Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Aggieray is our team success story this time. Linda Souza is the creator of some wonderful bags. She has been selling on Etsy since January of 2008 as Aggieray and in June of 2008 she opened another shop called FabricPlace. Between the two shops, she has had over 1460 sales. Here is what she had to share...
1. What is your full name?
2. What is the name of your Etsy shop?
AggieRay and FabricPlace
3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in North Kingstown, Rhode Island husband Russ and two adult children, Matthew and Michelle. I am a Paralegal/Real Estate Agent working for the same attorney for 30 years. I am a graduate of both Bryant University and Roger Williams University with degrees in accounting, business and law.
4. How long have you been crafting/making bags?
I have been sewing since I was in the seventh grade. I have always enjoyed crafting and sewing. I purchased my first sewing machine in 1982 a Kenmore and have been sewing ever since. I began making my children’s clothes when they were younger and would make my own curtains and home accessories. From there, my friends and family would ask me to make window draperies for their homes and I did that for a number of years. I started making handbags for my daughter and her friends from left over material I had from my drapery jobs. I fell in love with Amy Butler fabrics.
5. What is your artistic background? How did you get started? What is your training?
I am self-taught. I read, read and read some more. I love to learn new sewing techniques constantly. If I had to make the same item over and over again, I would not be happy!
6. What has been your biggest success on Etsy, or your other websites?
I am still trying to figure that out. Is the success selling as many items that you can on ETSY? Or is the success the positive feedback that you receive when a customer receives your product and is thrilled and happy to have such a wonderful item? There is a balance here that we are all trying to achieve. I will say that when I was featured on the Weekend deals and had maybe 50 orders in a weekend, it was very stressful and exhausting putting that all together (because of course, I kept relisting items that I had sold, had the fabric for, but new that I could make more of) and I really thought that I would not be happy if it was like that all of the time.
7. Besides having a great product, what do you feel is the reason for your success on Etsy?
Yes a great product and wonderful photographs is a priority on Etsy. However, getting noticed is the biggest challenge for everyone. The front page isn’t really the answer either. I have been there many times, received many hearts on the item for the hour that it is up and then the item never sells. Many of my sales came from being featured in the Weekend Deal and Gift Guides, which no longer exist. If you were lucky enough to be chosen, a mass email went out on Friday morning featuring a product from your shop and the sales rolled in. This has been replaced by the Etsy Finds emails.
8. Do you have any Etsy selling tips?
It is a constant strategy here on ETSY. It’s not about just having a great product, great picture and listing it and it will sell, the key is relisting and adding new items often at all times of the day and night. Another strategy that I have is having more than one category to list items in. As many of the members here on the Bag Team sell bags and purses, you are limiting yourself to only being see in that category, one of the most popular categories here on Etsy. Try to branch out into different areas that you have a talent and interest in. Check out other categories that will match your talents. This gives you more exposure on ETSY.
9. What inspires you? I love all of the beautiful fabrics that have emerged in the last ten years. If I am stuck artistically, usually a new fabric design with get me motivated to some up with something new and exciting.