Today’s spotlight is on a very successful Etsy shop…The Little Red Door! I’ve always loved her little clay houses and you won’t want to miss a word of this post!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Toni and I love to play with clay. In my shop I offer ceramic miniatures and an assortment of wheel and hand-built dishware. I’m in my seventh year of pottery and while I am a potter, I consider myself more a ceramic artist. My specialty is little houses. I love cute tiny things!
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in so many places – mostly from nature and traditional ideals. Beautiful trees and flowers and animal life, and the comforts of home and family. But then there’s the pop-culture junkie side of me that compels me to make finger Ninjas.
What’s the best thing about where you live?
My family and I live in a bucolic little town in the middle of the Great Canadian Prairies. I love it here. Big blue skies, rolling green fields, peaceful quiet, farmers market, knowing all of your neighbours personally, never locking your doors, all that good small town stuff.
Is your shop a business or hobby to you? Did you start out that way?
I found out about Etsy from a friend, who opened her shop www.littlebear.etsy.com in 2005 (old schooler! ) I was enchanted by the whole place, and thought for a very long time about opening a shop and what I could offer. By the time I was ready to take the plunge I knew what I wanted to make – little houses – and named my shop to reflect that. At the start I offered a real hodgepodge of items: ceramics mixed with vintage, supplies and crafts and updated it only occasionally. It was a hobby back then but over the last 2 years I streamlined my view and it has very much evolved to a definite profitable business. Business is work, of course, and I work many hours each day contributing to the smooth running of my shop, whether it be creating, listing, sales, or networking.
How do you promote your shop?
I have done and will continue to do all these things to get my shop seen:
– Purchasing ad space on craft and handmade blogs.
– using Twitter to announce new items
– Joining handmade communities
– Leaving business cards on public corkboards, car windshields, tables, benches.
– Being appreciative of my customers. Many of my sales are returning clients and I let them know how much I value their support. Word of mouth referrals are worth their weight in gold.
What advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?
Be original. Be positive. Be professional. Know what your talent is worth and price accordingly. Have good photos <- very important. Promote! Realize that there are rarely instant success stories – have patience and be prepared to commit yourself and work hard.
Could you share with us a couple Etsy shops that you love?
Mooshoo – wonderfully handpainted wooden goods
Photography by Eduardo Cervantes – incredible photography
staceyrebecca.etsy.com the original! – felt finger puppet maker
Frizzelstix – rubberstamps & fabric
ruffeoheartslilsnoty – mad visionaries, mondo style!
Where can we find you?
I opened a shop for my non-ceramic crafts as well: Spaghetti Jones.
Home of the Beep Boop Robot greetings and future felt goodness!
Please follow me on Twitter. I follow back most all craftlicious tweeps. My tweets are 80% Etsy related, 20% ridiculous.
A little something extra…
***This giveaway has ended…congratulations to Cherie! Thanks for all your sweet comments! 🙂
Thanks Toni! It was so much fun getting to know you better, and you had some wonderful tips for other Etsy sellers!