Lately in Life



I hope you have been enjoying all of the inspiring interviews with Etsy sellers. I love that everyone can have such a different experience! Whether your venture is your main job, or something on the side, we all have a lot to learn and a lot to share!

Lately I have been crocheting up a storm (still struggling when it comes to knitting). The frigid weather has inspired me to stay inside and create more warm fuzzies! 

Want to read the Etsy Seller Interviews?  Click here

There is still time to enter the $300 Anthropologie gift card giveaway! Click here 

Have a great weekend everyone <3 

Etsy Seller Interview :: Letters From Rita

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This edition of the Etsy Seller Interviews is with Stephanie from Letters From Rita. Stephanie will take a quote that means the most to you, and make it more beautiful. I hope you enjoy her interview and be sure to check out Stephanie’s beautiful work.

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

I’ve always been a doodler. Pair that with graphic design background and a love of words, and I thought starting my own hand-lettering Etsy shop would make sense! But it took me two years to even start the shop, and then another year to tell anyone about it. Honestly!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

To be honest, good music with amazing lyrics really, really inspires me the most. I am so not musical, but I’ve come to appreciate the craft of it. Some people have this way with words and then I feel compelled to put those words on paper in a pretty way.
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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

My home is a mix of organized chaos and white space (so two totally opposite things, but for some reason they work.) In my designs, I try to make the type really interesting, while still keeping a nice balance of white.

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

I love being able to create an heirloom piece for someone. I recently lettered a quote from one of my photography clients’ wedding ceremony, which was fun because it combined both my little businesses! Never thought that would happen!
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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

Hmm.. well, Instagram has the biggest following (that I can see), so getting my traffic from Insta to Etsy has been my main focus lately!

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

I usually just use the desktop version of Etsy!

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Be patient!! And believe in your art.
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 What are your plans for the future?

One of my ‘someday dreams’ is to paint a huge mural on the side of a building!

Be sure to check out Letter From Rita:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/LettersFromRita

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Etsy Seller Interview :: Nurture Play Love

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Meet Patricia from Nurture Play Love. Patricia is from the Netherlands and is currently in Thailand! Patricia is passionate about her materials and her inspiration. Her shop is bright and beautiful and her crochet flowers look tropical. Enjoy this interview from Patricia and be sure to check out her shop!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

As long as I can remember I was busy crafting things. After going to art academy to get my Master degree in Interior Design I felt the need to also make short term projects. I pick up my needles and started knitting again. I loved how these beautiful projects grew under my needles. After knitting I decided to learn to crochet and then I was hooked! I hunting for nice yarn, looking on the Internet for new designs. I made many hats, scarfs and sweaters for myself. Changing the patterns and writing new ones myself, I was busy crocheting in my free time. Once this pile of finished projects started to grow I started making gifts for friends and family. Moving the Thailand 5 years ago didn’t stop me from crocheting. Family and friends already encouraged me to start selling my items but it wasn’t until I found beautiful hand spun cotton yarn that I felt inspired and confident enough to open a shop. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Moving to Thailand opened a whole new world for me. After travel through Southeast Asia for a few months I thought I’ve seen it all, but once you settle down somewhere everything changes again. Growing up in the Netherlands, the two countries couldn’t be further apart and I get inspiration from the smallest things. 
We have a big pond next to our house, rice fields around us and a garden full of coconut trees, orchids and other beautiful flowers. Birds fly in and out of our garden and around the pond. Surrounded by all this natural beauty how can you not be inspired! I love watching our 2 year old daughter explore the garden, all the little things she examines with her curiosity. There is no judgment, just curiosity. She would show me things I’ve never seen before, new shapes and forms. These little discoveries of her inspire me again. Together we Nurture, Play and Love.

