RedmerHoekstraArt – Unique Hand-Drawn Postcards

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message bb_tab_container=””]Niche : Personalized Design
Shop link :
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Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…

I graduated from the art academy in 2009 as an illustrator. I rediscovered the imagination I had as a child. Creating my own explanations for how things are made. Looking at the world with wonder and an open mind.
I managed to widen my perspective on that and create an abundant source of ideas for my drawings. Often surprising to my self and that is also a great source of humor.

How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?

I was selling postcards and books of my work for some time at art fairs. At one of these I met Lotte Teussink. An artist of my age and we exchanged things about how we worked and what were good selling possibilities. She recommended Etsy. I started my online shop there in 2014. And it has been a great selling pint for me ever since.

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 make surreal drawings. Combinations of animals, people, things, machines. Often they have a similarity in meaning or shape. The combination of the two creates a new thing. Most people get a smile on their face when they see my work.
I try to make the drawings make as realistic as possible to fool the mind. People need to take the second look and are surprised.
In my Etsy shop there are postcards, books, birthday calendars, posters and mini originals.

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’ve been at the art academy for 4 years. I struggled for a long time. Trying many different forms and materials. Eventually, I returned to drawing and realized I had been looking for alienation and a surreal, fantastical world all this time.
Over the last 11 years, I can see that I have gotten better at drawing. The drawings get more realistic and the subjects come from a broader field.

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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?

Etsy is for me an extra platform to sell my art. Together with the art fairs, exhibitions, social media and others, it allows me to make a living of my art.

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 did not really have any concerns. Mainly because it got recommended very positively.

How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever thought you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was a goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?

I don’t fully remember how long it took before the first sale but not long. Over the years sales have increased. Always with a peak towards the end of the year. But this year with the coronavirus sales has never been so high. I think people spend more time online. Normally I had 3 or 4 sales a week but lately, it has more than trippeled

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?

Being an artist is my fulltime job. Etsy is a part of that. My working days consist of handling emails and etsy orders for 1 to 2 hours. Prepairing for shows, art fairs etc. Drawing as much as possible for commisions or free work. Administration, social media, planning, etc etc 🙂

How does your manufacturing process looks 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 tools that you are using in manufacturing process?

My best selling product are my postcards. Each year I add new postcards to the collection, based on the drawings I made the year before. I order them once a year and try to sell them so there is room for new ones the next year. sometimes postcards are sold out and considering how good they sold they might return to the collection or not.
This way I try to keep the available postcards up to date

What is the biggest impact on profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?

The prices of my products are mostly compaired with similar products at the artfairs I do. I do not need expensive machines or big investments when I produce my drawings.

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 get inspired by the world around me. just seeing many things with wonder. but also playing with words, shapes. Looking at the world the way my 3 year old daughter does.
Also pinterest helps to just see loads of stuff. 🙂

Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is 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. Postage prices are simply added to the product price. Delivery times are mostly the next day if it is in the Netherlands. Withing Europe a few days. To the US 1 to 2 weeks and to the other side of the world it mostly takes at least a month. Now with the corona, shipping to the US takes much longer for parcels. I have seen it take at least 2 months.

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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 stand out?

I do not feel competition. I am fairly unique with my way of drawing I think.

How do you deal with disputes or bad rating/feedback? How do you manage presale and post sale communication and customer satisfaction?

I always try to make the custumer a happy one. If a parcel arrives damaged or not to the custumers wishes I always try to fix the problem, resend or refund.

Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever thought you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?

Etsy has changed a little. It sometimes stressed me that there are orders waiting to be handled but I don’t have the time to deal with them within the specified time. I try to send everything within at least 2 or 3 days. And I do not want to make people wait for more than they should.

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?

I started to promote my work on instagram since about a year. I do feel that has led to more etsy sales.

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 customers satisfaction?

I cant really think of anything. I am honestly very happy selling on Etsy.

What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?

I do not really have an answer

What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering to sell on Etsy? How can they avoid beginners mistakes?

Sell something that is unique for you. Do not try to copy other sellers.


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