Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
It was my daughter’s future that inspired me to join the Etsy Marketplace. As a single mother on one, I needed to be able to earn enough extra income to send her to college one day. I was introduced to Etsy about 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with the idea of turning my love for crafting into a small-business of my own.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my store in 2011, it took a full year before I was able to create a single pair of tiny baby booties that I felt were truly perfect. Every year that went by I continued to change the way I was making them, trying to complete with a store-bought pair of shoes. While there were so many frustrations along the way, I couldn’t bring myself to give up. I knew that the shoes I offered were going to be incredibly special to so many families and it was important to me that I pushed myself to make sure our personalized baby shoes became a reality. I quickly became very busy with my shoes and loved every minute.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My personalized, monogrammed baby booties are made for your Little Prince and Princess and these shoes are a beautiful keepsake for families to have years to come. Each pair is hand-made from a bolt of fabric, no pre-made shoes here. I created these shoes with care and tons of love.
What inspires your work?
My daughter is my biggest inspiration for my shop. Even now as she has becomes a young lady I consider her being where she is today as a direct result of my passion and commitment to my Etsy Shop. It wasn’t easy but I’m so proud of my daughter and her accomplishments in school, and now a Senior in college, I can’t even believe how fast the time goes by.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My goals for the future of KayLaneSisters is to be the best I can be, and enjoy every single pair of shoes I make. I often dream of doing this business full-time, I have an amazing support system in place and one day with will be my sole income.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Our shoes are hard to duplicate, I see others try, but the secret ingredient in our process helps keep us heads and shoulders above our competition. I offer a wide range of customizing options, to colors and fonts and most of the new ideas you see in my shop comes directly from my customers, wanting to order a pair they don’t see in my shop. I had a customer want a pair of baby shoes covered in little pearls and I thought, I had not seen that before but i would love the challenge.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I do have a separate studio where I do all my brain storming and production. It’s a great to have a little space of my own to get lost in the moment, knowing that a sweet little baby will soon be wearing my shoes on their special day.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I have learned so much since opening my Etsy shop. Mostly how to be inviting thru emails and communications with potential customers. With an online business you have to learn to put your personality down on paper. Your customers can’t see how excited you are when you get their order, so it’s up to you to convey that to them. I wish I knew all the little ticks of the online business trade before I started. I think I would have been a lot further along than where I am today. I do try to offer up anything information that I come across and share that in the Etsy forums.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Advice for anyone thinking of opening a Shop on Etsy… do it and do it now. Pick a craft that you love, and your business will flourish. I have encouraged 5 of my friends to start their own shops on Etsy. With me giving each of them as much knowledge as I have to give, they are all doing very well. I tell them, it’s all about promoting, promoting and promoting.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
When I’m not working on my baby shoes, I love to be with family and friends. My hobby is my sewing, and I really enjoy making money doing what i love…and that is sewing. Creating is such a wonderful outlet for stress.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote or saying is: Challenge yourself everyday to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to beyond your present circumstances.
Life doesn’t always turn out like you would want it to, but it turns out like it’s supposed too …and once we accept that, life moves in a direction that makes sense.
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.