Etsy Shop Spotlight – So ME by Mollee V

I’m so delighted to share another fellow Artisan Group member, Mollee.
She does not have an Etsy shop {you’ll read why below}, but she has some AMAZING advice and wonderful answers!!!
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What do you make/sell?
I create handmade accessories-ranging from bracelets, necklaces, to even hair accessories! I recently this past year began my own t-shirt line too. I create designs on Illustrator and have a local screen printing company, screen my designs onto merchandise. It’s been a big hit! I began selling my products on Etsy, but then switched to BigCartel. My accessories are handmade but my t-shirt line can’t be sold on Etsy, b/c they weren’t a specific “handmade” product.

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When did you start doing your craft?
I started a few years ago, when I was 20 years old. 2 years later, it’s become something more than I have ever imagined! It started as a little hobby and a random craft and it’s become something bigger. I’m hoping to grow my business more and more, each time I create a new piece of jewelry or when I become inspired by something and make it an actual product! It’s something that I can work at my own pace.
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Who/what inspires you? Where do you create? 
Anything and everything. I am a HUGE fan of the Fashion, Beauty, & Entertainment Industry. Even music inspires me. I love looking through magazines and seeing what the trends are these days. I love seeing new fashion trends when I go shopping as well as seeing something in a store and always thought, “Oh, if I designed it, I’d do this or change that!” At the same time, I don’t like looking what’s out in the world for Fashion, b/c everyone has a different opinion and I don’t like copying or even wearing the same thing as someone else when it comes to my fashion sense. Fashion is a way to express yourself and who you are. It’s a form of Art and I love that! It’s a chance for you to be unique and how you present yourself. I love unique one of a kind pieces and that’s what I try to do within my business when creating my accessories. I see, hear, & think of ideas and sit down and put something together when making my accessories-something that I would wear. My accessories/t-shirt line reflects my style as well as my Faith in God. I’m trying to bring some more Christian and trendy influenced clothing and accessories to my generation! 
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What’s your biggest challenge owning an online store?
Updating the store takes time and a creative mind to make it attractive and attract customers to my products. There needs to be more time in a day that’s for sure! ;D Balancing life, other jobs, and devoting time and actually sitting down and working on making my store site presentable and appealing to people is probably the biggest challenge. Just managing it all myself is a heavy load at times.
CharmingGroup1 Etsy Shop Spotlight   So ME by Mollee V How do you promote your store? 
Facebook & Twitter! I first posted a photo of the first bracelet I made on my own personal Facebook. Then, I created an actual page on Facebook, which helped, but I needed something to get the word outside of my own community. A while later I made a twitter-I had told myself I would never get one as I thought twitter was so pointless! BUT, it’s the best tool that has made my business nationwide as well as global. It made it possible to get my products in the hands of many celebrities too! I tweeted Group 1 Crew (Christian Band), and a few Bachelor and Real Housewive stars and they sent me their addresses to send them a few of my tees/tanks/accessories…Gretchen Rossi, Ashley Spivey, Natalie Getz, and Michelle Money to name a few. I had also tweeted Emily Maynard from the Bachelor in August and said, “Check out my handmade accessories and Christian t-shirt line!” ….and she replied back and she bought a few of my tanks-I was so excited! She even tweeted to her followers my shop website and a photo of her wearing one of the tanks. She sent a lot of her fans over my way! I’m even more excited finding out she’s the next Bachelorette! I’ve kept in contact with her through e-mail and even sent her a thank you gift a few weeks ago for supporting and telling her fans! Social media, is the way that helped spread the word about my products!
What advice would you give to other Etsy store owners?

Remember what you’re doing and why you began your craft and store. Don’t compare yourself to other artists or owners! This world is too busy focusing on what the world wants these days and expectations and standards of products. If you’re happy about something you made-you’ve done your job. If a customer is happy-you’ve done even better! You all have your own gifts and talents as well as a reason as to why you began your craft. Keep doing what you’re doing, and become fans of each other’s stores…support one another, network, share ideas of what brings you business, as well as maybe things that didn’t work so well. It’s a competing world these days and it’s so important to remember the purpose and show your passion in your product, through your customers, and your attitude!

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© 2012, Tara. All rights reserved.

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