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Category: Handmade Spotlight

Handmade Spotlight: Designs by Rachel Lynn

Handmade Spotlight: Designs by Rachel Lynn

This week I’m excited to introduce you to Rachel Wenger of Designs by Rachel Lynn.

From  wristlets to chapstick holders you’ll find lots of products in super fun prints and colors within Rachel’s shop.  Read on to learn more about Rachel and her business.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I am a wife and boy mommy that works full time in marketing for a scenic design company in the Entertainment Industry, with a business on the side. Whoa. It all started after graduating from college with a Fashion Marketing Business degree, looking for a full time job and not finding much in the field in the middle of Amish Country (Lancaster, PA!).

I used my skills of sewing along with my skills in the marketing field to build a brand for myself, making and sewing women’s accessories. I’ve experienced a lot of local craft shows, trade shows, wholesaling and Etsy selling and am excited about the future of my business!

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

My favorite part of owning a handmade business is by far the satisfaction. There is nothing quite like that perfect review where someone says things like “Love it! She was absolutely the best to work with. Understood and helped me with my needs and it turned out amazing!”

It really gets my motivation going when I see an awesome review like this because I truly believe that the best thing you can do for a business is have a great personal presence to your customers.

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

I’ve learned so much! I’ve been selling on Etsy for 7 years, and never thought to really just stop, take another look at my shop, and make it cohesive. I always looked at each listing as just individual listings, thinking people will only look at that one listing and not actually shop around my entire Etsy store. Jami helped me to realize how important it is to be cohesive throughout your entire Etsy shop (as well as all social media platforms as well!).

I can now say that my personal website, Etsy shop, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest account all fall into the same branding and give off the same looks. I’ve also had more people purchasing multiple items in my shop and not just one! It’s a great feeling knowing that they are looking at my Etsy shop like a store!

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

The Handmade Journey Academy has helped me grow my business in so many ways. As I said before, I never realized how important it was to be cohesive across multiple platforms!

I’ve learned that it is truly important to have a social media presence, and most importantly, that you use that presence to show and remind people that you are YOU! You are the one person behind your brand, making, sewing, creating, shipping, etc.! People love this. Remind them of this everyday! They LOVE personal connection and that is why this has been my focal point!

5) What are your future goals for your business?

The future scares me!
But really, I’ve been working really hard at getting people to know my brand. I’m doing this because my short-term goal is to have a super successful holiday season. Long term, I’m not 100% sure yet, but the idea of creating a brand with a few other momma’s like me helping to sew so that I can have the time to work on the Marketing aspect sounds just up my alley! 🙂

Where to find and follow Designs by Rachel Lynn:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Website

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

Handmade Spotlight: Once Upon a Fairy Tale

Handmade Spotlight: Once Upon a Fairy Tale

This week I’m excited to introduce you to Stephanie Duncan of Once Upon a Fairy Tale.  Take one look at her products and you’ll see that they truly do help celebrate life’s little moments!

From tutus to photo frames and so much more she’s got everything to make someone feel like a princess.  Read on to learn more about Stephanie and her business.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I am the creator of Once Upon a Fairy Tale! We specialize in handmade tutus, accessories, and custom gifts celebrating life’s little moments. From baby showers, new baby photos, 1st birthday and smash cake photos; to birthday celebrations, wedding day flower girls, and more! Childhood milestones are precious and deserve to be celebrated!

Some of my fondest memories of myself as a child are of dressing up in my most glamorous dresses and my great grandmothers jewelry as I twirled around my bedroom completely carefree. Those ruffles and sparkles that I loved so much as a child lead me down my path of which included clothing, jewelry, and fashion accessories throughout the various milestones in my career path.

I’m and MBA and also have a degree (B.A.) in Textiles and Apparel and more than 15 years experience in children’s accessories. My background includes various outlets of retail, merchandise buying and design, and now my own love and creation, Once Upon a Fairy Tale. This is where I have the opportunity to explore all elements of my creativity and passion and share them with others!

The inspiration for my fairy tale tutus, tees, and accessories comes from little minds with big dreams and imaginations. Every child wants to feel special and I make that happen with every thought out detail that not only creates an adorable look, but evokes their emotions. Though I strive to make Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, and Friend happy with their purchase; nothing makes me happier than when the child lights up with excitement because she is a Princess and that is my ultimate motivation!

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

I love the creative freedom that comes with owning my handmade business. I have been able to take what inspires me and create something beautiful of my own vision and tell my story through my product lines.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the reaction of my audience when I enter a new market or launch a new product line. I have loved watching my business evolve over the years and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

Stay true to who you are and what you want your business to be. No matter how much we would like, we cannot be everything to everybody all the time. It’s best to remain focused on your vision and with a lot of hard work and persistence, your audience will follow. It’s ok to test new products, but keeping a focused product line is key to building a strong foundation for the future of the business.

Above all, you have to be ready to work hard to achieve success. There’s a lot more to owning a handmade business than making some great products, taking some pictures, and listing them. I now realize the work involved in owning and operating a handmade web business and I’ve never been more excited or determined to make my business succeed than I am today.

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

Handmade Journey Academy (HJA) has been amazing! In terms of my web business platform, I wasn’t on the map until I found HJA. Jami has provided many tools to to not only develop my Etsy shop, but also the whole process behind the scenes helping me to get and stay organized and efficient. I could go on all day about the overabundance of information, courses, resources, tutorials, etc that are provided.

