Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I am a wife, mother and step mother. I am fortunate to be able to live in Highland Il on our 6 acre farm and also in my home in Austin Texas. It is a lot of traveling, but I get the best of both worlds, country and city life. I have a wonderful son, who is 23 years old, he lives in Austin, working and going to school. I also have 2 great step sons, they live in Illinois. My husband is a sweet man, who has helped make my dream of owning my own shop possible. He is currently building me a green house so I can continue to grow all winter long.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my store in February of 2015. I have been studying herbs for the last 7 years. The more I learned, the more I loved herbs and what they can do for you. Mother Nature has provided us with the best ingredients for a healthy body and beautiful skin. Most of the herbs I use have more calcium than citrus and more Iron than spinach. They are full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. I wanted to offer people products that were good for them. That would benefit them and their family, without costing an arm and a leg. All my products are made with herbs I grow on my farm, they are hand-picked and dried in my very special herb room. It is one of my favorite parts of my job, I love the smell of all the herbs and my herb room feels so calm and peaceful. I wish I could share that with everyone.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I make herbal infused skin care products, herbal teas, spices and organic melts. My skin care ranges from lotions, cleansers, bath salts, clay masks and I have a wonderful line of salves. All of the oils I use in my lotions and salves are solar infused with my herbs. Solar infusing the oils with herbs, makes the lotions and salves more nutritious for the skin. I have a great Calendula Lavender Salve, which is great for helping the healing process on small cuts, abrasions and bruises. My herbal teas are full of calcium, vitamins and minerals. They taste great and are very good for you. The herbs for my teas have been hand ground and we store them in air tight containers in a dark cool room to ensure their freshness. The same goes for my spices, I take the time to hand mix each of the spices, I also go through the my herbs to make sure I am only offering the freshest ingredients.
What inspires your work?
Plants. I love them, I continue to study even today. There is so much to learn. The benefits of using herbal products on your skin and including them in your diet, is so important. I want people to understand that good health and good nutrition doesn’t have to be hard or expensive and it is worth it. My motto is if you cannot pronounce the ingredient then you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin or in your body. Not too long ago all we did was rely on plant medicine. We do not want this information lost, I love sharing my knowledge with people.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My goal is to have a brick and mortar store. I would love to open an herbal tea shop or an apothecary. I would really like this to become my full-time job.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I believe that my growing, drying and grinding the herbs I use makes me stand out. Also my knowledge of the herbs and what they can do. I really love when someone tells me their specific issue and I can use my herbs to make them something unique, just specifically for them. It is my favorite part, it feels so rewarding to have someone tell you that you helped. I really love that feeling.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have a private herb room. It has drying racks, and jars and jars of herbs. It is a very cozy space. I have my work table and sometimes while I am grinding or mixing herbs, my husband comes and sits in my recliner and we just talk. I know that sounds terribly old-fashioned, but it feels so nice to sit in that space. He recently bought me a little electric fireplace, so in the winter is very cozy. It is my favorite room to be in.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
When I first started, I just assumed everyone knew about herbs like I did, so I did not put much description with my products. I slowly learned, people did not know about herbs but a lot of people wanted to learn. So I have been adding more detail and story behind what I do. The more I add the more people ask me questions and engage in my store. I wish I had begun this way.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
If you have a passion for something and are will to work hard for it, success will follow you. But do not go into Etsy thinking, I will put up a few items and be rich in a month. It takes a lot, A LOT of hard work. But I feel in the end it is worth it and there is nothing I would rather be doing. Take good pictures, believe in yourself and your product. Get involved in the community and keep working hard.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
When I am not working, I love reading, I read all the time. My husband and I also love to go to museums and travel. I also raise chickens and ducks. We have some of the friendliest chickens I have ever seen. They love hanging outside with us on nice weather days, it is very funny to see.
What is your favorite quote?
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain
Where can people find out more about your business?
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.