Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Baby Tweeds

Meet Christine of Baby Tweeds, our Saturday Artisan. Baby Tweeds is an Etsy shop where vintage is dedicated for children. Adorable vintage clothing, toys and blankets and many more can be found at this shop.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I am a stay at home mom (living in Seattle, WA) who spent several years working in high tech before my daughter was born. After the birth of my daughter 1.5 years ago I decided that I wanted to pursue a career where I would have flexible hours and that would be a great creative outlet for me. A friend of mine turned me on to Etsy and I finally opened my shop at the beginning of 2011 (although did not have any items to sell until August of this year). I love to sew headbands for babies and also plan on making some quilts and caplets in 2012.

Why vintage?
I have always been drawn to vintage items whether it is clothing, furniture, serving pieces, it is something that I love. I think that this is probably because there was a certain craftsmanship, care and detail that was used in years past to make things that you don't necessarily see in items sold today.

What is the story behind your shop name?
I can't quite explain the name except to say that one day it just came to me when I was thinking about opening a shop on Etsy.

Who is your target market?
Moms, grandmothers or anyone interested in purchasing a unique gift for a child.

For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?
Seattle is an amazing city. My husband and I moved here 8 years ago and absolutely love it. Downtown Seattle is filled with fun restaurants and shops in addition to the world famous Pike's Place Market where you can buy everything from fresh seafood to hand knit sweaters. Also, the Space Needle is a big draw for people visiting Seattle for its unique architecture and beautiful views. The city itself is divided into specific areas or districts (similar to San Francisco). We live in Wallingford which is an historic part of town. Many of the homes in Wallingford are over 100 years old and are craftsman style architecture (we live in a Craftsman bungalow which was built in 1906).

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I organize my products by the type of clothing that I sell (as opposed to organizing the products by gender). For example, I have one section called Christening and Baptism, another called Dresses, Suits and Slips, another one called Sweaters, etc. I think that this organization works well in helping people find what they are looking for easily.

What is your best seller?
Coats, then dresses then sweaters. Everyone seems to really love a vintage warm winter coat for their child.

How does your day go in general?
Each day is different and always crazy busy. However, my daughter attends preschool 3 days a week so on those days I take her to school and then spend the rest of the day focused on my Etsy shop (photographing new items, uploading them, creating treasuries, looking through the blogs of the teams that I belong to to see if there are items that I can add to a discussion thread, etc.

How do you balance your personal and work life?
I always place my family first and once their needs/wants are covered than I work on my business. My husband is incredibly supportive of my Etsy shop so he does a lot to make my life easier in terms of keeping the house running smoothly allowing me time to work on my business.

What inspires you?
My daughter as she has a really sweet and sunny personality and makes me laugh a lot but also see the world in a new and different way. Also, other Etsy sellers have been really inspiring in terms of their products, treasuries and feedback for me.

What is your goal for 2011? And are you on the right track?
My goal for 2011 was to break even in terms of the cost of starting up my business vs. total sales. I am unfortunately not on track because although I opened my business on Etsy at the beginning of this year, I didn't actually upload anything to sell until the Fall. I am ok with this however, because I am having a lot of fun and feel like the sales and positive exposure will pay off next year.

What is your favorite tool that you cannot live without?
My laptop or sewing machine depending on how I am looking at my business. :-)

How do you promote your shop?
Through treasuries. Also, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I also want to start a site on Tumblr and independent blog but haven't had the time yet.

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
Have great tags for your items - this is key for helping buyers and other Etsy sellers find your shop. Create treasuries and get them out on Etsy through teams that share similar interests that you have. Create a Facebook site, sign up for Twitter and also Pinterest. Lastly, stay positive and ask for feedback from fellow sellers as they often give the best advice and can be incredibly supportive.

Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?
I am constantly looking for bargains related to my business in terms of buying supplies and also trying to find the most unique items to sell that are at a reasonable price so that I can resell them and make a good profit. Also, I have found shopping at thrift stores (such as Goodwill) is a great way to find business supplies and items to sell at really reasonable prices.

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!

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