Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Burlap Bag - It's Open!!

Well, our retail store is officially open! It's at 30th and Guadalupe in Austin. Please come check it out and say hi!

http://www.facebook.com/TheBurlapBag

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Retail Shop!

Sorry I've let this blog die for awhile now, hopefully one day I will return to featuring awesome etsy artists.

I've been super busy because we are opening our own retail shop in downtown Austin!!! It will be called The Burlap Bag.
We have been buying items from the best etsy sellers and are super excited to open in about a month.
Please "like" our facebook page and tell everyone you know :)
http://www.facebook.com/TheBurlapBag

Here is a photo of our space right when we got it - so much is going to change!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#252 unofficial etsy featured seller - conduitpress

#252 unofficial etsy featured seller - conduitpress
Date joined etsy- 6/20/08
Sales to date - 371
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Talia Halliday (talia like Italian without the I and the N and HALiday not hOliday;)) and I live in beautiful Bloomington Indiana (home of Indiana University) with my three mostly darling;) children (15, 9, and 18 months), my Loving nerdy husband and our three mostly annoying (but still affectionate and beautiful) cats. I'm a stay at home/ work at home mama desperately trying to socialize my gorgeous little boy while balancing creating/branding/marketing a handmade business in my 'down' time. I want my baby to be proud of his mama.

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

Ha! Well, that's quite boring, but you asked;) We wake up late. We're late sleepers (and when I say we I mean the baby, Griffin, and I ). Once the morning starts we eat our yogurt or oatmeal and watch a little tv while I check Etsy orders and emails. The mornings are then usually spent at library play or open gym. I have to keep pretty organized since my time to work is in fits and starts throughout the day. I usually get a good two hours of work during nap time so I'm able to package and photograph anything that needs done and then start whatever work needs to be finished that night. Once naptime is over it's back to the mom grind until just after dinner when daddy takes over and I use that time to catch up on convo's and emails and the such. I'm part of a treasury team on Etsy (The Treasury Tree) and so I try to use this time to make new treasuries and comment on the ones that have come up throughout the day. Once the baby goes down for the night is when my work-night begins. If I stay organized enough throughout the day I'm able to set up what I need to get done before the night starts and that really helps with my production;) By morning I usually have a whole new batch of books to photograph and/or list, and the process starts all over again.

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

I was a constant photographer and book maker whilst growing up. I had a camera everywhere I went and with that camera came the album those pictures would live in. I was also an avid journaler, so a journal/sketchbook was also following me around most of the time. Not much has changed really.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I wanted to quit my day job. All of them. I wanted to be able to stay home and not feel guilty about it and not be stifled by working in an office space with cubicle walls and to-do lists. I wanted freedom.

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

Technically, not that long. My mother-in-law bought like three things from my shop within the first few weeks of me opening my shop. But, in reality, it was about 4 months I guess before a 'stranger' bought something from me and then it was really just in fits and starts. When I first opened my store in June of 2008, I was still working and in school. Etsy was just something I did on the side with all the things I Loved to make and was making anyway. Not until this past year (November of 2009) did I really start taking Etsy seriously as a full time gig and not until November of 2010 did I sort of become successful with it.

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

foods
1. ice cream
2. grapes
3. watermelon
4. cheese
5. Chicken Tikka Masala

tv shows
1. parenthood (HIGHLY underrated)
2. Fringe
3. House
4. Crime and Law shows like Without a Trace, CSI, and Criminal Minds
5. Desperate Housewives

Bands
1. tori amos
2. ani difranco
3. vienna teng
4. nin
5. tool

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

I have always wanted to do stained glass and blown glass. Never tried either. But I will.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Just whatever everyone else says. Good Photos. And always be thinking of new lines of products- new ways to make your product and change it up- be different from those around you and find something that makes you YOU. Someone will notice you.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

There are just SO many great shops out there! I'll choose a couple local Indiana shops and one for the road. Just too many great shops to choose from!

Sadly Harmless - adorable and thought provoking animal illustrations - Love her work
erin a ellis - i bought my son a griffin chubikin from her shop and I just ADORE it!
Spice of Life Designs - beautiful handmade one of a kind jewelry like I've never seen before

-One year from now...

Have my own studio (instead of a dining room nook) and more hours in the day to work. A few new lines of books and book safes and exposure from a few new shops on the horizon.


Ways to contact conduitpress:
Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/conduitpress
Website: http://conduit-press.com/
Blog: conduit-press.com/blog/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/conduitpress
Twitter: twitter.com/conduitpress


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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, February 14, 2011

#251 unofficial etsy featured seller - exlibrishandmade

#251 unofficial etsy featured seller - exlibrishandmade
Date joined etsy- 4/5/08
Sales to date - 326-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

I’m Victoria and I live in downtown Albany, NY with my husband Skye, 7-year-old daughter Tigerlily and 4-year-old son Lyric. Our house is an old carriage house that Skye renovated into a super awesome apartment. The garage used to house a boat-building and repair shop so it is known around the ‘hood as The Boatshop. I work from home in an ever-evolving art and studio space that I carved out for me and my kids to share. Of course, as a fabric hoarder my supply storage stretches well beyond my work space and is likely to take over the rest of our home someday. Thanks to my daughter I love fireworks ice cream (with Pop Rocks!) and we don’t have pets, unless you count our red wigglers and the collective neighborhood chickens!

