Monday, March 16, 2009

Featured Seller - b u d

What part of the world are you in?

Greenville, SC

What does cust
omer service mean to you?

Everything. I want the entire experience of shopping at b u d to be joyful. I'm thankful that of all the shops they could order from, they choose mine, and I try to extend that gratitude in any way I can. If they have a question, I'm eager to answer it. If they'd like a custom piece, I'm happy to offer it. If they need something altered--if it's possible--I'll gladly do it. They are the only way my shop can succeed and I want them to know just how important they are to me. I don't just want them to be satisfied. That's not good enough. I want my customers to be happy.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

Since I'm so new to this, most of my customers have been loved ones offering support, but I got my first order from a total stranger while I was out of town one weekend. I felt horrible, because I had failed to put up a notice before I left stating that I'd be away. To be honest, I thought the chances of me getting an order would be slim to none, so I figured I'd just put up a quick notice when we got to our destination--just in case. You can imagine my surprise when I signed in and saw the order! I emailed her right away (well, actually, I probably high-fived my husband first, but that's here nor there...) to let her know of the situation and to apologize for my error, then I quickly put up the announcement. She was very gracious about it and told me she was in no hurry. Her order was my top priority when I got back, of course. I had so much fun wrapping up her package and sending it on its way!

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

Color. I'm pretty quiet in nature, but when it comes to design and self-expression, I'm loud. I just let color speak for me. Bold colors and interesting combinations are my way of injecting some happiness into life. When I'm creating a piece of jewelry, I'm truly content. My heart is smiling while I'm making it and I like to imagine that people smile when they see what I've made. :D

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

Experimentation and a willingness to figure out how to make things work.

Do you have any formal training in your craft?

No. "Formal" would not be on a list of words that best describe me. ;)

What is your goal for the next year?

I'd like to see my shop grow, of course. I am very much happy with the pieces I make now, but I'm always looking to improve upon my skills and would be so pleased to look back, a year from now, and see even a small difference in the way I execute and display my pieces. I am contemplating adding art for the home to my shop since my first love is drawing and I always have ideas running through this scattered brain of mine.

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

I don't let anything get me down. If sales are slow--which they are right now--I use the time to create new items to list and freshen up the pictures of items already listed. I get so excited looking at my little corner of Etsy and seeing when people have looked at an item or marked it as a favorite that I will always be motivated. It also helps to have support from my husband and the cheers of my biggest fans, my mom and dad.

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?

I make sure my store looks cheerful and inviting. I try to always have a Treasury up. I enjoy featuring the other talented artists with whom I share space and it's a fun way to get to know them. That's about all the self-promotion I do at this point. I encourage recurring business by first making a quality product and then including some sort of discount coupon they can use on a future purchase.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be? Stay positive. If you feel you have a truly great product to offer and you've taken the time to make your shop look appealing, someone is bound to notice.

Special Promotion for "I MADE THAT!" readers: From now through April 1, 2009, enjoy FREE SHIPPING on all orders to anywhere in the world. Just mention NOTBEES in the Notes to Seller section at checkout and I'll refund the shipping charges right away. Thank you for shopping at b u d! :D
We LOVE b u d! Her designs are so unique and bursting with colour! Shes a wonderful, positive spirit truly dedicated to her customers and we know her shop will take off and sell out. Check out b u d designs online at

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