Saturday, September 25, 2010
This week we hear from Catherine Wynne of Zig Zag Stitches. Catherine has had over 1650 sales since she joined the Etsy family in July of 2007.
1. What is your full name?
2. What is the name of your Etsy shop?
3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised near Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. I now live in Southwestern Ontario, at the Canada/U.S. border. I was a Kindergarten teacher for many years, and now I run my business from home, and enjoy other hobbies like knitting, spinning, and gardening when I have time! My husband is an artist and photographer, and we have 2 adult children.
4. How long have you been crafting/making bags?
I have always enjoyed sewing, quilting, and crafting. A few years ago I needed some storage for knitting needles and knitting projects so I created some needle rolls and project bags. They were fun to make, and when I had created more than I could use myself, I decided to try selling them. I hoped Etsy would be a good venue for my products, so I opened my shop in the summer of 2007.
5. What is your artistic background? How did you get started? What has been your training?
My grandmother was an artist, but I didn’t inherit any of her talent! I have no formal art training, but I have degrees in Psychology and in Education, and I have taken several art courses for teachers.
6. What has been your biggest success on Etsy, or your other websites?
The Boxy Bag is my most popular item. I have also made it in different sizes and proportions for custom orders. Some contacts through Etsy have led to wholesale accounts in the Canada, the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.
7. Besides having a great product, what do you feel is the reason for your success on Etsy?
Maybe luck? I joined Etsy when there wasn’t as much competition. I’m fortunate to have many repeat customers. I advertise on a website for knitters (www.ravelry.com), so I can reach my “target” audience.
8. Do you have any Etsy selling tips?
Make the best quality product possible, and try to be unique. I use many fabrics that the general population might not normally see. Post the best photos you can manage (I’m still working on that). List items regularly, contact your customers with a friendly Thank You, and ship promptly. I don’t have a blog, but I use Twitter, Facebook, and Ravelry for promotion. I belong to several Etsy Teams. I have never had time to be very active in the Etsy forums.
9. What inspires you?
The window of my sewing room looks out over our garden, and I am inspired by the colors in nature and the changing seasons. I am drawn to color, bold graphic design, and quality in the fabrics I use, for example, the current popular designer fabrics, cotton and cotton-linens from Japan, and handmade screen-printed fabric.
Thanks for sharing Catherine!