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

I am not an early riser so I usually stumble out of bed around 8am when I hear my kids raiding the cabinets to try to sneak some chocolate chips before school. I get the kids washed and brushed and dressed and Skye gets them off to school, which luckily is right next door and provides breakfast! My big goal for this year is to be up and going early enough so that I can do a bit of exercise and be dressed and cheery before my kids are awake (and full of chocolate chips).

When Skye and the kids have gone off on their daily adventures I sit down at the computer with coffee. I do a general once over of my shop, email, and reader and generate a to-do list for the day. If all goes smoothly this takes no more than an hour, and then it’s production time! I generally create for 4 to five hours during the day before the kids come home from school. My biggest challenge: staying focused on work with piles of laundry staring me down and the allure of the internet calling to me.

The family usually hangs out together for the afternoon into evening reading, playing, cooking and eating dinner and doing a bit of clean up, then it’s time to get the kids ready for bed. Once the boy is settled I read to the girl for about 45 minutes (right now it’s book 7 of Harry Potter) and she’s off to bed at 8:30.

Then it’s back to work for me! Having already been creative for a good chunk of the day I’m usually pretty drained of inspiration at this point so I tend to do fairly simple things. I try to reserve all of my handwork for the evenings and do embroidery and cutting of appliqué pieces while listening to a book on tape (which I do a lot during the day, too) or watching shows or a movie. I usually “work” for a couple of hours before switching over to a handcraft that I enjoy doing but don’t get paid for, like knitting, crochet or embroidery. Midnight is my standard bedtime.
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?

I come from a long line of super crafty ladies so I don’t think I really had a choice! My Mom is the most talented craftsperson I know and I grew up watching her do everything from painting and calligraphy to crocheting tablecloths and making my Dad’s suits. From the age of 5 or so I was way into cross stitch and hand sewing patchwork from my Great Grandmother’s quilt scraps (and still am!).

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

For years folks have been telling me that I should sell the things I make but I never even considered it until I had kids and made the decision to stay home with them. I found that my need to be creative increased and it provided me with a solid sense of myself when so much of me seemed to be defined by my role as a mother. When a friend of mine thought enough of my work to invite me to share a booth with her at the Renegade show in Brooklyn I decided to give it a try. I opened my shop that spring and, with only a vague idea of what I wanted to make and sell, got to work making a totally random assortment of stuff for Renegade and my new Etsy shop. That initial burst of exposure from Renegade helped me hone in on my niche and gave my shop a boost that helped make it a success.

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

I had my first sale about a week after listing some items in my shop. I still remember the feeling!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Food: strawberries, watermelon, korma, summer blts, cheesecake

TV shows: The State, How I Met Your Mother (I Barney Stinson), Modern Family, True Blood, Trailer Park Boys

Bands: (Okay, I need two categories…)

Of All Time—The Magnetic Fields, PJ Harvey, ABBA, David Byrne, Fugazi

Right Now—M.I.A., La Roux, Beirut, Peaches, Lady Sovereign

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

Everything!! But especially I’d love to try my hand at some book-y stuff, like printmaking, letterpress and bookbinding. I’d also love to delve deeper into the world of embroidery and do things like hardanger and bargello. I’m pretty hopeless at all of that computer-y stuff and would love to learn a bit of graphic design on photoshop so that I can design some fabric on Spoonflower. Also, I’d love to be able to play ragtime piano.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Make customer service your top priority! I do everything I can to ensure that my customers have a wonderful experience buying from me and the word of mouth recommendations that this generates have driven my business since the beginning. This includes everything from getting in touch when an order is received and sent (and anything in between) to making sure your work is at its best and packaging it well (and prettily!). I don’t do any social media stuff (partly because of time constraints and partly because I don’t really get it) or any advertising, though I do keep a blog which I think is valuable.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

KisforCalligraphy—I met Katy when she created a beautiful banner for the HeartsforHaiti charitable shop and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. I use her envelope seals on my packages to make them extra special.

andwabisabi—The cutest cross stitch patterns ever! I just bought a bunch to make for all of my kids’ teachers.

CrunchyClean—Ashley approached me about doing a trade when I was just starting out and it was an awesome experience. Not only was I introduced to the world of trading with other Etsy sellers but I found her amazing detergent!

-One year from now...

Right now our family is incubating a dream to move to The Netherlands for a year and I really hope that dream is still alive and growing! I love that, in theory anyway, I can take my business anywhere in the world.

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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, February 11, 2011

#250 unofficial etsy featured seller - sealmaiden

#250 unofficial etsy featured seller - sealmaiden
Date joined etsy- 6/18/08
Sales to date - 1000-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Sylke and I live in Brooklyn NY. I have no kids and no pets, it’s just my husband and me in our tiny insy winsy studio aka our apartment.

