Member Feature: WitchesLairWreaths

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Laurie of WitchesLairWreaths, our featured member!

WitchesLairWreaths

Tell us about yourself.

I am a 3rd generation Floridian born in Tampa, Florida raised in Brandon, Florida. I am 50 years old and currently reside in Palm Harbor, Florida with my amazing husband Jeff whom I’ve been married to now for 15 years. Without his love & support, this dream would not be possible!  I must mention our sweet corgi dog “Lady” who keeps me from becoming a work-a-holic as, she requires her daily walks and rides along with me to the post office every time a sale is made in my shop. We have raised two beautiful daughters, Tabatha 32 & Alisha 25. Tabatha has blessed me with two beautiful grandchildren Carley 12 & Grayson 8 months. Thank you Jesus as I couldn’t be any more fortunate & blessed than I am!

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

My grand opening of The Witches Lair Wreaths was in September 2015. I decided to go into business for myself because I was tired of the rat race of working for someone else.  I am fortunate that my husband financially supports me. I am able to stay at home to run my business from my shop and commit to it as often as I need too.

Tell us a bit about your products.

In the beginning, I was making only wreaths and then I branched out and started making bows, centerpieces, swags & garlands in all sizes, for every Season, Theme & Team you can desire. My shop currently has over 250+ items in it. All hand made by me and are ready to ship out to you now. I have been collecting items for my art for many years. It could be a vase or a wooden tray, or a flower, a bumble bee pick, a ribbon, a gigantic pumpkin, a Marine plaque, etc. The next step is to do lots of research online for other items that coordinate with it and to help me to complete “the vision” that I have in my head of how my finished product is supposed to look. Once I have every piece in its place, I will assemble it to completion for my finished product.

What inspires your work?

My favorite Holiday’s are Halloween & Christmas! I was born on Halloween & that’s why I am “The Witch of The Witches Lair Wreaths”. I absolutely love the colors & themes of Halloween as, it keeps me young at heart.

I don’t usually make things too scary or gory but, I am proud of my Halloween vulture/skull centerpiece & my Fall/Fairy, pumpkin centerpieces. They are my original designs and are very unique.

My inspiration to open my Etsy shop is from becoming an empty nester & from the passion that I have from creating something beautiful with my own two hands.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My future goals for my business is to downsize the merchandise that I use to create my art with by spending more time working and less time shopping!

I am also, working on promoting a Etsy sale “Out with the old & In with the new”. Anything more than 3 years old in my shop will be marked down.  This will keep me motivated to stay up with the current trends and help me to move out the outdated items to clients at a cheaper rate as, the craft world is always evolving and so am I.

My dream for this business is for me to continue to grow and to reach for the stars with my creativity so that I can produce irresistible products that are one of a kind unique!

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I try to be different and think outside of the box when I am searching for my materials to create something new. Sometimes, I purchase an item just to tear it apart so that I can use that “one unique piece” just to make it my own style. I use many elements. Like I might spray paint a wooden or ceramic candlestick just to turn around and glue it to a charger plate which allows me space for a beautiful flower scape at the base, for my centerpiece. I also, love hand painting and stenciling words to make my own plaques. I cut, stuff and sew material sometimes too for that finished touch. The key is to customize my work so that it stands out from others. I mostly use high end quality materials but occasionally I will find that “gently used” second hand piece that inspires me too. I do a lot of customization pieces for my clients because they know that I can deliver a product designed with their vision in mind that will look absolutely amazing! Please make sure to read all of my 5 star ratings from my happy clients whom I must thank as, none of this is possible without them!

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

My amazing work space consists of a 25′ x 14′ room that is devoted entirely for storing some of my crafting items and also, for my every day work space. Located along the walls are 2 large industrial racks to support my inventory like my incomplete wreath & garland frames, centerpiece vases, plaques for my wreaths etc.