What makes this group different from all of the others I have joined and left behind me is the support system. The positive energy and support among members on a daily basis has motivated me on more than one occasion to keep going. I am so happy I found HJA a few months ago. I have seen a lot of great results so far and though I know I have a long journey ahead of me, I’m having a blast!

5) What are your future goals for your business?

For the past 8 years, I have spent much of my time showcasing my designs at some of the most sought out Craft Fairs locally. I have had the opportunity to meet some really great people along the way and look forward to expanding and developing more relationships through Etsy and other platforms going forward.

It is my ultimate goal to have my own website in the near future and I would love to eventually see my designs in a brick and store front setting. Who knows? Maybe one day I will have my own brick and mortar boutique!

Where to find and follow Once Upon a Fairy Tale:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

Handmade Spotlight: The Cotton Haven

Handmade Spotlight: The Cotton Haven

The Cotton Haven makes gorgeous towels and towel racks with color pairings and choices in fabric that are perfect to spruce up your home decor.This week I’m excited to introduce you to Tara Blank of The Cotton Haven.  She makes gorgeous towels and towel racks that are far beyond anything you could get at a big box store.  Her color pairings and choices in fabric just blow me away.  Whatever the season she’s got the perfect option to spruce up your decor.  Read on to learn more about Tara and her business.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I have had an obsession with fabric since I was in my teens. During a sewing class I took in high school, I remember being introduced to the “fabric store” for the first time, and I was hooked! When I was in my early 20’s, I had a small business selling quilts, baby clothing and hair bows on Myspace. Not long too long after, in 2011, my Mother introduced me to Etsy, which seemed to be a much better platform for selling handmade items. We opened our very first shop and after a lot of trial and error, we specialized in handmade wooden children’s bedroom and bathroom décor.

I loved the idea of designing the items, however, the painting was not where my heart was. That’s where I decided to incorporate fabric, designing items that had fabric sealed onto the wood. It quickly took off and became a success! Shortly after, I introduced towels into our Etsy shop and they too, were a success! Through it all and a few years later, I came to the realization that I really wanted to branch off on my own, opening my own Etsy shop and only do towels.

That is where The Cotton Haven started! I started The Cotton Haven in March 2017 with just towels and now have of course, come up with something else to incorporate into my shop-towel racks! That’s what we do, right? We continue to brainstorm ideas, create and grow! I’m excited to see where this journey leads!

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

Hands down, my favorite part of owning a handmade business is that I am always available for my children. I make my own hours, I can tweak my hours as I need to. It’s great!

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

The biggest thing that I have learned during my handmade journey is that you will only get better and better. Every aspect of my business has evolved and will continue to evolve. When I look back at the very beginning of my journey, I can’t help but laugh, but I also smile because I kept going, never giving up on the dream of owning my own business and the dream of doing what I love! Never give up.

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

The Handmade Journey Academy has helped me grow my business tremendously! I don’t even know where to start. I remember my Mom and I would try doing our own research, spending hours that we did not have, money that we did not have, only to make all of the changes that later we would find out were incorrect. We really struggled finding the time to become SEO experts! It was just not going to happen. Simply put, Jami puts YEARS of research into one amazingly easy to navigate website that you can get through fairly quickly, always learning something new. The best part is that it is always right there for reference. I have seen the quickest improvements ever, using the Handmade Journey Academy.

5) What are your future goals for your business?

I have so many future goals for my business! I want to add many more towels designs, create more towel racks with personalization being an option. I want to eventually open my own website domain. The biggest goal that I have is to match my husband’s income. It’s a long shot but I’m not going to give up!

Where to find and follow The Cotton Haven:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

Handmade Spotlight: Kerley Crafts

Handmade Spotlight: Kerley Crafts

Taking the time to celebrate other handmade sellers is one of my favorite things to do.  This is the first installment of a new weekly feature here on the Handmade Journey blog where I’ll be spotlighting handmade sellers.  First up we have Denise Kerley from Kerley Crafts. She’s going to tell you a little bit about her business and share some tips to help other handmade sellers.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I am a wife and mother of three girls from ages 17-23. I have always had a love for crafting in all different mediums from painting, refinishing furniture to stained glass. My inspiration for my hand painted ornaments came from my great grandmother (Mi Mi Lou) she always made a hand made personalized ornament as our place setting at the dinner table for Christmas. I cherished these gifts and still have some! When I was in high school I painted my first ornament and have not stopped since.

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

I love having my own business because it has been my dream for so long! I get enormous satisfaction in the thought that people actually want to buy my items. I get excited every time my phone cha-chings and can’t wait to see what they bought and where they are from.

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

Research!!!!! I had tried to figure out Etsy about a year before I joined and gave up. It seemed way too confusing and I was overwhelmed! I then went to the library and did research on it because I wanted to do it so bad! That is how I stumbled upon Handmade Journey! The books at the library told me to join groups to learn more and I’m so glad I did!! I feel very lucky that I joined this group right at the start of opening my Etsy shop as I have learned so much.

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

It has given me so much! Direction, goals, tips, lists, instructions. I would not have done as well without it! I have seen the change in my stats every time I add the tips and instructions I’m given from the group. Also I feel like I have virtual assistant in that I just need to post a question and Jami or someone from the group helps and I’m so thankful to everyone for that!

5) What are your future goals for your business?

Well ultimately I would love to leave my other job and pursue my dream full time!

Where to find and follow Kerley Crafts:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

 

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!