Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Turned One? Aeden Seppe on Etsy.com

In preparing for my article, Celebrating One Year on IndieSmiles.com, I had the opportunity to interview 5 hardworking online shop owners. One of these is Evi, from AedenSeppe on Etsy. She is originally from Belgium, now living in the US,happily a WAHM (work at home mom).

Robo Wall Art
Her shop is filled with an ecletic mix of whimsical items made with a lovingly tender heart. You can see her inspiration must be her son, while she watches him grow up, and the craziness that goes with it. Her journey through her first year and plans for the next are here, mixed in with great tips and humor.

What would you say is the most important thing you have done to get you to your first anniversary as an online seller?
"First of all, DON'T STOP. It may sound simple, but often times you can get discouraged. Feeling like a tiny insignificant fish in a humonguous pond. Often times you start a shop, because you love to craft and somebody in your life said 'hey, you should try selling these' . You jump in thinking, 'that would be so cool!' so you start up shop but it's not as easy as you thought. Because now not only are you making something you believe in you also have to learn to portray it in a way so it becomes appealing on a computer in stead of in real life.

You find yourself feeling in over your head when you look at other shops, how great and crisp their banners look. Their photographs are amazing. The angles, the colors. How do they do it?? This is the time where you need to step up to the plate if you really want to be a contender. Do research on HOW they get their pictures so vibrant. Look up tutorials on how to make an eyecatching banner. Basically learn to look like a pro, before you're feeling like one!

I've learned SO much in 1 year. For me personally, customer service is EVERYTHING. I keep customers posted with little messages. It takes a few minutes out of my day and it means so much to them. Because they feel like you are thinking of them. It's the little touches that do it, a personal note a small token to say 'thanks for the support'.

Another biggie is, sometimes you have to realize that what you're offering is not what they're wanting. It doesn't mean your item sucks, it may not be the right time for it. Keep your eyes open for trends in all shapes and forms. Work with it. Create what YOU want but add a hip color, material, subject,...

Be yourself most of all, it may be easy to jump on the popular bandwagon but think about it. Would you want somebody else to blindly copy YOUR idea? "

How are you celebrating this milestone?
Space Planet UFO Wall Art
"I celebrated by doing a photo tagging contest on my Facebook page. The prize was a giftcertificate from Aedanseppe.etsy.com. I also did secret coupon codes for 2 days."

What has been your most successful marketing tool?
"Facebook has been great, link love is a wonderful initiative that got started where shops support each other by cross promoting. I have met some amazing people and incredible artists this way.

Twitter has helped as well, I'm not on it that much but my posts on Facebook get directly posted to twitter. I get lot's of views through twitter.  I have a blog as well but I haven't had the time to properly work on it.

I also started an Etsy team 'We all belong', mainly because I felt a lot of the teams have ridiculous requests. You have to be from THIS area, you have to make THIS type of product, your pictures have to be of THIS quality... Yeah sure, why don't I ride a unicycle and juggle 10 balls in the air at the same time too! Where's the love people?? I wanted to get a group of people together who care about handcrafted items/arts. You can be well established or brand new and still trying to find your way. We ALL belong and we're all welcome.

The team is all about sharing your experiences, sharing tips. Giving advice. Asking for advice and not being scoffed at because you don't know everything yet. We all have to start somewhere and it won't kill anybody to be kind and supportive.
The team also creates lots of treasuries to promote one and other. It's all about the love at WAB! "

Sales can be hard to come by, how do you make it through the tough times?
"I treat each and every one with just as much love and care. It doesn't matter if you spend $10 or a $100. They all make me giddy with delight. I'm still a tiny fish in a huge pond. I may not make 20 sales in a week but I stand my ground and own my little spot. My most succesful sales usually are mulitple sales in one go to one person. Returning customers are great, it means I did something right.
Lovers Hill Original Painting

This is a quote of mine that describes it best:
'Every sale I am SO amazed and honored and grateful. That somebody out there. Loves something that I created with my 2 hands so much, they want it in their homes or gift it to a loved one. I could cry every single time I make a sale. I am touched beyond words for the love it makes me feel inside'. "

What, if anything, are you going to do differently in the second year of your business?
"I'm gonna keep growing, keep improving, keep learning new skills and keep reinventing myself. The only way to go is forward. Keep fighting for my spot and keep fighting to get the ball rolling even more.
Go big or go home!"

Please visit AedenSeppe on Etsy to see what great creations Evi has, and brighten your surroundings with a few of her items. Here's to another successful year, Evi!

3 comments:

  1. :) I love that Evi!!! She is amazingly talented, a great friend and funny to boot!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Evi is a sweet person, love her to death and so happy you did that for her!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you SO much for featuring Evi's shop!! LOVE her shop and she is such a great person! I am lucky to have found her in the big cyberworld!

    ReplyDelete

Share you thoughts!