Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here is a really neat shop I ran across with very interesting Mardi Gras themed items. Check Out MissKarina's shop to see all she has to offer.
Who are you?
My name is Karina Nathan. I just turned 30 and am away from my home in New Orleans for a year of teaching in Korea. I am almost completely self-taught in fashion design and can't imagine a life without it.
How long have you been crafting?
At least since 5 years old. I had a children's weaving loom that I loved. My mother and father were artists in their spare time so they made every possible material available to me. I can't think of an art form we didn't try. I always loved sewing and drawing clothes the most. I liked being able to show off my creations once they were completed.
What feeds your imagination?
Almost everything that's happy or funny. I love things that are eye catching which is obvious in my creations. I love bright colors because they make me happy. I love to recycle, so upcycling materials excites me. My process usually starts with a material rather than a design or pattern. Then I imagine what I could make the material into. I use all kinds of materials in my work from recycled fabrics to mardi gras beads.
What made you decide to make your crafting a business? When someone offered me money for a costume I was wearing. That was about 6 years ago. From there I started wholsaling to boutiques almost immediately.
How did you find etsy? Two years ago I started noticing other crafty friends with the word "etsy" in their website addresses.
Have you ever been published in a magazine?
I've had several small New Orleans based magazines feature my work including DIY, Anti Gravity, and Southern Woman.
What is your most effective marketing venue?
I network through facebook and myspace. I blog a little. I make videos for youtube. I post sporadically on flickr and photobucket. I make a lot of trades so my work gets seen. I donate a little to charity auctions. I give gifts of my work whenever appropriate for holidays and celebrations. I hand everyone business cards and sometimes postcards of my work. I wear my own work or other etsians' whenever possible. I run a big dance troupe in New Orleans that dances in Mardi Gras Parades called the Bearded Oysters---they get a lot of attention. Honestly, it is so hard to figure out exactly what is working. My marketing philosophy is just keeping doing it anyway you can figure out. I also listen to a lot of podcasts about internet marketing strategy, SEO, and ecommerce. I try and be conscious and consistent all the time with marketing.
What is your goal for your business 1 year from now? I return to America on Monday and I plan to hit the ground running. My goal a year from now is to be a full time fashion designer with health insurance. I will try to find a new store each month to begin a wholesale relationship with. I also would like to have a full calendar of work all year, not just being bombarded at Christmas and Carnival. My other goal is to create a more balanced work day. Where I work M-F 9-5 on this stuff, not just when I'm in the mood. I also plan to organize my work schedule better. Time blocks set aside for creating, but also sales, marketing, market research, and photography.
Do you sell your products on other sites or businesses? I sell my work through craft fairs, craigslist, and two small boutiques that carry my work.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Doe the weather seem to be changing? I'm starting to see a change in the weather. Just last night it was so windy and rainy. I'm not really ready for the season change, but it's coming. Here is a feature of a few of my friends on a couple of my teams and some other pictures that fit my theme.
shop has all types of handbags, coin bags, makeup bags and more. Stop by her shop and check out her variety of beautiful bags.
Who are you?--->>
My name is Emma, I'm 28 and I live in Nottingham, UK. I'm originally from Newcastle, so that makes me a certified Geordie. I live with my fantastic other half and my 2 cats Nell and Oliver. I work full time in an office but try to spend as much time as possible concentrating on crafting.
How long have you been crafting?--->>
For as long as I can remember I've always been making something or other, I was a huge fan of knitting and cross stitch when I was younger, this progressed into making clothes & accessories. Which led to completing a Degree in Fashion & Textiles so I would definitely say most of my life.
What feeds your imagination?--->>
Everything! things I see on my way to and from work, my garden, magazines, films, books, music, experiences, just life in general really.
What made you decide to make your crafting a business?--->>
I started making handbags for myself as a hobby. Some were given to family members and then friends started asking me to make them various types of bags. I made a clutch bag for a friend of a friend who wanted it to match an outfit she had for a wedding. She was so pleased with her bag and she told me that I should start selling them. I didn't really start thinking about it until a year later when I thought, Yeah, why not, lets have a go at making it a business!
How did you find etsy?--->>
I found Etsy through a friend who was already a member, and thankyou to her!!!
Have you ever been published in a magazine?--->>
I have never been published in a magazine but it is definitely a dream to have one of my bags featured. I'd love to be flicking through a glossy magazine and see one of my creations staring back at me!
What is your most effective marketing venue?--->>
Since I have only really been promoting myself seriously since April this year I would have to say the internet (Etsy and Craft Chat forums). Oh and word of mouth promoting is very effective!!
What is your goal for your business 1 year from now?--->>
To have steady orders coming in, to have been featured in a glossy and to be seriously thinking about giving up the day job to dedicate all my time to my craft!
Do you sell your products on other sites or businesses?--->>
I am also a member of Folksy, which is a UK version of Etsy on a very small scale although it is growing. And of course I have my own website which was launched in August this year www.bagladee.com.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I found a new seller to feature who has very pretty greeting cards, photo albums and scrap booking supplies. Her shop name is kattfive. I hope you will take a look around her shop for what she has to offer.
Who are you? My name is Julie Gastelum. I have a love for all things paper crafting.
How long have you been crafting? I have been crafting steadily for about a year. Off and on for many, many years.
What feeds your imagination? I have more inspiration when I am listening to music. It just depends on the day as to what you will hear coming from my craft room.
What made you decide to make your crafting a business? I thought I would give it a try as a way to fund my crafting hobbies. I am also a consultant for Close to my Heart, which also funds my stamping hobby.
How did you find etsy? I was looking on a scrap booking forum one day and saw someone post about Etsy. Of course I was curious, so I went searching. Now, Etsy is somewhere I search daily.
Have you ever been published in a magazine? No, I have never been published in a magazine. I have a couple of entries in to a magazine but nothing yet.
What is your most effective marketing venue? I have a blog that I list a lot of my items on www.creationsbyjulie.blogspot.com I also use the promotions forum on the Etsy site to promote and have had a couple of sales off of that. I have done a couple of Alchemy request and one is a possible return customer.
What is your goal for your business 1 year from now? My goal for my business in one year is to have more consistent sales. I am hoping to do some additional digital work in the future which would make it easier to make the cards and items on my Etsy site.
Do you sell your products on other sites or businesses? Mostly on Etsy, I have posted some on Ebay. I have done really well with taking things into my work and my mothers work. When people can see my work first hand, that is when they can really see how well it looks. Much better than pictures.