Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Please join us in welcoming Tatiana of TopGracia, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and live in Ukraine. I have been married for 10 years, we are now with my beloved husband bring up our small daughter Victoria. I am a happy mother and wife. From early childhood, I loved all the bright, colorful and brilliant. I was good in drawing. Although I received two higher educations, technical and economic, and then worked as an accountant and have more than 10 years banking experience, I was still constantly attracted by creativity and handiwork. Initially, I combined the basic work and my favorite hobby. But one day I decided that I would devote more time to my occupation and eventually the hobby grew into a favorite work.
Over time I began to make new acquaintances with creative people, including hand-makers, photographers, models and stylists. In such a way I opened my another passion – photography.
I am grateful to my husband for having supported me in my enthusiasm, helped with advice and have always believed that I will succeed!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I remember that long time ago, over 10 years back I once saw silk flowers made by hand on the Internet in one forum. I was very much impressed with silk floristry. I gathered information in internet about this handiwork where I only could, bought books in Japan and then the materials. I ordered the tools, textiles, paints etc. worldwide. Gradually, while studying the science of silk flowers creating, I myself have become a manufacturer of fine silk flowers. I had a lot of orders, which I had hardly time to do. But I wanted to develop, to move on, try new materials.
And so over time, I began to make wedding accessories with crystals, pearls, fabrics and various accessories. I devise and produce all models by myself. My new passion for photography helps me to take right pictures of my products.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My items are reminiscent of elements of nature that inspires me continually. These are flowers, flowering trees sprigs, leaves, and buds. Crystals sparkle like dew drops with multicolored hotspots woven using jewelry wire. My every product contains a piece of my soul and positive energy! I try to make them flexible and weightless, so that the owner could wear jewelry, feeling only comfort and enjoying. I care about the presentation, order gift boxes with my author’s design in which I send the accessories to buyers.
What inspires your work?
The most important inspiration – it is nature, especially in the spring! In my parents’ house, my mother planted many flowers in the garden. I started every morning with dipping my face in blossoming roses, peonies and other beautiful and fragrant flowers. I do not cease to be surprised how big the power of nature is! Each petal is the creation of Divine art!
I am also inspired by beautiful works of other artists. I like to learn new techniques, study from the geniuses in various direction. After all, many people are very talented!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
This year I plan to implement one of a thousand of ideas in my head. Also, I should do my best to organize my workspace, maybe to equip a studio. Also to consider bookkeeping. My dream is to have more time in a day than 24 hours!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
The most important thing in business is honesty and quality. The buyer chooses among similar products the one where the best photo will be, where it is possible to examine the product from all sides. Also the description should contain all the details.
I offer only real photos to my customers. I also try to make products quickly and send. I have a system of discounts and loyalty program – every customer receives a gift coupon with a discount. It is important for me that the buyers come back to my shop more than once.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have private studio only in my plans so far. Now I occupy a room in my apartment. I bought a lot of containers for storage of materials. My workplace is a table near the window, so that to have a lot of natural light. The number of accessories is increasing all the time and I need to do so something in order to prevent the apartment from turning into a warehouse!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Since opening their business, I learned how to manage my time, you need to set aside some time for imagination, but also to fulfill the orders you have to be very responsible, to do everything in time. For me, the new thing was international shipping, completion of documents, declarations, etc.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
I highly recommend this resource! Here you can find a lot of creative people from around the world. Buyers – true judges of handmade decorations. Do your work honestly, be hardworking. Take part in promotion in social networks. Internet makes people from all over the world closer!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
My free time fully belongs to my family. The greatest pleasure is the joy of communicating with my child. This gives me energy to create further. In summer, we are walking around the lake which is located nearby our house. We love to go to seaside, visit the puppet theater and all sorts of attractions. In cold season we visit the pool, where we like to splash.
I love to travel with my husband. We enjoy the beautiful nature very much. And we love to taste different cuisines of other countries!
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What is your favorite quote?
In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different – Coco Chanel
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
You’re welcome any time!
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.