1. Tell us about you ~ your name, location, hobbies and interests. Where do you sell your handmade items?
Hi! I’m Mollie, and first I want to say thank you so much Cara, for interviewing me for your lovely blog!
(You're welcome, Mollie!!) I live and work with my husband Joe in a fishing village in Maine, but as a native Texan my heart is always in the Lone Star State.
I’m a devoted if erratic keeper of tropical fish. I also like to cook, and gardening delights me and makes me wish for a longer growing season. But as any Mainer will tell you, we have two seasons here: winter and the 4th of July.
I sell almost exclusively through Etsy. That’s where the traffic is (and the fun too), and I’ve made so many friends among other Etsians that I’d feel lost without it.
2. Tell us about your art and how you got your start selling your handmade items on Etsy?
Mainly I’m a jewelry designer, but I dabble in home décor and sometimes slap some paint on Joe’s woodwork. Ours is a beautiful state of abundant natural treasures; shells and stones from our little private beach, pinecones and hardwoods from our own dooryard, all offer happy opportunities to achieve a truly rustic look and feel.
I learned about Etsy through friends on a forum for jewelry makers. The forum is not affiliated with Etsy, but several of the members have shops and suggested that I join. In June of 2008 I took the plunge, and I’ve never looked back!
3. What inspires your art?
The first thing to pop into my head is Nature! I like to give my pieces names like “Earth, Wind and Fire” and “Moonlight Maple.” But I’m also influenced by literature, poetry and music. Some of my current favorite pieces are called “Forest Primeval,” “Blue Tango” and “Jingle Jangle Morning.”
4. What is your own favorite design and why?
That’s easy! My “Entre les Etoilles” (Among the Stars) bracelet is named for a delightful song by Sister Luc-Gabrielle, “The Singing Nun.”
Even though there’s no copper (my all-time favorite medium) in it, I love this bracelet because it combines sweet little beach shells and Joe’s carved hardwood beads (the “rough”) with Swarovski crystals, gemstone stars, freshwater pearls and sterling silver (the “magic”).
5. Do you have any advice for those who are new to selling on Etsy?
Plenty, I’m afraid. But I’ll try to be brief.
Some Definite Do’s:
First and foremost, good photos! You don’t have to invest a fortune in cameras or other equipment. Etsy offers loads of helpful advice for taking good photos, so search the Storque blog for tips. And practice, practice, practice – there’s always room for improvement with photos!
Keep your shop up-to-date. List new items or renew current items as frequently as you can. The Storque “shop makeover” series gives some wonderful tips for attracting buyers.
And Do Not’s:
Don’t just list an item and forget it for 4 months. Keep tabs on it through Google Analytics and/or Statsy.com. If an item isn’t getting noticed, it’s probably time to rethink and tweak that listing.
Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting to be discovered. When I first joined Etsy, an experienced friend advised, “Network like a madwoman.” I didn’t even know what she was talking about! But now I do. Make some treasuries, and send friendly little convos (with links) to your featured sellers, so they’ll get to know you. Comment on other people’s treasuries too. If you especially like an item or a shop, give it a heart!
Don’t be shy about commenting on the Etsy forums, although I’d keep away from the squabbles and mini-rants that sometimes boil up there. Sign up for the Etsy “Finds” emails and when you like what you see, follow the link and make a brief and cheerful comment!
Don’t feel isolated! Make some friends. Explore the Etsy teams to find one that’s right for you, and once you’ve joined, participate in team events.
Don’t limit your online promotions to Etsy. Create your own blog and follow and comment on other blogs you find interesting. Sign up for Facebook, add a link to your Etsy shop to your profile, and create a fan page for your shop.
Don’t get discouraged if the buyers don’t come right away. It can take months before you get your first sale. Use a slow time to advantage – learning about Etsy, improving your listings and, above all, creating new or gathering vintage items to list!
6. Do you have any favorite Etsy artists?
Oh goodness! There are so many amazingly talented artists on Etsy I could be typing this time next week and still not name all my favorites.
7. Do you have anything else you'd like to share? Are there any other websites or stores where we can find you?
Joe and I are proud members of Team Etsy Project Embrace and contribute a percentage of proceeds from our items tagged TeamEPE to the American Cancer Society.
My Etsy Holiday Shop: http://roughmagicholidays.etsy.com/
Joe’s Vintage Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/prosperosbookshelf
My Blog: http://roughmagiccreations.blogspot.com/
And I have a little gift shop in a corner of Joe’s website: http://www.feedbacktheatrebooks.com/
I hope you enjoyed reading about Mollie and seeing her beautiful designs! I know I enjoy meeting other Etsians who are passionate about their craft. If you'd like to be featured on my blog, just leave me a comment or convo me through my Etsy shop. Have a great weekend. Happy Spring!!