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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

I love natural fibers. The way a beautiful cotton feels on your skin can never be beaten by an artificial fiber. That’s why I choice the best quality cotton yarn that is not overly processed. There are imperfections in the yarn, but that’s what makes it unique! I pick 100% cotton product over acrylic for my own daughter, so I want to give my customers the same quality. Especially when it’s for a baby or young child. Cotton breaths and it won’t irritate those sensitive skins.
My love for the outdoors shines through in the colors. I use bright colors that will appeal to the babies and children for whom I make my products. Whether it’s summer or winter, I think bright colors are for every season, it colors your life!

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishments have been off Etsy but they were because of Etsy. I’ve been crocheting for family and friends for a long time but never announced that I sell my items, until I opened my Etsy shop. Family and friends were very willing to pay for items I made, blankets, beanies or toys. I even had to turn some orders down because I was so busy that I couldn’t finished all the orders on time.
I’ve biggest accomplishment in the literal sense has been a big blanket for 2 sisters, 40 by 60 inch in beautiful pink and gray colors. It’s so nice to design the colors and patterns together with a friend.

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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

The toughest challenge would be getting noticed. There are so many other crochet shops out there that sell beautiful items. In the beginning I was obsessed with how many views I had each day, now I just check every once in while. It only takes one customer to buy something, just views won’t buy you anything. I’ve been playing around with tags and titles in order to get noticed more, but it’s difficult.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

Social media is an important key in promoting your shop. Instagram is one of my favorites. The immediate response you get when you post a photo of items in progress is a good indicator if customers will like it. It’s also great for inspiration to see what other, more successful, shops are doing. It pushes me to take better pictures and to come up with original items. If I have a new idea I usually brows through Instagram to see if there isn’t an item like that already. I don’t want to copy anyone so I always make sure my items are unique.

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

I’m pretty new to Etsy myself, I just opened the shop last September. What I see when I brows through Etsy is the importance of good photos. I’m a visual person, photos can draw me in and completely amaze me. On the other hand photos taken on wrinkled white blankets in bad daylight are a complete turn off. I’m still experimenting with different ways of taking pictures myself. Do items get more views with a white background or with some green leaves from my garden? 
And don’t underestimate social media. I’ve been able to sell items directly to people who contacted me on Facebook and Instagram. Find a fun way to incorporate taking pictures of your progress on a daily basis. It’s also a great way to test new technique of taken pictures, more response from followers means bigger changes of getting noticed on Etsy.

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 What are your plans for the future?

I started out a bit afraid to produce a lot, not sure if it will sell. I stepped out of that, fear is not a good motivator so I started making a lot of items. I signed myself up for 2 craft fairs this summer in the Netherlands when I’m visiting family. In order to grow and develop you need to take risks. I have a goal set on how many items I want to list every month and what I want to make for the craft fairs.
I’m ready to take the next step in expending my shop and I’m very excited to see what the future will bring. 

Be sure to check out Nurture Play Love:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/nurtureplaylove

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Etsy Seller Interview :: The Trendy Sparrow

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I first noticed The Trendy Sparrow on Instagram. Her beautiful items were all over my feed, and I just had to check out her shop. Lindzi has created her own brand that truly reflects her style. You will learn that not only is Lindzi creative and stylish, she is a savvy entrepreneur who knows how to stand up for herself. If you have an Etsy shop of your own, you will not want to miss this interview! Lindzi shares her story as well as some great advice to other handmade sellers. Enjoy!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

