I live in Douglas County Oregon. Roseburg to be precise.
If you have never seen this area of the Country you should try to make a trip of it. Oregon is a Beautiful diverse environment. Oregon has everything from Desert to snow Cover Mountains of course there are our wildly popular Ocean beaches.
I've heard Roseburg called the place of a hundred Valleys. We have a Happy valley, that I think would be the greatest place to live. I live in Garden Valley. During the growing season I enjoy the many farmers markets, the local Fruit and Vegetable Stand with my favorite Cherry rhubarb pie available most of the year and a Local you pick Farm.
Anyone else need 10 pounds of Basil and 50 pound of Beets ??? Because I do LOL… My freezer is full of homemade Pesto and my family really likes pickled beets :D
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer Service to me is what I get when I patron these small family run Farm stands. Happy owners that enjoy the regular attendance of myself and the groups of my children and their friends. These owners know I could go to a large Store for my purchases but appreciate the values that I feel are important to impress upon the next generation. I like to know where my money is going. I feel good knowing that my money is appreciated and allows them to live the lifestyle that they have chosen. This feeling of community and friendship is what I try to offer to my Customers too.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
I have many happy memories over the years with my customers. Many friendships have grown from a simple purchase. The most memorable in general is the childish delight of opening one of my guys packages...I imagine… since most of my sales are on line… that thought brings me great joy :D
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
This is a very hard question for me. Since I put so much of myself into my designs… I am not a self involved person and can’t really say well I’m better because. I appreciate a lot of the work of other Amigurumi and Teddy Bear Designers, and there are many traits I wish I could do as well as them. How some are so tidy with their work spaces, or so good at rambling on in an interesting way about there work in their blogs. How some can make 24 of the same items and not only make them look exactly the same but actually complete 24 of anything! I am unique…uniquely me!
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
My grandmother taught me when I was about 5. I was a VERY busy child to say it nicely and for her sanity :D she taught me to knit crochet and needle point. When in high school and college, lectures bored me and to keep myself from running out of English lit screaming….. I kept my hands busy…. I could have drawn but then I would have never listened LOL…. After 3 years of College and finding myself in nothing but sculpting, painting, and Clay classes. I decided I could be a starving artist without forking out more money towards the degree :D
Do you have any formal training in your craft?
I did work for 5 years in a yarn shop designing and teaching many different forms of Fiber arts. I also worked as a Designer and Furrier for 2 years for a Teddy bear company. Most of even that training was…. Ohh… yeah I can do that.
What is your goal for the next year?
My goals are hard to define for me. I WILL have a study built… right now I work out of a closet in my bedroom. Many of my Amis gets finished sitting cross legged on my bed. I would like to have more Kits available. I want to be consistent with my Bears of the months. I really enjoy doing these bigger bears with so many different elements to them.
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
Obsession :D I am truly an addict. Just one more round. I go to sleep thinking of different designs. I wakeup in the middle of the night and have to crochet. Sales are a bonus :D
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business? I try and make the wow factor in packaging… nice boxes Ribbons… Most of all I let the item speak for its self. I do plan on trying some free shipping offers for return customers. For new Clients I do have a small advertising budget, but really haven't tried many venues yet.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Make what is in you heart do what makes you happy and the sales and customers will come….
Cynthia, we love your bubbly personality and positive outlook, in fact it's infectious! It's also extremely good for business and we know you spoil and treasure each and everyone of you customers. Thank you for sharing with our blog, we wish you the best of luck in life and business in 2009! Please visit Cynthia's online store, Demonsterative, located at demonsterative.etsy.com