Etsy Artist Spotlight – sfgirlbybay

Artist Spotlight

Today’s Etsy Artist Spotlight is shining on Victoria from sfgirlbybay!  You are going to love this interview with the artist behind one of Etsy’s super successful shops!

Here’s Victoria & one of the most popular items I’ve ever seen….

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve lived in San Francisco for 16 years and worked in Advertising as an Art Buyer for 15 years before becoming a fulltime blogger and Etsy seller. I’m a late bloomer – I didn’t start my blog, or Etsy shop until very late in life. I write sfgirlbybay.com, a daily design blog, offering affordable design inspiration and ideas, and encouraging individuality and unique, personal style. I live in a cute 1930s house with my sweet dog, Lucy.

What inspires you?

Creativity and enthusiasm for the creative community. I love unique collaborations and support I find from online friends. I’ve never met most of these people, but they are some of kindest and generous group of artists I’ve ever encountered. They inspire me everyday and make me aspire to do more.

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What’s the best thing about where you live?

San Francisco is a dream city for me. I’ve got the city life, and live right in the heart of it, but we’re also surrounded by beauty and nature here. If I want to see trees and expanses of grass, I just need to take a short walk to any of our local parks, or head to the Presidio or Marin. It’s the best of both worlds, and surrounded by water. The people are pretty amazing too – I find most nonjudgmental, friendly and unique. Anything goes.

Is your shop a business or hobby to you? Did you start out that way?

The blog and the Etsy shop both started as a hobby. I had bought a Keep Calm & Carry On poster on craigslist and because I was at the time, working in print production at an ad agency, I knew the print quality and colors could be much improved upon. And, I thought it would be fun to offer them in more colors, to suit different decors, so since it was a Public Domain image, I reproduced them on high quality recycled paper in a variety of great colors, even black and metallic silver. They became hugely popular and between my sales on Etsy and the blog advertising sales, I was able to quit my 9-5 job.

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How do you promote your shop?

I don’t do a lot of promoting – I’ve announced sales on my blog, and on twitter and Facebook, but I don’t do any advertising. It’s been a lot of word of mouth from other blogs, and from a few features in magazines, like Domino, and the NY Times. I’ve also started selling some of my photographs from my blog series, Sunday in the City. I blog the images first, and often people ask me to buy a print.

What advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?
I think one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of selling on Etsy is the photography of your product. There are so many very poorly shot items, that I would love to feature on the blog — but if you shoot your product and it’s blurry, or your clothes hamper is in the background, it makes it very difficult for me (and other bloggers) to share your work. You can buy an inexpensive digital camera these days, set up a white background (a simple sheet will do) and really focus on your subject matter. Make the image sharp, and a good resolution. Not only will you sell more, because buyers can make a clear decision about what you’re offering, but bloggers will feature your items if they are well-shot. I guarantee it will make a huge difference.
Could you share with us a couple Etsy shops that you love?

Sure – I love these (and they are great examples of well-photographed shops):

Trampoline l Paulette Edition l Kiki & Polly l Hindsvik l Knot & Bow l
Scabby Robot

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Where can we find you?

etsy {sfgirlbybay}| le petite flea {my vintage Etsy shop}| twitter | facebook l blog

{Kim here – I just want to say that you really NEED to stop by Victoria’s blog daily…It’s beautiful, and you’ll love her dog!}

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Thanks so much, Victoria!  You have an eye for beauty!  I can see why you are so successful on Etsy and with your beautiful design blog.

This is sure to inspire other Etsy sellers to take a second look at their photography and make sure it’s top notch.

**If anyone would like to share a link to a shop in the comments with great photography, please do!

~Kim

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