I had a carpenter customize to my drawings, 4 solid wood shelves to hold my every day and seasonal ribbons. There are shelves on the front & back sides easily accessible with the casters on the bottom to allow easy access as I turn it around to see what’s on the other side yet it stays flush against the wall to allow ample floor space in my work area. The rest of my ribbons are stored in jumbo ziploc bags and then placed inside of a rubber-made storage bin labeled for the appropriate season. Then I place out in our 3 car garage until needed again. In the center of the room is my work space area where I have placed two 6′ tables & two 4′ tables to make a large “U’ shape and my executive chair sits smack in the middle of it so, that I can access my work from many angles. I have a 4 drawer mesh organizer that holds my “go to” items like a hammer, saw-tooth hooks for my plaques. So many types of glue for all types of materials. Markers, pens, several types of tape, push pins, sewing pins, spray paints, latex gloves, brushes, more paints, stencils, paint tape, pain saucers to hold the water. I have glitter & glitter glue & raffia tie & twine in every color imagined.

I have a wooden table on wheels that I use solely for my shipping station. It homes my professional scale that accurately weighs my items, a measuring tape to measure the boxes for approximate height, length, width which is mandatory for accurate shipping rates for my website. There is a large solid wooden desk organizer that holds all of my VistaPrint mailing labels, Thank you cards, envelopes, instruction sheet on “How to rate your item on Etsy” that I print out and mail in every Thank you card with every purchase. Flyers for my art classes at Hobby Lobby which I leave in the store and hand out for publicity. Gift tags that coordinate with my merchandise that I tie either directly onto my merchandise or onto the ziploc bag that they are packed in for that extra, wow moment. Packing & Fragile tape for my boxes. I located

My desk in my bedroom with a printer, printer ink, printer paper, along with a multi leveled tray organizer to sort out all of my business paperwork. I find it hard to work with stacks of papers waiting to either be reviewed, sorted & filed that is why I separated my desk from my work space! On my U table which is my work station I have my journal which I list every single item in detail & price as I create a new item. This helps me stay organized & offer an accurate sale price in today’s market to my clients.  I have a connected adjoining room to my main work space that is my “Floral room”. It displays my daily floral & current Seasonal floral. I zip tie each color of flowers together for that Season and then I zip tie that to my 4 metal grate stands. Each stand has two sides and there is a season on each side of these metal grates. This allows me to visually see & pick the floral that I need immediately without disrupting my work flow.

Most of my completed wreaths are stored on 2 of my duo industrial clothes racks in my garage. Each wreath is stored in a sealed tight XXL ziploc bag and hung for easy viewing/access. These bags are great to protect your wreath from any insects while in storage. All of my items are shipped in sturdy corrugated boxes (some new & some recycled) as there is such a large fluctuation in the sizes & weights of the items that I ship therefore, I have committed an entire 1 car garage area & another industrial rack to store my boxes and other packing materials like, Styrofoam, butcher paper, popcorn to assure that your item does not break during shipment.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I have learned that creativity can not be forced! It has to come naturally or it just isn’t made with the same amount of  love & devotion that it deserves. I have learned that there is no such thing as an accident but, instead its a learning curve/experience. I have also learned that because of the size of my items, most people at the craft shows won’t purchase my items. They are too large or too heavy to carry around and most people are too tired to return to purchase an item even if their intentions are good. I no longer set up tent due to these reasons.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Go for it as, It is an amazing experience to be your own boss but, just know that like any business it is a lot of work! You really need to do a lot of research before you take the plunge. I found it very exciting but, tedious as, you have to stop creating to do this and that is hard for me. It took me months of research and also, studying Etsy’s website and learning about the “How to’s”. It all comes together in time and it is so worth it!!! I thank all of the shop owners out there on Etsy that helped me “problem solve” when I was unsure of something, without your help the process would have been daunting. Also, locate the customer service help area so, when you do run into a problem, you can get expert advise not just a hunch. Best of luck and reach out to me for help anytime.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy being around my family & friends, cooking baking, sharing memories together! I catch up on house work that  I neglected during that “never ending” craft project. I go through my recipes, plan my week & hit the grocery store. We spend a lot of time cooling off from this Florida heat in the pool & unwinding with a drink in hand in our heated Jacuzzi. We occasionally hit the beaches and take Lady to the dog beach. Occasionally attempt to read a book. Garden my plants & manicure my assortment of plants in my Succulent & herb gardens.