Describe an average day in life of "you".

I wake early, 5:30 or so make coffee and check my etsy shop for any overnight sales and messages. If I have orders to fill, I usually print a couple before I head of to my J>O>B.
Once I return from work I usually print a few more orders, sew in labels and prepare these for shipping etc. Then we have dinner and usually watch a movie before I crash.
Currently I am also taking evening draping course at FIT. This is twice a week, so in addition I also squeeze in my homework somewhere in between everything else.

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

I can’t say I was very creative growing up, but I always felt an itch in my hands, but just did not know how to relief it. Then one day a good friend of mine, gave me a blank square note book, in which I started to doodle whenever I had a “time to kill”. Eventually I started to draw on bigger pads. When my husband saw my doodles for the first time he suggested printing them on t-shirts. It took him quite a while to convince me to take screen-printing classes.
When I finally relented, I discovered I really enjoyed it.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I came across etsy through a friend at work just about the same time as I was taking screen printing courses, when I saw all the other fabulous screen printing shops doing well, it thought why not.

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

17 days

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

Jamaican cooking – ackee and saltfish,
Japanese cuisine, anything that has sea urchin or eel in it,
I can’t live without avocado.
My mother’ cheese cake
Fava beans eaten in Italy.

I rarely watch any TV shows, except for HBO on Sunday night, boardwalk empire, eastbound and down, true blood, etc etc etc.

I LOVE reggae music.

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

Yes, I have been taking sewing classes and I am taking a draping course now. I would love to eventually create my own line of tee-shirts, shift dresses, etc.

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

Take great pictures, renew your listings often, make treasuries, maybe join a treasury making team. Once you start selling offer great customer service, answer inquiries quickly, ship in a timely manner, be accessible. Buyers LOVE great customer service.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Ahh there are sooo many talented sellers on etsy, it’s so unfair to only call out 3 …

marysgranddaughter

childrenbluesky

almapottery

-One year from now...

Stop working my J>O>B

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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, February 9, 2011

#249 unofficial etsy featured seller - ElegantRoseBoutique


#249 unofficial etsy featured seller - ElegantRoseBoutique
Date joined etsy- 11/29/08
Sales to date - 1832
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Name - Melissa

We live in the beautiful state of Michigan on 6 acres. We enjoy being outside, raising animals, and spending time together as a family. I make all of our food from scratch, including our bread.

My favorite ice cream flavor would have to be haagan Daz Chocolate Peanut Butter, it's to die for, but oh so many calories!

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

I usually start the day making breakfast and checking my shop and emails. I then start packaging orders and making whatever needs to be made for the day. I take breaks to chat a bit in the forums and then back to creating. I love creating new products as essential oils are so versatile and actually benefit the body. We use essential oils daily to take care of headaches, stomach aches, coughs, aches and pains, etc..

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

I was always creative growing up, I enjoyed sewing and dabbling around in many different crafts. I've tried a lot of things from cross stitching, sewing, scrapbooking, card making, quilt making and now bath and body.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I started selling on Etsy after my daughter had started a shop(Dollcloset) and was having great success. I decided that I could do it too. I started selling aprons, rice bags and homemade angel ornaments. I decided that wasn't really what I wanted to sell and started exploring. I had bought some handmade soap from someone local going out of business and was starting to run low, the rest is history. March 1st will be my 2 year anniversary of selling bath and body products.

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

Top 5 foods - Pizza hut pizza, Fettuccine Alfredo, Lasagna, Green smoothies, ice cream, I know, quite a varied list. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes you just need a bit of something else.

I don't really watch much TV, I learned long ago that I had so much more time for other things if I didn't turn the TV on.

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

If you are new to Etsy, I would recommend the following:

Spend time in the forums to get your name out. Ask questions, give opinions, etc.
Join a team, they can help give constructive criticism for your shop.
Take the best photos you can. Use a photo editing program to resize and lighten your photos. Photos are your ticket to success on Etsy, your customer can't touch or see your product in person, make it look great!
Depending on what you sell, you need to see how long it takes your item to get buried 5-6 pages so that you know when to renew or list something new. I see too many sellers start there shop, list all of their items in one day and walk away, not being successful. List at least 1 item a day. The more items you have, the more buyers you will attract!
Lastly, if it isn't fun, find something else.

-One year from now...

I set goals every year for the upcoming year, usually a sales goal or number of items in my shop. So, in one year, I want to double my sales from last year. I love a challenge.

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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, February 8, 2011

#248 unofficial etsy featured seller - threddies

#248 unofficial etsy featured seller - threddies
Date joined etsy- 12/28/06 - opened shop in August 2010
Sales to date - 445
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Elana - I live a hop, skip + a jump from Philadelphia proper with my husband J, our twin toddler boys and an extraordinarily lazy beagle. Threddies is a family affair - J is the official MAILDUDE in charge of post office drop-offs and is also our technology guru. I could happily subsist on Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch for the rest of my days. J is partial to the regional delight known as CMP. Twin #1 would rather eat green beans and twin #2 will inhale most any ice cream with gusto.