I opened my Etsy store in 2010 when I was a sophomore in collage. At that time, I was working over 50 hours a week in addition to going to school. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything but working and studying. I had very little time for “me”, and I know that if I didn’t carve out some time for me to do something fun I was going down a rough path of nonstop stress. I decided to mark out some time each day to craft and do something creative. I started out making wooden boxes. I ended up making so many that I open an Etsy store to see if anyone wanted to buy them. They did! I was able to start quitting one job, then another, then another until eventually I was only selling my boxes on Etsy and going to school. It was so wonderful to be able to earn money doing something that made me happy and was relaxing. My shop has continued to evolve over time. I no longer sell those wooden boxes, but rather am making something that I love even more (girly and chic coffee mugs, art prints, and apparel). I now sell on Etsy as my full time job, and I couldn’t be happier!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from my own personal style, the ladies who I strive to be like, and a few brands that I really admire. I love Audrey Hepburn, Kate Spade, Blair Waldorf, and other chic, girly ladies. Honestly, I would ask myself “What Would Blair Waldorf Do?” TM all the time when trying to come up with new products. So much so that I turned that phrase into it’s own product. It has become my number 1 selling item…proving that my customers are so similar to myself. I really enjoy sipping champagne, eating macarons, watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Gossip Girl, Paris in the 1920s, anything with polka dots, everything that Kate Spade sells, etc. I try to keep things that remind me of all of the things I love near me to constantly inspire me.

I also like to keep my office looking very “me” since I am my brand. This way, when I am at my desk, I am in a work environment that reflects my brand, makes me happy, and is a constant source of inspiration.

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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

My personal style heavily influences my business. When people ask me who my customer is, the answer is really simple: me. I won’t make anything that I wouldn’t own myself. The colors of my brand (pink, gold, & mint) are the same colors of my apartment. I often describe my style as girly, chic, and fun! And those are the same words I would use to describe The Trendy Sparrow. I consider my Etsy store to have an over all brand and style, and that is mirrored in my personal style.

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

In December of last year, I had the opportunity to sell at a huge craft show. It had over 100,000 attendees! I had never done a craft show before so starting with such a large one was pretty scary! We ended up doing really well. We almost completely sold out of all of our products, and we got 6 wholesale orders. I ended up getting to do such a large craft show (successfully) and started selling our products in other stores all in the same weekend! Since that show, our business has just continued to grow rapidly. It was definitely the right move for our store, and has continued to send us more business.

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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

My toughest challenge has always been intellectual property theft. Since opening my store, I’ve had to trademark several of our sayings because other Etsy sellers have attempted to make a product almost exactly (sometimes 100% copied) like mine. It’s tough to enjoy making things when you have to constantly battle the legality and red tape of copycats and thieves. I have to report about 3 shops a week for trademark infringement because they see one of our products doing well and attempt to replicate it rather than create their own product. As Etsy sellers, what we create and do is very personal. It’s something we’ve been hours and days mulling over and trying to create. So it’s really hard not to take thievery personal.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

Honestly, the app I use the most is the Etsy seller app. I am able to do so much for my store quickly using that app, including answering conversations and updating my listings. If you’re an Etsy seller and you do not have the Etsy seller app…stop what you are doing and download it immediately. Other than that, I often use the USPS app. It allows me to schedule product pick ups. I never have to spend time taking all of my orders to the post office because the postal worker comes to my home and picks them up for me. It saves so much time! I also order shipping boxes/envelopes from the app as well because so many of the boxes are FREE. Yes, FREE. This helps me save so much money in shipping.

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What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Personally I think there are 4 pieces of advice that will really help future Etsy sellers: take excellent photos, be original, make your brand cohesive, and don’t be afraid to fight for you work. When buyers purchase something from your store, the first things they see are your photos. Sometimes buyers don’t even bother to read the text and purchase strictly of the visual that is your photography. Read some books and Etsy seller articles on how to take better photos. You don’t have to have a great camera to do this. Some of my product photos were taken with my iPhone, but I still get compliments on them all the time.

Please be original. Don’t copy someone else’s work just because you see it is successful. If you are only copying someone else’s work, it will show in the quality of your store/listing. Take the time to sit down and come up with something all your own. The more of “you” that you put into it, the prouder you will be. Buyers will be able to “see you” in your items, and selling them/describing them/loving them will come much easier when you make something original that you love.

