Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Please join us in welcoming Miss Marley of Miss Marley Boutique, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Miss Marley, I’m an artist/illustrator and musician. I grew up in a creative home with plenty of music, art and nature to inspire me. I live in sub-tropical Australia by the rainforest with my husband, two sons and little black dog Oliver-Boliver. I am passionate about the environment, art and music and love to have adventures!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my Etsy store on the 31st August 2014. I have been manifesting this goal for some time. I have dreamt about processing my designs onto t-shirts and other fabulous products for a long time and I am SO excited to finally be achieving some of my goals (I have so many!) and have an online retail space, which is part of such a fabulous, creative community.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My products are ethically and sustainably sourced where possible. They include t-shirts, pillow cases and tea towels and I will have greeting cards, prints and other gorgeous products available soon. I hand screen print these in my gorgeous, crooked wooden house using water based inks. I draw my designs, expose screens myself and then print away!
Most of my t-shirts are organic cotton (save the bees!) and all are ethically made (sweat shop free). One line of t-shirts are carbon neutral – as I believe we are all responsible for making the world are more fair and fabulous place to be!
My designs are often whimsical, quirky characters…they are often sailing with spider thin legs, dainty safety pin arms ready for adventure of a whimsical nature. With just the right edge of darkness and plenty of sunshine to spare. Each of their stories are sewn in dresses, threaded in striped stockings, tucked in tiny shoes and woven amongst their hair. With one foot in the sea, one foot on the shore they dip in all the worlds with bird-girls, dainty dogs, parasol beauties and all a madness of maidens to meet.
What inspires your work?
My designs reflect the inner workings of my Miss Marley mind and often represent my beliefs about the world and all the beautiful chaotic silliness of being human. I am inspired by music, interesting characters (both real and imagined), animals, fairy-tales, my beautiful family, art, culture and nature.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My goals for 2015 are to…
• Expand my product range; I have some gorgeous ideas and products in the pipe-line!
• Collaborate with other artists to create gorgeous pieces together, I have some fab’ artist friends and family and we are inspiring projects for 2015.
• Expand my social media presence – well really build one!
• Start selling in person – I love meeting new people and look forward to selling at markets and craft fairs.
• Prioritize more time for my Miss Marley splendour! Life is busy and I aim to spend more time building up my business.
• Continue to have fun, challenge myself and love what I do!
My dream for this business is to see it grow, to build a strong customer base and do it for a living!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Everyone has a different take on life – this diversity is magical! So my Miss Marley magic adds to the mix!
I like to think of my products as gorgeous characters, drawn from my Miss Marley mind that are ready for an adventure! They are a companion to the customer – an entity of whimsy and fun!
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have ‘work areas’ around my home – I draw in many locations around my home…in the garden, in bed with a cup of tea, at my desk or when on adventures. I expose screens in my son’s make-shift animation studio – a very small curtained off room to block out all natural light. I screen print on my ‘art’ bench by a large window with plenty of natural light, where I can look out at palm trees, wallabies, lizards and all types of birds.
As we continue with house renovations I will set up a more organised studio – I have a vision of exactly how I would like it to look!
Where can people find out more about you and your business?
I will be expanding my internet presence and social networking…but for now you can find me on:
Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/MissMarleyBoutique
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/marley0294/
Website – www.missmarley.com.au
Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs. buying mass-produced products from box stores?
I believe by buying hand-made you are making the world a better place. You are supporting skills and trades that may become lost to big corporations or machinery. There is a human quality to each piece – there is an honesty and integrity in the purchase that you do not find when buying mass produced products.
I also believe that buying hand-made over mass-produced products is more often than not a healthier choice for the environment and a fairer society. We need to consider these important things as consumers.
You are also supporting creativity – which is integral to contributing to the beauty in the world!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known beforehand?
That sales can be hard to catch on Etsy when first starting out – I’m determined to build up a strong customer base and am here for the long haul!
I think ensuring being organised from the start, along with being determined, persistent, and enthusiastic and continue to set goals along the way.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
– Promote yourself on Etsy and in the world
– Set short term and long term goals
– Stay determined
– Enjoy your creativity!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I play the drums, read, watch films, catch up with friends, dance, play with my kids and love adventures.
What is your favourite quote?
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – Jack Kerouac
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
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.