Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Last week I posted some team stats. I gave you our top ten highest selling team members and told you I'd be sharing their success stories. Well, this week I'm going to start at the top with Cherie of Studio Cherie. Cherie has been selling on Etsy since April of 2008. In that time she has racked up 2236 sales. These are her responses to my questions about being a successful Etsian...
1. What is your full name? Cherie Killilea. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook.
2. What is the name of your Etsy shop? StudioCherie
3. Tell us a little about yourself. I am a wife and mother of 3 school age children. I grew up in Seattle and will always think of it as home even though I live 300 miles away now. I am part of a writers group here in Spokane. Becoming friends with the women in that group is a precious experience. I love hiking and other physical activity. I love to play games with the kids and I love to make things (duh.) I am currently teaching myself to crochet - with the help of a vintage book. I wish I lived with my sister because she is super creative (and good) in the kitchen. I wish my mom lived with me because she is awesomely talented and can clean like a magical fairy godmother. Other than the cooking and cleaning, my husband has himself one excellent housewife. Ha ha ha.
4. How long have you been crafting/making bags/patterns? I have been crafting my whole life. It was a huge part of my growing up. My mom sewed everything and I learned from her. I spent every summer in high school making my own clothes. I always wanted to be different.As far as making patterns for sale, that started with applying for a utility patent for a diaper bag I invented. To apply for the patent, I had to explain how I made it in such a way that someone else could duplicate it. I am a pretty slow seamstress, so I could never pump out a huge inventory for a shop. My plan is to keep making the patterns and sell them with cottage licensing so faster seamstresses can pump out inventory if they want.
5. What is your artistic background? How did you get started? What has you’re your training? When I want to learn a new craft, I go to the local expert to learn. I learned upholstery from a master in Seattle. Spokane is full of talented people and it is a small town compared to Seattle. So I learned freemotion quilting at the Gammil dealer, and that is where I quilt. I learn about working with leather from the people who do a lot of the rodeo queen sewing. (Have not had time to do much with that knowledge yet, but I am dreaming of an industrial machine for it.) I have a friend who teaches costume construction at a local university, so I run things by her from time to time. I learn from books too. I basically have my own ongoing education course constantly running based upon my current interests. I love to learn and I love to teach (through my patterns.) People who buy my patterns learn techniques that are original to me, discovered in my own trial and error search of the best way to make something. It is an ongoing challenge I give myself to take a ubiquitous item - like an eyeglass case - and make it in truly an original way.
6. What has been your biggest success on Etsy, or your other websites? I have to say my biggest success to date has been licensing my patterns to Simplicity. My first packet of patterns will be released on December 17, 2010. My destination wedding pattern pack is a celebration of that upcoming release.
7. Besides having a great product, what do you feel is the reason for your success on Etsy? I think my cottage licensing terms are attractive to other Etsians. I am able to handle such a small number of sales of actual duffle bags or luggage tags or bridesmaid sets, etc. that I don't feel that allowing others to make those things and offer them in their shops makes competition for me. I have made and sold about 50 duffles in the last year, and I appreciate the other gals who make and sell the duffles. If all I did was to make and sell bags, I could never get the next idea launched. My list of upcoming patterns for the next year is about 14 items long. Wish me luck getting them all out.
8. Do you have any Etsy selling tips? My best tip is read Etsy's blog. They want you to succeed like no one else. Take their advice.
9. What inspires you? My family, my friends, travel, fabric, art, music, Proverbs 31