Thank you Tracy for sharing your wonderful work with us and our readers. We agree, turnaround time is very important in this crafting business. Its tough completiting especially in jewelry making as there are many terrific and talented artists like yourself. We know this first hand from selling jewelry supplies in our etsy shop, one of the most frequent compliments we get is fast shipping/ turnaround. Getting the property to the customer quickly and safely makes for repeat customers, which you've already discovered in your own shop!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Featured Seller - PolishedTwo - Pottery Shard Jewelry & Whimsical Accessory Designs
What part of the world are you in?
I live in sunny Austin, Texas -- known as the Live Music Capital of the World!
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer service means creating a happy buyer experience. It means providing a well-crafted product and showing your appreciation for the customer's choice of your art.
It is often the little added touches like this that keep people coming back for more handmade items-- it feels good to buy them!
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
I have several repeat customers that check back with me monthly and buy new items, but my most memorable recent customer is one that pretty much designs the jewelry herself. Its fun: she gives me the specifications, points me in the direction of the supplies to use, and tells me her ideas. She leaves the handiwork to me and I've made her lots of custom items this way. In fact, the best thing about it is that she really planted the seed of some new ideas for my designs through these special requests. I've ended up incorporating new materials into my jewelry based on some of her suggestions.
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
I'm not sure if it is my marketing, my packaging, or my customer service, but one thing I do hear from my customers is that I have the fastest turnaround time on shipping. People buying from Etsy shops often buy from several sellers at once. I've had customers say that my packages are the first to arrive. With hundreds of thousands of jewelry makers on Etsy, this is just one way that I've work hard to set myself apart.
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
I am mostly self-taught. I love to accessorize and was especially in love with the unique jewelry I could find at boutique stores, but I've been doing crafts my whole life so I always had the mentality of "I could make that!" When I moved to Austin about 10 years ago, I researched materials and tools and attempted to make my own jewelry. My first attempts were pretty elementary, but I took a basic class from a jewelry-making friend and my obsession began. I also subscribed to some beading magazines and picked up a few techniques along the way, but now I can generally figure things out on my own through trial and error.
What is your goal for the next year?
My goal for next year is to incorporate more vintage elements.
I do a lot of estate sale shopping and sometimes incorporate little antique treasures into my work, but I'd like to do more of that in the future. I have a box I've been collecting and its full of all sorts of enameled metal flower brooches and pins from my estate sale hunts over the past several years. I'd like to add a new line to my collection that incorporates these flowers into one-of-a-kind necklaces.
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
When sales are slow I have time to work on new designs, but it is also the best time to push harder on marketing. There are so many ways to market yourself and many methods are free--but they take an investment in time to really work. If sales are slow, I know that I always have more marketing to do. It is also a good time for me to assess my supplies and see what I need to order and stock up on before the next sales rush.
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?
The number one thing that I do is add something new to my Etsy shop every day. If I am home, I am listing new stuff! This works for several reasons: I get more visibility just by listing something and staying at the top of searches. Also, people start to recognize the "style" of your items and photography as they're shopping on Etsy, especially when the style is consistent. And previous customers come back to your shop and constantly see new things to buy.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering openingtheir own store of handmade items, what would it be?
I would say, "Do what you love!" You are going to invest a lot of time in trying to sell your craft, so make sure it is something you are ultimately passionate about.