Contributor post by Elizabeth of CottageCraftsOnline
Tell us about yourself.
I currently live in Virginia but consider myself a transplant from NY state. I am married to my best friend and we have two fur babies, one black and one yellow lab, we spoil beyond belief. Actually, my hubby is the one who spoils them, I am the one walking around shaking her head. I am also the grandma of two beautiful granddaughters (ages are now 6 months and 6 years old) who still live in NY. I work outside of the home as an office manager so that usually only permits me to be creative on the weekends. Pair all this together with being an Etsy team leader, and you will find I am usually quite busy.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
My Etsy shop opened in early January of 2012. I grew frustrated with going to the store to buy a certain piece of jewelry to add to my collection, only to find what I REALLY wanted didn’t exist in any of the stores I shopped at. Either the style was not what I had in mind or the color was the wrong shade or combination of colors altogether. Being “crafty” most of my adult life, I decided to just go ahead and make my own and save myself a lot of time. That led to me showing off the treasures I created to co-workers and friends. After some pretty strong persuasion from the co-workers, my Etsy shop opened.
Tell us a bit about your products.
Cynhumphrey offers a wide selection of one-of-a-kind gift ideas. You will find beaded jewelry, electronic accessories, wine bottle / glass charms, scarf accessories, boot accessories, and most recently added, jar candle embellishments. Add an assortment of some upcycled home decor to include high heel shoe ring organizers and wine cork keepsake boxes and you pretty much sum up the contents of my shop.
What inspires your work?
I love being able to offer affordable one-of-a-kind items that could quite easily be the talk around the office water cooler. Many times I have collaborated with a photography shop on Etsy and used a nature picture to inspire some of my creations, picking up on various shades of color or texture within that picture. I like to think that doing this allows me to capture something the camera missed.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My business goals for this year? I would like to add new items for men and perhaps some do-it-yourself kits for children. I am also working on packaging ideas for the various items I offer and will implementing some ideas I would like to test. My dream for the business? At this point in my life, I do not think that I am at a point where I can turn Etsy into a full-time business. I am happy to continue growing slowly with each passing year and look forward to establishing many happy, positive relationships with my customers.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I happen to LOVE what I do! A lot of thought goes into each item I create and I don’t send anything out the door that I myself wouldn’t love to receive as a gift. A satisfied customer really is a priority to me.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
One word that would describe my work space is….. unorganized! I do have one room of the house devoted to my “stash” of supplies and this also doubles as my photography area. However, when creating items, well, let’s just say you usually can’t find my kitchen table during the weekend. I do try to keep my stash room somewhat orderly but gave up on that because every time I went in there to clean, I would get distracted by the goodies I would find that I forgot I had!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
The hardest thing I think for any new Etsy shop owner to learn is that this is not a get rich quick fix (for most). It also involves a lot of hard work. You can’t just list a few beautiful items and hope and wait for someone to find them. There is a lot of networking involved.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
I certainly would recommend selling on Etsy. I have established some great relationships with customers and team members. Do your homework, read the Etsy handbook, and most of all, take good photographs of your items.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Actually creating items for Cynhumphrey is how I unwind. I truly love what I do. Crafts would be my main hobby and I do enjoy a variety of them.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s not about the destination, but the journey and the people you touched along the way.
Where can people find out more about your business?
My Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/Cynhumphrey
My FaceBook: www.facebook.com/CynhumphreyCreativeCreations
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.