Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
It started when I was trying to think of sweet little gifts I could give to my loved ones, and decided that I could make my own instead! I wanted to make prints that spread messages of love and friendship and slowly started to expand my market to niches that I liked such as spooky prints and cute Christmas prints! I have also recently started making woven bookmarks because I find it so therapeutic to make them and love the idea of someone receiving this as a gift that they will really love!
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
As a business owner my responsibilities including making all of the products, make sure each product has a photo that really shows the product, and constantly updating the tags on my products to match what is popular on Etsy! I also have to check which days I can release a product on my Instagram and Facebook page by which days and hours my followers are more active so that they get to see my products!
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
My best selling product is my Merry Christmas Dachsund Print! I begin by using the app Procreate on my iPad with my Apple Pencil to design what I would like to go onto the print, and then start to ink and color it in! I then use a print-on-demand service that uses luster paper which my design is then printed on too!
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
The best part about it is creating the products themselves! I’m really passionate about creating the designs and coming up with new ideas that I think people will love! The hardest thing is trying to stay active on both Etsy and social media so that I can keep engagement with my audience, you constantly have to post things on your story or your account to keep yourself relevant!
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
I sell to people looking to buy a gift for a loved one or partner to show them how much they really mean to that person, my prints are also for people who are looking to give their homes that extra pretty little touch, or to make their house really feel like a home! I use social media as my main marketing tool to try and boost sales by posting about a new product either before or on the day it arrived in my store. I’d say that it can be quite difficult at times to get posts out into the world without fading into the background because social media sites, such as Instagram don’t always make it easy for people to see your post with their algorithm.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
I think everybody’s formula for a successful business is different depending on which niche and market they are in! I am still trying to perfect mine and I will continue to do so even in the years to come, everything you learn gives you more and more experience whether you succeed or not!
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
I think the toughest part was actually trying to start my business, as I didn’t know very much about how to market my products to people. I’ve researched a lot since then and learned to make connections with people and my audience!
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?
When creating a product I think to myself is this something I would want in my own house? Or is this something I would love to buy as a product? If the answer is yes then I begin creating! Sometimes ideas pop into my head depending on the season or the holiday, other times I research what is popular at the moment and find certain bits and pieces that inspire me to create!
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?
I ship to the UK, Europe, and the United States. For products going to the US, the buyer pays for postage because it costs a lot more for me to make the product and post it to the US than if it were going to Europe or the UK.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
The key elements are to find a niche that you really care about and are a part of, create products that appeal to people in this niche, use social media as a marketing strategy by using specific tags and if you’re on Etsy make sure to use the in the name of your product as well as in the tags section when creating your listing on Etsy.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Don’t give up, I know it sounds very cheesy but it’s the truth! A lot of times you will feel down about your business and that you should just give up! But you have to keep going because your business matters no matter how small it is! There is someone out there who is looking for just the thing your selling, to them you could be the perfect gift or present to themselves!
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
I define business success by how many people actually live your products and continue to love them no matter how many you put out!
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Next to running the shop I also attend University where I study musical theatre so my days are already quite busy! During my breaks, I research the business industry and come up with new ideas, in the evenings I begin designing my prints or making my bookmarks and I note down which days my followers are most active so that I can drop new products on those same days and post about them!
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I plan on growing my business by looking into new and different niches that I’m interested in I also wanted to continue growing a following on my social media accounts by connecting with people who also run small businesses like mine!
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
One lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t just expect people to start buying your products out of the blue, you have to be proactive and do that yourself! Your products when selling unless you sell them to your audience!