[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/SFDfurniture
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/meble.SFD
Website : https://sfd-craft.com/[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
Hi, my name is Artur Przedzienkowski and I am the founder of SFD Skandinavisk Möbeldesign – a brand of handcrafted oak furniture. The SFD Skandinavisk Möbeldesign brand was inspired by Scandinavian landscapes. Traveling through the countries of this region of Europe, we were delighted by the virginity of nature and the harshness of its climate. The respect that the people who live there have for the landscape and nature is most admirable. It was then that we understood that the beauty of the Scandinavian style is actually due to the symbiosis between man and nature. We were captivated by the power and intensity of natural phenomena, the beauty of the natural landscape, and the peace that comes with open, undisturbed spaces. Travels in Scandinavia provided us with great motivation to act, we were only looking for an idea to realize our inspiration and ideas. Scandinavian style has just come to our aid. We were intrigued by its genesis and practical use and conditions that affect the lives of people in the Nordic countries. This style is characterized by sublime simplicity and functionality, without unnecessary ornaments and distracting elements. Stylish products harmonize with the spaces in which they are located, without distracting users from the beauty of the surroundings and without distracting them. We wanted to create products that will influence the quality of life of the recipients and will be the result of the synergy of the two factors mentioned above: natural landscape and sophisticated design style. We decided to use the creative willingness to finally design and produce stylish, modern furniture. At the same time, our work is guided by another goal – to promote the values resulting from the Scandinavian style understood as a lifestyle. In such circumstances, the SFD Skandinavisk Möbeldesign brand was born.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I started my adventure with e-commerce on Dawanda handmade portal. A few years ago, Dawanda was bought out by Etsy, so I continued selling my handcrafted oak furniture here. I decided to choose this format because of the wide access to customers from practically all over the world. I was also interested in contact with interesting people, which is one of the most important aspects for further personal development, as well as the development of the SFD brand.
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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?
The adventure with every piece of handcrafted oak furniture starts with a pencil and a drawing board. The project is primarily the result of inspirations taken from travels in the Nordic countries, but also of our constantly deepened knowledge of Scandinavian design and passion for functionalism. Ideal sketches and models are the subject of many discussions, and often substantive disputes before they become the basis for technical and construction projects. The production stage itself is of course extremely important. We make great efforts in the selection and selection of materials, and then their manual processing and finishing. Each piece of oak furniture is made with great passion and dedication. This gives us great joy, and when a piece of furniture is ready and meets the requirements of our customers. Time and effort put into production and individual approach make us emotionally attached to our furniture. All the more reason for us to satisfy our customers and meet their expectations. We are happy to talk about the genesis of furniture creation, design ideas, and provide all the advice on its use and maintenance. We offer handcrafted oak furniture and accessories, which will decorate primarily the interiors of kitchens and living rooms, but also find application in other spaces. Oak dining tables and benches are the largest assortments. We offer several types of oak dining tables, with different construction and color tones. Their simple and minimalist form allows them to be used also in other spaces such as offices or conference rooms. The lounges will arrange the benches proposed in the collection. In addition to the BASIC dining tables referring to the construction of some table models, we also produce a stylish VIRKERÅ bench with polished steel legs and a wooden top covered with tempered glass as well as a ROBUST coffee table, which is characterized by the structure of the wood, with visible clear hollows and natural abrasions. The offer also includes a mobile wall desk with light steel construction, for use in office rooms, children’s rooms, but also in living rooms. There is also available a similar-looking wall shelf produced in two dimensions. Our latest products are the oak round extendable tables MÅNE and FJÄRIL, characterized by a unique design and exceptional usability.
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?
It is our profession, design, craft, hard work – Etsy was the place where we could show it. Becoming a professional requires a lot of time As a creator I probably will never be fully satisfied with my creations – as we know perfection does not exist, but through my actions, I try to get closer to it.
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?
From the beginning, our dream was: ” Be great instead of big”. Initially, I combined sales on Etsy with employment. The gradual increase in sales allowed me to give up my job and switch to Etsy completely. Despite the constant development of the company as a team, we continue to focus on ensuring that SFD does not lose the charm of a small craft company, which makes small amounts of unique handcrafted oak furniture.
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 love challenges – it was a lot of work but also great help from Etsy. First and foremost, it can be difficult for a novice seller to operate the entire platform and understand how everything works. It is quite important to describe the listings properly so that they appear high in the rankings and correspond to customer searches. The correct optimization of this process was achieved by the trial and error method. The help of Etsy or specialized groups or forums of other more experienced sellers was also very helpful.
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?