My favorite hobbies are crafting, scuba diving, horse back riding, jet skiing, boating, fishing, hiking in the mountains during Fall season, decorating/staging my home.

What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t expect anything & you won’t get let down.”

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy: WitchesLairWreaths

Facebook: WitchesLairWreaths

Instagram: lkemp6133

Pinterest: lkemp6133

Twitter: lkemp6133

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

As an Entrepreneur, I enjoy teaching craft classes at my local Hobby Lobby store here in Clearwater, Florida. I have my flyer posted on my Etsy shop for all to view with the dates, time of classes and class information as well. If you live in my area, you can purchase my classes directly in my shop, just show up and have some fun crafting with “The Witch”!

Otherwise, come visit us in Florida and give me a call while your in town, to set up a private class anytime.

________

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.

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Member Feature: SilverTrove

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Carol of SilverTrove, our featured member!

SilverTrove

Tell us about yourself.

I am a widowed mother of 3 grown children who have given me 6 beautiful grandchildren.  I live with my BFF and constant companion, Sadie, who is a 10-year-old border collie.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I opened my business in 1990 because I love creating and wearing jewelry.  I was a single mother of 3 young children at that time and I felt they needed me at home with them.  I took a huge leap of faith when I resigned from my full-time job to follow my dream.  Shortly after that I took 2 classes in silversmithing and the rest is history.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I offer a variety of sterling silver jewelry, all handmade by me.  I love custom orders because it gives me a chance to get to know my customers and create pieces that fit their personality and style, but I also have many ready to ship products.

What inspires your work?

Nature, the work of other artists and, of course, my customers.  I was trained by a Native American silversmith so many of my pieces reflect that style.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I want to expand on past successes and grow my business to at least double my sales from last year.  I hope to create new designs and learn new skills along the way.  I also want to teach some of the techniques I’ve developed.  I know many jewelry designers have been able to grow their businesses by selling their designs to manufacturers but I want to continue to make every piece I sell.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

With almost 30 years of experience, I can offer jewelry that will stand the test of time and I back that up with my service and repair policy and 100% guarantee.  I stand behind every piece I sell which is why I have many repeat customers.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

My studio is spread throughout my home, which allows me to have specific areas for specific tasks.  Being able to move from space to space and room to room is a nice change of pace and it works for me!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I have learned many things, but I can’t say I wish I had known any of it before hand.  Each learning experience has contributed to my growth and the development of my business.  For example, I had a brick-and-mortar store early on.  It was a great experience, but I learned that running a store takes a lot of time.  I didn’t have nearly as much time to create jewelry and it kept me away from my children.  Still, I’m happy I learned that lesson through experience.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Go for it!  It’s not as difficult as you might think and you may be able to develop it into a full-time career.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I love spending time with my family, gardening, cooking and studying the Bible.  I often go on nature walks with my dog.

What is your favorite quote?

Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Where can people find out more about your business?

In my Etsy shop or on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/silvertrovedesigns/
https://www.instagram.com/silvertrove/
https://www.pinterest.com/silvertrove

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I think other people love my work because I love my work!

________

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.

Member Feature: OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Rebecca of OrnamentsByRebeccaT, our featured member!

OrnamentsByRebeccaT

OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Tell us about yourself.

I love creating ornaments for every season and occasion. I think I discovered the world of crafting in kindergarten when they handed me my first piece of paper and bottle of finger paints… I’ve been at it ever since.

I also have OCD, Obsessive Christmas Disorder which I thank my grandma for. When I was five she bought me my first little 3 foot aluminum tree with pink pine cone ornaments frosted in white. I haven’t stopped since. The crafting and Christmas became a natural extension of each other. Much of my Christmas village is handcrafted ceramic houses I’ve made, as are many of the Santa’s in my collection.

