My Handmade Journey - Seven Dwarves Cottage
Hi Everyone, we are back with another "My Handmade Journey" Interview and this week we are talking to Cristina at Seven Dwarves Cottage. I'm going to tell you I just LOVED her shop as soon as I opened it up. Adorable designs for every occasion.
1) Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a stay at home mom to two little ones, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 6 years. I'm originally from NYC but moved to Florida a few years ago. I love reading but unfortunately, I never have enough hours in the day to enjoy a book. I love everything and anything crafty and consider myself a 'Jill of all trades'. I enjoy expanding my knowledge and learning new tips and tricks of the trade.
2) What do you sell?
I sell digital printables such as wall art, invitations, party printables, and bottle cap circles.
3) Without giving away your secrets can you describe a little about your process or the time that goes into making an item?
All of my work is done on my laptop using Photoshop. When I come across a new technique or trick I want to learn, I search YouTube for videos to guide me.
4) How long have you run your shop? Full time or Part time? If Part time when do you carve out time to dedicate to your shop?
I opened my shop on Etsy roughly in 2015. It's tough to say whether it is part time or full time. In some ways, it is a full-time job because you have to invest time constantly researching or working on tags/descriptions or social media. I try to work on that aspect of my shop whenever I have downtime. However, most of my designing and work is done at night, after I have put my little ones to bed. I usually try to aim for 2 days a week where I can dedicate some of my morning hours to working on items. I try really hard not to work on the weekends as that is our family time.
5) Your favorite part of running your shop?
My favorite part of running my shop is coming up with the designs. If I could, I would spend the whole day working on new creations.
6) The least favorite part of running your own shop?
My least favorite part is researching the best tags to use for my items.
7) What inspired you to start your shop on Etsy? Did you have an inspiration or support that encouraged you to do it?
At first, I started off selling accessories such as hair bows and necklaces for little girls. During this time I would search for specific bottle cap images for my items and never found what I was looking for so I began teaching myself how to create them. All of a sudden the digital designs became my newest passion so I decided to go full blown into that area and left the accessory side of the business go. I haven't regretted that decision at all, I truly am passionate about digital designs. It's a funny thing because I find myself looking at items whenever I go shopping, breaking down the graphic elements to everything I see.
8) What helps you to stay motivated and creating new products? Do you listen to podcasts or have any favorite Etsy guru’s you follow?
I'm always searching Pinterest for ideas or popular trends to add to my shop. I have quite a few friends in the accessories business so I'm able to keep in the know of what's trending. I'm a member of a few Facebook groups which help other Etsy shop owners be successful.
9) Your best advice for someone thinking of opening a shop up on Etsy or for someone struggling with their current shop?
Don't hesitate and just do it! Ask questions and join some online Etsy support groups. You really do get a lot of advice and suggestions you hadn't thought of or didn't realize how important was for your shop. My number one advice is to get a great eye-catching picture. Another tip of advice is to be patient, sales may be slow at first but if you keep investing and researching they will pick up.
10) Share with us a few of your favorite or life-saving Etsy resources. (websites, forums etc):
I absolutely love The Joyful Entrepreneur. There is a Facebook group called 'Small Shops Moms Unite' run by a woman named Meg Hogan that offers a lot of great advice both for Etsy and for running your own website. Craft Junkies is another great Facebook group
Thank you, Cristina for taking your time to share with all of us! To check out more of Cristina's beautiful designs don't forget to pop over to her shop.