Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…
My name is Diana, I am mom of 3 lovely boys and the owner and founder of Mama Potrafi.
I started my adventure in 2014 in a small work studio situated in the middle of the forest in my wooden house. I did not have any sewing experience at that time, but my passion was so strong it turned fast to professional sewing. First teepee was made for my little son. I had no idea it will be my full-time job cause I had a wonderful job as a stewardess at that time.
My kids loved everything I made but my husband was the one who always believed in me and he was very supportive and helpful. It was not easy to run even a small business and be a mom of 2-year-old and 6 months old boys. I did not sleep a lot. My crafts have to be perfect in every inch so at the beginning it took all of my free time if you can say full-time mom has any free time. People from all over the World loved our signature teepee tents that much so I moved to a larger space to make more and more beautiful products. I employed a few professional sewing ladies and this is how we work to this day. We are all like family. ❤️
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I was a customer on Etsy. Shopping there was very easy. It is a great place to find unique hand made products so I thought it will be the best place to sell my products.
With no experience in selling online, I followed all the steps to create my shop there. I spent hours adding and editing my listings.
Many people from all over the world were interested in my products so that was the only and best way to start selling it online. Besides having a local store is much more expensive to run and I would never reach so many customers from different places.
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 ?
I sell products for children’s interiors. Teepee tents, canopies, blankets, pillows, and many more. As a mother I want my children to have products made of the best fabrics and top quality materials so I offer the same for my customers.I design from my heart. My products are made with my passion and love for children and interior design.
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?
The original goal was to make few sales to cover the new work studio rent.
There were also many customers asking me on FB and IG and Etsy was an easy and safe place for them to make a purchase and I did not have to spend a lot of money to open my own online store.
Today it is my full-time job.
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?
To be honest I did not have any fear of opening an Etsy shop. It was all so clear and easy. There was not such a big competition in my niche at that time. Even if it were, I was sure my products were great and I wanted to show it to the World.
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 a goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?
The first sale was in the first week. I never assumed how many sales would appear. The number of sales in the first year surprised me. I had more orders than time to make it ready, but I asked my husband, my mom, and friends to help me prepare the packages so customers got it on time ( it was a Christmas time)
Today I make about 20-30 orders per week
Do you have a job outside Etsy? If not, are you able to commit full-time to online selling? What does your typical day look like? How do you manage time?
I am also an interior designer. Those 2 jobs are my full-time jobs. Sometimes I ask myself how do I do it.
My typical day starts at 6.30 am. I get my kids to school and daycare and the youngest is staying home with a nanny. At 8.30 am I reach my work studio and I start my day with a large cup of coffee. After discussing with my employees all the most important subjects and issues we set the order of sewing and shipping and then I have time for customer service, emails, buying supplies, etc. In the meantime, I create new designs, manage my IG account, take photos, and a bunch of other work no one sees. At 5 pm I get back home with my kids and I do what all moms do.
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?
It starts with an idea in my head. I have a clear thought of how I want this product to look like. Then I pick the fabrics, trims, lace, bells, and all the details which makes the product look amazing. The new products are made ahead of the orders. When it’s ready I set the photo shot and then it appears as a new listing.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
The materials we use are expensive but the best quality, that’s why the prices and maybe a bit higher than the competition. It is always the hardest job to set the price. I take into consideration the value of the materials, time spent on making it, employee salary, and other costs as packaging, etc.
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?
My kids are the biggest inspiration for me. Their creativity surprises me all the time.
I get inspiration from everything. Sometimes I see a sample of new fabric and I get an idea of what to make.
Good music, clean desk, paper, pen, and box of fabric samples – this is what I start with.
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?
90% of my sales are international. For the best selling countries, the shipping is free.
Unfortunately, there is not much I can do about the shipping prices, especially overseas.
Our products are packed in specially designed boxes with nice and eco paper and a string bow. Every product is labeled with an in instruction and ‘thank you’ note.
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 stand out?
To be honest I do not have time to worry about competition. I am focused on my brand rather than following my competition, but I know they do follow me.
There is something special about each brand and I believe customers see that and they have a right to choose what they like.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Customers’ opinions are very important to me. I have many 5 stars feedback and just a few bad ones. I always ask many questions to know the problem and solve it asap. If it’s my mistake I take full responsibility. I guess quick response and few solutions are given to customers so they can be satisfied, solves the 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?
Yes, it did. I can do what I love and still get a profit from it. I never thought my shop would get so far. There have been ups and downs, some stressful situations but you get it in every job.
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?
Social media is just an addition to what I do, it is the place where people can know me better as a person or get to know what stands behind the brand. I run an IG and Pinterest account. It is more like a cherry on the top of the cake.
I do not promote my products outside Etsy.
What are some things you don’t like about Etsy? If you could talk to the CEO of Etsy what recommendations would you tell him to improve sellers and customer satisfaction?
There is not much I do not like.
I would add a field to put customer mobile number while placing an order, cause you need to provide mobile number for shipping purposes.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Good quality pictures on a white background make your shop look clean and tidy.
What I ‘ve learned over the years is not to edit or change existing well selling listings! It almost ruined my business.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner’s mistakes?
Show your products the way you would buy it yourself. Take really good pictures!