Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
We are a mother-daughter team. Creativity has always been important to us. We’re enjoying the collaborative process, designing and creating one-of-a-kind accessories.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my business in November 2012 after years of procrastination! I had always wanted to open a gift shop with my mother, but unfortunately that dream was never fulfilled. So, therefore, it’s with a greater thankfulness and sense of fulfillment that I’m enjoying this creative venture with my older daughter. There’s nothing that is so rewarding and liberating as the creation of something that bears your own style, and doing it with someone you love. There’s a financial reward, but best of all it’s been a blessing to share lots of laughs and good times creating together. My younger daughter also has an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PenandInkco.
Both daughters model our accessories, so it’s totally “in-house.”
Tell us a bit about your products.
I chose the name “PlethoraGifts” because plethora means superabundance and happens to be one of my favorite words. (hint: Has anyone seen The Three Amigos?) I think it is an appropriate name for our shop because it describes our desire to create without boundaries. We use an eclectic mix of textures and materials – romantic yet modern with a touch of bling to make one-of-a-kind necklaces and earrings. We use soft yarns for our scarves making them tactile and cozy. Something you want to snuggle in on a cold day!
What inspires your work?
We have a passion for mingling vintage elements with modern wire design. Our greatest inspiration comes from combining textures, and mixing eclectic components, such as rustic leather, wire, beads…and even paper. We enjoy wire-wrapping and hand-hammered wirework, and are always exploring new techniques. Combining styles, retro with modern makes for that wonderful feeling when you stand back and can say….”Now that’s different!” We like going beyond the expected!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
Our goal is to continue exploring new design ideas and to create multiple jewelry lines. Our dream is to have our jewelry sold in more stores – both locally and nationally.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
There is a distinct eclectic, romantic vibe to our jewelry. From recycled beads, and combinations of texture, pairing rustic with bling right down to the jewelry cards that have hearts made from vintage dictionary pages. Everything is handmade with an attention to detail and quality. We try to tell a story as we photograph our jewelry on vintage postcards, music sheets etc… We want to pass on to our customers the joy that we experience throughout the entire process. A visit to our Etsy shop hopefully conveys that.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
We have a studio that is divided between our creative and business workstations. Organization is a must, but that’s not to say that when the creative juices begin to flow we are pretty good at making a MESS!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I began working on my jewelry designs and soon realized it’s a lot more fulfilling to be working together as a team. I wouldn’t have waited so long to get my daughter involved in the creative process! She has a great eye for color and design and it’s been a real blessing to work together! Plus, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to begin this venture because it was extremely easy to set up my Etsy shop.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
It takes a great deal of discipline to promote your items on Etsy through Teams and to create treasuries that help fellow Etsians succeed. The creative side of me wants to just keep creating and creating, but there’s a fair amount of time that is required for actual promotion of your shop items. We find that it’s important to carry good organization through the whole process of creating. Having an area set aside for inventory, and packaging material makes shipping a breeze. It’s important to keep adding more items to your shop on a regular basis. We like to organize our items on our shop by color and we spend a lot of energy and time to be creative in the photography and making sure everything is in focus and represented as closely as possible. Also, it’s important to communicate to your clients to build a good rapport so that they become repeat customers, and don’t be shy to ask for reviews!
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 to garden. A perfect place for me is sitting on my front porch, listening to my water fountain, watching the birds, and reading my Bible. My daughters and I enjoy crafting together, making preserves, baking, discussing the Bible, shopping for supplies, and in the winter, we are avid downhill skiers.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote would be from the Bible. After lacking a true sense of peace in my life, it was a wonderful thing to experience the peace I found through Jesus Christ. I love Philippians 4:6, 7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Where can people find out more about your business?
We have 2 shops on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlethoraGifts and https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlethoraOccasions which is my wedding and party decor shop. My younger daughter’s shop is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PenandInkco
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We hope that we can bring a smile to everyone who purchases one of our creations. We’d like to have people enjoy our accessories and feel the love and care we’ve shown in their creation.
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.