[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Personalized Design
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/SelilaGraphics
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/p/CJL6Yl8MAK-/
Website : https://liliyaseipp.me/[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Hi, I am Liliya Seipp, a web designer and front end developer with a great passion for illustration. I’ve been studying children’s book illustration for the past 4 years. I took a year-long illustration course at London Art college, hours of private training with a well-known children’s book illustrator, and numerous illustration technique courses. As a web designer, I use various design resources from several websites like designcuts.com, freepik.co, creativemarket.com, so I started thinking about why not to put my hobby to good use. I thought I could create resources for the designers who either do have time to create design assets themselves or enjoy the design part of the creative process more than hand illustrating every detail. I’ve been following all these successful platforms and I saw their rise to popularity. There is a need for illustrators who would create design resources for the designers’ community. There are also tons of different designers out there who do sell design resources, but the beauty of it is that different designers have their own unique styles and they will always find their own pool of customers who are looking for the design in that style.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
Etsy store is my part-time business. Maybe one day I can grow big enough to turn it into a full-time business. My responsibilities constitute thinking up the ideas for creative resources, researching the trends, creating resources, listing, promoting, and providing customer support. I am a one-woman operation.
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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 bestsellers are my Procreate brush sets. Since Procreate has been widely adopted by illustrators as a go-to digital drawing software, the Procreate brushes became very popular illustrator resources. I used to buy lots of them myself until I learn to make them.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I enjoy creating resources with my customers in mind. I am always asking myself would I use this in my own work? The hardest part is choosing a concept to work on. Sometimes I feel my head is like a beehive of various ideas and the challenge is to pick a winning one.
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 am selling to professional and amateur designers who design for print, web, and physical merchandise for sale. I found out that Etsy is the best vendor platform out there for illustrators like me to sell their work. Etsy provides all the tools needed for a successful business. The big plus is that Etsy is a well-known platform for crafts and handmade resources and million and million of people are hanging out on Etsy every day. The two big things I noticed is that Etsy ads and coupons or special offers help to boost sales volume. I haven’t seen a lot of traffic from social media platforms, but I believe what doesn’t work for some might work for others:). It all depends on how active one is on social media. I have very little free time to dedicate to everything. So personally I am not very active on social media, but probably should be.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
I believe if you put your heart and soul into your work and don’t get discouraged by setbacks you can have a successful business.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
I opened my Etsy store in 2014 for the first time. I had no illustration skills, I was fresh out of college designer with no idea what I wanted to achieve and no clear direction as to what I should be offering. The sales were going very slow and I got quickly discouraged and closed my shop within a few months of opening it. Obviously, I didn’t succeed then:). I opened my Etsy store again in July 2020, with a new skill set and new optimism. The toughest moments are moments after you list your new products on Etsy and you wait for the sales that don’t come. I learned not to take anything personally. There are many great artists on Etsy and a lot of competition, so your products need to be noticed. Presentation and marketing is the key. I’d try everything, social media promotion, joining Etsy seller groups, Etsy advertising. Eventually, the customers will come.
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 follow a lot of good illustrators on Instagram and search Pinterest regularly for interesting illustration styles. I read a good book a while back, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, I agree with him that there is nothing original in this world, but that you can get inspired by someone else’s idea and make it uniquely yours.
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 sell digital download products.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Perseverance, patience, and a positive attitude.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Choose a direction, set your goals, don’t have unrealistic expectations, and always learn and improve your skills. Also remember, presentation is something that can set you apart from the competition and make your brand recognizable. Stick to one style so people can see it’s you by your product’s presentation.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
One can measure success with the money of course, but for me personally, success is the satisfaction I get from the creative process and every sale I make. That means that there will be products out there with my design on them. Knowing that makes me want to continue to create my art. One of my customers sent me photos of the dress she made with fabrics pattern made from my illustrations. It was so cool and rewarding!
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Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I am a part-time shop owner with very little time to spare. I have a full-time job and a family that come first. I usually create my art at night and work on presentation, posting, and marketing on weekends.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I know that my business will grow with the number of products I have in my store, so the faster I work and the more I post the faster my sales will grow. It’s all about offering customers options. The more products you have the longer customers are going to spend on your store page. Of course, the quality and trendiness of your products are crucial as well.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
I analyzed my sales and found out what my bestsellers are so I could concentrate on making more of that type of product. With this being said, I don’t want to alienate my other customers, so I work on another type of product as able. Advertising helps, but I don’t use it all the time. I turn it on and off. I noticed that when I turn advertising off for a while and then turn it back on and offer a coupon on top of it, the first couple of days after the advertising is back on the sales spike dramatically, and then in a few days they slump, then I turn the advertising off.