Interview by: MySelvagedLife
How did you get started in stationery?
In college, I was a graphic design major, so I always had friends wanting me to design wedding invitations, thank you cards, etc. After college, I decided to take some time off from working full-time and figure out what I wanted to do. That's when my love of stationery really expanded, and I found myself creating all day every day!
What was your background in prior to stationery?
Prior to stationery, I was still in the design field. I designed magazine spreads and publications, but wasn't all that interested in the "politics" that come along with working in corporate design. I also dabbled in interior design for a little while, but realized I liked working more with smaller materials than a large space. I was also a real estate agent for a couple of years. That was fun because I got to meet all sorts of people and loved seeing how they decorated their houses. It was not nearly as creative as I would like to be, though.
How did you first get started on Etsy?
I don't even remember! I think I heard about Etsy through a friend and checked it out one day. It seemed cool, but I still wasn't sure what it was, so I created an account and looked around the site for about a year before even listing my own products! Now, though, I don't know what I would do without Etsy and the wonderful community and friends I've gained from it.
What is your favorite part of being a shop owner on Etsy?
Just one?? Well, my two top favorites are the friendships I've made, and being able to work on my own schedule. I don't have to worry about having a storefront open from 9-5 or dressing up to meet customers in person. It's nice to be comfortable in my own home, doing what I love, and still making great relationships and feeling like I am part of a community. Oh, also, along those lines, it is really fun to "meet" international customers and sellers and learn about places and lifestyles I would have otherwise never known about.
What is your least favorite part of being a shop owner on Etsy?
Hmm...I can't think of anything off the top of my head! I guess one of my least favorite things would be all the competition there is. There are so many incredibly talented artists on Etsy, sometimes it gets exhausting to keep up! However, I think that can be seen as a good thing, because when I am on Etsy as a buyer, I love seeing all the talent out there, and having lots of choices to purchase!
What challenges have you faced during the process?
I went through a growing pain at one point where my business on Etsy was really expanding. It was great, and I loved it, but at the same time I'm not sure I was mentally prepared for it. I didn't have a good schedule set yet, which I really should have had in place before trying to get more sales. Luckily, it was also a good learning experience for me, because it forced me to create a system and I schedule that I could work within.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by SO many things. My mood is often an inspiration. Nature. Architecture. Traveling. Also, I find that long trips where I am in the car for a long period of time is really where I get some great ideas. I just let my mind wander. The only problem is, if I am driving, I have to remember everything and quickly right it down when I am able to stop!
Describe your average day in one word:
Describe your style in one word:
What is your favorite season?
I love both Spring and Fall. I love how both seasons reflect change and growth. There's just something about both of those seasons that is inspiring and uplifting.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to cook (though my fiance is much better at it than me and normally has to take over halfway through), write, paint, and make lists. And make lists of lists. I really enjoy a good book every now and then but don't have the time nor the patience to sit and read anymore!
What advice would you give to sellers new to Etsy?
Make sure you love it. You have to love your craft in order to make Etsy work for you. You need to sell on Etsy for YOU, not for anyone else, and not for the money. Because, ultimately, if you don't love what you do, than you won't succeed. Also, find a community or group of other Etsy sellers that you can build a relationship with. This will help make Etsy not feel so overwhelming, and will give you someone to bounce ideas and advice off of. Last thing: When it gets to the point where it's not fun, take a break for a while and come back refreshed and ready to go!
Visit Amanda's Etsy Shop!