Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Betti Horvath and I am the owner of my one-person enterprise, named NEMEZINDA.
I have three children and we live in a village very close to Budapest. The philosophy of Waldorf pedagogy stands close to is, so we enrolled all of our children to the closest Waldorf school.
I have a MSc degree of Chemical Engineering, but I have always been love with art crafting since my childhood. I worked 6 years in a Pharmaceutical Company till my first son was born. He was born with cleft palate, which was operated successfully at his age of 9 months, and I decided to stay at home with him and his younger brother. When they started the kindergarten I met the wet felting craft. This felting hobby became so serious, that I finished a 2-years-long felting course at the Heritage House of Hungary. There I studied a lot about the historical, social, traditional background of the felting craft.
When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?
The first scene was Etsy’s marketplace where I showed my felted items. I opened my first Etsy shop (former name FeltedbyBetti), Nemezinda, in 2015.
The first product was made for Valentine day, felted hearts and bowls integrated with red sequins. While I was waiting for my first sale I changed the profile of my shop: I left the sequins and found a niche market: felted playmats, playscapes in 3 dimensions. So trunks, small hills, flowers, volcanoes were growing on the play mats inspired by the nature and mainly by my daughter. Meanwhile we moved to abroad and being on Etsy helped me to continue my work.
I chose Etsy’s Marketplace, because it is international, easy to use and the fees are affordable. The international delivery of my felted items is not difficult, because they are light, non fragile items.
Tell us a bit about your products.
All of my products are handmade by the wet felting technique by me. I offer different types and sizes of playscapes, playmats in the Nemezinda shop. The size of the smaller ones is similar to an adult’s palm, the largest is 24”x24” /60cmx60cm. They are great for playing, for storytelling or for a season table. Usually my customers buy them for birthdays of age of 1 to 6. My daughter, who is 8, still loves to play with them. I also offer felted fairies, gnomes and elves to complete these playscapes.
I opened my second shop, called BohoNemezinda, in 2018, where I offer colourful, boho, nunofelted scarves, flowers and accessories.
What inspires your work?
My main inspirers are the Mother Nature, my daughter, Sophie, and my customers.
I am amazed by the colours, forms, plants and animals of our planet. It is inspires me everywhere I go, every season I live.
I love to see children playing on the playscapes and they always have great ideas for stories as well as for new designs.
The most popular playmats were originally custom orders from my enthusiastic customers. I love to felt their dreams!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
This year I would like to launch the playmats into my local, Hungarian market, meanwhile to increase the international sales via Etsy. My goal is to get steady sales and make my customers happy.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
There are two main types of felting: wet felting and needle felting.
The needle felting technique is very popular in the western European countries and USA, it results in very nice, detailed items, however they can usually serve as decorations.
Wet felting technique originates in Middle Asia where it was mainly used to make felted blankets and rugs. Wet felted items have strong, durable, washable texture, they last long. That is why I use this traditional felting method to create the playmates, playscapes. They are also stands out with their 3D elements, like hollow caves, trunks, trees and flowers.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
Fortunately I can use the largest room in our house as a felting studio. I bought 4 second-hand large desks and now there is enough space for the wet felting work, for the dry work (mainly embroidery), for stocking of the materials and also for photography. I used to make wet felting courses here for 4-6 students.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I knew that good photos are essentials for online selling, but I needed time to realize what it means a really good photo. My husband’s hobby was photography, so I have a good Nikon camera for this purpose.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
If you sell outside the USA, which is I think the main market of Etsy, you have to find a niche market and offer a unique product at excellent quality on it. Usually people prefer the local market, so you have to stand out to get their attention.
I think that natural, environment friendly, eco are the future’s tags, so maybe it worth to develop products with these qualities.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Sports and travelling. I love running in the forest and travel to the sea. We lived one year on the tiny island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea and we usually return there.
What is your favorite quote?
“Creativity takes courage” – Henry Matisse
Where can people find out more about your business?
I started a blog several years ago: nemezinda.blogspot.com
I use Instagram and Facebook page as Nemezinda, although I should be posting more regular.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
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.