I recently came across this interview I had back in 2010. It's amazing how much has changed in just 6 years, and how much has remained the same. I am no longer a Girl Scout leader and I quit my job at the local college to work full-time at my art business. I still love mint chocolate chip ice cream, and I learned to surf, but I have shifted my sales away from plantable paper and back to greeting cards. The best part is that I had just a few hundred sales when I was interviewed and now I have more than 7,000! So interesting to have this snap shot of my life.
-Give us some basic info about you: name, where you live, kids/pets, favorite ice cream flavor, etc.
My name is Martha and I live in upstate New York in a lovely college town. I have many part-time jobs, which add up to a couple of full-time jobs! I work at the local college, I am a member of an artisans cooperative, I am a Girl Scout leader, I have my Etsy business and I teach various arts and crafts in after-school programs and summer camps. Oh, and I am a wife and mom.
-Describe an average day in life of "you".
There is no average day. One day I might be making handmade paper all day for a custom order; the next day I am taking my troop horseback riding or baking brownies for a bake sale, but almost every day I am constantly looking to see what the light is like on my kitchen table so I can quickly take some pictures for my Etsy shop while the light is good!
-Were you creative growing up/what did you enjoy doing?
I was a tomboy growing up, just trying to keep up with my two older brothers. I was climbing trees, riding dirt bikes, having rotten tomato fights...
-What made you want to start selling on etsy?
I can’t even remember where or when I first heard about Etsy but I knew immediately that I loved it. It was easy and intuitive to use and I signed up and listed something within days of first finding it.
-How long did it take for you to get your first sale on etsy?
It took a while to get my first sale. I was primarily selling handmade cards with sales few and far between. I got into a convo with another seller who recommended I sell supplies. I switched over and my sales immediately changed and were frequent, Instead of selling a handmade card, I sold handmade paper so customers could make their own cards. Then I added my line of plantable papers. Now my bread and butter is custom orders. But I still always have a few cards listed, just in case.....
-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Food: Shrimp scampi, my mom’s Thanksgiving side dishes, my dad’s Peking duck, mint chocolate chip ice cream and grass-fed steak on the grill.
TV: Do I really have to admit on the internet that I LOVE reality TV? Survivor and the Amazing Race are my favorites, closely followed by The Apprentice and Clean House.
Bands: Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett, Fleetwood Mac, Josh Rouse
-Is there anything you'd like to try your hand at doing? Knitting, baking, soap making, wood working, an instrument, etc.
I have tried stained glass, jewelry making, candle making, weaving, screen printing, sewing, knitting, book binding, carving rubber stamps .... but what I would really like to learn how to do is surfing!
-What would you suggest to new etsy sellers to promote their shops?
List as often as possible so your shop is at the top of the search engines.
-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
jellybeans, heartfeltbaby and toastmania
-One year from now, I hope my number of sold items is ______.