Thursday, 22 April 2010
Seller Spotlight - PurplePumpkins
Seller Spotlight: PurplePumpkins @ Etsy
* Tell me a little about yourself?
I'm Jennifer Wise & I live in the ancient & wee city of Chester. I've been making things for years - as presents and for myself - and decided to become self employed after my 6th redundacy last year. Although I have 2 stores Etsy, I'm also a hands-on business consultant (or will be again when my husband is better).
* What is your shop name and what do you sell?
Sildara is my collection of one-off pieces of jewellery and accessories. I'm quite the hoarder, big on recycling & repurposing and a firm believer that everyone should have a piece of jewellery which is completely unique to them.
PurplePumpkins is my vintage hoardings - mainly trims & laces but with clothing and accessories coming soon (what out for a crocheted wedding dress complete with train!)
* What inspires you to create?
Pretty much anything and everything! I have a habit of seeing something and mentally changing it into another. Sound, colour and texture are an important part of my memory recall so much of that seeps back out of my fingertips.
* What is your favourite item from your shop?
Oof! This one took me ages; asking me to choose my favourite is liking choosing between children! From Sildara, I really love versatility & uniqueness of the Oversized Pins I make, with this being my current favourite:
Of PP - I'd pick this as I'm dying to make a funky pair of pants with it:
* How and where do you promote your shop?
As I'm currently caring for my husband, I've restricted my online promotion to Etsy, Facebook and my (small!) blog. Wearing a piece and carrying business cards has always been very effective - especially with the leather clothes clips I make. It's much more effective to see pieces in person than online & I've had people literally buy pieces off my back.
* What do you find to be the biggest challenge of running your own shop?
Visibility, definately. Visibility without spending lots of money on advertising such PPC. With so many talented artists offering their wares on Etsy it is difficult to be found. When you have niche items it can be tricky choose the right keywords & tags to make yourself searchable. There are many other forums out there which I've just not had the time to explore yet which may well be effective.
* What advice would you offer to new sellers?
Dont spread yourself too thin. Focus all that enthusiasm into a couple of workstreams and be organised from the start. Research and get feedback but dont get too caught up on other peoples opinions - you cant please or service everyone.
Fun Questions -
* Favourite Colour? I'm an awkward mare - I have a favourite colour combo; bright pink and vibrant orange! I love colour but largely wear black or white (accessorised with colour!)
* Favourite Book? A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
* Favourite Music? I'm very eclectic but my all time favourite piece of music is J S Bach Preludio in D major, Wq. 70/7 - and has to be played loud so you can feel it.
* Favourite Season? Tricky again as I love different aspects of each of them but if pushed I'd have to go for summer; long, hazy days and sitting out under the stars until the wee hours.
* Favourite independant sellers? Off the top of my head: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaughingBird - I love her pieces and she is sooo lovely. http://www.whatkatiedid.com/ - every women should have at least 5! http://www.nicholstyle.co.uk/page7.htm - sadly the website is half empty. But there are so many waiting to be discovered.