What do you make/sell on Etsy?I make felted soaps with needlefelted designs on them (kind of like fine art on a soap!) I also knit and crochet original scarves, cowls, fingerless gloves, hats, and baby props. I use repurposed wool garments to make such things as hot water bottle covers and sachets. And finally, I do some Nuno Felting as well.
When did you start doing your craft?I knit my first item (golf club covers) when I was 8. I learned to crochet when I was about 10, and the felting came along later in life, though as a kid, I always thought it was cool that one of my Danish relatives owned a felt factory in the “old country”.
Who/what inspires you?My mother, above all. She sewed, knit and crocheted clothes for all of us 5 kids growing up. And then my surroundings inspire me too. I live in the Pacific Northwest now, but grew up in Africa, and still travel all over as often as possible. My listings reflect my love of nature, animals, cultures, and…..food!
Where do you create?My studio is what used to be our “family room”, before I took it over with my stash of fiber. My chair is right next to our sliding glass door that looks out into the garden. About 10 feet away is a bird feeder that is always hopping with a variety of birds. Next to that is a hummingbird feeder. Right now, for example, we have yellow finches, chickadees, a nuthatch, junkos and jays. And an Anna’s hummingbird just flitted by. Pretty soon the daffodils and tulips will be in bloom, and the flowering cherry will show its colors. So I live “outdoors”, so to speak, even in the winter. In the summer, I sit under our walnut tree and create to my heart’s content.
The online part is much more time-intensive than I realized when I began. I have learned an enormous amount about keeping the SEO as healthy as possible, listing regularly, staying up with business teams, and taking better photographs.
I have a facebook page, twitter acct, and belong to several teams, like The Artisan Group, where we network and support each other with promotions via etsy, facebook, twitter etc. I have yet to create my own blog……we’ll see!
What advice would you give to other Etsy store owners?
When I began my shop, I listed a few things (maybe 6, total) And then I waited for sales to come to me. Was I ever surprised when that didn’t happen automatically! I learned through trial and error that it’s crucial to network with others, make treasuries, keep your shop looking fresh, and update your shop announcements. And list, list and relist your items!