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

Wake up to a sound not unlike a freight train through the baby monitor. Unleash the kids. Perc a giant pot of coffee for me, steep a giant pot of tea for the hubs, make everyone breakfast. Do something with the kids... errands, playdate, build forts, etc. Nap time is noonish... they go down and I pack orders for J to bring to the PO. Kids wake up - make and eat lunch. Hang with kiddos during the afternoon while working... taking pictures, sorting things, whatever I can do while they're bopping around. Make and eat a big home-cooked dinner. Banditos take a bath and go to bed, I get down to business for a few hours. Meet hubby for some hangtime and then it's to bed around 1.

I am completely tethered to my phone throughout the day... answering e-mails, re-listing sold items, tweeting... that is a CONSTANT! We take customer service very seriously, so I try to get back to everyone within the hour (or sooner!) if at all possible.

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

I've always loved to sew, and used to have a small business making clothing. I have always been absolutely in love with the needle arts in general - embroidery is fun. Pottery has always been a passion of mine, too. I love making things as heavy as I can without making them explode in the kiln!

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

We saw a need in the crafting community for great, fresh basics as great prices. So I decided to offer items that we were selling by the piece (and at a premium) at great prices (in bulk).

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

Not 100% sure, under a week though!

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

I can only speak for myself... foods = french fries, Manchurian gobhi (Indochine amazingness, you don't even know), my dad's killer homefries, my Bubbe's killer latkes and paneer in any way, shape or form. TV shows = Golden Girls, Dexter, My So-called Life, Sex and the City, and all of that Real Housewives crap. Music = Joni Mitchell, Hank Williams, Leo Kottke, Hazel + Alice, the Dead.

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

Oh man, I really want to learn to play the Banjo! That would be utterly righteous.

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

The most important thing is to make sure your pictures are absolutely clear, clean, crisp and lovely. Use natural lighting. Make them POP. Then get social and get the word out any way you can! Keep on listing your items with fabulous keywords... stagger them... and make sure your stand out from the crowd. You want someone to find your item and go WOW!

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Uffdadesigns takes our headbands and makes them into whimsical works of art. Really special stuff with a lot of heart and soul. OliveLeafStencils takes the art of stenciling to a whole new level, with the most elegant designs... just beyond. Sealmaiden is another favorite. I generally wear lots of solids, but her screens are so gorgeous.

-One year from now...

We're on the hunt for a few acres to get our homestead kickin'. Fingers-crossed, in a year, we'll have found it and will be building a yurt or something to run Threddies out of in the yard! ;)
--
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, February 7, 2011

#247 unofficial etsy featured seller - 2kute

#247 unofficial etsy featured seller - 2kute
Date joined etsy- 1/5/08
Sales to date - 326-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Rose and right now I am living in FL dreaming about moving to NC. I have 3 children, the oldest two are twin girls, married with families of their own. My youngest is 18 and still trying to figure out what he is gonna do with his life. Then I have my furry babies. I love my furry angels.
The 'top dog' is my Bambam, she is a yorkiepoo. Then we have Ellie, she is a terrier mix of some sort, she is a daddy's girl. We also rescued 2 more dogs Cage and Mercy. My son is a cat person and he has 2 cats, Cadmus and Kenny aka El Diablo.
I love to eat (don't we all?) and my favorite part of a meal is the dessert. I am crazy for cakes, cupcakes, pies, ice cream.... and most important of them all: chocolate :o)

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

I try my best to accomplish the most with my days. I have some chronic health issues and some days I can't do much. First thing I do when I get up is feed the furries their breakfast, then I head to the coffee pot. I am very particular when it comes to coffee and I always buy Starbucks, coffee gotta be strong. Then I get my faithful laptop and check my shop, messages, emails, facebook, tweeter, see what is going on with my buddies, sometimes even spend a few minutes in the etsy chat room. Then after some light cleaning, I crochet. I crochet almost the whole day (cleaning and cooking get in the way)...

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

I was not very creative growing up. I almost failed Kindergarten because I couldn't use a pair of scissors, however I could color within the lines :o) Coloring was always fun!!! I lack skills when it comes to using a pair of scissors and tying a bow.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Back in 2003 I had a stroke and had to quit my job as a nurse. I thought I was gonna be back on the swing of things in no time. Well, it didn't quite work that way, I kept getting sicker, so by 2004 I was going nuts I was so bored and feeling useless. So I picked up crochet which I had done a little bit back in my teen years. Got some yarn, some hooks and a couple of books and taught myself new stitches and going beyond the granny squares. In 2007 one of my sons-in-law told me about etsy and that I should go for it. I was so scared... and I procrastinated until 2008 when I took the plunge (omg, I was gonna put pics of my work online, what if no one liked what I did?)

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

Even though I signed up in Jan, 2008, it took me about 3 months to muster up the courage to list. After I listed a few items I had my first sale in about 6 wks.

