Friday, March 13, 2009

Featured Seller - Celeste Lauren Designs

What part of the world are you in?
I live in Fort Mill, SC right outside of Charlotte, NC.

What does customer service mean to you?

I believe the thing that attracts customers to you initially is the great quality of work shown in your product. However, in order to retain these customers and gain new ones depends a great deal on customer service. This involves how responsive you are to requests, fast shipping, communication, and doing whatever it takes to make the customer happy. If I don’t offer something in my shop, I will always go above and beyond to get the materials I need to make exactly what the customer wants and I think people really appreciate that enough to make them come back.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

Wow, I’ve had so many and met so many great people via Etsy. They are all memorable
in some aspect but the most encouraging is when customers message me praising my designs and quality of work enough to want to carry it in their boutiques. Also, I get so excited every time I have a sale, not because its a sale and I get money, but because it feels so awesome and rewarding that someone else appreciates something that I’ve made with my own hands.

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

I think more than any other type of artist on Etsy, there are more jewelry designers
and very talented ones at that, so its really competitive. I think that my designs are all such a variety of styles and full of color which attracts all types of people to them. I also try to take good pictures of my jewelry to make it standout. I love what I do and I think that shows in my work thus attracting people to my jewelry.

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

I’ve always been a creative, artsy person but choose to veer away from this in college
and major in business thinking I would one day make more money and be happier. Of course I was completely wrong, and found myself longing to draw, paint and create again. So last year I decided I wanted to make a necklace for myself and I did. I enjoyed making it so much that I quickly became fascinated by beads and gemstones and I ended up teaching myself how to make earrings with a lot of trial and error. I’m self-taught and I am always learning as I go along. I can hardly picture what my life was like before I discovered my passion for jewelry making.

Do you have any formal training in your craft?

No, I’m self taught through lots of trial and error.

What is your goal for the next year?

My goal is to attract new customers, retain old customers and figure out the best way to do that. I’d also like to put even more time into my jewelry business. I have a day job and a puppy so balancing all 3 can be challenging at times but also very rewarding. I’ve realized that making jewelry is my true passion so I will take it one day at a time and remain positive for what the future holds.

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

I just keep designing new jewelry which is doing what I love. This keeps my mind off of other things. I try to stay positive because sales will come in time.

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?
Most of my customers have heard of my jewelry through friends. I’ve also some done advertising on Facebook and Google. I recently donated some of my jewelry for a big charity fundraiser auction in Charlotte which likely helped get my name out there. If you love what you do, offer a great product, fast shipping and excellent customer service most people will return to your shop again.

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening t
heir own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Don't try to do everything at once because you can easily get overwhelmed. There is
so much you will want to do but it will take time. Patience is key. Also, take great pictures of your product. I heard this when I first started and it really is true. My pictures weren’t that great in the beginning so I made sure to try to improve them and noticed a big increase in the views of items and sales once I did.

Celeste Lauren Designs, we fell in love with your store the moment we stumbled across it. We love the mix of colour and shapes of the gemstones used in her exquisite pieces. Luxurious and feminine, her pieces will have you dripping in sparkle and colour!
Our fav is posted above, the
Lemon Quartz and Minty Green Chrysoprase Briolette Earrings.
Visit her online store and treat yourself to these celebrity style handmade masterpieces!

1 comment:

  1. These are very pretty earrings! I love all the interviews... very inspiring:)