Every piece is important – we sell 1 by 1 and don’t think about big numbers, but product value. We believe that the results will come on their own if we act on our original intentions. The truthfulness of the message and the satisfaction of current customers are key here.
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?
Etsy is currently my full-time job and I feel great about it. I think that my typical day is not fundamentally different from sellers like me. What suits me best is diversity – every day is different. The main tasks include designing and prototyping new products, supervising the projects currently being done by craftsmen, after-sales service, and long talks with my team about the brand and its development. I consider the last one to be the most valuable :).
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?
I will describe the whole process on the basis of one of our bestsellers, the BASIC NIO II oak dining table. After placing an order, we start working immediately. We start by choosing the appropriate, selected solid oak wood, which will then be used to build the tabletop. At the same time, the steel frame of the table is welded and painted. The final process is connecting the frame with the tabletop and oiling it with natural oils. As it results from the described process, each of our products is made to order (bespoke furniture), we also offer any modification of size/construction at the request of our great customers.
Currently, we have craftsmen equipped with all the necessary tools for wood and metal processing.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
All products are made 100% by hand by experienced craftsmen. Therefore it also significantly affects the cost of the final product. Products are priced according to their quality and the time needed for production.
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?
Life, people’s needs, own experiences, and 1 question – how to create a unique piece, one of the world? My favorite methods also include insightful world observation, meditation, and inspiring books.
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?
We offer to supply all our products in the EU and the UK. We use our own transport and the price depends on the distance. On average, it takes 4-5 weeks from placing an order to delivering e.g. an oak dining table. Free delivery is available for our selected products. The tables are properly secured before shipment in order to eliminate damage during transport and bringing them home or apartment. For smaller products, we use labeled cardboard packaging and appropriate filling. Fresh coffee in beans is included with each order to make this expected delivery day even more pleasant.
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?
Competition, of course, is very important to us and thanks to it we are getting better and better. But we always try to keep our products one step ahead of them. The creation of each new project is followed by market analyses, which allow us to get closer to the current expectations and requirements of customers. Currently, on Etsy, there are many companies with similar profiles, but we cannot compare them with SFD one to one.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Fortunately, such situations are extremely rare. We are proud to say that we have not received a single bad opinion yet. We try to clarify any doubts about the products supplied as soon as possible and propose the best solution to the problem. It is not an issue for us to exchange the oak table for another one free of charge if the previous one did not meet expectations for some reason.
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?
Indeed! Thanks to Etsy we have been able to communicate with the whole world, with people with similar interests, passionate about handicrafts. It is worth mentioning that our clients are really valuable and interesting people. Every day we learn something new from them. It’s hard for us to talk about the stress associated with Etsy, it’s more of an everyday challenge to face. It brings us a lot of satisfaction.
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 actively use nearly all popular social media channels. This allows us to quickly communicate e.g. about an interesting new product or article on our blog to a wide audience. It is also a way to make the brand and our entire activity credible. We create not only interesting posts or articles but once in a while we present our original video, in which we try not only to present the product but also to convey the emotions associated with it. We have even developed our own system of hashtags, adapted thematically to a given publication: #WLCM_HOME, #WLCM_DESIGN, #WLCM_CRAFT, #WLCM_NATURE. We see Social Media very broadly and we are constantly improving in this area. Apart from the advertisements on Etsy, we also use a promotion on FB, Instagram, or Pinterest. Recently we are also exploring the Google Ads platform.
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?
Etsy is a great platform for people with a passion like us. However, what worries us is the poor control of stores, which deal with mass sales of products, not made at home or in a small workshop but in large factories. This is obviously not in line with the regulations and should be more efficiently enforced by Etsy. This causes a gradual transformation of the portal from an intimate place to sell handicrafts into a huge commercial marketplace, which is gradually losing its original charm.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
As the founder of the SFD brand, I believe that there is no clear recipe for success. However, I think that it is surely brought closer to it by a great passion and involvement in the project. Without them, it wouldn’t make much sense, because, with a bigger problem (which is a lot at the beginning), you can lose the will to continue. Only passion keeps us on the surface 🙂 At the same time, it is the driving force to create better and better products. I also learned that Etsy is not perfect and sometimes mistakes happen. You have to watch out for them!
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What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Initially, it is definitely necessary to get familiar with all the guidelines of the Etsy platform and a pretty good tutorial. However, the contact with an experienced Etsy seller is invaluable, who turns theory into practice, which often differs from our ideas. Therefore, from the very beginning, it is worth joining various support groups about Etsy and trying to find a trusted mentor who will help in difficult beginnings.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
On behalf of the entire SFD team, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk about our brand and I hope that this will become an inspiration for future sellers.