Okay, so I've given up on the idea of a "Feature Friday." I just couldn't stick to the schedule. I'll still feature an etsy artist weekly, but it won't always be on the same day. On that note, here's an interview with this week's featured shop, Batwa.
How did you get started making wallets and handbags?
I've always had a thing for handbags (and shoes!) and wallets. I own many and in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. I made my first little handbag as a birthday gift for my aunt; I was pretty much hooked after that first time. I figured I could change my handbag and/or wallet whenever I wanted to if I could make them myself.
How did you hear about etsy and what prompted you to open your shop?
I first heard about Etsy in a craft forum a little over a year ago. I knew immediately that Etsy was for me.
You are a relatively new seller. How are you working to market yourself? Have you learned any lessons re: what works and what doesn't?
Marketing is still very challenging for me. I am not one of those people who can just hand out my business card to anyone and everyone that I meet. So, for me, I mostly do my marketing through Flickr, Etsy forums, Facebook, Family, Craftgawker, and a few other forums. I'm currently trying Twitter, but I don't think it's REALLY my cup of tea. I can't micro blog about my life to cyberspace for all to know. It hasn't generated any sales, but I must admit it is great for views. I'm still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. I'm also thinking about advertising in a couple of blogs.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you opened your shop?
Exciting things happen to me everyday. I get excited when I get views, hearts, treasuries, etc. The most exciting though has to be being approached to do a wholesale order for a couple of boutiques!
Do you have anything special in mind for the holidays? Will you change your marketing?
I don't think my product lends itself well to "the holidays". It wouldn't be practical to produce a wallet with a winter or Christmas theme because it wouldn't be able to be used all year long. I might do more cool colored items with blues and whites though. I'll be having a FANTASTIC sale in October, perfect for pre-Christmas shopping: BUY 3 wallets and get the 4th. FREE
Generally speaking, are there any lessons you have learned since opening your shop that you can share with us?
I'm still on my learning curve when it comes to photos. I have good days and I have bad days. I shoot all my items outside in bright light, but indirect sunlight and edit them in Picasa, which is a free photo editing software (picasa.com). Customer service has to be top notch! I respond to all buyers with a "Thank you" convo letting them know that I appreciate their purchase, when their item(s) will be mailed, and when to expect them. I try to pack the items in my "colors" green and black and never forget to include your business card! I've also learned that the Etsy forums are a great place to hang out. They're the perfect place to go to get advice, help, words of encouragement, critiques, and lots of laughs.
Here are a few of her current favorites:
Wallet in Amy Butler Wildflowers and Oxford Stripe
Large Cosmetic Case in a Batik Bull's Eye Pattern
Medium Frame Pouch in Amy Butler and Silk
And my favorite:
Wallet in Tina Givens Annabella and Moda