Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Interview with Aught {a new Etsy vintage shop}

Last week, I decided to run a series of interviews with other Etsy sellers. Often Sometimes I feel like I know everything, but I don’t and I assume you all don’t either. Everyone has a unique experience or idea that we can all learn from to better our businesses. In addition to gaining advice from fellow Etsy sellers, I also wanted to feature newish sellers with less than 30 sales. If I have learned anything these past five months is that one thing all Esty sellers can use is promotion!

I found Aught on Etsy and loved everything in her shop. Aught is a vintage shop with feminine and unique pieces that are reasonably priced and beautifully photographed. Aught’s owner has been a pleasure to work with and has graciously shared with me (and all of you!) some tips. I am extremely intrigued by #10, her photography tips. Seriously, I would love for my photos to look like hers and I am definitely going to take her tips to heart.

1. Q. Why did you start selling on Etsy?
    A. I picked Etsy because it's the best. None of the other online market places compare, IMHO.

2. Q. Do you sell anywhere else (on or off line)?
    A. No. Etsy is my one and only, for the time being.

3. Q. Do you have long term plans for your shop and business, or do you just kind of play it by ear?
    A. Well, my short term plans are to learn all the ins and outs of online marketing. Etsy is a wonderful          platform for learning, experimenting and finding out what works for you. Once I have Aught running smoothly, with steady traffic and sales, I'll know I'm ready to expand into other areas.

4. Q. What do you think is the best way to market your shop, both on and off line?
    A. I'm really too new to this to be qualified to answer this question, but I will say, doing nothing gets you nothing. My first attempt at promoting has been to sign up for a advertising campaign at Wall of Jewels. I'm excited to see what it leads to. As far as offline promoting goes, I've made sure to let all my friends and family know about my shop, and encourage them to spread the word.

5. Q. Are you solely an Etsy seller, or do you also buy? If you buy, what elements of other shops appeal to  you?
    A. I have made one purchase, and am planning on making many, many, many, many, many more. I love shops with bright, eye catching photos, and a good variety of items to choose from.

6. Q. Do you have a desire to quit your “day job” and make a full time living off your Etsy shop {I know I  do!}? If so, what do you think is necessary for you to achieve that goal?
    A. Being a stay at home mom, I am lucky enough not to have to work a 9 to 5. I do plan on building my business to the point of making a living from it. I love staying home, and I don't plan on ever going back to the grind again. In this day and age, there is no reason why one can't make a living doing what they love. I am baby stepping my way in that direction.

7. Q. Where do you find inspiration for the items you create or renew?
    A. Every piece in my shop is something I would love to wear myself or have in my home. When I'm out picking and I find a piece that makes me drool a little bit, I know I've found something worthy of going into my shop.

8. Q. Do you have any tips or ideas for successful selling that are out of the ordinary, meaning we all know we must provide quality products and good photos, but what else??
    A. Sell what you love and you'll sell it well. (Although at times you might get separation anxiety.)

9. Q. What have you learned in your short time of selling on Etsy that you wish you would have known the first day?
    A. When cancelling a sale due to nonpayment, make sure to relist before you submit it. It just disappears! I thought for sure it would go into the inactive listings. Oh well, lesson learned.

10. Q. The photographs in your fine art photography shop are fantastic. I know that many Etsy sellers {myself included} struggle with taking photos that are “Etsy front page” worthy. What do you feel is the most important thing amateur photographers should focus on to take amazing photos?
      A. Are you suggesting that my photos are "Etsy front page" worthy?! I think that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you! Like anything else, there are a lot of little steps to take to end up with a great photograph. All are equally important.

The back drop is key to displaying your item to its best advantage. Finding a set up that works well with all your items is even more challenging, but so important if you want your shop to have a cohesive look. This also happens to be the first step in branding yourself, so you see, two birds with one stone. My background is an old jewelry chest I found at a garage sale, and my kitchen cabinets. (Yes, I painted them blue, and they rock.) Nothing fancy, but it seems to work.

Keep the camera steady. I found a tripod to be too confining, so I use books to rest my camera on when taking pics.

Don't be afraid of photo editing software. I use the tools built into windows photo gallery, and they serve me well when fine tuning a good picture.   Be creative, experiment and have fun with it. Photography is an art form, treat it as such.


  1. glad to see your interviews! love the vintage jewelry :)

  2. What a fantastic interview and I agree that the photography is outstanding!!! Some great tips and I love to hear the stories of other Etsians. Thanks for sharing:)



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