What part of the world are you in?
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer service is what is going above and beyond what is expected. With so many shops out there customer service is what keeps people coming back to you. Good customer service is what will get them to recommend you to their friends as well. A lot of business is by word of mouth. I remember once hearing a satisfied customer will tell 10 people about their experience, but an unsatisfied customer will tell 100.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
The most memorable is getting feedback from the first jar of White Hot Chocolate I sold. It is one of my favorite things in my shop and it felt so good to get that first comment saying "this isn't your normal Hot Chocolate, you need a warning label for how addicting it is" Still puts a smile on my face when i see it.
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
I think the variety of items I offer, from simple crochet scarfs, to the small sewn business card holders, to my White Hot Chocolate mix. There is something for just about everyone and I keep striving to create more variety for my customers.
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
From my mom. She taught me to sew and taught me how to crochet my first chain. She gave me the skills to look at a pattern and teach myself how to put it together. I still call her with questions to this day. I am constantly learning from her.
Do you have any formal training in your craft?
No my mom taught me the basics and I have taught myself a lot of it along the way. I am currently taking a quilting class though so hopefully will see more of that show up in my shop later this year.
What is your goal for the next year?
To advance my crochet skills and provide more variety of products in my store.
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow? The knowledge that it will pick up again. Sales are up and down like a roller coaster. Slow inclines of a lot of views but no sales and fast, exhilarating decents where you have sales everytime you turn around.
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?
I have some items that can be custom made to the clients wishes and am always open to suggestiongs. For example I had someone contact me that they had a pattern for a hat they wanted made, but didn't know how to crochet. They sent me the pattern and commissioned me to make it...I loved it, not only did I satisfy a customer, but I learned a new pattern as well!
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
patient and persistent. Success doesn't happen overnight...or even within a month. And get your shop and name out there anyway you can, in the forums, on blogs, twitter, flickr, any way you can. The more people see your name the better.
Thanks Miranda for the wonderful interview! That Hot Chocolate looks delicious!
Check out Mirandas Etsy Shop Primitive Junkie located at http://primitivejunkie.etsy.com