What part of the world are you in?
I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I have lived here in the Midwest
all my life and love it here.
What does customer service mean to you?
The biggest thing customer service means to me is communication and honesty.
If you sell an honest item, and communicate effectively all the way through the sale, I think your customers will be happy.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
It is so hard to pin point one! I have had so many great customers
through the years. I guess one that stands out is a woman who asked me if I would make a custom paperweight with some of her Grandmothers items. Not knowing me at all, she sent me the only picture she had(the original!), an old watch, and a couple other momentos. She told me to do whatever I thought was best. I created a wonderful keepsake for her, and she was very happy with the final item. This sticks out in my mind, becasue it made me feel so wonderful that she trusted me with her most cherish memories of her Grandma.
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
That is also a very hard question! I guess I never really thought that anything set me apart. There are so many talented people out there. And we are all different. I guess the main thing would be just my mind. It is always thinking and creating. I just make what I love. I cannot just make what I or other people think will sell. If I had to say one thing, I guess I would say that I dance to my own drummer!
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
I have learned my art, just through trail and error. I have learned through LOTS of mistakes a few tears! I have also been in the retail business world for many years, and I think that has helped me with knowing how
to market my items.
Do you have any formal training in your craft?
I have taken a couple fine arts classes, but I am no realy great at the "formal" type thing. I just like to dive in and see what happens. I guess I feel creativity cannot be taught. It is something
you have to feel deep inside.
What is your goal for the next year?
My goal is to just keep doing what I am doing. Making what I love. Maybe trying
a few new things. I try not to get to hung up on setting specific goals I have to meet,like having a certain amount of sales, so many shows, etc. Then it starts feeling like a job, and I loose my focus of WHY I am doing it. Because I love it. If I were to say one goal for next year is the goal though, I would say the same one I have for every year. Just to be happy!
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
I just try not to think about it. I go in my art room, look at all the wonderful
things I have, just waiting to be created, and that motivates me every time.
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?
I post on some of the boards and I have a website. I do a few shows and will give out business cards to anyone who will take one. I have also taken my things to several different small shops with success.
I try to package nicely and make the buying experience pleasant, so my customers will return. But mostly, I just make things and list them on Etsy. I am working on selling on my website too. I try to have the philosophy, "If you make it, they will come"!
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
My best advise would be to make what you love, make it well, and be true to yourself! I honestly
think, if you offer a good product that you believe in, you will have success. Also, to remember, it takes time, and HARD work.
You have to keep your things fresh and offer great customer service. Answer emails, ship promptly and be professional. It really is a lot of work. But what a job!!
Thanks so much Lorelie! We love your jewelry, and are happy to show it off for you!
Please visit her etsy site to view more of her lovely pieces! http://loreliekaydesigns.etsy.com