I was nomninated by the brilliant HelloDODO to take part in the Brighton Etsy Team Blog Hop, thanks guys! A blog hop involves answering a few questions in a post on your blog, then nominating someone else in the team to answer the same questions over on their blog, and so we hop from blog to blog. Simple as that! So here’s my answers…
What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop?
After spending far too long in an office job, the need to spend more of my time being creative eventually got the better of me and I quit to start making, and try selling, things. I’ve always been creative in my spare time but it was realisation of just how big and amazing the craft community was (especially in Brighton) that made me want to start up Beetle Cherry and be part of that community. I did the Brighton Craftaganza spring market quite early on, was absolutely terrified I’d sell nothing but I sold loads and realised maybe I could do this! Etsy was a great place to start selling things because it gave me an instant online presence without having to know a single thing about making a website.
We’re looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy Team this month, can you share one of your goals for your shop for the next six months?
I really only have one goal for the next six months, and it’s a biggie! I’m completely relaunching Beetle Cherry as an ‘illustrated wildlife park’, and it’s going to contain my two most favouritest things in the world – illustration and endangered animals. I’m quite excited about having more of a focus for my business, and am enthusiastically doing everything from developing new products to new branding and photography. It’s going to be a busy six months…
What are you working on at the moment?
Well, a whole new range of designs basically! To start out, I’m going to keep my actual products similar to what I’ve done before, so prints, cards, little brooches, but all featuring endangered animals. So right now I’m doodling and drawing lots of amazing creatures, and slowly they will evolve into sellable products. I’ve got lots of ideas for more unusual products too, so once I’ve launched my new brand I can really start working on them.
If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own craft business one piece of advice what would you say?
Do as much planning and development as you can before you launch, but don’t spend too long planning as the only way you can really learn what people want to buy is to start selling! Try and do something a bit different, stand out from the crowd in some way. But be prepared to be flexible and accept that its OK (and very good) to grow and develop your business as you learn new things, that you don’t need all the answers before you start out. And the other thing that’s really important is your network of people, both customers and other sellers. The online and real life community in the craft scene is HUGE so get involved, it will change your life!
So now for the hop bit… I nominate the awesome RockCakes to answer the questions and then nominate the next person!