Saturday, March 21, 2009

Featured Seller- Michigan Hemp

What part of the world are you in?

I live in Cheboygan, MI. A tiny town with a population of about 5,000 which is locatedabout 15 miles southeast of the Mackinaw Bridge.

What does customer service mean to you?

To me, customer service means ensuring that each and every customer is treated as if theyare the only customer you have ever had. A seller's reputation is one of the mostimportant parts of running a business. If a business owner wants repeat customers, they need to be sure to address every concern or question that each customer may have. Being a caring, concerned seller leads to positivefeedback, and word of mouth is the best advertisement.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
Unfortunately, I have yet to experience a sale, but I am positive that my first sale will be a very memorable experience!

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
My hemp jewelry is absolutely one of a kind. I have never seen items that compare to mine anywhere before,and I try to make items that will appeal to all different kinds of people. I believe that every hemp lover in theworld deserves to own that one piece that calls out to them, so I'm trying to keep my prices low enough to eliminatethe regret that some people may experience.

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
All of my skills were self taught. I experiment with different braiding techniques and bead combinationsall the time in search of a new design. Basically, I get an idea and then I play around with my supplies untilI can make the idea become reality. As far as my people skills go, I have always been a very caring person that tries to help others. I believe strongly in the idea that what you give is what you get.

Do you have any formal training in your craft?
No. All of my skills are self taught. Each piece of jewelry that I make is an experiment and I am always trying new ideas to keep my items interesting and fresh.

What is your goal for the next year?
By the end of the year, I would like to reach at least ten sales per week from my Etsy shop, and have a desinated area in my house for my crafting. At the moment, all of my creating is done in the living room. :)

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
My husband. He is the man of my dreams and my hero. Every time that I get frustrated or depressed, he is there to remind me that the day will come where my jewelry will sell and that all I need to do is be patient. He constantly tells me that my items are a higher quality at lower prices, and that there will come a day when my items will start "flying off the shelves".

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?
Since I just recently started trying to sell online, I haven't had the opportunity for re-occurring business, but I have been trying to get the word out about my new shop. I have joined several social networking sites in order to spread the word, including, Indiepublic, and Twitter, to name a few. I also sell myitems on four different venue sites. Spending time in the Etsy forums also seems to get people looking at myshop. Hopefully, this will be a winning combination.

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Research, research, research. I didn't do enough of it before I dove head first into the online marketplace.Since then, I have found many new resources that would've helped me make better decisions about selling, networking,and advertising. Most all of the venues for selling handmade wares are great, but reading up on them a bit canhelp find the perfect fit for a new seller.
Thanks Theresa! We are so happy you have found a wonderful, supportive mate that helps you along your journey! It's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and have a shoulder to cry on when times are tough. I fully understand and appreciate that as I myself have an amazing man in my life who inspires me everyday. We enjoy your hemp jewelry as it is not something we come across everyday. Variety is the spice of life and we wish you much success in 2009!
You can check out Michigan Hemp at their online store located at or at any one of their additional sites:

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