[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message bb_tab_container=””]Niche : Personalized Design
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/moikosilkscreens
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/moikosilkscreens[/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…
follow your passion! Moiko is a perfect detective – it is my short slogan 🙂
however the Moiko has quite a long story rich in many failures, but at the same time in a lot of joy …
it started in 2009, when I and my husband became 33 years old and when I gave birth to triplets (3 girls). The magic of number 3! On the dark side of my life a while later I lost my very well paid job… I felt depressed for a long time after that, despite the fact that I immediately get a new one in similar company, but I felt I stopped belong there and I need to change something in my life… this is why Moiko started with many sleepless nights and ended in the place I feel I belong…
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I joined many groups dedicated for polymer clay artist/ hobbiest on Facebook – this is how I found out about etsy.
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?
I am mainly selling silk screens for polymer clay artists. The product works as a kind of stencil and helps you to transfer patterns on the surface of pc (polymer clay). Artists and hobbyists use them to make interesting jewelry and some small everyday items. Simply you print of the surface of the clay. As I am also making some jewelry pieces to show how to use my products I am also selling jewelry – earrings and my favorite brooches. The second product is based on the same technic – screens printing – but it is called “iron on” aka transfers. I created it keeping in mind coloring books for children. This product helps you to transfer patterns on fabric – and then you can color it with special textile markers or paints. I love that idea as it helps you to upcycle old T-shirts.
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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 started to learn by watching tutorials online. Then I was lucky to join regular workshops organized or supported by PC manufacturers. PC community gives you many chances to learn – you can do it in person, online, you can buy some tutorials – so it is up to you what suits you best. I tried all the methods, I prefer the face to face workshops, however, nowadays all such events were postponed for unknown future. I learned a lot thanks to wonderful pc artists, but the way to my own “style” took a long time. I would say about 8 years…
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?
I decided to join Etsy as the pc community is spread around the world – mainly in the USA, France, Australia, Czech Rep., Spain, and Russia. But there are only a few people in Poland working professionally with that material. This is why I had to reach customers outside my country and Etsy seemed to be the best way to do that. In the beginning, I treated Moiko as a side-job supporting my hobby with extra income. After about 8-10 years I decided to quit my regular job and now Moiko is my only way to earn. I love that feeling of being my own boss Etsy gave me.
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?
Yes, of course, I had my fears – when I joined Etsy there was no Polish app, so naturally my first concern was if I manage running shop in a foreign language. Fortunately, the Etsy app was very intuitive and I had no problems managing it at all. I was also worried about competition, as taking part in the race is really not my cup of tea… It turned out that I don’t have to pretend to be someone else. I focused on the quality of the product and I have the impression that turned out to be the best strategy.
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?
I don’t really remember how long it took to get the first order. However, I am sure it was not long. I do remember how happy I was when I saw on my mobile Etsy app each new order – I would say it made me dance each time for at least 1 year. It was a wonderful feeling! I had no big expectations, I was accepting and enjoying every single order. I have never been a “real businesswoman” calculating profit and planning developing strategy. From the beginning, I treated Moiko as a wonderful adventure and I followed my intuition. Nowadays I get even 50 orders per week. Sometimes it is even more.
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 don’t have another job now. The first thing I do in the morning is to check new orders. As my product is made to order I collect the orders and then manufacture the whole batch 1-2 times a week. I send them also 1-2 times a week. Managing orders is only one part of the job, I have to follow social media to keep in touch with my customers. I prepare some tutorials and manufacture jewelry to show how to use my product and to inspire.
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 am manufacturing silk screens – you use polyester fabric covered with photosensitive emulsion. Some of my patterns are ready to send, but I inform customers they are all made to order. At the moment I have more than 500 patterns in my shop, this is why I am not able to have each pattern ready in my “warehouse”.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
I would say it is really important to work with artists/hobbiest in your community. It is good to be open for new ideas, generous. It is very important to get people aquainted with your product: send samples, ask for help. It is fruitful for the both sides: artists get new tools, you show your product to their followers.
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?
I am mainly inspired by architecture. But I love to observe world around. I am inspired by people, other artists, nature. I would say I am sensitive observer and I am fascinated by many things, as world in my eyes is beautiful place.
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?
Yes, I am working mainly internationally. I am using Polish national post, as they have really good prices. As my product is light I have no problem with sending many items together. For bigger orders, I use Global Express (service suspended because of the virus) or UPS. I always use a suitable package to avoid damaging products during the delivery.
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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?
No, I don’t think a lot about that. I hope there is enough space for everyone.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
I am always trying to solve all the problems calmly. I listen to my customers, I contact them in the case of bad ratings. It is always worth to talk, sometimes customers are not aware we can solve the problem together.
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?
Selling on Etsy changed my life completely. It was not easy at the beginning when I had a regular job and small triplets at home. But it was worth all that effort. Now I can spend more time with my kids, I don’t have to waste my time driving office every day. I meet wonderful people from the whole world – many of them are present in my life and however, we live far away from each other I know I can always count on them. Since I am my own boss I am calmer, I feel better. And what is very important I do what I love.
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?
Social media are very important – I started my company on FB, I built the fanpage there and after about 2-3 years I started to sell on Etsy. Before that I was selling only to the resellers – polymer clay hobbiest shops in Europe.
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?
I am generally satisfied with the app. I would say Etsy could be a little bit cheaper with all the charges.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
I would say I work hard, I cooperate with artists, I take care of quality. I show my product on social media, but also during the events – face to face with customers. It is so wonderful to meet people from the whole world crazy about the same thing you are… Very often you know them only via social media, but one day you meet them finally and this is a wonderful feeling and wonderful energy 🙂
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
I would say: follow your feelings, your intuition. We all make mistakes, they are inevitable.