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

While I am crocheting I like to keep the TV on, I love criminal shows and Criminal Minds, Law & Order, CSI NY, First 48 are on the top of my list. And House, cannot forget Hugh Laurie now can we???
I also enjoy music. Love Pink Floyd, Journey, Bee Gees, Bryan Adams, Josh Groban....

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

I would love to learn how to knit. Just the basics would make me happy. I think the stitching is so pretty... I am really hooked on fibers and any kind of work done using them.

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

Get everywhere online, Facebook, tweeter, forums, chat rooms... make your 'name' known. Be nice to people, always, and they will remember you.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Three???? How can I choose only three???? I will try
www.etsy.com/shop/BOWquet - this is where I shop for Bambam's bows.

www.etsy.com/shop/paperprincess34 Love her ruffled pants. Miranda is so very talented and a sweet person.

www.etsy.com/shop/hillsidebakery She makes the best buckeyes ever (told ya I like food) and she is a wonderful person.

-One year from now...

In one year I hope I will be living in NC, feeling better and crafting more. Maybe even broaden my crafting skills. I want to go around NC doing fairs on the weekends with my husband. Regarding etsy I wanna people to be thinking 'I sure need a 2kute hat for this winter' :o)
(Bambam, the shop mascot)


--
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, February 3, 2011

#246 unofficial etsy featured seller - flowerbucketboutique

#246 unofficial etsy featured seller - flowerbucketboutique
Date joined etsy- 8/28/09
Sales to date - 2079-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Jamie. I live in a small, very small town called Pima in Arizona. I have three kids, a daughter and two boys. Kensingten is 7, Taylor 5, and Grant 2. My fave flavor of ice cream is chocolate (and many of it's sister combinations), though I have been known to have pistachio at times. Aside from etsy, I choreograph contemporary dance numbers for a local dance studio twice a year. Since I grew up all my life dancing, it's something I make an effort to continue. I'm also a photographer, which comes in handy with my etsy ventures.

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

Everyday in my life is drastically different. Because I obviously do way too many things than one person really should with three kids at home, I have to manage my time quite specifically. Mondays and Tuesday's are designated as family days for house cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. Wednesday and Friday mornings are spent fulfilling online etsy orders and the evenings are spent running kids to piano, voice, dance and gymnastics lessons. Thursdays are reserved for all creative work - new inventory, new listings, creating new pieces I've dreamt up, editing images from photos sessions, and vegging out with my kids watching a new movie, or sometimes not so new.

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

Growing up, I like to think I was a very creative person. Before my grandma passed, she used to visit during winter holidays and let us join her in creating all kinds of nicknacks - candy cane reindeer, hand painted ceramic ornaments, earrings and bracelets, shoelace hair clips, you name it. So I guess it started long ago and since then, the next time I remember creating was my wedding. Single handedly (with delegations for my siblings), I handcrafted my wedding announcements, made the chair covers and other decorations, arranged for a catered family dinner and anything else that came along. The next journey on my creativity is a fairly common one. With the birth of my daughter, I dived head on into scrapbooking and in turn into photography, purchasing my first professional camera when she was four. Then, after creating a few photography props, I started a small (intended to be temporary) etsy shop and 1 page of 24 items turned into 500 items in about one year. It's sort of become an addiction. I have an inspiration and it ends up in the shop. Let's just say, 2010 was a very inspiring year for the bucket.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I imagine the reason I am a hodge podger is because I always have been. Growing up I was a dancer, a gymnast, a pianist. I played the clarinet, the oboe, and was on my high school dance team. I dabbled in art, writing and choir, was a college cheerleader and maintained a 4.0 all the while.

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

I was actually surprised by how quickly I made my first sale on etsy. It was within a week. Since then, rarely a day goes by that I don't have at least one sale. I think part of it has to do with not being greedy and knowing my market. I have a formula for setting my prices, and I stick to it. I make sure all my expenses and fees are covered and I pay myself, not nominally and not over exaggeratedly. And as far as my market, my market is me, in a sense - other moms out there trying to keep their own style and uniquely dress their kids, brides who are concerned about budget, and other people looking for custom made accessories with attention to detail and personalized customer service. I like to think a lot of the shop's success comes from my mission to offer not only trendsetting accessories, but boutique quality at budget prices. I like to think that every piece in the shop could be purchased and worn by someone I know. I have a wide price range of items to fit all budgets, without compromising quality. What was really an incidental beginning has snowballed into a fulfilling everyday experience.

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

Top five foods:
- Sirloin steak at Outback Steakhouse
- chicken enchiladas and spicy roast beef tacos from Casa Mañana
- Mom's Eggs on a Golden Rod (biscuits with white egg gravy)
- Fruit filled crepes
- salad, all kinds of salads

Top five bands:
- Sister Hazel
- Goo Goo Dolls
- Taylor Swift
- Joshua Radin
- And the rest are just fave songs

Top five tv shows:
- Mentalist
- Lie to Me
- Fringe
- Chuck
- Human Target, Community and Outsourced (dang, I couldn't decide)

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

In the future, I have all kinds of plans for simple sewing, but with all my funds going toward my husband's tuition, I will have to wait till I can afford a suitable machine.

