What part of the world are you from?
I'm german and I live and work in Switzerland.
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer service no. 1: All my garments have been tested by me and fellow probands. I seek to develop items with comfort and quality. Customer service no. 2: I am aware that some of my items may need getting used to. So I oblige to future buyers by costumizing garments on demand. I advice them, I try to find out what they really want, what suits them. And that way i get in touch, which lifts both parties off the plain seller-buyer level.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
Among other things I make choker featuring provocative/ striking/ sassy slogans. „Non, je ne regrette rien“ is one of them. One of my customers shared her secret with me, why this slogan fits perfect for her and her boyfriend. And of course I'm not gonna tell you.
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
There are no similar items. Really. Well, ok. With exception of the belts. There are quite a few people making belts, but nobody uses the techniques I use. Therefore my belts are distinguished by their patterns and range of colours.
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
50% profession, 50% learning by doing. I'm a dressmaker and a textile engineer by profession. So making cuts , sewing, digital printing on textiles etc. is what came along with my apprenticeship and study. Photography and Photoshop I learned, well, just by learning by doing.
Do you have any formal training in your craft?
Yes, I do. I have two professions: dressmaker and textile engineer.
What is your goal for the next year?
Promote my items, promote my label, promote my collection and get promoted. I spent all of my free time during the past year on designing and developing my products. I was so into it, I completely missed the other important part of doing business: promo and marketing.
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
I have a part time day job (that is not what keeps me motivated) and some of my colleagues are previous freelancers, creative people. They quit their business, because it didn't pay off anymore. Nowadays, all they have is their day job which eats them up. Day time plus freelancing is twice as much work, but gives one so much energy and satisfaction. I realized that having my own thing going on is what keeps my going on.
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?
I WISH SOMEBODY TOLD ME HOW TO DO IT! AFTER ALL I'M STILL A NEWBIE.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Don't fritter! (I wish I could follow that advice...)
Thanks Eva for the terrific interview! Your shop is so unique and interesting, we love featuring sellers with great talent like you.
Make sure you stop by Evas Etsy Shop called Zafran located at http://zafran.etsy.com for some great finds and unique style!