Tag Archives: etsy shop success

Just Being Me

There are a bunch of local bars in the neighborhood where I live. Most of them have a retro or upscale feel to them. The buildings are well maintained and have interesting architecture and design. But this one bar really just looks like a whole in the wall. You know, the kind of bar you would expect to see in a student ghetto? No windows, no decoration, no class. Simply put, it looks out of place. I found myself wondering the other day why this bar doesn’t do something to make itself look more appealing to the eye. Why not renovate so you fit in with the rest of the neighborhood? I started thinking about how their business would bring in wealthier customers, and therefore bring in more money. But then it dawned on me that my assumption may not be correct.

You see, this people who run this bar know who they are as a business. They know that their bar appeals to a certain group of people, and they are not ashamed of that. They fit into an aspect of society. And perhaps if they renovated their bar to appeal to a different group of people, they would no longer succeed. They may fit into the neighborhood better if they renovated, but they would be competing with local bars for the same group of people.

As small businesses (and humans in general), it is too easy to try to fit in to a mold instead of standing out as ourselves. While it is smart business to follow certain consumer trends and fashions, we do not want to change who we are in order to appeal to another group of people. We will just end up competing with other businesses for the same group of people, while leaving our original clientele without a business to serve them. And most importantly we lose sight of ourselves and our originality in the process. We are creators, not copiers. We cannot be afraid to be who we are, because really that is when we will be at our best. At the end of the day, I will succeed by just being me.


Shop Success: Malissa of Lil Bundle of Joy

I am excited to introduce you to the incredibly talented Malissa from Lil Bundle of Joy. She makes adorable plushies, crinkle toys, burp clothes, and other fun things that make me want to have a baby! Malissa is an overnight Etsy success story, and a good one at that. She was just featured on the Etsy blog! So excited to have her with us today.

owl baby toy crinkle sew

Malissa, how did you first get started sewing?
I dabbled in hand embroidery when I was around 10, my Gram showed me, sewed barbie clothes & doll clothes by hand, but it wasn’t until I had my own sewing machine did I really start sewing.  The hubs and I received one as a wedding gift.  =)  Nobody showed me how, I’m self taught!  Started with throw pillows, tried selling those on ebay for a bit, didn’t pan out…..

When did you decided to open your shop and why?
I honestly became inspired to start making baby stuff when I received soooooo many handmade items at my baby shower!  I remember thinking, hey I can make this!!  =D  So after my Logan was born(Dec. 31st) I was decided!  And since I still had 2 months of maternity leave left I figured what the heck!  And so I opened!  With lots to learn!!

I have a serious love of your owls and their eyes. What drew you to making those little cuties?
My momma used to collect owls….. But I re-fell in love with them while I was pregnant.  So we had an owl themed shower, etc…..And I knew people would love some owls too, so I contacted another seller here on etsy, EmbroideryGarden, thanks to a suggestion from a wonderful friend I also met here on Etsy through the Etsy Owl Lovers Team, to turn some drawings I had into embroidery files!  And so my owls were born!  =)  So yes, those eyes are my original design!  I made those all by myself!
Owl plushies baby toy
163 sales in your first four months is incredible. What has attributed to your success?
I am blessed to be where I am right now, I wouldn’t trade any of it!  My success comes from my family and friends.  I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t from all the support I got.  =)  The moment I realized I could make a go at this was the day I returned to work…..I used to work at Michaels….I remember people always telling me how talented I was and that I was wasting it…. I worked for Michaels for almost 6 years, would of been 6 in June had I not quit this past April.  That was a sad day for me….to walk away from all those people, but to be able to be home with my kids, twin 3 year old girls and my baby boy now almost 5 months, was what I’d always wanted.  There have been plenty of days when I ask myself why I did this…..It’s hard to find a good balance. But like I said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

What is success to you?
To me success is being able to do what you love while being able to enjoy your family.  =)  I consider myself to be very blessed.  =)

What has been the biggest lesson for you to learn so far?
Biggest lesson I’ve had to learn is patience.  Things don’t happen over night…..I remember waiting for that first sale….and then came an email telling me my paypal wasn’t verified or something like that and so I rushed to fix it so my very first customer could buy her things!!  And then she did!!  And it wasn’t just one, it was 3!!!  Now everytime my phone goes ping! I get excited!  =D  But I can only do so much, so I guess another lesson I’ve learned  is I can’t do it all!!  I put my shop on vacation this week just so I could catch up on my wholesale orders….ever since the owls, wholesale orders keep coming in, I have 4 to catch up on…. But I have to pay my bills so I keep saying yes…. I decided to open my shop back up for this reason, I was going to stay on vacation until the 1st, but we need the money so I opened it back up yesterday and was bombarded by emails!  People were waiting for me!!  So I did a few custom listings and have decided to keep my shop open an d just say I’m on vacation so you’ll have to wait a few days to get your goodies.  I ended up getting 2 sales today too, kinda crazy when I wasn’t even trying… =)

dinosaur dino baby boy burp cloths handmade
What advice would you give to shop owners just starting out?
The best advice I got was to join a team!!  It really helps with questions you have!  I think I’m a member of about 8 or so now…. =)  Also, ask your team members to critique your shop!  I really think that helped me get quite a few sales!!   Make sure to photograph your items on a plain white/black background….good advice, makes it easier for people to use your items in treasuries!  And makes your items pop!  Use every single tag and picture so people can find you easier!  And break your shop into sections!!  I know I’ve visited a few shops where they have none and I don’t want to sift through pages and pages….. Oh and I know it’s scary but open up and ship internationally!  I’ve shipped lots of places!  Including Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada just to name a few.  =)   Crazy huh!

You can find Malissa here:
Etsy Shop: www.lilbundleofjoy.etsy.com
Blog: www.owlletyouknow.blogspot.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lil-Bundle-of-Joy/177552298948481

Make sure to show her some love! Thanks so much, Malissa. Looking forward to even bigger things to come for you 🙂