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

Hmmm, how to promote? That's something I'm still working on. Right now, I share my listings and treasuries and features on facebook and my blog, but you could also have a twitter account and other social networking accounts to use similarly. Join etsy teams and run promotions. Use temporary coupon codes to attract customers from your different markets. I run a different monthly special to encourage customers to come back often. I also have a flower of the month club and those on the list get other specials and products before they hit the store. I also offer wholesale discounts for retail owners intending to resell the items worldwide.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Three shops I love, besides my few etsy suppliers, I would be amiss not to list my sister's shop oldebuttonshoppe
And three unaffiliated shops include: missrubysue, ouma, and uberstitch

-One year from now...

One year from now, I would be happy to be exactly where I am now. Some goals I have for myself are to have one of my products make it to the front page of etsy and have one of my curated treasuries make it front page, grow my facebook fanpage count and stretch my creativity beyond it's current limits.

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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, February 2, 2011

#245 unofficial etsy featured seller - Shelleyroze

#245 unofficial etsy featured seller - Shelleyroze
Date joined etsy- 8/24/08
Sales to date - 362
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi, my name is Shelley and I am the owner of ShelleyRoze Art. I live on a top of a hill in Belmont, Mississippi, about 50 miles north of Tupelo. I love living in Mississippi, as the people here are really great and the land is very beautiful. Most of my art is dedicated to the landscapes and trees in the area. My husband's name is David and we have been married for 21 wonderful years. He is my best friend. We have one child, a son, who is fifteen and our dog is a labrador named "Rose".

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

I usually start the day at 5:30 a.m. First, is coffee, then I get ready for my day job in advertising. When arriving home from work, I get dinner ready and check my emails. Then, usually watch a little television to wind down. If I have orders to pack or custom paintings to finish, I start on those and finish working by 8:30 p.m. At this time, it's back to the computer to check on the shop and answer anymore emails, or sometimes I read a book.

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

Absolutely! I can remember making jewelry, art, dresses for my dolls or anything that I needed and didn't have. My mother is very good at drawing and she always encouraged me when I was little, and we have a very creative family. So, I guess it's in the genes.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

Basically, I saw an article in a magazine about Etsy. I just had to check it out, but it was a little while before I actually took the plunge and opened a shop.

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

I had so much to learn when I opened my shop and didn't have very good photos etc. It was at least a month before I got a sale. Don't worry if it takes a little while to get a sale. Just keep working on your photos and your work until your business takes off.

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

Food: Chocolate, cheesecake, key lime pie ice cream, lasagna, pizza.
TV: CSI.
Bands: Duran Duran, Evanessence, Linkin Park and Def Leppard.

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

I'd like to try encaustic, and pottery.

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

Customer service is #1. When you open your shop, photos and listing new items are important, but make sure that you put your customers first. A happy customer will come back again and again, because they enjoy buying from you. Try your best to ship orders out as soon as you can, and if there is any delay, make sure to let your customer know. In addition to that, I would say that advertising is essential. Any advertising for your shop is an investment. Lastly, visiting the forums and participating on teams are great ways to find people with similar interests and be known. People in the Etsy forums are always very helpful and I have received alot of advice there.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Tim's Sally, Roz Art, and Paintchic

-One year from now...

I hope to have art in local shops and maybe even do some art shows. But mostly, I would be happy just being here on Etsy and to continue being inspired in my art.

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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, January 8, 2011

#244 unofficial etsy featured seller - TheShabbyChicCottage

#244 unofficial etsy featured seller - TheShabbyChicCottage
Date joined etsy- 10/17/09
Sales to date - 1980
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Gina, and I've been married to my prince charming, otherwise known as Mr. SCC for nearly 10 years. We have 2 girls, Lala and Bre. Our cat Buddy rules our roost :) We live way out in the sticks in southern Tennessee, 10 miles from ANYTHING - including our closest gas station. We love our shabby little cottage by the creek, it's the best place in the world to live! If I'm not working or blogging, you can probably find me snuggled up reading a book, watching NCIS (I'm a DiNozzo addict!), or playing around with my girlies.

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

My day starts about 6 a.m. with a daily phone call to my best friend, then I see if I have any computer business to attend to. Depending on what has sold, I'm either stamping, painting, sewing... whatever needs to be done. I check my email/convos at least a dozen times a day. I like to tackle things as they come about. About 4 p.m. the girls get home from school and then I basically stop the hands on work and just do computer work. Sometimes, if orders are piling up, then I work a little while longer at night.

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

I've always been a writer, since I was really young. I even got my BS in Professional Writing. It's the way I cleanse my soul. When I moved into my first apartment, I wanted it to be beautiful, but I was BROKE. So, I learned tricks to making a home pretty on a penny. That is my favorite kind of creative outlet.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I started a blog in April 2009 to share the tales of remodeling our home. I was surprised at how fast it found a following. Several of my readers began asking if I was ever going to open a shop so they could buy the pillows, curtains, etc. that I did tutorials for. In October of that same year I opened shop.

