Tuesday, June 11, 2013
An Interview With Vicky from That's The Cutest Thing
As many of you know, EtsyBABY team members are extremely talented. We wanted to take a peek at the person behind the creativity. All throughout June, we will be interviewing shop owners, to get a glimpse of the designer behind those adorable baby products!
Meet Vicky from That's The Cutest Thing
What inspired you to begin a shop featuring your own designs? I became a doting aunt to three nieces and three nephews in six years. Aunt Vicky had a very busy time of making coming-home-from-the-hospital outfits, security blankets, and afghans during that period of time! I found I really enjoyed the portability of handmade knit and crochet pieces for babies and children, and I had to find an outlet to sell my creations. In 2005 I began to sell at an annual craft show in Virginia. Customers immediately began to ask about placing custom orders, how to find my website, etc. I put off starting a true small business as I wasn't ready for my hobby to turn into a job. Each year I returned, my customers were more insistent and encouraging that I should have a year-round business outlet. I heard about Etsy from one of my customers in 2009, and after giving it a year's thought, I decided to try being a seller.
How long have you been practicing your art/craft? My wonderful grandmother taught me how to crochet and knit around the age of 6-7 years old. Let's just say it's been a long time!
What training have you had or are you self-taught? In addition to my grandmother's teaching, later in life I had to teach myself to read patterns as I'd not learned before. With that out of my way, I picked up my hook and needles and simply tried new stitches and projects. I learned a lot of new stitch patterns from making blankets for the babies and children in the pediatric intensive care unit where I worked. My renewed hobby took off and I haven't looked back since! When I began crafting with vintage buttons, I did take an introductory jewelry-making class. This year I've immersed myself in taking photography classes, which will both be a benefit to my shop and cross a "to-do" off my life's bucket list!
What is your favorite material to craft with? Specialty yarns, the more colorful, the better. I have much more than I should! This year I've also taken a shine to hand spun yarn which is the beginning of a very, very bad habit!
What has been the hardest aspect of creating a hobby into a business? Staying organized, by far. I can't just jump in and open up a sixth project anymore because it's impossible to keep track of everything all at once. I love creating new items and listing them, but bookkeeping is a drag!
Any advice for other Etsy sellers? Do your research! I was really thankful that I spent six months learning about Etsy before I opened my shop; it helped me immensely in avoiding common seller mistakes.
What do you enjoy doing in your off time? Besides my full-time job as a nurse (the job that pays the bills!), most of my free time is channeled into my Etsy shop. Another passion of mine is to be a nursing volunteer on international medial missions and in a local community low-cost clinic. I also love antique shopping and collecting, traveling, photography, baking, gardening, and watching movies.
Describe a typical day in your life. That sounds like an easy question to answer, but for me it's not--I don't think I have a "typical day"! On my days off, I'll get up at 7 AM and spend part of the morning online working on my shop and everything else that goes with it. I try to exercise daily before I get too involved in other projects. I've resisted setting a routine for myself as there always seems to be something that comes up to lay my plans to waste. Instead of having a daily routine, I write out goals for the week on Sundays. I list personal, work, crafting, and business goals to work toward over the course of the week. So far that's helping me organize my time better. I also spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, which is one of my top referral sources.
Where can we find your products online? I currently don't have a website other than Etsy. However, I'd love for you to visit my Facebook page and my Pinterest page! I approach my Facebook page like a blog, so I'm always posting about my new creations, ready-to-ship photo prop sales, business endeavors, and travels. I post fabulous dessert recipes as well!