Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I have got quite smitten with Christmas craft, have always pottered making this and that but do so love my Christmas sewing!! I make a variety of items with snowmen most probably being my favourite! I love to use all sorts of different fabrics and quite often add painted features to my craft for a unique look!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened a Christmas shop at my home here in Napier New Zealand seven years ago. I am open from October to the end of December and have enjoyed not only the encouragement I have received but the friendships I have made too. It’s a bit of a family affair with both my mum and mother in law providing some stock for my shop. I work part-time and this craft gives me a nice balance!!
Tell us a bit about your products.
My products are original and often one idea leads to another. I love the country-style and often use quite earthy tones in my work. I love adding detail to pieces and they develop their own character. I tend to make one offs so each piece is special and unique for the collector.
What inspires your work?
I get inspired from fabrics, notions and all sorts, I try to make as much as I can to go with my craft and it’s always an ongoing challenge!
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I aim to improve both my Christmas shop from home and my Etsy site each year! I may not have much of a presence for some time on Etsy till nearer the end of the year but don’t worry the sewing machine is in full swing! Trying to be a lot more prepared for my second full year on Etsy. I only hope I provide a little bit of enjoyment with each item I send away to a new home!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Here in New Zealand I feel I am quite unique, not many people are into the Christmas craft and it is quite rare to see handmade Christmas items at fairs etc.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I definitely do! I can create quite a bit of mess in a short time but know where everything is and its great being able to shut the door on my workroom!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I think I have learned that you need to believe in the talents you have and work towards a goal, may not always be easy but not to give up and that it takes time to be “known” in the craft scene.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Give it a go! I joined years ago and lasted two weeks, gave up very quickly and was quite disheartened but this time round I will keep at it, its lovely to send work overseas, quite a thrill with each purchase!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I am quite addicted to my craft, now it takes up my year from February to December so it certainly is my main focus.
Where can people find out more about your business?
I am on Facebook under the name of The Christmas Shop – you will see a picture of a reindeer in a wreath. Apart from Etsy and Facebook the other option is to visit me personally in my shop from October to December here in Napier New Zealand
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Craft for me is so much fun and I hope that never changes!
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