Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Aloha! I’m the owner of FishFry Recycled Art and I make wood wall art from all recycled materials. I have a home on Maui, Hawai’i and my time there inspires all my pieces that have an island flare. My pieces are crafted from driftwood and other items I scavenge on the beach and that most people would discard. So cleaning up the beaches and making happy art is my thing.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
My biggest responsibility is making sure I’m helping and not hurting the carbon footprint with my business practices. My second responsibility is cleaning up our beaches from bottle caps and plastics. And finally, making durable art that brings joy and lifts spirits is really important to me.
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 products are my fish. All the sea critters I make start with a base of reclaimed wood fencing that people discard. I think what really stands out is my ability to take an item that is clearly intended for one purpose, like a paintbrush, or a wooden curtain ring and I turn that paintbrush into a fishtail or the curtain ring into a fisheye. Once people realize that what’s obviously a fish it actually made from items they recognize, it tickles the brain and brings some joy. All my pieces are brightly painted and sunny to give that extra pop.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
The best part is that making my art feeds my soul and I get paid for it! Then it brings joy to others! Can’t beat that!!! There’s very little difficulties with what I do other than the shipping and finding ways not to hurt the planet yet get my pieces to customers.
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 use Etsy marketing and social media the most. I post frequently on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. And then I renew several items on Etsy from 7 to 25 times a day.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Love what you do and believe in your product. Spend time marketing yourself even if it’s not the most fun part of what you do.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
Oh, shipping off my first sale cost me half of what I made from the sale!! Figuring out how to get my art pieces safely to my buyers and still making g a profit had to become my focus.
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 biggest inspirations are actual fish and other animals and then various color schemes I actually see in nature. I use recycled newspaper to make my fish patterns and a jigsaw is my main tool to shape my sea creatures. Nature is definitely my biggest inspiration. I love the asymmetry is seen in nature.
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 do ship internationally and I have pieces in South Africa, Taiwan, Croatia, Italy, Ireland, England, Singapore, etc. To keep pricing down I try to keep my packaging as small as possible. I do offer free shipping on most of my items and I try to use all recycled materials for my shipping.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Spending time on your marketing!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Don’t give up! It’s slow at first but if you are persistent and believe in your product you will succeed.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Doing what you love is my definition of business success, feeding your soul, and making money by feeding others joy can also feed your belly, believe it or not.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I start off by renewing Etsy items first thing in the morning!! Then coffee! Then start in with finishing an art piece or starting a new one.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I plan to continue doing exactly what I’m currently doing. Balancing making art with marketing my business.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
I read a lot of the excellent info that Etsy provides on how to create a successful Etsy business. I’ve had several stops and starts with different art items on Etsy. My biggest mistake was not spending time researching on how to make a successful business on Etsy and then giving up on making an art type that could potentially have been successful.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Thanks for letting me share my experiences!!