Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I have been sewing for about 20 years. I started with making my own clothes, as did my mother. Then evolved from small repairs for friends and family, to creating purses, pillows, and accessories!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my shop in 2013. I really started in 2014. I made a whole 13 sales on Etsy. I have come a long way, but wanted to do more with my little handmade business. I didn’t want to do a ton of traveling to craft shows my whole life. After reading all I could about Etsy, I worked on everything. Photos, writing, and sewing. They started coming together when my husband told me what I should be doing. His sense of humor, got me through a lot of slow times.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I create with 100% cotton fabric. Using cotton to create purses, accessories and other items for those on the go. I have made each item for myself or my home. Then trying to keep things fresh for what I sell at my craft events, and what is in my shop!
What inspires your work?
I love traveling to Quilt Shops. Petting and looking at fabric, just gets the ideas going. If it is small changes to items already in my shop. OR new prints and patterns for ideas yet to come. I find a quilt shop very relaxing. It gets the juice flowing!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I have always wanted to open an actual shop. But just getting a website open outside of Etsy is the first step. I hope to add clothing to my shop. Offering everyday items, that people will love, and will get noticed.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I pride myself on what I offer. Handmade quality crafted items. I have had many customers tell me that the quality of the fabric I use and the small details for assembly are what stand out.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have a small bedroom upstairs in my home. I have a closet full of fabric, and a few bags on the floor. (Don’t tell me husband!) I have a large cutting table that has about 4 projects waiting for my attention. As well as the ironing board with a stack of fabric that needs pressing. (If anyone is willing to travel here and get that done, I’ll cook for them!) I have a computer desk that I use for my sewing machine. Stereo sits below, so I have music to sew to. A few cabinets along the closet wall that holds other supplies like zippers, buttons, hooks, snaps, etc…
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Never do your own taxes! I print out all my receipts from my online sales, or my shipping totals. I had everything to Gloria. Then she calls me when the numbers are added up. A shop owner has enough to deal with. Don’t give yourself a headaches over something you can give to a professional!
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Find your target market! Without that you are not selling to anyone.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I have really gotten into gardening. My husband and I just bought a house in 2014. Last year was the first year for a veggie garden. I had so much SALSA it was a fiesta every night!
I had lots of herbs growing everywhere that I noticed last week, they are coming back. I plan to plant more bulbs this year. None of the previous owners did so. And Spring is my favorite time of the year, to see new flowers pushing up through the dirt!
What is your favorite quote?
” I want you, I need you. Oh baby, Oh baby”
From 10 things I hate about you. Julia Stiles, I believe she is drunk at a party.
That is the kind of humor I love.
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.