With Pinterest came a whole new world of crafting to explore.  I have been sewing since the age of 8 and I became fascinated with the quilted Christmas ornaments.  I made two and haven’t stopped since.

It didn’t take long to realize ornaments are a year round thing. The spring and summer collection looks beautiful piled in a basket or hanging from a ornament stand. The patriotic red, white and blue are stunning accents to your 4th of July table or door wreath. Autumn… Halloween… Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. The possibilities are endless.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I first opened the shop in 2015 as a means to get ornaments to the people who were asking to buy them. I did not put a lot of time into it at first.  Then, in 2016, I was downsized out of my job after 28 years and found myself looking for work for the first time in more than a quarter of a century. Yes, that is a scary thought.  As I searched for a new position over the next six months, I had time to learn new ornament designs and really spend time upgrading the shop and my website. It was something I loved doing and my goal was to make people happy and never be dependent on another company for my livelihood.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I love the time and effort that goes into each, one from looking for just the right fabrics to go together, to the hand crafting of each unique one, to the finishing touches of glitter accents, bows, jewels and charms. I may use some of the same fabrics on several ornaments, but each finished ornament is unique… no two finished designs are ever the same.

I’ve been honored to make ornaments for a mother from her wedding dress to give to each of her children, memory ornaments from shirts and dresses of loved ones who have passed on, special pets who become family members, documenting life events like weddings, graduations and new babies. Realtors who give personalized ornaments to new clients with a picture of their new home.  Each is created with love to hold memories for years to come and to be passed down from generation to generation.

What inspires your work?

Anything… everything!  A walk, a painting, a song, other artists, a memory a new fabric or trim.  Stories people share with me are inspiring in so many ways.  Inspiration is all around us everyday.  We just have to be open to seeing it.

One of my favorite quotes is “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”  – Mary Lou Cook.  I try to live life this way.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I am working towards making my business more full time. One of my major goals is to get back to my blog and share ideas, tips and tricks.  I have been very lax in this area.  In today’s eCommerce world we need to be on top of social media which is every changing.  I am also working towards getting more exposure on blogs and magazine features. A dream would to be have some of my pieces in a Christmas store and to continue to help my clients preserve memories of the special moments in their lives.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I try to treat every customer like royalty.  Providing legendary customer service is so important to me.  Honesty is the best policy.  If I do not feel I can give you a end result that you are going to love, I will say so.  I don’t accept a order just to make a sale. I always strive to improve the selection of my ornaments by introducing new processes and products. I stand behind my ornaments with 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

As your kids grow and leave home, new space opens up. A spare bedroom is now my studio. It is my creatively messy sanctuary. I am surrounded by things that inspire me and make me happy.  Pics of my kids and grand kids, a crystal sugar and creamer that was my moms, Christmas lights everywhere, pieces of fabrics and trims, gifts from friends, things my kids made in grade school. Every bit of wall space is filled with pictures. Bins filled with magical fabrics stacked on the floor. My kitty sleeps on the love seat while Christmas music plays on the radio. It is pure heaven!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

The amazing feeling that comes when someone sends a message that says they received their ornament and love it. It is a indescribable sense of satisfaction that one of your creations could make someone so happy.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Just do it!  Don’t wait for everything to be right or perfect.  You will make mistakes and you will learn from them. But there is never a better time to start than right now.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Spending time with my family and I have a room in my home that stays Christmas all year.  I have a extensive Christmas village and I love spending time adding to it.

What is your favorite quote?

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.- Confucius

Where can people find out more about your business?

My website http://www.ornamentsbyrebecca.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/OrnamentsByRebeccaT/

Twitter http://twitter.com/ByRebeccaT

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/ornaments_by_rebecca/

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/ByRebeccaT/

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for letting me tell my story and be part of the awesome EtsyCIJ group!

________

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.

Member Feature: CozyDetailz

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Isabel of CozyDetailz, our featured member!

