Jane is one of my favourite people on Etsy, she always has a kind word to say. Her profile tells me that she is a woman who wears many hats. Literally and figuratively. From the Bobcat baseball cap she dons to feed the chickens or drive tractor to the felts and straws she wears on Town Day - THE DAY- for breakfast at Perkins & shopping with her husband the farmer and weaver.
Intrigued? I am!
Jane recently shared a photo of her wearing a hat at an early age, so I thought I'd look for one of a similar vintage! To find out which of us is which, you can check in Jane's blog!
Now - to the interview!
Cats or dogs?
Both, 2 elderly cats indoors, though there is a feral cat outside who hangs out in the barns; farm dog in training, though who is training whom we are not sure.
bright and bold
A little bird tells me that this particular bright and bold creation was on Etsy Front Page recently!
Creamed pheasant on mashed potatoes; my mouth still loves it, but the aging body can no longer tolerate it.
City break or weekend in the country?
A brief visit to the bustling city is a rare and wonderful treat
The necklace above is actually from Jane's husband's shop TranquilNook ...but as it was Valentine's Day yesterday, it seemed only fair to include him!
Now we’ve got you warmed up…
What brought you to Etsy? Tell us about your shop (or shops) Do you sell anywhere else?
I was highly involved and active in the Craftster community at the time Etsy started up. People would tell me "you ought to sell" and one day I just set up shop. Between my husband and myself we have 3 shops on Etsy. My work GloriousHats, his work TranquilNook and a destash-handmade supplies shop Feltsewcrafty.
No other online stores, but do have our stores combined into "Carlstrom Creative" at the "Arcade" http://www.dmpmc.net/arcade/ on The Handmade Directory, a site that promotes handmade; the Arcade showcases items with a link back to the maker's official store.
What’s the favourite item you’ve made so far?
A poison mushroom hat with a fairie reclining on it.
Oh wow! That's just lovely - sold of course, but more pictures here.
What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt (about Etsy) so far?
Find a team where you fit and feel comfortable; a team that is active, shares, encourages and then contribute and be active yourself.
I've got to agree with that - Jane and I are both members of ETTEAM which is a wonderfully supportive community.
If you could start again, is there anything you’d do differently?
There are things that might have helped the store be more successful; but I'm not sure I'd do them because I'm not hungry enough, being retired from outside work with a small but steady income. On the other hand, it is such a thrill to get an email from Etsy that says "etsy transaction" and to know someone found one's work appealing enough to purchase it. It would have been better business wise to focus entirely on hats- not having so many different items and styles, making more of the same style hat in different colors. Not offering the pins, art, etc until the hat section was well established.
Maybe not so much fun, though? I like making lots of different things myself!
What have you been doing today that I’ve interrupted?
I need to pee but so excited to think you might feature me, am sitting here twitching rather than take care of nature's call
Well...I did ask! pmsl?
What’s your top marketing tip for today?
Be yourself, read, look, evaluate, consider then find avenues that work for you.
Thank you Jane - I think we can all see that you follow your own advice. Good luck with your shops!