract that many people to my own website (although that is on my list of ways to expand my shops!). I also love the creation of my shop itself- the photography, writing, design- I feel very much like it’s my own little corner to make beautiful and inviting!

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

It took around 5 weeks to make my first sale…I was so excited! She sent me a convo saying she would ‘pick up the earrings in the morning’. I thought, ‘Wow, she lives in right here in town!’ and got up early to meet her. Well, ok, I was a little ‘green’- she lived in Texas and just meant she would pay in the morning. :) Anyway, it didn’t take the shine off my excitement!

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

***Top 5 favorite foods: Nachos, guacamole, salsa and cheese (that’s all one!), seafood pasta, peas, hummus, grapes or pretty much anything someone else cooked

***Top 5 Favorite TV Shows: Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, and I love to watch movies

***Top 5 Bands/Singers: Nora Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Rufus Wainwright

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

5gardenias, polarity, oldcrowfarm

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

Join the Etsy community- make treasuries, comment on other people’s treasuries, join a team
Create and maintain your own blog Create a Facebook Fanpage and Twitter Page ( to connect with people and occasionally promote!) Write and send out your own Newsletter
Work on your photographs endlessly
List new items and relist, relist, did I mention relist?
Super, beyond all expectations, customer service and communication

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

Other things I’d like to try…I took piano lessons as a child and would love to learn to play for the fun of it! I’m also thinking of opening a vintage shop…and I want to visit Paris!

-One year from now...

One year from now, I hope to be alive, still enjoying designing, creating and my business, travelling with my husband and continuing the adventure!

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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, August 16, 2010

#190 unofficial etsy featured seller - visualingual

#190 unofficial etsy featured seller - visualingual
Date joined etsy- 2/10/07
Sales to date - 739
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

We are Maya and Michael, two designers who currently live in a live/work loft in the historic neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati. We share our home with a snowshoe Siamese cat named Claire Monet, after the Screeching Weasel song. Michael is from Indianapolis, and Maya is from Gdynia, Poland by way of Brooklyn. We've both moved around quite a bit over the years, which probably explains why our work deals so much for the idea of place.

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

We both work, so we typically start our days by answering the latest email queries from potential customers and stores. After work, we answer more email and send our invoices while preparing dinner, and then package orders or do production while we watch TV. We usually spend at least one full weekend day on printing or production.

There's an ebb and flow to our routine. Since summers are slow for Etsy sales, we're spending a lot of time developing new work and also starting to fill our wholesale orders for the holiday season. In a few months, we won't have time for design, because we'll be busy with production and, by December, we expect to focus solely on shipping orders.

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

Of course! We've always been creative in different ways, from painting to photography. We've both also always been interested in the built environment, and our work is really based on that.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

When we started creating Cincinnati-centric work, about a year after moving here, we first began selling it in local brick-and-mortar stores. As we built out our product lines and got to know our customer base a little bit better, selling online became the logical next step. It was a way to expand our audience beyond Cincinnati, and also to join a worldwide creative community.

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

We joined Etsy over three years ago and slowly started investigating it as a potential sales avenue for us. We listed our first few products more than a year after joining. Our first sale took about 3-4 weeks, and we're pretty sure that our first few sales were driven by our studio blog, visualingual.wordpress.com. It took us a while to get noticed on Etsy, as we figured out ways to increase our visibility.

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

We love cooking together, and we make anything from risotto on a weeknight to biscuits and gravy on a Sunday morning. We also catch our share of trashy reality TV while we work, from America's Next Top Model to The Bachelorette. In terms of music, we listen to a lot of independent rap, like Ill Bill and Hieroglyphics.

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

This year, we plan to figure out how to screenprint our own decals for ceramics and glass. Next year, we'd love to learn how to create our own soap.

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

Just because you've built it doesn't mean they'll come. Once you've gotten your shop up and running, you need to find avenues to announce and promote your work. There are several on Etsy -- treasuries, forums, and showcases, for instance -- but there are many more avenues elsewhere. For us, it's a combination of studio blog, Facebook page, mailing list, and constant involvement on different blogs, ranging in content from design to gardening to Cincinnati.

