Today we would like to introduce you to
Etsy shop simplegiftstoys
simplegiftstoys has been selling on Etsy since October 2012, they sell green and environmentally friendly wooden toys for children. Today they are going to give us a little peak behind the scenes of their Etsy shop.
What motivated you to start your shop?
I began making wooden toys as a small hobby to create gifts for friends and family. In 2011, I started to trade for cloth diapers and sell on social media. I opened my Etsy shop when I needed to expand my audience reach to support our goal of having me home with the kids.
Simple Gifts is now solvent business that helps support our family of four as we home school, homestead and otherwise evolve each day.
What is the story behind your shop name?
" 'Tis a gift to be simple, 'Tis a gift to be free..." ~Traditional Shaker Song
"Live simply so that others may simply live" ~Mahatma Gandhi
These two quotes always inspired me, so when I needed a name for a wooden toy shop, "Simple Gifts" felt like a great fit.
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
For me, the big surprise has been the challenge of sustainable growth. As I've sold more, I've become especially aware of the environmental and societal impact of being part of consumerism. As such I've begun transitioning to cotton over silk, upcycled over wool, and opting for local and vegan products as often as possible. I also feel it is my responsibility to participate in tree buy back and planting programs and donate Simple Gifts to charitable organizations as often as possible.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
I think more so than an Etsy specific challenge, my greatest difficulty has been balancing made to order products with my desire to make new things and see my ideas come to fruition.
I've recently moved the shop over to all in-stock items. It's a risk making what I dream over what is a known favorite...so I try to keep both flowing through the shop. It's a fun and exciting adventure!
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
Natural play has always proven important in my children's lives and my own. Through my preparation to become their teacher in 2013, I learned more about the qualities of wood, wool, silk, beeswax and other natural materials that can support their play and create further educational experiences. In each product I offer, I have four little hands exploring, creating and testing alongside me. We learn together and share our results with you. So much thanks is given each day to my family for their time and encouragement.
What do you do when you aren't working?
This question makes me chuckle just a bit. Laundry, dishes, cooking...
No seriously, my favorite activities are volunteering at our local library, homesteading and homeschooling with my kiddos, painting and playing in the woods.
Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I appreciate the opportunity to share and be part if this group. Thanks so much!
simplegiftstoys is offering a 10% discount in her shop. To use the coupon visit her etsy store and enter code "ETSYKIDS10" at checkout. Valid until February 11th 2015.