The Saturday Artisan is back!!
I'm thrilled to introduce you to Meg, the artist and owner behind Sporkfuldesigns, an Etsy shop offering custom photo cards for holidays, birthdays, invites for baby showers, birth announcements, weddings, save the dates, address changes, and more!
Meg generously share her words of wisdom, don't forget to take notes :-)
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/crafts that you make?
Ever since I was little, I've always enjoyed crafts. I made countless friendship bracelets, hundreds of bead critters, sewed pillows and pot-holders for my family, and even took up knitting. It wasn't until around Junior High that I was introduced to the graphic arts. When my mom got Adobe Photoshop on our computer, my love for graphic design began. I worked on my high school newspaper creating the layout, was part of the yearbook team and designed my senior yearbook cover, and continued my graphic design adventures through college. Today I am a graphic design and marketing professional by day and opened Sporkful Designs to unleash even more of my creativeness. I really enjoy what I do and enjoy helping others.
Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I enjoy that no matter how much you know, there's always more to learn. I always enjoy teaching myself new tricks, styles, and experimenting with new techniques.
For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about Minnesota?
Beautiful and awesome are the two words that come to mind about Minnesota. I love the beauty of all four seasons and how each season has it's own distinctive look. Minnesota is perfect in the summer with breath-taking state parks that have wonderful hiking trails that you never know what you will see. Minnesota is awesome in the winter as snowmobiling, ice fishing, and ice skating are some winter activities I enjoy. In the spring, it is amazing to watch the trees go from sticks to having leaves within a week (just takes a couple of rainy days followed by a couple of hot days!). In the fall, the trees are gorgeous with their yellows, reds, and browns. There's always something here to do whether it is look at nature,
watch a Twins game at Target Field,
or go shopping at the Mall of America.
What inspires you?
The world around me and things that happen in my life. When I get in a creative funk, I usually do a quick Internet search to get some ideas flowing. CD covers, book covers, and advertising are great to get the creative juices flowing.
Any advice for others running their online shop?
Don't give up. Even if sales are slow, there are always new ways to promote, more projects to create, and always ways to improve your shop. It takes trial and error to find what works best for your shop.
Always have outstanding customer service. People love to hear responses within a day and sometimes if you take the extra step to make sure the customer is happy, it could make them a repeat customer.
Be professional. Brand your shop, Facebook page, have business cards (and keep them on you as you never know when a good spot will show up for you to leave one!), and watch out for typos. Even for a handmade business, professionalism can go a long way.
Promote, promote, promote. You can promote some within the Etsy forums, but if you spend too much time on them it can be a waste. Try to advertise off of Etsy and even off-line.
Learn more. There's no such thing as knowing too much. Keep researching, learning, improving...it's never-ending, but it's worth it. It's great to learn new stuff.
Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?
Be creative with how you do things. I was looking for a way to package orders and was originally going to use ribbon to hold photo cards together, but when I went to the store I realized that yarn was much cheaper and did the same thing. I'm always big on trying to do things yourself. However, if you know you can't make it look professional yourself, it is ok to get some outside help.
Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!