SundayMorningsShop – Landscape Inspired Embroidery Kits and Patterns

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Personalized Design
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Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Honestly – it all started as a form of stress relief. During my Sophomore year of college, I was under more stress than normal, from beginning my studio courses for Landscape Architecture and constantly working on design assignments, my brain needed a break. I came across Sarah K. Benning’s embroidery work on Pinterest one day and decided to pick up a new hobby. My first embroidery piece was a desert landscape and my boyfriend at the time (now, my husband) suggested I list it on Etsy. Surprisingly enough, within a few hours of listing it on my new Etsy shop, I sold it! I was attending Arizona State University at the time for my degree in Landscape Architecture and as an Arizona native, I took a lot of inspiration from my local landscape. This March during quarantine, my husband and I decided to switch up our shop platform and take a break from selling completed embroidery hoops and now focus on DIY hand embroidery kits.

What are your responsibilities as a business owner?

From creating new embroidery pieces and designing templates, photographing and creating new listings, responding to e-mails, and interacting on our social media platforms – everything is handled in-house by my husband, Eric, and I from the comfort of our home. As a full-time Landscape Architect, my time to work on the business is every minute outside of my main job – which means our afternoons and weekends are a constant battle of running errands and packing orders all while trying to maintain some sanity and free time to socialize. Thankfully, Eric is currently working full-time from home to manage Sunday Mornings Shop which allows us to handle the business more effectively (and lessen the load on my plate). I have yet to find a work-life balance since my work is at home, but seeing how we have grown as a business this past year has made the wild workload worth it.

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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?

Our best selling products are our DIY Hand Embroidery kits, with the Retro Sunset and Be My Galentine kits being the top sellers. Each of these kits includes all of the necessary materials to create the finished hoop. From the fabric and embroidery hoop to the thread and template with written instructions – all that is needed to complete is a pair of scissors, a pencil, and a whole lot of patience.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?

Quite honestly, I never envisioned myself as an entrepreneur. Sunday Mornings Shop was meant to be a stress reliever and a side hustle for me to have some extra spending money. Now – with the crazy year that 2020 has been, it has been a complete blessing in aiding our family. The long hours and constant brain churning to create new pieces are all worth it in knowing that we are sharing a new skill with crafters around the globe and are able to share stress relief with others (especially in this extremely stressful year).

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?

Our main source of customers comes directly from Etsy and their marketing ads. We also sell wholesale via Faire and have worked alongside Anthropologie to sell our kits on their site as well! A major source of marketing for ourselves aside from Etsy has truly been Instagram. Being able to connect directly with potential customers and share behind the scenes has opened us up to be seen as what we are – a small family runs business!

Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?

Oh gosh – I honestly think we are still trying to understand the formula. I think ours has truly been being able to share our faces and behind the scenes via Instagram to create a brand identity.

What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?

The biggest challenge we are currently facing is sourcing our materials. COVID has really impacted our suppliers and has made it difficult in finding the necessary thread colors to pack our kits. Given that our influx of sales came from quarantine activities, our next hurdle will be determining how to continue our shop’s viability as COVID begins to become cured.

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?

Desert landscapes and my past travels are a giant inspiration when I am working on new embroidery pieces. Especially now as travel is limited, I am able to reminisce on past adventures and capture the moments via embroidery.

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?

We ship internationally quite often actually (and thankfully). Our postage pricing is built into our Etsy shop and the main website so that the customer can choose the rate – whether it is shipped economically or rushed (pricier). On occasion, when sales are slow we will implement a ‘free shipping’ option for orders over $50, but let’s be honest, shipping is never ‘free’. Our embroidery kits are packaged in clear sleeves and then shipped in a poly mailer box. When shipping custom hoops, we ship in smaller box mailers to prevent damage to the finished product.

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?

Online presence is key. I really wish I had paid more attention to this early on but building an online presence, especially now, is vital for a successful online business. There are so many free platforms out there now that creating and sharing content is easier than ever – just time-consuming.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?

Give it your all – even when you feel like no one is seeing your items. Make use of the social platforms available to you – especially Pinterest!

How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?

Personally, I see business success as freedom. Although I still work full time (because I absolutely love my job), I know this business has given my husband and me the freedom and ability to reach milestones much sooner than we anticipated.

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Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?

For a typical weekday, I start my day around 6:45 am and let our 3 pups out while I start getting ready to go into the office. At around 7:30 I’ve arrived at my office and work until 5 – however, during any gap in projects, I refresh my business e-mail and post on Instagram stories during my lunch runs to remind my followers that this small business is definitely run by a real human! Although I am in the office, Eric is home and able to pack orders and assemble kits to restock our supply. Website modifications are usually done by me during my lunch break so that I can dive into the overall look and feel of our site. When I arrive home, it’s usually 5:30 and I start dinner while Eric updates me on the “studio” and what we may need for the week. After we eat, around 6:30, we both dive into packing kits and orders or I join the pups on the couch and work on custom orders while binging Netflix. Our weekends are now run by the business – meaning our lives revolve around getting orders out and promoting our products. Thankfully, our friends and family have been extremely supportive and offer their help any chance they can to help lessen the workload on our two-man team.

How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?

Ideally, we’d like to branch out and have our products in more stores across the US. This way, we can reach more crafters and reel them back to our site to see our full scope of projects. The biggest impact currently is the opportunity for free time. This year, so many people have begun working from home and have had the opportunity to sit and stitch – we don’t know what to expect as people begin going back into their offices.

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

SEO and keywords – I had no idea what those things were, but thankfully, Eric did. When Eric realized how quickly the shop dynamics had shifted with the need for quarantine activities, he offered to help me run this passion project of mine. With some modifications to keywords in our listings and tags – the shop literally blew us out of the water. We had NO idea how big of an impact those changes would make! I suggest making use of any free information you can find online – Etsy even has plug-ins that can aid in these areas. For the first 5 years of running my shop, I did not make use of SEO or tags, and holy moly – that was a lesson I now know to make great use of.


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