It’s so important to make your branding cohesive when trying to build your Etsy store. Think about every item that you have for branding purposes: business cards, product packaging, logos, product photography, and social media. All of these things should go together and look like they came from the same store. People should be able to see something and know that it’s your store from all of the cohesive branding. I suggest starting with a color story that really speaks to you and defines your brand. Mine are blush pink, metallic gold, white, and mint. Everything branding item I have is in those colors. Another idea is to dream up your “ideal customer”. Who is she/he? What do they do? What do they like? Then design everything around that person. For me, it was easy. My customer is me, and I design everything I sell/brand around my personal style and taste.

Do. Not. Be. Afraid. To. Fight. For. Your. Work. So many Etsy sellers think they can’t secure their product because they are a one person operation. That’s not true. If you do well, people are going to try to copy you because they want an easy way to make money. But if you know that you created an item that is 100% yours, don’t be afraid to fight for your product. Study up on trademark, copyright, and intellectual property law. Seek out probono lawyers. In Chicago, we have a law firm that does free work for people “in the arts” that have been really helpful in terms of intellectual property theft. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask Etsy’s legal team on how to solve it.

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 What are your plans for the future?

We are in the process of creating new product lines to be able to offer more items in the store. We have also opened up an additional website outside of Etsy to help draw in more traffic to our product (www.thetrendysparrow.com). In the next year, we are trying to facilitate more wholesale partnerships to get our products in physical stores beyond our online store.

In the very long-term future, I would really like to open my own storefront boutique where we sell not only our products, but more clothes, office accessories, and other handmade goodies from future Etsy sellers.

Be sure to check out The Trendy Sparrow:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTrendySparrow

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Etsy Seller Interview :: Marion’s Mittens

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Get ready for probably the most touching Etsy Shop Interview so far. I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura, who is Marion’s granddaughter. I discovered Marion’s Mittens because Laura and I are both part of a great Etsy team together. Find out how Marion’s Mittens began, and see how much the story has grown! For anyone who has had something made by them by their sweet grandmother, you won’t want to miss this <3

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

One day my grandmother handed me a pile of mittens she’d knitted and asked me to sell them. I’d heard of Etsy, so as soon as I got home, I opened a shop! That was in October 2012 and we’ve been growing ever since. This year we started carrying the scarves that my aunt knits.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Obviously, my grandmother Marion is a huge influence. All of the mittens in the shop are knitted from patterns she’s been using since she was a teenager. She’s 85 now. One of the important characteristics of our mittens is that they’re knitted on size #2 double pointed needles. Small needles create a warm, tightly knit piece. Knitting on smaller needles also takes longer, so I have learned a lot about quality and patience! It’s rewarding to share a well-made product that we know has been enjoyed by generations of our own family.

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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

It’s been fun expanding our product line, mixing old and new. My grandmother mostly used neutral yarn or maybe red for kids. We’ve expanded to include bright colors, like neons, as well as some sparkly yarn. It’s interesting that both neutrals and brights are popular! I have worn Marion’s Mittens since I was a kid, and I still wear them as an adult. I have most of the colors in my own collection.

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

I learned to knit last year! It’s amazing for me to think that two years ago I couldn’t knit a single thing, and now I make the baby mittens and small kids’ mittens. I also learned to crochet so that we can meet a big customer demand of mittens on a string.

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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

Selling handmade items online is tough. People like to see and touch products to gauge the small details and the quality. So at first, it can be difficult to get people to trust you and make that first purchase. Now that we’ve made some sales, we have lots of great customer feedback, and that created a snowball effect that encourages more people to buy. Most people who don’t sell on Etsy themselves don’t realize how much work you have to put into creating a great listing and then promoting it online.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

I keep my inventory in a spreadsheet with a lot of formulas so I know how many pairs of mittens I have in various sizes or colors. This helps me to stay organized; I also track my sales and expenses this way. Another tool I love is HootSuite for scheduling tweets in advance! You can use it to schedule Facebook posts, too.

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

You’ll get out of your business what you put into it. It’s fine to get started with the bare minimum, but keep working to improve! One week you might add some cross-links in your listing descriptions. Another week you might spend all your time redoing your photos to look really great. Take advantage of all of the resources on Etsy, like the seller handbook and the teams. Also, make sure you use social media – it’s free advertising! Network with other sellers to spread the word about your shop.