CozyDetailz

Tell us about yourself.

The dream started years back in Lisbon by me.  What started as a casual fun has grown into a good outfit that produces urbane, enchanting and irresistible jewels.

I am 50 years old and i have a mathematics university degree. I’m married and have a 19 years daughter and a 16 years son… and we also have our little Shitzu dog

I have worked for years in a multinational company playing several roles like database development, planning & control and the latest years in marketing roles, such as strategy, business development, loyalty cards and brand/product launch.

Now I run a family business in the music area – not profitable at all, since culture in Portugal is a very small business – and started this business on Etsy.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

Once I left the multinational company i was working before (where I had to travel a lot) I found myself with loads of time, so started to do some ‘styles’ for myself and friends.

After some time I was always buying more and more and trying to get people to be aware of my ‘new job’ and passion.

Then someone told me to open a store on Etsy and ‘spread’ my work worldwide. and I have done so and here I am now.

Tell us a bit about your products.

All our products are made with dedication, taking into consideration that the gifts we give are like perennial spring that runs in the fount of their hearts.  As a result, we are driven by this passion that someone is wearing a ‘piece and bit’ made with all dedication, care, and love.

The materials used are of the highest obtainable quality such as Leathers, Zamak Sterling Silver Plated, Aluminium, Genuine Portuguese Cork, Swarovski Crystals, Ceramic, Resin Beads, so much and more.

What inspires your work?

Our jewel range and decorative accessories are crafted to create an emotional connection. We take into consideration the fact that love can be braced to sassy heights with the power of gifting custom-made jewels.

Our styles are urbane and our designs are stylishly suave. They are irresistible because we always follow changing trends and thus create fashionable jewels that meet the needs of our clientele.  Whether the jewels are for personal, home or office use, they create irresistible focal points of alluring beauty.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I would love to reach 10,000 sales this year, which is far from being achieved, but that is a hope and a dream which i live for in 2018.

I would love to have some influencers and bloggers to talk about my pieces and that could spread more and better the word CozyDetailz. That is something that i will work throughout this and the next couple of years, since there’s no better publicity than the ‘word of mouth’.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

When you need personalized jewel with specially inscribed messages, think Cozy Detailz.  We peep into your heart and know what is good for you. We bring you to the world of enchanting jewels.

Whether you desire an outing along the garden parterre or by the shoreline of a roaring sea; whether you desire to relish a great time with loved ones indoors or you choose to ride along the lakeside, our products will suit the moment and speak a thousand silent word of love.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yes, I do have a separate studio for myself.

Due to the increase of the business and since I’m always wanting more and new items I had to convert our office into a studio, where i spend now my evenings, and part of the weekends – being creative and thinking how much more creative and better i can be to reach more customers and friends.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

All the favoriting, renewals, groups and sponsor products. It is a great help and I had to learn it all by myself… which was frustrating sometimes.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

It is hard and takes you some time in the beginning to make your products stand out, over so many other beautiful and quality similar ones. So you need to think how and which do you want to top up for success and getting noticeable. And never give up. I had my first sale only after 4 months of hard work and investment.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I do spend a lot of time working. Since in the evening I do need to catch up with Etsy orders and produce them in time.

But the most enjoyable think I like to do is travel. It gives me tons of good vibes knowing the world, people and cultures. And of course enjoying time with my family – that is a gift I have every day and unfortunately do not take good advantage- something I will have to work harder as well – to have family QUALITY time!

What is your favorite quote?

I have so many ‘leadership’ quotes that I love, but this one is very special:

“You Learn More From Failure Than From Success. Don’t Let It Stop You. Failure Builds Character.” – Unknown

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have also launched my website, so here it is – have a look and join our COZY Club: www.cozydetailz.com

Facebook: cozydetailz

Instagram: cozydetailz

Pinterest: cozydetailz

Twitter: cozydetailz

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes I do.

Follow your dreams and passion with hard work and dedication and share that special bit and piece of you to the world.

