WishArtStudios – Unique,Colorful and Personalized Artwork

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Niche : Personalized Design
Shop link : https://etsy.com/shop/wishartstudios
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/wishart_studios
Website : https://www.wishartstudios.co.uk


Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…

I started my Etsy shop out of necessity, as an art student I was creating constantly and I liked working on a large scale, as a result, was producing copious amounts of work that I had no room for, I was literally running out of space. At the end of my art course, we held an end of year exhibition where someone offered to purchase one of my paintings. I think that moment was the spark I needed, I knew then that I wanted to be a working artist one day, that is my dream and my hope but I think it’s hard to consider myself an artist when I feel like I am still only just beginning my creative story.

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

I had been a fan of Etsy and other online shops that allow small and independent sellers to compete against larger stores. It was a way for me to support makers and creators while at the same time getting something handmade and truly unique and personal. Selling online was another practical solution as I live in a rural village and had no other way of selling my work. This was my first business venture and I had no idea about how to run a shop, online, or otherwise. This is where Etsy is so great for me as it allowed me to sell my work on an already established platform making it easier for customers to find my work and allowed me to connect with customers so that the experience can be enjoyable for both the customer and myself.

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 ?

Right now, among other things, I sell badges and stickers to pocket mirrors, notebooks, greetings cards, and art prints with more new products in the works. Everything I sell features original artwork that I have made either digitally or through traditional media such as oil paints, watercolor, and acrylic. I like working in a variety of mediums, often combining them to create mixed media artwork that I then sell as original works and as art prints. I work very intuitively and often change my subject matter as well as the medium I use, but the overall theme or consistent observation is color. I play around with many styles, I think this is because I am still studying art and as a student, I am interested in trying new things and experimenting with different ideas but for the majority of my work it’s all about color.

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 studied Art and Photography as a school but didn’t feel confident enough to take it any further then that. I when to University in London studying Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics, and although I love the experience I did regret my decision not to pursue art or creative career. When I returned home after graduating, I started working but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I decided to try again and applied for an art and design course at my local College. It was not long before I started thinking about going back to University to study fine art and in September 2019 I enrolled at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. As a student, I am constantly learning and therefore my style and work are continually changing, I am never truly satisfied with my work but I have been surprised by the responses to work I thought were not good enough. I, therefore, decided to let the customer be the judge, my work isn’t for everyone but maybe that’s the point and it releases me from the need for everything to be perfect.

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?

My original goal was just to sell one thing, I thought if just one painting sold that would make it all worth it. Now my goal is to spread as much positivity and joy as I can. Although I am studying full time at University, and Etsy was never supposed to become a full-time job, I am finding that it takes up the same amount of time. Right now it is a little source of income to help out while I’m studying, but I can not rely on it, at least not yet. I do hope one day that Etsy will go towards supporting me financially and that my shop will grow and expand and become something bigger, but for now, I just want to grow a little community of art lovers who enjoy color and to share my work with anyone who enjoys colorful and creative designs.

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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?

The only fear I had was that nothing would sell, and in the beginning it didn’t for a while, but it’s like that saying nothing ventured nothing gained, I had to take the plunge and just dive in because it was the only way to know for sure. I admit I didn’t know how to price things, I tend to underprice things but that was mainly due to a lack of confidence. Once I started making sales I began to see where I had underpriced things. Delivery costs especially took me by surprise but I try and be open and honest with my customers and explained where and why prices needed to be increased to cover the cost of shipping. The main thing is I didn’t join Etsy as a get rich quick deal I joined to share what I love with other people who might like it too. Profit was not and is not my main focus, any money I make on Etsy gets reinvested back into making more products, my aim is to grow a business which puts the customers experience first and deciding that liberated me from many of my concerns when I question something I always try and resolve the issue with the customers experience in mind.

