ArteTorre – Pop-up Handmade Paper Sculptures

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Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…

Arte Torre, awarded the title of ” Excellence in Craftsmanship” by the Piedmont Region of Italy, has for three generations been dedicated to the printing, graphics and reproduction of works of art.
The production process is carried out entirely in our own workshop using high-tech machinery with objects then being finished by hand in accordance with the tradition of craftsmanship.
Years of experience,research and passion has resulted in our products being worthy of becoming collectors’ items.

How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?

We discovered Etsy by going around the web.
We have been selling online for some years now through our website, Amazon and Ebay.
But we have abandoned Amazon and eBay.

What products do you sell, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?

Our products are made of different materials: paper, wood, plexiglass, ceramic, cloth, leather ….
So the objects vary: canvas paintings, ceramic paintings, collector plates, pencils, paper pop-ups, Plexiglas magnets, notebooks …. And many other objects.
We are suppliers of various museums around the world. So we get inspired for our creations by art.

How was your experience in learning to craft, are you self-taught or did you have a mentor, how long did it take for you to be satisfied with your creations

Ours is an artisan company. Our company has been working for three generations, therefore almost 75 years.
So our job is a long history of passion and research that continues and is always evolving.

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What was your original goal when you opened up an Etsy shop? What impacted your decision to start selling online? Do you consider online selling as a side-job, full-time job, or extra income to pay for your hobby?

Our objective of selling on Etsy are mainly two: to sell our products also outside Italy and to make our company known as much as possible.
But we do not consider online sales a second job, but a real commitment and investment of time and quality.

Did you have any fears or reservations before opening up your Etsy shop? Were you worried about profitability or product competitiveness? What are some concerns and questions you had before you got started? How did you overcome them?

We had no fears about opening our Etsy account.We are happy with our products and we already have an established market.
Etsy is an extra opportunity for us that stimulates us.

How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever think you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was the goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?

It’s only been 2 weeks since we entered Etsy. And we’ve already made three sales. But many are contacting us and asking questions, and many appreciate our products. For now we are happy but it is still early. We’ll see….

Do you have a job outside Etsy? If not, are you able to commit full-time to online selling? How does your typical day look like? How do you manage time?

We have a company. Etsy is one more opportunity for our company. We are craftsmen and designers: our days are made up of planning and manual work. But also of contacts: Etsy is a new contact for us.

How does your manufacturing process look like for e.g. your best selling product? Do you create products ahead of the orders? Do you customize your products, if so how? What are the tools that you are using in the manufacturing process?

The products we put on Etsy are all products that we have tested over the years. Each product has its customer: for example, children choose pencils. The ceramic paintings are instead appreciated by a more adult and quality-conscious public. We usually produce when the product is requested. And we often also make customizations, in agreement with the customer.

What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?

Everything is related to the products: there are “poor” products (wooden pencils for example). But there are also “rich” products: for example ceramic paintings; these are made with a ceramic taken in Sicily under the Etna volcano, the frame is made with ancient wood. Almost everything is handmade.
For example also pop-ups: paper is a “poor” material, but each pop-up is “built” by hand, one by one.
We are craftsmen, therefore we cannot only evaluate the value of the material but also and above all manual work.

What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?

Inspiration and creativity is not a metaphysical issue.
Our creations are born and inspired by work and research.
Observe the trends, people’s tastes, new materials, places of culture, and a continuous comparison between us … And many tests of products.
This ultimately leads to a new product that will hopefully please …

Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?

Yes, we ship all over the world. “Fighting” with the difficulties and prices of couriers. We try to keep the prices as low as possible: we do not earn anything from shipping. We also do free shipments for orders that have a substantial amount.

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Are you worried about competitors? Does it impact your business in any way? If there are a lot of similar products, how do you make your own standout?

I’m not worried about competitors, the world is big enough for everyone.I try to do my job better, and I’m happy with my job.
With the research I try to create new and quality products.

How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?

As they say: the customer is always right! Our policy has always been this: to “pamper” the customer. We always reply and are always available.
If there are any disputes, we try to resolve them and often give a gift to someone who has had a problem.

Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever think you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed about dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?

Tt is still too little time that we are enrolled in Etsy. But we are hopeful and confident of good success.

How important is social media for your shop? What are some common tactics you use to promote your products? Do you spend money on ads outside of Etsy? How do you generate excitement/hype around your products?

We are on different social networks and we invest money for it.
We make fun targeted campaigns: for example at Christmas we publish several things about our Christmas items.


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