Monday, August 23, 2010

Etsy Houston Profile - Andria of The Hello Baby Store

Name:  Andria

Where are you from?
The fabulous Crosby, Texas

Where do you live? 
I still live in Crosby, I love it here!

What types of things do you make/sell? 
Stuff for kids and babies.  Tutu's, onesies, blankets, wooden blocks, and personalized puzzles.

How long have you been crafting? 
I was raised by a crafter and I've been crafting my whole life.  I can't remember a time when it wasn't part of my life.  Mom would sit us down almost every day during the summer to do crafts, and she does it with my boys now too!

When did you decide to open up a shop? 
When I realized that I could turn my hobby into a business.  I quit my job to stay home with my kids and while I was pregnant with my third child, and I was looking for a bedding set for her and nothing was right.  I started looking online for something custom and handmade and I realized that I could make her something.  That's when it all started.

Do you prefer to sell your crafts online or in person? Or both? 
Both.  I like selling online because I like the process of taking pictures and coming up with descriptions, and I love doing shows because I like talking to people and setting up and displaying my stuff.  I'm proud of the things I've made, so I like to show it off! 

Do you have a second job?  If so, what is it? 
Yes.  I'm a stay at home mom of three beautiful children, it's the biggest job i've ever had.

What inspired you to start crafting? 
I've always been a crafter, since I was a child.  But in my adult life, I'd have to say my kids.  Most of the things I make are for them, eventhough I do still make things for myself and for my home, they're my main inspiration.

Have you learned anything along the way, as far as your business is concerned? 
I've learned a lot.  Trial and error has taught me a lot about business.  I have also learned that patience goes a long way.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I enjoy gardening in my spare time.  I am also interested in conservation and recycling.  Upcycling is very cool.  I like music and movies, and taking my kids to do cool stuff for the first time. 

Who inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere.  Sometimes, just walking into a fabric store does it.  A lot of times, it's just my kids.  They're so cool.  They're perfect kids, jumping from one thing to another every ten minutes.  This inspires me too!! 

Do you have any tips to share with newbies?
Yes.  I've got a ton of them!  Here's just a few for ya!
Make sure your pictures aren't  yellow-y.  Sometimes when you take pictures, the  lighting may not be quite right.  Try putting your items next to a window to get good natural sunlight for your photos.  Try to make sure that all of your pictures are in focus.  And there shouldn't be any shadows, like the lighting should be even across the photo.  The pictures are the first thing that people see, and most of the time this is what gets them to look at your listing.  Also, you could try laying your itmes on a different background, like a piece of fabric instead of just a table.  Also, sometimes when you're trying to sell something FLAT, it helps if you put a photo prop with it, like lay some flowers next to it, or a classic toy like blocks, or a little car or something like that, something that goes along with the theme of the item. 

Use  your Tags to your advantage.   They give you space for 14 tags.  When customers do a general search for an item, they will be looking for something specific.  Either a color, a theme, or  event, and these need to be listed in your tags.  Anything that could bring a customer to your listing.  So be creative and be sure to use ALL 14 tags.  You can even put more than one on each line (as long as you dont use a comma.  they will still come up in a search). 

Be sure your description is completely accurate. If you offer personalization or customization, say something in each one of your descriptions about how they can be personalized (people like this), and you can do custom work.  Also say something about how they will be shipped.  Be sure to make it known that you take very good care in packaging and shipping.  You should also put in the description about the materials that you use.  Let the customers know you haven't skimped on anything and you use top of the line (whatever it is!?).  (Using the word "premium" helps!) 

Ok, this is the last one!  Tidy up your profile.  You need to accept paypal, and put in your "Shop Policies" section that you do so.  Also, you need a banner and an avatar for your shop. Be sure to fill out all of the sections that Etsy has for you.  Be welcoming and inviting for customers to contact you and ask questions.  But make sure that EVERYTHING is listed on Etsy so that there aren't any questions.  They should all be addressed somewhere on your profile or shop policies section. 

Well, that was quite a bit more than I expected...  enjoy!~ Andria

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