What part of the world are you in?
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer Service is very important to me. I try to include a little free gift with each order, along with a handwritten, personalized thank you note. Every time I get an order, my heart just lights up with joy, knowing that somebody out there likes my art enough to pay for it! So when I pack their order, I want to try my best to let them know how much their order really means to me.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
A really nice woman who knew me from my outdoor art shows wanted to purchase some prints from my etsy store-- but had never used etsy or paypal before. Rather than taking me up on my money order/check offer, she was determined to learn how to do the transaction on the internet. I sent her step by step instructions, and stayed online near my computer while she proceeded through the checkout and registration process in case she needed help. She was so incredibly excited when she made it through! She said I helped her finally make it into the 21st century. I was so proud of her!
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
I think that my illustrations are unique from others because of their style and subject matter. I don't know how many other people have drawn 1920's flappers playing hula hoop!
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
I'm self taught, so lots of trial and error! (oftentimes more error than trial..)
What is your goal for the next year?
I'd love to spend more time painting and drawing, and I would love it I had enough etsy sales that I could cut back on the number of outdoor art fairs I have to do.
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
The art. If you concentrate on sales alone, it's really easy to get depressed, and second guess your artwork. Just ignore the sales, and keep going. Having a cute, affectionate cat to comfort you when sales are slow helps, too!
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?
I have a blog (http://www.flapperdoodle.blogspot.com), post my images on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/kategabrielle), and constantly renew my items on etsy. I've also started a new advertising campaign called "Six Degrees of Flapper Doodle." In each order I send out, I include a little packet that includes Six Degrees instructions & a sheet with 6 lines on it. Each time a customer gets six friends to sign up for my mailing list or blog, they get a free mini print! Word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Have a very unique, well crafted product, and take good pictures. If you are selling original 2D artwork, have good high quality scans or photos taken in natural sunlight with no timestamp.
*SPECIAL OFFER FOR OUR BLOG READERS*
Enter code MINIFLAPPER in the checkout, and get a free mini print of your choice with any purchase of an 8" x 10" print. Please indicate with mini print you'd like.
Thanks for sharing your artwork with us Kate! We've never seen artwork like yours before and it is quite interesting. Black and White prints are so popular and classic, coupled with a lovely vintage spirit, we have no doubt your prints will sell very well!
Visit Flapper Doodle at http://flapperdoodle.etsy.com