Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I am Emma, mum to 4 children. I am totally in love with making and creating items using the fabulous fiber and vintage art of crochet. I have thrown myself wholeheartedly and passionately into the handmade world, enjoying everything that there is to learn, and what an amazing journey it has been. You name it and I have created it from crochet beards to hedgehog cushions. The world is an entirely different place when you love what you do.
When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?
In 2014 I started selling my crochet creations at local markets but the online market seemed to be more of an appeal for me so I opened my Facebook page July 2014. I feel like it has been a gradual stepping stone approach for my business. From Facebook, I set up Pinterest, then Instagram but it wasn’t until 2016 that I felt that Etsy was the next big step for my handmade journey. So I am still relatively new to the world of Etsy and all it has to offer but it is exciting to be a part of it.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My products are all about capturing adorable memories, fun and cuteness is a must. I make matching theme sets like unicorns, ladybugs to foxes and fireman. Sets can be different combos of applique t-shirts, beanies, headbands, booties and nappy covers. And soon I hope to add matching bags to go with the t-shirts and beanies or headbands. My items are perfect for that newborn baby photo shoot, as an adorable cake smash outfit or fun and creative gift for any child.
What inspires your work?
Inspiration mainly comes from Children. They are imaginative, playful, enthusiastic, encouraging and creative. Children love colors, animals and interesting accessories and I love knowing that I can create something fun and unique that puts a smile on their face. I love knowing I can create something that helps to capture memories and special milestones for parents and children in a unique and creative way.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
These past 12 months has been about focusing, narrowing down my product range, finding my target market and honing my crochet skills. I still think this needs to be my goals for the coming year but I also would like to start capturing a story of my products with creative photos. My dream for this business is to just keep making, creating, learning and having fun with it – one stepping stone at a time. And who knows, one day I may just reach the ultimate dream of running a successful, handmade, crocheting business.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I am not sure about other businesses but I can tell you what I offer. I am incredibly passionate about what I make which means clients receive a beautiful, handmade gift that comes with all the love in the world and a little extra. I care about my clients and aim to provide them with the best possible service. I have worked hard on my sizing so that I can offer many sizes. I offer 5 different sizes between newborn to 12 months just for my booties and all sizes for my beanies. I am very choosy about the materials I use, as quality is important to me. I have re designed my patterns so that my creations have minimal to no small parts to make them child friendly. $1 from every item sold goes towards Kakinda Children’s Home in India and every client receives one of my dragonfly charms as a special little gift from me. It’s all about loving what I do.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
Lol, so technically I have a work room but that has some how spread to the front room, to the couch and the kitchen bench – oops! I really need to stop spreading out. Lucky my family don’t seem to mind except for when they would actually like to sit on the couch but can’t because my yarn has taken pride of place.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
That a handmade business is a real business and it takes time and hours of work. It’s not an overnight success. It’s a gradual learning process that can and will lead to success, if you don’t give up. Look at each process as a stepping stone in the right direction. It’s okay to take a break from Social Media. Social Media has away of making you feel trapped. A break is always refreshing and allows the creative juices to flow. Be clear about what you sell and don’t sell. Find quality materials and try to stick to them as much as possible. This will save you from over spending and stocking.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Stay focused and narrow down your focus. Even though you can make everything doesn’t mean you should or can sell everything. Find your target audience and make them your focus. Focusing on your target audience is the key, I think to Etsy. It will give you are clear direction for your shops and the items you make.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I am currently in the process of learning Photography which has been a huge learning curve but I love it. I am an ex librarian so I always have few books on the go. I love to go for a jog 3 to 4 times a week and coffee is a wonderful thing.
What is your favorite quote?
~~~~~LAUGHTER is timeless, IMAGINATION has no age and DREAMS are forever – Walt Disney ~~~~~
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t be afraid to have a go and have fun!
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