We actually meet a lot of future Etsy customers at craft fairs. After each of those events, we see an uptick in Etsy sales, from people who saw the work in person and then purchased it online.

When you're first starting out as an Etsy seller, you may only have one or a few products in your shop. List several of each item, if you create work in multiples. If you offer the same thing in different colors, mention that in the listing but list each color separately. Try to think of your store as a kind of story about you as a maker -- showing several items gives customers a context for what you do. Also, the more work you have listed in your shop, the easier it is to keep the shop fresh by relisting different items.

Another bit of maintenance is the shop itself. Constantly revisit your listings and figure out ways to improve your titles, tags, photography, descriptions, and even prices. Relist on a regular basis so that new customers can quickly find your work in their search results. Imagine that you are your own potential customer and try different searches to find your work. If you can't find it, that's a problem! Look at the search results you do find and try to learn better practices from those listings.

Every sale is important! We really try to bend over backwards to provide good customer service, from answering questions quickly to offering custom listings. We figure that every happy customer may potentially purchase from us again or tell other people about us, so we want everyone to have a positive experience.

Lastly, and less directly, pay it forward! As a business owner, you become a bit of a public entity, so always be polite and helpful. If someone asks a question, answer graciously. If you admire someone else's work, let them know. You never know what sorts of opportunities good karma can bring.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Cynthia Vardhan Ceramics for porcelain mugs and vases: cynthiavardhan
Three Sheets 2 the Wind for handmade prints and pillows: threesheets2thewind
My House Party for adorable air plant houses: myhouseparty

-One year from now...

One year from now we hope to have a better handle on our process throughout the year. As a small business, we keep our risks small so that we don't lose our shirts on one bad decision. For instance, last December, we completely underestimated the demand for our seed bombs and spent the whole month scrambling to fill our holiday orders. This time around, we're projecting our sales and ramping up production early so that we're ready for the rush of sales -- that's a risk we're taking. We're also focusing our time this summer on developing new items, before we have to switch gears into production and fulfillment mode. We're slowly learning how to best to manage the different aspects of our work so that we don't burn out.

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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, August 13, 2010

#189 unofficial etsy featured seller - FascinatingCreations

#189 unofficial etsy featured seller - FascinatingCreations
Date joined etsy- 12/1/08
Sales to date - 762
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I live in Jacksonville, Florida. All of my children are grown, and three of the four of them have children. (Grandchildren are so FUN!)

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

I naturally rise early in the morning, and do some studying. Once complete, my "work" (etsy work) is done between 8 AM and Noon. There are some days when I have to put more hours into my etsy work to keep up with my orders, but my goal is 4 hours. My elderly mother lives with us, so I spend some time with her after I work. Then I do gardening and what-not.

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

Yes, I have always been very creative. I call it the "creative monster" inside of me that must be expressed on a regular basis. I enjoyed all sorts of mediums in the craft work. And I have experimented in a lot of things.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

One and a half years ago, our youngest daughter was getting married. She introduced me to Etsy in the planning of her wedding, and explained to me what Etsy was all about. When we went shopping for her dress and veil, and I saw the price of the veils, I decided to make hers! When I realized I could it, I thought, "Oh! This is something I could do make and sell through Etsy!" The rest is history.

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

If I remember, it took about two or three weeks. The orders were slow in coming it at first. I researched other Etsy shops and saw that everyone starts out that way. I just decided to hang in there and see what happened.
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Chocolate. Coffee. Pizza...

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

No, I have tried many things. And I like what I am doing now. I had a silk flower arranging business before etsy. I did that for 20 years. I also messed in interior design a lot, and made exclusive hand-made gift cards for a time.

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

Post! Re-post and re-post.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

FloralAccents, BeasBoutique

-One year from now, I hope...

to have my daughter working with me full time. She may be moving back to Jacksonville, and is interested in helping me with my wedding accessories. She would be a great asset to my business, and I feel that the two of us could come up with some very good ideas for brides.

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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, August 12, 2010

#188 unofficial etsy featured seller - mousemarket

#188 unofficial etsy featured seller - mousemarket
Date joined etsy- 9/9/09
Sales to date - 425-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Mo Tipton, and I moved from Chicago to Missouri two years ago to live with my now husband, and soon thereafter, my sweet little gerbil, Peep, joined our family. The three of us are now in search of a state to call home with our sights currently set on eastern Tennessee, and we hope to find a piece of land and begin building a cob house within the next few years.

