Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a wife, mother and grandmother. I like re-purposed glassware crafts, sewing, crocheting, photography, and fun jewelry. I also like strolling down Memory Lane with “retro” or “vintage” finds.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my shop in November 2014. My daughter, Mrs. B. and I had been selling handmade items at local craft fairs. We were using the vintage material I inherited from my mother and grandmothers to make these handmade treasures. It wasn’t long before we decided to expand our customer base by going online, and Etsy was an easy choice. From there, we added other vintage items and the rest, as they say, is history.
Tell us a bit about your products.
We sell handmade and vintage treasures. Our handmade treasures include pillow covers, crocheted dish cloths, and woven cotton pot holders. We are really excited about some new handmade ideas that are in the works for the near future. As far as vintage treasures, we have a nice selection of vintage glassware, brass and collectibles, and we are always looking for quality items to list.
What inspires your work?
I grew up hearing stories about living during The Great Depression and listening to the music of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. My dad collected many vintage and antique items through the years. Some of them were pieces woven into our family history, and I enjoyed hearing the family stories behind them. Those stories were both enlightening and entertaining. They helped cultivate the appreciation for the history behind each vintage piece.
My mother and both of my grandmothers were accomplished seamstresses. I think they were re-purposing and up-cycling in their day more out of necessity than a choice of style. We carry on the family tradition of skillfully hand-crafting items with love. Each handmade item has its own story. Much thought and time has been given to each piece.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
This year I hope to double my listings. Ideally, I would like to have over 200 listings in my shop by the end of the year. I would also like to expand further into social media. But one of the things I’m most excited about are those ideas swirling around in my head for handmade treasures to make and list. With these ideas, we will be expanding our re-cycled and up-cycled treasures in the handmade category.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
We are not only excited about what we do, but we have fun doing it. I hope part of what sets us apart is our customer service and the fact that we are always trying to find ways to better supply our customers with quality vintage pieces and useful handmade items.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I work out of my home. My home is small which makes my work space oven smaller. Sometimes I set up shop on the dining room table and other times I’m at the sewing machine. Mrs. B. and I have learned to make good use of our small spaces which is part of what motivates us to create useful handmade items for each of our own homes.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I have sold online before, but Etsy is different. Etsy is like having a brick and mortar shop in the sense that you do all of your own promotion. When I started selling, I wish I would have known how involved I would need to be in social media. It has been a big learning curve for me.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Selling on Etsy will require a lot of work and a lot of time. You will need to join good teams that provide support and education. Choose one or two social media outlets to become proficient in and promote your shop and others through that venue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want your shop to be a hobby, that is great, but if you want an Etsy business, hang on for the ride…and have fun!!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Hubby and I are very active in our church so our faith is a vital part of our lives. We have children and grandchildren that live close by and the path between our house and theirs is well-traveled. We have a lot of fun going on vintage hunts together and hope to do even more once we retire.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27
Where can people find out more about your business?
I am on Pinterest, Twitter, and I have my own blog, “Missives from The Mrs”.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Our shop name was formerly TwoArtisans. Mrs. B. and I chose that name because our shop had two contributors and we were selling handmade items, hence Artisans. Recently, we decided to change our name to more accurately describe what you will find when you visit us. 2a came from TwoArtisans, and we chose Emporium because of its definition – a store selling a wide variety of goods. So TwoArtisans officially begins 2017 as 2aEmporium.
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