[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Personalized Design
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JudiGloverArt
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/judigloverartist/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/judigloverart/[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
Hello, my name is Judi Glover. I am a professional artist and after many years exhibiting and selling my work through galleries, exhibitions, word of mouth, etc I decided to create a business – an accessible online gallery – using e-commerce platforms. I chose Etsy because Etsy customers are discerning and are particularly looking to buy direct from independent artists and makers and I’ve found that the Etsy community offers support and appreciation for craftspeople and artists. I also have a website.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
The products I offer are all made from my original artwork. I sell wall art such as prints and canvas prints, greetings cards, seasonal cards such as Christmas cards, and notebooks or journals. I work mainly in my studio which is surrounded by beautiful countryside and provides much of my inspiration Initially, I will make drawings and studies and then create paintings which later become prints for sale or a notebook. Sometimes I work from still life or directly from flowers I have grown for the specific purpose of painting them. The paintings are then professionally photographed and sent to expert printing companies to reproduce into my products which I then publish on my website and on Etsy. I use the highest quality board, paper, and canvas from environmentally-friendly and sustainable sources.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004135″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004134″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004132″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
I am still relatively new to Etsy and at first, it seemed daunting to create the listings but it has actually become very workable and easy to add products and manage the shop. The biggest challenge was to produce a cost-model that covers all the variations of print sizes and international shipping costs.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I am able to do what I love doing the most – painting, designing, and creating products – and I love the relationship with my customers who provide much-valued enthusiasm and support as well as the feeling that I am creating something – a greetings card or a print that brings someone joy. The hardest aspect is to decide which idea to develop – I have so many! – and to cost everything properly!
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I would say plan, plan, and then plan some more! Problems will always arise especially, as in my case, your business grows quickly. I would also say make images as attractive as you possibly can. In the beginning, I received feedback from customers that my greetings cards were even nicer in real life which rang ‘alarm bells’ that my product pictures weren’t doing justice to the products and I should improve the images on the site. Lastly, if you can anticipate sales try and take advantage of economies of scale from your suppliers (which is something I missed out on in the early days).
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
I walk daily with my spaniel in the countryside and always take a sketchbook with me. Wonderful farm animals and wild animals such as hares and deer are all around. I also grow flowers and plants that I then paint from to make floral art. I often work ‘en Plein air’ and my many seascapes and landscapes have been made during camping trips. I love color and textures and try to incorporate the joy of color in my work. I collect natural objects as inspiration such as feathers, seed pods, and shells, and luxurious. embroidered textiles from my travels.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I have always drawn and painted for as long as I can remember. I have a degree in fine art and as a professional artist taught art and design at an art college for many years. I gained business experience working with my partner in his crafts business and enjoyed building customer relationships as well as helping with new designs.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
Being part of the e-commerce platform Etsy gives a small business a big presence in a very competitive online environment. Social Media such as Facebook and Instagram is a very effective way to market that I use to communicate brand values and share information in a very direct way to my customers. Responding quickly and as helpfully as possible to customer queries has been really useful and trying to find the best way to describe products, using keywords and phrases has been a big aid to marketing products.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Above all, it is to have a passion for what you do and to be true to your skills and talents but also to try to get to know your customers and what they would like. I also think it is creating a beautiful range of products and combining that with providing an exciting and responsive user-experience. It’s also crucial to assess the scalability of any project.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
For me, ‘business success’ means being able to create something, make it happen, and have the freedom to make decisions, learn from mistakes and innovate. Money and income are vital to the business and can be a well-earned reward for all the hard work but for me, with that come responsibility for the environment.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
No day is the same but I usually manage orders first thing so that all items are despatched every day and achieve their expected delivery dates. Administrative activities such as emails, customer queries, and communicating with suppliers are mostly a morning activity. The rest of a working day can be a mix of finishing a current painting, designing and developing new ideas, marketing, social media dreaming, and planning!
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004131″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004130″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100004129″ img_size=”737×737″ onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear” bb_tab_container=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I would like to add many more products to the range such as additional wall art, more printed products, and textiles. With most small businesses financing new products, marketing and testing is always a difficult balancing act and one which can impact cash flow. To mitigate against cashflow issues I am working on an integrated plan of staged new product launches over the coming year.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
At my website www.judigloverart.com we have a live chat button as well as an inbox which I manage to provide help. It might be useful to have something similar on Etsy so that customers can ask about products and receive answers in real-time as, at the moment, there is just one mailbox that covers everything.