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

I generally wake up around 8:00 and eat breakfast before checking and responding to any customer emails. If I have orders, I get those packaged up and ready to go, and depending on my schedule for the day, I either start working on new pieces or I photograph and list previously made pieces for my shop. At some point in the afternoon, I post to my blog, I add any new product photos to Flickr, and I Twitter about new shop listings as well. In the early evening, I take a yoga class break, dropping orders off at the post office, and after dinner I'm back to mini-making. Before bed, I go over what needs to be done the following day and respond to any customer emails that may have come in during the day. I definitely work far more than I ever did at a conventional day job, but I love what I do, which makes all the difference in the world.

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

I was lucky to grow up with very creative parents, and I was constantly working on various craft projects, from papier maché masks to candles, and I loved writing stories and plays, the latter of which my poor parents were often subjected to--bad costumes, crappy dialogue and all. I started modeling with clay as a child, and I remember making foods for my dolls, but nothing quite like what I'm working on today in terms of the level of detail or realism--I was focused more on hamburgers with happy faces and such.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I remember searching on Etsy for polymer clay foods about a year ago, and I was surprised at how many people were selling such items, and of those sellers how many were very, very successful. At the time, I had just finished a more conventional day job, and I was working as a freelance designer, so it was possible for me to carve out a little time every day to start making miniature foods. Once I had a dozen or so pieces, I decided to open shop, and the Mouse Market was born.

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

I made my first sale within about a week of my shop's launch, but for the first three or four months, it was common for me to go a week without any sales at all. Slowly, as I discovered more ways to promote my shop, I received more traffic and sales began to pick up, but it was definitely a slow process. I wish that someone had told me in the beginning not to get too bent out of shape over slow sales, because there were definitely times when I considered quitting, so if you're just starting out, hang in there!

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

I cook all the time, so it would probably be impossible to pick a favorite food, but falafel is definitely on the top of my list, and I'm a huge fan of Greek-style yogurt--yum! I was trained as a pastry chef, so I'm a huge sucker for anything dessert related, and the more chocolate, the better. I'm not a tv watcher, but I'm a reading fiend, and some of my current favorites include yogic philosophy books by Stephen Cope (he's awesome!), and on the lighter side, comics by Jim Woodring whose work has inspired more than a few of my tattoos.

-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 be able to whip up my own soap, so one of these days I'll try my hand at that, and I'm also hoping to teach myself how to sew. The list of new hobbies I'd like to take up is pretty endless to be honest, but relearning how to play the banjo, knitting, and polishing my French would probably be on the top of the list.

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

As much as Etsy pushes for sellers to relist items regularly, I've never noticed that making a huge difference in my sales. However, listing new items definitely helps, and promoting on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and my website have driven a great deal of traffic to my shop. If you can snag the attention of a popular blogger, getting a feature on a blog with a large audience can work wonders, too. On the flipside, be wary of giving out too much of your product to bloggers who do reviews. I've often wished that I could have sold a piece rather than giving it away in exchange for a moderate amount of traffic. Of course, if the blog's readership is huge then it's likely worth it, but choose wisely.

Other than that, find online avenues that you actually enjoy using, whether it's Facebook, blogging, etc., and try not to spread yourself too thin by doing them all. In my opinion, when you focus your energies, you can produce more quality content, which is a much more powerful draw than loads and loads of hastily thrown together material. Also, don't forget offline avenues of promotion, such as handing out business cards or stickers at craft shows or putting up flyers around town where your target audience is likely to congregate. I think everyone's ideal marketing strategy will be different based on their product, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find a good way to reach shoppers.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Have it Sweet, Satsumabug, and Inner Earth Soaps--plus a gazillion more (I love Etsy!!).

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

I hope to have my own online shop up and running, and my goal is to achieve regular sales on Etsy, DaWanda, and my personal shop. My major project, however, is a miniature food how-to book that I've recently begun working on, and I hope to release that within a year's time.
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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 :)