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

I got my first sale the first day I listed something. I did have an audience through my blog before I opened, so my "first sale" story is a little different than most folks. It took about 2 months before I started getting daily sales, and after 4 months I was doing it full time :)

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

Like all southerners, I LOVE food :) Pizza, hot wings, a really good steak, shrimp alfredo, Corn Pops (I live on those!)

I'm a total TV Junkie! NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, The Vanilla Ice Project, anything Sarah Richardson, and Blue Bloods. I could list soooo many more. My DVR is always packed...

Only 5? The Beastie Boys, Michael Buble, Kenny Chesney, Maroon 5, and Jack Johnson (crazy eclectic!)
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing?

Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc. Aha! I do a little bit of everything, whatever tickles my fancy, lol. I would like to become a better wood worker, I'm hoping to get a laithe soon. I'm always learning new skills to expand my market. I know that there is a truth to "doing one thing and doing it well," but I have artistic ADD and can't just do one thing!

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

Start by joining the Etsy community: hang out in the forums, join a team, find friends. I also highly suggest blog advertising, on one that fits your audience. It's the single biggest thing I've done to help my business grow.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

I ♥ SadieOlive, AirportLoveStory and JKPhotography, there are so many great shops on Etsy!

-One year from now...

I hope I'm finished remodeling my house - seriously we've been working on it 3 years now. But on the business end, I hope to have our furniture line up and running, it's been a long time dream of ours.


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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, January 7, 2011

#243 unofficial etsy featured seller - banyantreeclothing

#243 unofficial etsy featured seller - banyantreeclothing
Date joined etsy- 10/21/08
Sales to date - 452
Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

Hi, my name is Katherine. I live and work in a great old “farm house” in Eugene, Oregon. Though I am in town, I have a small creek going through my front yard and am surrounded by trees. I have lived here for 24 years! My house is approximately one half workspace. I have a tiny studio next to my house that is just for screen printing. I am a full time graphic designer and design and print t-shirts part time. My 26 year-old son, Jonah, has just come aboard this past year and he would like to quit his day job and work full time on the Banyan Tree. I have a chocolate lab named Coty and Yin/Yang cats (one all white, one, all black). I love pumpkin ice cream.

Describe an average day in life of “you”.

I get up very early, make coffee, and head right to the office. I keep pretty busy with my graphic design work, so that is priority one. Throughout the day, I check in on Etsy, relist items as needed and get generally taken in with all of the beautiful work, blogs, etc. I think up new designs. I get inspiration in just about everything I see.

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

Ms. Creative! I was the girl in the corner drawing in her sketch book., I designed and made a lot of my clothes, and touched on just about every craft known.

What made you want to start selling on etsy?

In 1984, the year my son was born, I opened a small boutique in Eugene, the Banyan Tree. It started out of my love for design and screen printing. I got into garment dying because I couldn’t find the right colors for my designs. I then started designing clothing, too and it became this little cottage industry. Everything was made in Eugene. I did that for 12 years. I loved it til I woke up one day and realized that more of my time was being spent on simply running the business. I sold my store and went back to school to learn the computer-tech side of graphic design. (When I graduated originally, there were no computers, it was all done by hand. T-Squares, X-acto knives and rubber cement!) Anyway...after getting back into graphic design, I really missed making things with my hands, and selling them, so I found Etsy and a balance in my life happened. Best of both worlds.

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

Just 2 days. Awesome!
Top 5 favorite foods, TV shows, and bands?

Seafood, spinach cheese focaccia, Mexican food and chocolate truffles. yum!

I do watch TV, but mostly movies. I love a good foreign flick. Anthony Bourdain, Chopped. Oh, I like that survival show with the hippie and the redneck. I forgot the name.

I am an old Deadhead and still love the Grateful Dead music. That is where I first made and sold t-shirts, to pay for traveling around to Dead shows. I love a lot of music. All kinds. I have been listening to real gypsy bands, just downloaded the entire Beatles catalog and am a die-hard Joni Mitchell fan.

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

I have 2 guitars and I wish I could play them well. Someday, I want to concentrate on really learning to play guitar well.

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

I am not very good in this area and could use some help, myself. I have a Banyan Tree Facebook page, but only post occasionally. My son sells at the Eugene Saturday Market in the spring and summer and we do a huge craft show in July, the Oregon Country Fair, and give business cards out and refer people to the Etsy site. We are just now trying to devote more time to promotion. The more sales the merrier! (How DO those people get 1374+ sales??!!)

3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Just 3? That’s hard. OK, I will pick them ever so randomly.

brookhousepottery

sarahclemensclothing

jennytrinh

One year from now...

I want to be doing the same thing with a little more space to do it in. I just feel so lucky and blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love. With a bigger studio space., I can love it more. My dream is to extend the house about 12 feet out. And I am thinking of designing clothing again.