Somewhere, sometime, someone will leave you a comment that have made it all worth!

________

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.

Member Feature: TopShelfJewellery

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Anne Houghton of Top Shelf Jewellery & Accessories, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I have always loved to create!! Even from the earliest age I had a pencil in my hand drawing or coloring.

My great-Aunt taught me crochet when I was very small and I have loved it ever since.

Painting was my passion for many years, I have always needed to do something with my hands.

Around 15 years ago, I had my first encounter with a Bead Market. All those shiny glass beads, well that was it. I was hooked! I went home armed with a few basic tools, findings and some beads, and taught myself how to make jewellery and never looked back!

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

Top Shelf Jewellery & Accessories was born not long after.

For many years I made and sold beaded jewellery at markets then opened my Etsy store in 2012.

I started to work with jewellery wire and found you could do so many things with it, from wire wrapping to crochet, which I love.

Tell us a bit about your products.

All my creations are one of a kind , jewellery crochet with wire and beads or even crochet with cotton and beads, beaded jewellery and wire wrapped.

The process is unique and no two pieces are ever the same, as such they make stunning statement pieces and one of a kind wearable art.

What inspires your work?

The very uniqueness of the process, depending on the beads, wire used and inspiration is very exciting! Each creation takes on its own form as it evolves.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I would love to see more exposure for Top Shelf Jewellry & Accessories, get my brand out into the world.

More time to create, continue to develop as an Artist and never stop learning.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

Each creation is original, unique and one of a kind.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

As many of us I started out on the kitchen table, this then took over half the house! Now I am lucky enough to have a dedicated room which is my studio.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

It will not be easy, the isolation of working on your own can be an issue. You need to network and find like minded people.
Not everyone will get what do or even like it, that’s OK, each to their own. You need to learn rejection is not personal.

Believe in what you do and do it, there will be hits and misses. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn. Some even have become my best work !

If you love what you do it will show.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Persistence,  like most things you get out of it what you give, hard work and networking.

Etsy is a huge platform, you need to be noticed, exposure and embrace it.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Spending time with my family, going to the beach, BBQ’s with friends and bead shopping!

What is your favorite quote?

“What if I Fall. Oh But My Darling. What if you Fly?” by Erin Hanson

Where can people find out more about your business?

My Etsy Store:  topshelfjewellery
Facebook:  Topshelfjewellery

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for the opportunity to feature my little 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.

Member Feature: Whimsy Whimsical Paper Goods

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Chan Yee Von of whimsywhimsical, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m Yee Von from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’m the illustrator & founder of Whimsy Whimsical, which is a collection of woodland-inspired stationery aiming to bring a touch of whimsy into our daily life.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I started my Etsy back in 2010. I was in the midst of converting my graphic design career into illustration, and I came across Etsy through an inspiring artist because she was one of the top seller at Etsy. So I thought why not give it a try and see how people responded to my work. That’s how I started my illustration career!

 

Tell us a bit about your products.

Founded in 2010, Whimsy Whimsical started from a mini collection of foxes and rabbits note cards, and now grows to a range of paper goods which includes note cards, greeting cards, invitations, art prints, stickers and gift tags. All of our paper goods are proudly printed in Malaysia on FSC-certified paper stock with light texture for that personal touch, and environmentally friendly soy ink.

 

What inspires your work?

My life experiences that resonate with me, and things that bring joy to my heart. For example, reading and having tea are my favorite pastime, and you can spot them in my animals daily activities too. Also I’ll create products that I’d love to use on a daily basis, but can’t find one to my liking in the market. The weekly planner was born out of this need.

 

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My goal for the year is to extend my current products range further, for example planner and notebooks, which I haven’t tried before. I aim to bring my work to a different level, where it is aesthetically joyful, yet functional to use. My dream for this business is to see them in every part of the world.

 

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I think the illustration style of my animals set me apart from other sellers, in which the way my animals’ eyes were close, and every fur on them were hand drawn. People love it because it gives them a very relaxing, ease and joyful feeling.

