Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Hi everyone I’m Leigh and my shop is Meri Makes, I’m 33 and I live and work in Stoke-on-trent, England. I’m a wife and stay at home mum to my two-year old son Milo. I have a degree in Fine art and I have always loved making and creating things. Since having my son I have awoken my creative spirit and decided to embark on creating as a career.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my business in February 2016 with some bunny themed bunting. I made some Christmas stockings for family over Christmas and everyone loved them and said I should sell them. They took me a long time to make and my main love is working with paper so I went off and started experimenting with things I could make out of paper and sell. I listed my first paper make which was butterfly shaped confetti in March.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I’m currently concentrating on making Confetti, gift tags and wedding favours. I love paper and my motto is: If I can make it with paper I will. I’m due to add a few extra Christmas related products to my shop in July which I’m really excited about. Everything in my shop is handmade by me.
What inspires your work?
My inspiration comes from nature. I’m lucky enough to have a park right on my doorstep I love anything organic and anything girly. My drive is inspired by my son as he never ever stops and I mean never lol.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
So my goals for the year are to get my name out there as much as possible and to start gaining more momentum. I have just signed up for 3 fairs so I’m getting my name out there and flying the flag for Meri Makes. My future goals are for my business to sustain me full-time and to take over the confetti world!
One goal at a time.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I think my products are rather girly and my newer products such as my test tubes filled with Confetti and sequins are unique. I also have over five years of customer service and this really shows and to me is something that sets me apart from my competitors.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I would love a separate workspace but at the moment I work from my dinning room table. I need a bigger house really but I’m happy working away here as I have a lovely view of the garden and park from the table.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
That it takes a lot more than just adding photos to sell your items on Etsy. There is so much promoting that has to be done on Etsy itself and social media and don’t even get me started on tags and titles.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Once you get the hang of it you will see results. Oh and you need patience “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I like to watch films I just love the cinema. One of my first jobs as a teenager was working in the cinema and I still love it to this day. I think one day I might have to open my own cinema! I also like wine and books and spending quality time with my family.
What is your favorite quote?
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
-William W. Purkey
I do all of the above and my singing is pretty bad ha ha ha!
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Just get on and do it! Don’t be scared! I toyed with the idea of opening a creative business for about four years because I thought I wouldn’t be good enough and people would laugh, well I was wrong and four days after opening my shop I got my first sale. So if I can do it anyone can.
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