Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Donna and I live in NE Ohio. close to Lake Erie. I am married, and have one daughter who is an RN at a big Children’s Hospital. And I have two grandchildren (4 and 8 months), who I watch a few days a week. We have been collecting beach glass and other items for around 4 years. Prior to that we used to collect shells when we vacationed in South Florida. I have always loved the beach.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened shop two years ago in June. After collecting all the beach glass in many containers, my husband said that i should do something with the glass. So I began looking at tutorials on the internet, youtube, and other crafting sites. I self taught myself wire wrap techniques, that I am always trying to refine. My family encouraged me to sell the creations So after being persuaded, I decided to give it a try.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I design jewelry (necklaces, bracelets and earrings) from genuine Beach glass that I collect from Lake Erie. There are rare colors (blues, reds etc) that I will on occasion purchase from very trusted sources. I also make bookmarks, keychains and specialize in keepsake Christmas ornaments including trees, bells, and angels.
What inspires your work?
I take inspiration from many things. Sometimes it is the shape of the glass and sometimes a design pops into my head. Other times I have no idea, and the wire seems to take over and have a life of its own I work best at night when most people are sleeping Other times, the customer tells me what they have in mind as I welcome special orders.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
Continue to refine and expand my wire techniques and expand into drilled pieces. I hope to increase sales and my customer base My goal is to have my first show this year.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
My glass is genuine beach glass Most of it I have collected myself. But since some colors are very rare, I will purchase them from trusted sea glass seller sites to ensure quality and genuineness. Customer service is very important to me and I want each and every customer to be completely satisfied with my work. I treat customers they way I would want to be treated, and keep them informed in the order from start to finish. When I send a package, I want the customer to feel like they are opening a present, and package my designs creatively. Every purchase is accompanied with a Thank you Card and many times I send extra free gifts. You never know when they turn into extra orders.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I do not have a studio. That would be a dream for the business. The design table is the dining room table and my supplies and glass are in a hutch. There is also a card table with tools and beads and other supplies. Packaging supplies are under the card table in plastic bins.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I wish I had learned more about social media as that is a constant challenge. I am getting better at it, but being 60 puts me behind the learning curve (lol) And learn how to take better pictures. Learn about SEO. I still struggle with it.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Learn as much as you can about setting up your shop, tag words, seo, taking pictures Don’t expect immediate success. Although oddly, I sold an item the first night, so I did think it would be. Then I waited months. I wouldn’t wait to think you know it all though, as if you did that,you might never start up. It’s a work in progress constantly.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
In the summer I love swimming at the pool And I love reading by the pool or beach. Walking the beach of course. Spending time with my dog, Abby
What is your favorite quote?
Live Laugh Love
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.