Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Alison, owner of Mettaville. I make journals, diaries and notebooks. I love journaling, writing, doodling and simply filling the pages of journals with words and colours. I live with my husband Gene and our adorable white cat Kiki in semi rural Auckland. I love nature and am so grateful to be living where we are. When I’m not making books, you can find me pottering in the garden or go wandering about taking photos with my husband.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened Mettaville Etsy shop in 2009, back then I was not serious about it. I did many things before settling into selling journals. I am a journal writer and love a good journal to write in. After attending a bookbinding workshop with the intention to making my own journals to write in, I fell in love with the bookmaking process that I decided to revive and revamp my Etsy shop in 2013 and focus on selling handmade journals and have since been doing so.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My journals are made with fabric wrapped covers and hand bound with thread. I have 2 ranges of journals, one with commercial fabric that I purchase from shops and my recent designs are my shibori indigo journals which I personally hand dyed the fabric using shibori technique and make them into journal covers. I use high quality recycled paper which are eco-friendly and a good weight to write on. I love them and have had many good feedbacks on this paper. Currently my journals come in two sizes, small (A6) and large (A5). Mainly the journals can be used as travel journal, gratitude journal or simply a personal diary to write heart thoughts, adventure, stories, sketches and even collages. All my journals are carefully crafted and hand bound with kindness and care for people to enjoy expressing themselves in the blank pages. I find journaling to be healing and comforting and I know many who do write agrees to that too.
What inspires your work?
Anything and everything. A walk at the beach inspired me to do a series of “Stories from the Sea” journals where I sewed drift wood onto the cover page. A chat with a friend or simply sitting and staring at my garden and get those aha moment and go “I could do this!” (I do that a lot – staring at my garden)!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My goal this year is to have a more consistent monthly sales and have a more stable, regular income from my business. I want it to be a sustainable and profitable business so that my husband and I, and our cat, can live more comfortably.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Right now I am focusing on shibori indigo journals. This is my niche and I cater for the needs of the modern boho men and women. By that (modern boho) I mean the new generation that loves technology (hello Etsy and Instagram!) and yet still enjoy and appreciate the old ways of doing things, handmade products, in this case hand bound journals and writing with ink on paper.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
We converted a tiny room in our current house into my studio and I am so grateful for this space. I love the big window and natural light, the sun shines in here first thing every morning.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Oh so many things! Photography is one and I am still working on that. SEO, marketing and the list goes on and on. Running a business is an ongoing learning process, that’s for sure.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Hard work, patience, determination, and a lot of fun too lets not forget that, did I mention hard work?
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Gardening, playing with my cat, go walking in the bush or by the sea.
What is your favorite quote?
“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Where can people find out more about your business?
My Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Mettaville
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