 

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yes, I do. My studio is 15 minutes away and it is a place where all the cards and packing materials were stocked. I used to work from home and when business was growing, things got everywhere. Cards and envelopes were stocked in the bedroom, papers beneath the table and I had to use dining table for packing, especially during Christmas season. It was a chaos! Hence the following year I decided to move everything to a nearby studio, which served for a place for packing and having people to drop by. However, when I need to do sketching or computer work, I’ll work from home or nearby cafes.

 

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I wish to know how to do financial budgeting, accounting and marketing from the start. It took me only last year to properly learn to apply this knowledge onto my business, especially on how to set proper formula to the budgeting. Better late than never!

 

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

The quality of photography comes first. We can have great products, but without great photos to showcase them on digital world, people might just pass by without knowing how great they are. Invest in photography if you can, it will returned several times later.

 

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, I love to study and join online courses to further improve myself. Also, I love spending time having delicious desserts with a pot of hot tea at nice cafe, doodling my days away.

 

What is your favorite quote?

“Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself.” – J. Michael Straczynski

Where can people find out more about your business?

They can find me at:

Instagram: whimsywhimsical
Facebook: whimsywhimsicalstore
Pinterest: chanyeevon

Is there anything else you would like to share?
We all have our own sets of gifts. To discover those gifts and share them to the world, is our mission to the world.
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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.

Member Feature: Accents By Cat

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Cathi of Accents By Cat, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Cathi (Cat) and I have four amazing children ranging in age from 8 to 20. They can keep me pretty busy but I also enjoy doing all sorts of crafts. Besides my jewelry, I also paint and sew. I enjoy going to the Renaissance Fair and have sewn my own clothing to fit the era. I have made some of my jewelry also based on the Renaissance time period.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and it has taken a toll on my health and a lot of my abilities. Even though making jewelry has become somewhat harder for me and takes a little more time than it once did, I still enjoy doing it very much. It makes me feel relaxed when I am in creativity mode and proud when I reach my final product!

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

I opened my shop on June 7th 2014. I had been making jewelry for a while at this point and selling pieces to friends and family. Everyone had encouraged me to open a shop on Etsy so I finally took their advise.

I first started dabbling with making Hemp necklaces and bracelets back in the early 2000’s. I also would make my own beads out of clay. I had stopped until around 2012 when I had found some of my old supplies in my attic and I have been creating new pieces since.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I have found it hard to concentrate on just one style. I love to create new pieces that can be enjoyed by anyone and not limited to just one type of genre. Some of the styles I have worked with would be Vintage, Renaissance, Steampunk and Boho.

I enjoy learning new techniques! I especially enjoy working with wire.

What inspires your work?

There are many different things that inspire my work. I think what inspires me the most is knowing that there are people out there that WANT to wear my jewelry and that it makes them happy and feel good about themselves when they are wearing it. Kind of like when you go out shopping at a store and you see something that you really like and then you put it on and it just completely changes your mood. Makes you feel like you look great and feel great about yourself. Then I think to myself “I made this and people get that same feeling from something that I created!” That is inspiring.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My goals for this year are to try to learn more techniques to better my skills and make my small business more successful! I would love to increase sales and surpass 100 sales before the end of the year.

My dream for my business is to become more established and to maybe find a place that would want to feature some of my pieces in their store or shop.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I do not have a designated work space where I create my jewelry. I have brought supplies with me on the go and worked while parked in my car waiting for school to let out. I have worked at a table next to my boys at their Pokemon league! But mostly, I work at the living room table or sitting on my bedroom floor!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I think that the biggest things that I have learned since opening my shop that I wish I would have known before hand would be that it is not easy. You don’t just list and sell. You have to put a lot of work into it. Research what it is that you want to sell first! There are a lot of products that are an over saturated market, jewelry being one of them! You need to put a lot of thought into your descriptions and also your titles and tags. And also be prepared to do a TON of marketing and promoting of your items and your shop.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

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.