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 What are your plans for the future?

My sales have grown each year, so I want to build up a good inventory for when “mitten season” really picks up again. That’s usually in November. I’m also working on creating a second shop with my mom. She recently moved to Florida and I live in New York, so it’s a way for us to work on something together. The shop’s going to feature sewn home décor and accessories. Once it’s up and running, maybe I’ll be back on the blog talking about that shop! ;)

Be sure to check out Marion’s Mittens:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/marionsmittens

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Etsy Seller Interview :: Bittersweet Co.

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Meet Carrie and Michelle, the darling ladies behind Bittersweet Co. This is an interview not to be missed! Bittersweet Co. offers beautiful whimsical cards with a sarcastic twist. If you are looking for that perfect card that says “You’re Annoying, but I guess I love you.” then this shop is for you!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

We decided to start Bittersweet Co. out of our small Brooklyn apartment last year because we wanted a fulfilling way to use our talents outside of our 9-5 jobs. Both of us had an interest in stationery design, and realized that we can combine our skills to create a business.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Our inspiration comes from anything and everything! There’s always something interesting to see or funny to overhear in the NYC, and we use that to create unique cards that reflect the diversity of our city.
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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

We’re both attracted to bold geometric shapes and delicate florals, and we think that really shows in our designs. We’re sarcastic in nature, and it felt very natural to have a funny and slightly rude vibe when we were spit-balling new card ideas.

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

Getting through our first holiday season! New York City had a lot of pop-up shops to choose from, and we were lucky enough to be in a few. It was hard work and long hours, but it was a fun learning experience and we met a lot of talented makers. It was the first time our cards were presented to the general public and the reception was good.
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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

Our biggest challenge so far has been figuring out the best way to make our shop more visible to buyers. It’s a lot of experimenting with title wording and imagery. Luckily, they have a great community support system with tons of resources and admins. With their help we are slowly but surely figuring it out.

Lifestyle_SketchingWhat tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

Hands down, Instagram is the best. It’s a great way to connect with sellers and buyers alike. Spreading the word is instantaneous when you can just snap a photo and post it. It’s a great way to share the visual story of your brand beyond the product photos on Etsy.

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Think about what makes you special and unique. Find something you love because people will respond to the passion you have for your product! Don’t be afraid to dive in because you will learn as you go!
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 What are your plans for the future?

We hope to expand our shop to include many types of paper goods like notebooks, calendars, and more custom stationery. Look out for even more snark from us in the future!

Be sure to check out Bittersweet Co.:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/bittersweetco

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Cozy Anthro Sweater & Anthropologie Giveaway

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Salem is about 16 miles north of Boston Massachusetts. With that being said, Salem is just as full of snow as Boston is! Honestly, i will admit my “outfits” have been just being bundled up so much only my eyes show. This was a rare occasion.

I wasn’t even going to leave the house, but I figured I should go somewhere after being cooped up from the Saturday/Sunday storm. This cozy anthropologie sweater is becoming a new favorite of mine, and fast! I am always gushing over everything in that store and I will say it again, if I could I would move in ;)

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With that being said: I have teamed up with some other great bloggers to bring you an anthropologie giveaway! You can win a gift card to Anthropologie to purchase your own cozy comforts! Check out the details and enter below <3

Prize: $300 Anthropologie Gift Card

Co-hosts: Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog ♥ To Hell in a Handbag ♥ Becoming Fab ♥ Lush to Blush ♥ Taffeta & Tulips ♥ Tide & Bloom Livin’ Like Larz My Rose Colored Shades Laura Jane Atelier Orange Marigolds  Butcher’s Niche Deliciously Savvy
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

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Rules: Click the Link below to use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/13 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

click here to enter 

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 Sweater:: anthropologie
Leggings:: Kohls
Boots :: Sorel
Coat:: Laundry by Shelli Segal
Bag:: Furla

 

How have you been keeping cozy with all of this snow?