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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, January 6, 2011

#242 unofficial etsy featured seller - SavageArtworks

#242 unofficial etsy featured seller - SavageArtworks
Date joined etsy- 1/26/08
Sales to date - 968
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Terry. The last name shouldn't be too difficult to figure out. I live in Vancouver BC Canada, a wonderful place. My husband and I are now empty nesters, with all 3 of our kids out on their own. We have one dog at the moment, she was rescued from an animal shelter many years ago. We have always had all sorts of pets though. Not a big ice cream eater, but when I do, it's chocolate.

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

I go to real work in the morning. It's a 4 hour job at a local elementery school, running a lunch program for inner city kids. Then I come home and catch up with emails, orders and things in the forums. I do a bit of exercise, any household chores, make supper and spend a bit of time with hubby. Then I get to do something I look forward to all day, and that's take myself into my studio, I have a TV in there so I can have on my favourite programs and paint. I work until bedtime usually, which is at 11.

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

I loved to draw. Back then it was animals, and pop art posters. My mom is very talented and we used to do art and crafts together all the time. I really got inspired from her.
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I am shy and have a hard time selling in person, so I stopped. Someone told me about Etsy and it sounded perfect for me, and it was easy to start. I wanted to get a feel for selling online and expected it to take time. I really was hoping to make a small business for when I retired, even though that is a little ways off.

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

A week. :)

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

Foods: lasagna, potato chips, chocolate, bacon, cherries ( I had to put one healthy thing in there)
TV Shows : Criminal Minds, NCIS, The Walking Dead, Survivor, Destination Truth
Bands: The Cure, The Beatles, Ok Go, Fleetwood Mac....I give up. Too many different ones and different styles to decide.

-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 knit well, and play the guitar. I would also love to make things with wood, but am kind of afraid of power tools.
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?

Put on your snark proof pants and check out the forums on Etsy. Be respectful and you can get people to go to your shop and you can learn a lot.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

hard to pick 3
-fing (cute felted animals)
-littlewoodpeople( like it says, but very weird and creative)
-moonscreations (amigurumi)

-One year from now..

I would love to be doing pretty much what I'm doing now. But I would be happy if business was busy enough for me to do it full 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 :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

#241 unofficial etsy featured seller - MapleShadeKids

#241 unofficial etsy featured seller - MapleShadeKids
Date joined etsy- 12/2/08
Sales to date - 610
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.

My name is Wanda Hirsch and I live in New Hampshire with my husband, 10 year old daughter, 7 year old twin boys and our two rescued cats. My favorite ice-cream flavor is grape-nut (I know, I know!). I love combining vintage and modern decor so our 1800 New England farm house is the perfect backdrop to add fun, modern pieces.

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

6:00am: Rise and Shine!.... ahh, peace and quiet. With a big mug of hot brewed coffee, I check for sales, return emails and/or pack products to be shipped.

7:00am: Try and wake the rest of the family. No one, but me, likes mornings.

8:00am: Drop kids off at school and packages at the post office.

9:00am-3:00pm: Creation time! Glue, seal, cut wood products, sand, take pictures - whatever my goals are for the day. Enjoy a quick lunch with my husband, who is also fortunate enough to work from home.

3:00: Mom Duty. Snacks, soccer, dance, boyscouts, help with homework. If possible, put a quick coat of sealer on products if need be.

6:30pm: Family dinner. Eat, talk, laugh.

8:00: Kids into bed. Try not to fall asleep as I snuggle up with them while they read to me.

8:30 - Relax with book, movie or tv show.

10:00pm - Sleep

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

I grew up in a small town in Maine climbing apple trees, balancing on old rock walls, and creating many “gifts” for family members and friends. These gifts ranged from drawings and magazine collages to painted wood boxes and pot holders – you name it, I did it.

-What made you want to start selling on etsy?

I came across Etsy in a magazine article. After checking it out, I knew instantly it was the perfect place for me. No need to spend weekends at craft fairs or carting around 3 kids trying to pitch my products to businesses.

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

I posted a few products and waited and waited and waited for 5 long weeks before my first sale!
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Indian or Thai food - bring on the spice!
Shows: Modern Family, Dancing with the Stars, anything design related on HGTV.
Music: Jack Johnson, Yael Naim.

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

I’m inspired by all the beautiful fabric out there and admire people who can sew gorgeous items. Right now, my children know to go to their dad if something needs to be sewed. Maybe someday I will surprise them!

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

Stay a top Etsy’s merchandising themes by visiting www.etsy.com/storque/seller-handbook/ and reading “From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk” each month. Here you will find the hot items Etsy will be looking for and can create and tag items/treasuries accordingly.
Re-list at least a product every day. The 20cent listing fee will definitly pay off.


-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

www.etsy.com/shop/irenesuchocki
www.etsy.com/shop/herbolution
www.etsy.com/shop/ethanollie

-One year from now

I see Maple Shade Kids product line growing to incorporate new and exciting eco items and designs. Chat later, I better get back to creating! Best of luck!

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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 :)