Contributor post by Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots
Please join us in welcoming Jodi of 19Designs, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a mom, wife, and a paralegal by trade. I have been married for 29 years to my best friend and together we have three beautiful, smart, and creative children. I retired when our youngest was three so that I could stay home and raise them. We also have three rescue doggies who are a huge source of joy in our lives.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I started my shop in June of 2010. I had no intention of opening a shop, but my eldest had just left for college and I found I needed something to help keep my mind occupied. I had been scrapbooking as a hobby for years creating albums for both family and friends. So, I decided to use that creative outlook and started selling cards, albums, and other handmade items on Etsy.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My cards, mini albums, and bookmarks are all handmade by me. I choose every piece of card stock, sentiment, ribbon, and embellishment that I use in or on each item to make it as personal a piece as possible for each buyer.
What inspires your work?
My work is inspired by the prints, textiles, and patterns that I see in the world around me, whether it is from the latest trends on-line to the flowers in my garden. There are so many color schemes everywhere and it makes me think about using color combinations in my work that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My future goals for my shop are to implement new techniques and mediums in my products to expand my creations even further. For instance, I was recently introduced to copic markers and the artists Sherri Baldy and Stamping Bella. I am addicted to this medium. I have now begun creating reading bookmarks using both of these artists images. They are so cute….they make me happy!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I think my shop stands out because I pay a lot of attention to details that can be easily seen through my distinct trademarks such as my finishing ribbons, delicate embellishments, and unique pattern combinations.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I actually have two work spaces; my home and on our family boat. The contrasting environments help to change-up my creativity, especially when I feel a bit of artistic block.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Before opening my Etsy shop, I wish I knew how important the role of social media would be to help promote my work. I now know the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest which greatly affects my sales. I wish I had jumped on the social media train sooner!
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
PATIENCE! You must have patience if you are going to have an Etsy shop. It takes time and patience to build your shop and for people to find you. Etsy is a huge umbrella of shops and you need to do something that stands out. You need to know who your target audience is and promote directly to them. Promoting does not have to be expensive; it does not even have to cost a dime. Social media is a great way to get your name and products out there.
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 on my shop, I am usually down at our boat in the marina with the family. I love to read, scrapbook, cross-stitch, garden, and take photographs of my kids and doggies. I am a die-hard hockey fan of the Los Angeles Kings (Drew Doughty is my favorite player) and can be found in front of the t.v. watching every Kings game if I am not at the Staples Center watching it live.
What is your favorite quote?
I actually have two favorite quotes:
1. Everything happens for a reason; and,
2. What’s meant to be, will be.
Where can people find out more about your business?
You can find out more about my business by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I post both new and current listings regularly. I also had a blog on WordPress called “Paper and Pucks” (my nod to hockey), but due to the exorbitant amount of time I spend on my shop, I had to put that aside for the time being. I hope to one day go back to it.
You can find the links to my shop on these sites below:
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I think if you are truly passionate about your work, it will show and you will do well on Etsy. It does take a lot of time and hard work, but you can make it what you want it to be with drive and determination. Getting another sale and making new friends on Etsy never gets old. It’s what keeps me driven to do better and offer my customers cards and albums that they wouldn’t otherwise find in a regular store.
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.