Etsy Seller Interview :: Morning Soon

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I am honored to have had the chance to interview Julia of it will be Morning Soon. Julia’s Etsy shop is BRAND NEW! Her official opening day was February 5th. Please enjoy her interview and check out her Etsy Shop!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

 The shop has been “in the making” for a while now.

I started knitting a few years ago as a hobby, and I quickly fell in love with it. I love being able to create something with my own two hands that I can then use in my everyday life. However, once I had created a number of different things I realized that there’s only so much I can hold on to for myself. One girl only needs so many scarves! Since I was already quite familiar with the Etsy community, I knew that an Etsy shop would be the perfect solution for me. And in fact, it helps me out in two ways. First of all it allows me to keep knitting new things and then share my creations with other people. I no longer have to keep everything or give them away as gifts (pretty much to the same three people over and over!). And secondly, it allows me to make a bit of money on the side. I’m a full-time university student and I don’t have the time to get a job while I’m in school. I’m really grateful that I can do something I love and help pay my tuition at the same time.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

I get inspired by just about everything. I wish I had some really interesting and quirky thing I could tell you about, but to be honest I just knit things that I think look good! When I design new products, I create things that I would enjoy wearing. Of course I also keep an eye out for what other knitters are selling on Etsy. And I’m always scouting out people on the street to see what kind of things they like to wear (which makes me feel a little creepy sometimes, especially when they notice me looking at them!). In general, I just try to create things that are beautiful to look at and functional for daily life.
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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

I guess you could say that my business is completely influenced by my personal style. As I said, I pretty much just create things that I myself would enjoy wearing or using. I think my sense of style also comes into play with the yarn colours that I choose. Since my shop is just starting out, I don’t have the space or the means to have a huge selection of different yarns. My colour selection right now is limited to about five colours. So when choosing those five colours, again, I just chose the ones that I liked the most and that I could see myself wearing. For instance, I knew I had to have a dark red or burgundy coloured yarn. Burgundy is absolutely my favourite colour to wear. I’m hoping other people like it too, because if no one ends up wanting items in that colour then that’s sort of a flop. But either way, I love it and I think it looks great!

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

My Etsy shop [just opened], so obviously I don’t have any huge successes right now as far as sales and reviews go. But in my eyes, the fact that I have motivated myself to open my shop has been a huge success for me. I tend to get lots and lots of ideas about new projects I want to try and things I want to start, but I often get disenchanted with my ideas and a lot of them don’t come to light. So I’m really proud that I was able to sit myself down and say, “I want to do this!” and then actually make it happen. I’ve been making plans, setting goals, and creating all kinds of new items in preparation for my shop. So I think it’s been really good for me to keep at it and see it through.
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 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

I think time management will probably become an issue for me. Since I’m in university, I’m very busy with classes, assignments, meetings and the like. My schedule is all over the place. And on top of that, I volunteer at my campus radio station AND I’m doing an internship with a non-profit organization. I do have times during the week when I can work on my knitting, but I’m a bit nervous about getting custom orders for my shop. If someone requests a brand new, made-to-order scarf right when I’ve got a busy week coming up, it will be challenging to meet that deadline. But at the same time, I think a custom order would make me extremely excited, so I’m sure I’d find the time to work on it!

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

Instagram is definitely my favourite. I love photography, so it’s a great outlet for me. It’s also how I discovered a lot of great knitters and Etsy sellers. I love following different artisans and seeing what they create and how they do it. When I decided to open my Etsy shop I started posting as many knitting photos that I could. I find that it’s pretty easy to get good exposure on Instagram as long as you’re following other like-minded people. I’ve gotten lots of new followers just by liking and commenting on the work of other knitters and Etsy sellers. I appreciate good photography and I love all things handmade, and there’s a huge wealth of that on Instagram.

