Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
We started when living in India and making Jewelry from all the natural materials. Like at the beach. Nowdays I am more an artist. Always searching for old materials to use for my designs.
After all its just not about Silver and gems -but wood, shell, bamboo ,copper ,stone and more.
All can be used to make beautifull jewelry if you are willing to put in the time.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
Etsy has an amazing reach . And the sort of customers that would appreciate our handmade products.
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?
We sell and design mostly finger rings. But also earrings, , necklaces , bracelets ,pendants. We also have some Antique Pocket watches and curiosa – This is just because I love antiques so much.
Silver and gems ,wood, shell, bamboo ,copper ,stone, feathers , bone are the sort of materials we use.
My products stand out because of my unique designs.
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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
I was taught my trade in India by some of the best Indian, Tibetal, Nepalese jewelry makers. Learning how to recognise a fine gem and how to cut it. After my initial learnings I had enough knowledge to continue alone.
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?
My Etsy shop gives me the opportunity to travel and find materials . Then return – design and make .
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?
I had no real concerns about opening an Etsy shop. I believe so strongly that my products speak for them selve in a very competitive market.
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?
The first sale came quickly and then many more followed. We have some quiet weeks but mostly we sell on a daily basis.
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?
I am full – time to this company and its beliefs. I travel alot also.
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?
We can not make to order otherwise the customer has to long await. But we do have standard a little bit of everything ready and then customize to order .eg size and gems can be added or changed very quickly. We use mostly handmade tooling.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
We price our products as fairly as possible. If we counted all the hours we put in to one piece it would just be to expensive. We try to price to a point where the customer is happy with the price for the item that they are buying.
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?
Im very much a beach person. Looking at the waves ,sand, shells, stones gives me ideas which I write doe with pencil and paper. On return to my studio I go through my notes. I have books full of notes and drawings.
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 sell all round the world using standard or registered shipping. Depending on the customers wishes.We pay half the shipping on all standard post sales. We box package to protect the items.
Sometimes the post is slow but all items arrive eventually .
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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?
We do not worry about our competitors. Its a tough market but we hold our own. Making the products unique and value for money.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Not such a nice part of the job but you do get the odd difficult customer or fraudster. Any disputes, refunds, or exchanges are handled my me personally. We do everything we can to satisfy the customer wishes. Fortunately this does not happen often and our feedback is excellent.
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?
Etsy has been very good to us. We have made many friends.
Our products are so unique that it gives us a strong base of regular customers. This has been a blessing.
Of course sometimes it gets hectic but thats something you have to learn to deal with and enjoy the challenge.
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?
Our products have been used in a Viking film for the leading to actors.
A Dutch tv educational programme also used our jewlery. Other than Etsy we have a small FB page but thats about it.
In the future we will do more but there are only so many hours in the day.
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?
Well to react to feedback would be nice.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Learning is a part of life.
We learn valuable lessons everyday.
One lesson learnt is to get the item sent as quickly as possible as customers want there items quickly.
Any delays then keep the customer updated.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Stick to your beliefs and the stength of your products.
Dont copy – be true to yourself.
Keep the quality high and the pricing accordingly.