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 got my first order from the lovely Jodie in February 2020 it was a very big day, I had sold things through friends and family but this was my first true Etsy customer and I was so excited. I opened my Etsy shop in May 2019, so it did take, what felt like ages, for my first order to come in, my expectations were low after months of no sales I was more than a little disheartened but it only takes one amazing person to give you a chance. I remember picking up that order and trying to put as much love and care in it as I could, then after sending it off waiting anxiously to see if Jodie would leave a review. Getting that first five-star review from Jodie was like winning the lottery I was so happy and relieved. Getting your first sale on Etsy can be hard and when you don’t have a review I think people are slightly unsure to buy from you, but once you get one then slowly they start trickling in. After that first review, I have four more sales come in that week, now that might not seem a lot but when you’ve gone from non to five it feels like things are finally moving. Sales are slowly increasing and in the last four months I made more than I did in the whole first year of opening my Etsy shop, I’ve been getting a couple of orders a week for the last three months or so around ten to twelve orders a month on average. It might not be a lot by some people’s standards but I am truly thankful for every single one.

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?

Managing time has been an interesting endeavor, especially recently, between University deadline and running Etsy while also planning my sister’s wedding and contending with the joys of lockdown, these last couple of months have been busy, to say the least. Now things are slightly easier, being at home during the summer I can devote most of my day to Etsy and generally creating. Mornings are normally given over to admin and emails before filling any orders I have open, replying to comments, and ordering anything I am running out of, all the mundane things that have to be done. After dropping off any orders at the post office I’ll work on any commissions I have, then I spend a couple of hours working on new products and ideas. Right now I am preparing for my first market so I am spending the afternoons getting things printed and packaged, labeling everything and getting prepared for that.

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?

Recently my best selling product has been my blank A6 notecards with envelopes, it seems during this lockdown people are using the time to get back in contact with friends, family, and loved ones. I use to print out and make up the orders as they come in but with the market coming up and my shop getting slightly busier I have now started making the products in bulk and having stock on hand. The notecards I print myself onto the pre-scored card and are sold as a pack of six, once printed I fold each card and package them into protective, compostable bags along with the envelopes. Every product starts the same way with a design or piece of artwork that I either scan into my computer or draw digitally. Once I’m happy with the initial image I put into photoshop on my computer and create a template of the product I want to produce, whether that’s an art print, a card or stickers etc. I export and save the file in my products folder so when I need to make up an order I open up the file and press print, making sure to have the printer on the right settings and that the right cardstock in the printer tray.

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

I always try and find the best quality I can find and then buy in bulk to keep the cost for the customer as low as possible. The most expensive product to buy in my shop are the hardback A5 notebooks for £18, but these are also the most expensive to get made and delivered. For my art prints, I use archival quality paper and use a six-color inkjet printer, to ensure the best quality print and longevity. When it comes to pricing I have to say I cheat, I do a quick surcharging on Etsy and see what other people have price similar item at, as long as that price covers the cost of making the product and the cost of shipping it out to the customer, which I know on occasion I have failed to factor in.

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 think as an art student I’m lucky as I’m always creating something, creativity is one of those funny things where the more you do the more you have, so I spend all day creating and thinking of ideas and that itself fuels my inspiration. Sometimes a new product will be a piece of artwork I have created as part of my course, sometimes its just like a spontaneous idea but most of the time its a lot of failed attempts. Designs and ideas come and not all of them will work but you need to go through them to get them out of your system so that you’re free to create something else. I am inspired by the things I see, the people I meet, the events that happen all around us, it’s endless, and when I can’t think of anything to do I go back to drawing just one thing every day no matter what it is.

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?

The good thing about Etsy is they make the shipping easy, I’m able to offer international shipping and I can customize it by item or even by country if I wanted to. Shipping internationally can become very expensive especially if you’re in the UK like me and you get an order from Australia or the USA. It can be difficult to include the price of shipping into the purchase price as this often means that local customers might pay more. I am currently offering free UK shipping for orders over £10 and free International shipping for orders over £40 as a way of managing the price difference. It can be more difficult when customers who order a single item which cost more to send then they are originally priced, but with orders which a couple of items or more in one order that can work out more efficiently.

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