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Of course I’m not an expert yet, I’m only just starting out myself. But to anyone starting an Etsy shop or even just considering it, I say go for it. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. There are a TON of stories about people who started Etsy shops in the evening after work, and who continued to grow their business until it became their full-time job. I think anything is possible if you work hard and put your mind to it.
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 What are your plans for the future?

Once my shop is up and running, I plan to continue developing new designs and knitting as much as I can. I want to have more products available than I do now. I’m planning some leg warmers and boot cuffs, lots of different hat designs, some fingerless gloves, and maybe some stuffed cat toys! I’m excited to play around with new yarns and new designs. I’d also like to have more colours of yarn available if I can, but that will depend on my storage space and the upfront costs. I’m going to have to play it by ear for a little while and learn what works and what doesn’t. I’ve got lots of ambitions for my shop, but I know I’ll have to take it one step at a time.

Be sure to check out Morning Soon: https://www.etsy.com/shop/morningsoon

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Cozy Inspiration :: Love for Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is February 14th, which only means: Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, this day will be here with a burst of pink and red. I have had my share of good and terrible Valentine’s Days so I know how you feel either way!

This year we didn’t make any plans because my boyfriend (or “Mr. Salem Style” as he was recently named on Twitter haha) is scheduled to work. I’m hoping the blizzard will hit just in time so we are stuck at home <3

Here are some cozy images I found from Pinterest that just felt like “love”.

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Have a great weekend loves <3

all images from pinterest

Etsy Seller Interview :: H. Nichols Illustration

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I noticed Holly first on Instagram. I believe it was a regram from another Boston Blogger. I instantly followed H Nichols Illustration. Her instagram feed is absolutely addicting and you are always left wondering what she will design next. I think her illustrations are stunning. Enjoy :)

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

I opened my shop last February after I had a high demand on my social media networks, specifically Instagram, to sell prints of my artwork. I had a full time job in addition to it at the time, but I have since left the job and am illustrating full time!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Like many artists, I’m inspired by color and my surroundings. My art is also heavily influenced by the weather. We recently got a bunch of snow in my area, so I sketched a bunch of girls all bundled up and cozy.

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 How does your personal style influence your business? 

I’m very girly, but I also am really attracted to comfort and simplicity, so I think my branding is pretty minimalistic. You’ll notice a lot of my prints (like “The Fine Art of Staying In” and “Bundled”) display a laid-back vibe, which is certainly a trait of my own style. There are also illustrations like “OOTD” and “Pigalle Parade” which are definitely more girly and glamorous that kind of relfect my attraction to a fabulous life that I don’t necessarily live (at the moment at least!).

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been being invited to New York Fashion week to sketch backstage. I can’t wait- it will definitely be a great experience.

 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

The toughest challenge is trying to do it all alone. Right now i’m the mail room, support line, packaging center, and artist behind it all, so doing that plus all the customs I have is definitely proving to be a challenge. Eventually I hope to be able to hire someone to do all the operations of the Etsy store so I can concentrate on making the art.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

I think every Etsy seller should have both the “Etsy Sell” and regular “Etsy” app, as well as the Etsy reader! I know the readers are in back order, but if you were lucky enough to get one initially, it’s super helpful! For those that don’t know what it is, it’s the equivalent to a “Square” reader, to accept payments on the go, however it’s synched to the Etsy shop so it can control your inventory.

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What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Think about your potential to grow before you start and make sure you’re prepared to support it, always write a personal note on the customer’s receipt (address them directly), and take advantage of the shipping labels through Etsy, rather than manually write them. I print the labels right from Etsy’s website, schedule a pickup to my studio with the USPS and the packages are sent right out, easy as pie!

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 What are your plans for the future?

My future plans are to continue to be happy with what i’m doing and to inspire others. I really enjoy hearing that my art has either inspired someone to learn how to draw, or has inspired someone who abandoned it to return to art. 

Be sure to check out H. Nichols Illustration: www.etsy.com/shop/hnillustration

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