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.




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.

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