Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Please join us in welcoming Suzi of Oldewoods, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
50 plus and a country girl at heart, I divide my time between supporting my partner and his son in their fledgling organic produce business, a never ending home renovation, and the adventure of growing my very own Etsy shop.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
Oldewoods opened in 2015 with one product, a wooden bath tray made out of old fence palings. I had made one for my own relaxation (yes, totally addicted to reading in the tub!) and enjoyed using it so much that I decided to see if anybody else might feel the same. To my surprise I sold a few and it felt great. Since then I have added a variety of different things (hand made and sourced) that I genuinely enjoy making, using, or in some way appreciate.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I’m rustic, eclectic and a little bit boho so my shop is really a reflection of that. I collect and play around with ideas and finds that I love. If they work for me I put them out into the world via Etsy to see if anyone else might love them too. That’s how Oldewoods has become a happy tangle of wooden makings, natural craft supplies, essential oils, and vintage!
What inspires your work?
I am inspired to enjoy and make the most of what is already around me, either in nature or handed on from others. The offerings I bring to Oldewoods are a way of sharing this practice.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My long term dream is for Oldewoods (via Etsy and community markets) to become a my main source of income. For 2016 I would be content to celebrate my 100th sale!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
With natural craft supplies I try to meet the needs of people who might be exploring an idea for the first time or wanting to make just one or two special projects. That means handpicking a set of stones, shells or branch slices that might be just a little bit different, and initially selling them in small lots so that people can afford to play around with different shapes, sizes, and textures. For vintage items I follow my philosophy that there is a place in the world for broken things. This means that something slightly banged up, or sporting a gorgeous bright green patina, finds a place in my shop as an object of worth.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
Woodcutting happens on the back deck, accompanied by either the soothing sound of chewing and mooing cows or some loud classic rock tunes. Sewing and essential oil work is for those cold rainy days when I can’t comfortably work outside. Vintage is for anytime and I love browsing the local opportunity shops and markets for items that take my fancy, and learning what I can about their origins and makeup.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
All the up front information in the world is just theory until you start to put it into practice in your own individual circumstances. Being more of a maker than a retailer, my struggle has been to get on top of marketing activities. With the help of Etsy resources (including built in tools, and other wonderful sellers!) I am slowly slowly (did I mention slowly?) getting the hang of promoting my shop.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Join some Teams and connect with other Etsians who will truly understand your joys and frustrations, and are willing to share an absolute wealth of experience with you. There is no such thing as a silly question, and whatever is on your mind they totally get it.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Science fiction books, always. Gardening, and a good game of Canasta!
What is your favorite quote?
“You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in.
Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong.”
David Whyte – Sweet Darkness
Where can people find out more about your business?
Coal Creek Craft Market in Korumburra
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Whatever your reasons for being part of the Etsy community remember to be true to yourself and your own talents, passions and needs. We are all unique and (as you already know) that is what makes us.
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.