Today we would like to introduce you to Vicky
and her Etsy shop ThatsTheCutestThing
ThatsTheCutestThing has been selling on Etsy since March 2011, she sells knit & crochet photo props, clothing & accessories. Today they are sharing a little about their shop and selling handmade items.
What motivated you to start your shop?
My loyal customers and my curiosity were my major motivations for opening my Etsy shop. I'd been selling crochet and knit children's clothing and accessories at an annual large craft show since 2005, and every year my returning (and new!) customers were more persistent in asking for contact information, my business website, and custom orders. It took me two years to persuade myself to turn my hobby into a business, but I did so as I was curious to try it and grow from the experience. I opened my Etsy shop on March 16, 2011.
What is the story behind your shop name?
Every creative person has their own style, and what I find myself making are more "classic cute" items. My business was "The Cutest Thing" in earlier years. That name was taken when I first registered on Etsy, so I expanded it to "That's The Cutest Thing" based on my first customer at my first craft show. As soon as I'd opened my craft booth in the early morning, she ran into my booth, grabbed a toddler sweater that was hanging on my display, held it up for her friend to see and said, "Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen?!" The name seemed to be the perfect fit for my style and my customers, so I kept it.
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I wasn't a seller that believed that simply listing an item would make a sale, but I'll readily admit I wasn't prepared for the ENORMOUS amount of work it takes to establish and maintain your shop! My first year alone was spent making inventory. Shipping profiles, teams, Facebook, taxes, marketing, photography, advertising, treasuries, accounting, RTS sales, graphic design, spreadsheets, wholesaling . . . my learning curve has fallen off the chart over the past two years to say the least. And it still continues . . .
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
I love the current popularity of bonnets! I love dressing little girls, and I find bonnets so much fun to knit and crochet. It's also nice for my business that they appeal to both my target populations: family members and photographers.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Organization--something I used to be very good at doing before opening my shop, but not so much anymore! A small business is a never-ending task, and it has infiltrated all aspects of my life. I always feel I'm one season/photo shoot/month BEHIND all the time. Summertime is catch-up and stock-up time for me, so I'm hoping this fall I'll be in a better place.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I believe that parents and photographers should have access to unique handmade clothing and accessories for their children and clients that are cute, beautifully colored, comfortable, durable, easily cared for, meticulously finished, and safe to wear. All of my creations are made with the mindset that they will become family heirlooms, just as my grandmother's handmade items for her grandchildren did. It's so much fun (and quite a compliment) to see photos of others using and enjoying what I made for them. And I love the idea that something I lovingly crafted will be treasured by someone on the other side of the world!
How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Caring, independent, meticulous. I think I'll stop there as any additional becomes quite . . . colorful! ;-)
What do you do when you aren't working?
In addition to my shop, I work full-time as a pediatric and neonatal critical care nurse. Believe it or not, I do manage to squeeze in fun things around the two jobs! Another passion of mine is serving as a nursing volunteer on international (11 and counting!) and domestic missions and in a local community low-cost clinic for children and adults. I also love antique shopping and collecting, baking, photography, traveling, gardening, and watching movies.
Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
My best tip for my fellow Etsy sellers: Search locally for resources you need for your shop. In 2011, I needed to find a photographer for professional model photos of my items. Rather than employ a modeling service that would take a lot of time, shipping, and logistics, I did a "local" search on Etsy to find a photographer that other local sellers were using. Right away I found beautiful photos in Vintage Pretties by EMA's shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/VintagePrettiesbyEMA) by Elizabeth Alexander. When I contacted Eliz Alex Photography (http://www.elizalexphotography.com), I was blessed to find out that she was happy to do model photography for me, and that Vintage Pretties was her shop as well! Working with her over the past two years, my shop photos have been completely transformed into a cohesive gallery of my creations. I'm supporting local business, a fellow Etsian and small business owner, and I made a great friend in the process!
In the same vein, I met fellow Etsian Julia McPherson of Innerspace Marketing, LLC (http://www.innerspacemarketing.com), through a local Etsy team. She has been my "go-to" person for a new logo & graphic design, ad buttons, and marketing and advertising materials for my shop. Julia is wonderful to work with, always responds rapidly to my requests, and she's transformed my brand and made my business endeavors much more professional-looking on a daily basis.
I'd love for you to become fans of my Facebook and Pinterest pages!
ThatsTheCutestThing is offering 15% discount for our blog readers! To use the coupon visit her etsy store and enter code "ETSYKIDS15" at checkout, valid until August 31, 2013.