Today we would like to introduce you to
Etsy shop Ebony Shae Designs
Ebony Shae Designs has been selling on Etsy since September 2011, she sell PDF patterns for making children's animal masks! Today she is sharing a little about her shop and selling on Etsy.
What motivated you to start your shop?
I fell in love with masks as a teenager when I went to see Phantom of the Opera for the first time. The masquerade scene stayed with me for years. I am also a hopeless craft addict, and will try my hand at anything – whether I know what I am doing or not. So as a young married woman, I started making leather masquerade masks. I still have most of them, with no idea what I will ever do with them.
Then along came children, and the process of curing, working the leather, and painting it within a certain time-frame became impossible. Unfortunately the love of masks and creating did not leave. Fortunately kids LOVE dressing up and playing make believe. So I started making a few masks to represent the story characters we were reading about. Friends and relatives started making requests and I couldn't keep up!
It took me a while to realize that I could teach my friends to make their own and the idea of making and selling patterns was born.
What is the story behind your shop name?
When we were waiting for our second daughter to arrive, the difficult process of choosing ANOTHER girls name resulted in many round table discussions. After all, we had already chosen the best girls name the first time around, hadn't we??? Where the first time we agreed easily, the second time the discussions were endless! I really loved the name Ebony Shae, but the hubby was adamant. So when I opened my Etsy store, I simply used the name I loved.
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I am constantly surprised that my personal favourite masks are not the most popular. Not by far! I am also constantly surprised by what custom orders come in, they are never what I expect.
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
My all time favourite mask is still the lady bug. I simply love the way it sits and is shaped. It is also adorable on. I think it ranks about 10th or less in my best sellers. The elephant is always the most popular.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Trying to communicate in obvious ways. I STILL have people ask for finished masks for $4.00 US, despite having 'pattern' written on the picture, a picture of a PDF icon on the first picture, pattern in the title, and reference to the item being a pattern 3 times in the descriptions! (If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm all ears).
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
Our motto is: Make Masks. Make Believe. Make Memories.
I believe our time as mothers at home with the kids should be considered sacred (no matter how much or little of it you get). We will never get it again. They will never be the age they are today ever, ever again.
I am so fortunate to have a hubby that supports me to stay home and share this time with our kids, and I am even more fortunate that I love it.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I am a stay at home mum who home schools our 2 darling daughters, (we also have a 6 month old boy, but he is a little young for school yet)! If I ever get time to myself (usually when the hubby is driving the car) you will find me knitting, doing crochet, sewing (ok, so that doesn't happen in the car) or generally avoiding housework in some other fashion!
Please tell us a little about the children's items market / handmade movement in your Country?
I feel that the children's market in Australia is strong, but piecemeal. There are markets for used items, there are markets for new items, there are general markets that always have kids stalls, there are craft markets that some of us fit into, then there are craft markets that we don't.
The handmade movement is getting stronger in all areas. When I became a founding member of our knitting group which started 10 years ago, many of my work colleagues laughed, now many are picking up some sort of craft and realizing the benefits.
Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Being a part of teams on Etsy has really made the experience for me. To have a community to go to to celebrate, commiserate, and ask questions of makes selling on Etsy so much more enjoyable. Thanks to the EtsyKids team and coordinators for their part in making my job so much more fun!
Ebony Shae Designs is offering a 20% off any purchases, including her pdf pattern combo deals. To use the coupon visit her etsy store and enter code "ETSYKIDS1" at checkout.