Contributor post by Anna of Unexpected Treasure
Please join us in welcoming Lisa Cato of Everything Nice 4 Dolls, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself
I am married and we have a daughter that is about to turn 12. I work as a elementary school librarian in a small rural Texas town. I really enjoy sewing as much as I can when I’m not working at the school. I was born and raised in Tennessee but I moved to Texas when I met and married my husband. I enjoy reading, sewing, and cooking.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my business in March of 2013. I have always had the love of sewing and making dresses for my daughter. When my daughter was about 9 she really started to get interested in American Girl dolls. So we got her a My American Girl doll for her birthday. I started making a few outfits for her dolls and I realized how fun they were to make and that’s when I knew that I wanted to try to sell them. I was not really satisfied with the way they turned out at first because it had been a while since I had sewn. So my daughter got a lot of my first boo boos! But as time went on I got better and once I had my sewing skills perfected I opened my Etsy shop and started selling.
Tell us a bit about your products
I make outfits for American Girl dolls and other 18 inch dolls such as Our Generation, My Life, etc. I try to put a lot of detail in my work. I had a co worker that said she loved my outfits because they look like real clothes but only tiny. I do a lot of things like top stitching the garment. That really makes the outfit look professional. I also finish all of my seams. I use a lot of patterns from Liberty Jane pattern company. I am also a Liberty Jane partner.
What inspires your work?
My mom has always been a big inspiration for me. As long as I can remember, she has always sewn. When I first started sewing she was always there to help me if I had a question about sewing. And hopefully I can be a big help and inspiration to my daughter when she starts to learn how to sew. But as far as my products, I can just look at a piece of fabric and I can get ideas in my head about what I want to make with it. For instance, I got the idea to make a little cowgirl dress from some red bandanna and blue floral material. So I knew that it would look great in the Summer Tea dress pattern from Kotton Candy doll fashions. It has been one of my best sellers.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I’m hoping to be able to buy an embroidery sewing machine. I’ve had some requests to have some embroidered words on some of my outfits. Also I’d really like to make more matching doll and children’s dresses. I would eventually like to be able to do well enough that I could stay at home and work full time at my sewing shop.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
We make sure that the fabrics that we choose are of the best quality. A lot of attention to detail is used in our clothing for 18 inch dolls. We make a wide variety of outfits for the dolls from fancy dresses, pajamas, and even blue jeans!
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have a small work space that is an enclosed porch area. It may be tiny but I manage to get a lot of work done there.
Where can people find out more about you and your business?
We can be reached at :
http://etsy.com/shop/EverythingNice4Dolls http://www.evrythngnice4dolls.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/Everythingnice4dolls http://www.pinterst.com/misskitty49
email me @email@example.com
Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?
I believe that handmade products are made a lot better than those that are mass-produced. I put those little fine touches to my work that the big box stores really can’t do.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I’ve really learned a lot but what I’ve learned most of all is that you have got to know how to price your items so that you will be able to make a profit but yet not have them priced too high.
Any advise for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Just don’t give up if you don’t get sales right away. If you have a product that people want and it’s good quality then you will get sales.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I like to travel and see places that I’ve never seen. I also enjoy taking our daughter to the movies and the water park. I enjoy sewing of course, reading, and photography.
What is your favourite quote?
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. – Maya Angelo
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Do the things that you love.
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.