Hello!! Please help me in welcoming MICHELE for today’s INSPIRED ARTISANS FRIDAY FEATURE!
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a sales rep by day and a crafter by night. I started scrapbooking a couple of years ago when I was looking for a unique present for my goddaughter. SInce then, I have created scrapbooks for friends for important occasions – 30th birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, anniversaries and engagements. I even got a chance to be a photographer at a friend’s wedding and made an album for them! Last Christmas I decided to make my own Christmas cards. I got such wonderful comments, but the one I seemed to hear a lot of was, you should sell these. A friend of mine offered me a business plan – start slow by writing a blog, then open a twitter account, then start selling. And I did just that. It took me awhile to get up the courage to sell my cards online, but I opened up my Etsy shop for business in May 2012!
What handmade product do you to sell on Etsy and what is the name of your shop?
Right now I sell cards and tags. In the future I’d love to be able to sell my scrapbooks here too. My shop is called Scrapsecrets.
Do you sell your work elsewhere?
Right now I only sell on Etsy, but I am doing my first craft fair in September in Woodbury, NJ.
Can you share a few of your favourite items here with us?
1 – Graduation card. This is the first card I ever used a stencil on. I love how the background turned out. I had just bought a set of glitter gel pens and I used them on the tassel and the ribbon on the diploma. This card was one of those “happy accidents” and turned out much better than I expected.
2 – My slider card. I made a version of this card for my sister’s bridal shower and thought it was so cute! It’s different than the traditional 4×6 or 5×7 cards people usually get.
3 – Engagement card. This was my first sale from someone I didn’t know. It gave me validation that I can do this! The concept is simple, clean and elegant.
Who or what inspires you to create?
I am inspired by so many things. I often get techniques for projects from YouTube and that gets my brain turning! I am also motivated by different supplies I have. Often I will forget I have something and I will be looking around for a die or a punch and come across something I haven’t used in awhile. Sometimes that creates a whole new project for me! My goddaughter inspires me each year to make her scrapbook.
Can you describe your creative process?
Often I will start out with page or card sketches, but when you see the end result, it hardly looks like what I’ve drawn. I draw ideas when I am stopped for lunch during the workday or when I am watching TV. When I sit down to start creating, I look around and see all of the things I could use on that project and my vision changes. I also have a lot of “happy accidents” where I am creating something and somehow it goes wrong, but in the end it makes the piece work!
What advice might you give to other artisans or potential etsy sellers?
Before you open your shop, start stockpiling items so that you can list several things. Try to list once a day or several times a week. The more variety you have, the more you are expanding your potential clientele base! Use all 13 tags you are given and all 5 pictures. Join teams that have to do with your craft and location. I have found that the people on the teams are so supportive and are very willing to help. Teams that are for your state can help you locate craft fairs and also connect with people that will be at those events. Don’t be afraid to participate in team discussions and ask for help. Chances are if you have questions about something, there are others who do as well. And most importantly, love what you do. It will show in your work.
Thank you so much for joining us today Michele! Best of luck with all your creative work!!