Monday, April 25, 2011

An Interview with... ThreadThisFabric!

When did you start selling?

Thread This Fabric launched in September 2010. It started out as a dream between two friends. Brittany has an Etsy shop and we would drool over all the pretty fabrics she used. As a joke we said, “Oh, we should open our own fabric shop and stop giving all our money to Joann's!” Then, when we actually started thinking about it we decided, "Why not?" We researched how to become a fabric retailer then opened our first account with Riley Blake and started listing! The rest is history!

 What's your life outside of Etsy like?

We are two stay-at-home moms. I, Amanda, have 2 kids, Fallon(2) and Ethan(1 mo). I used to be a pharmacy technician but decided to stay home when I got pregnant with my son. Brittany has 2 kids also, Kendra(4) and Lucas(2). Brittany is a seamstress and runs another Etsy shop, HandmadeByBritt, which sells crayon rolls, aprons, backpacks, lunch bags, and purses. She sews beautiful things for both of our children and ALL of our friends!
What are your plans for your shop for 2011?

We are planning to add some new accounts. We are currently working towards Michael Miller. We also want to expand our appliqué section and add new designs and fabric choices. Also, Brittany is working on some PDF patterns for us to sell. We are excited about the new products we will soon have to offer our customers!

Do you sell in other venues outside of Etsy?

No, not at this time. Our big dream is to one day open a store in an actual building!

Favorite season? Favorite beverage? Favorite dessert?

Brittany: Fall, Coke, Cheesecake
Amanda: Winter, Dr. Pepper, Brownies

What’s your superhero power?

 We like to think that our superhero power is the ability to zap color and design into everyday living with our beautiful fabrics that can bring life into clothes, throw pillows, curtains, and whatever else our customers can dream up!

What's your top suggestion to new Etsy shops starting out?

The number one thing that has helped us is advertising. We advertise on craft/sewing blogs. You should match the content of the blog so that you are sure to target your customers.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Leather supplies

Words of wisdom from EarthlyLeatherDesign

I would never sell someone something I wouldn’t buy myself. I find that honesty builds the best customer relationship. But unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are looking for you may get a hold of a lot of crap (to be honest) It’s happened to me.

Leather is generally measured in ounces or millimeters, I use mostly 3 to 4 ounce suede which is about 1-2 millimeters thick. Pig Skin and Lamb Skin are generally very thin garment leather. If I use it for making bags I will generally double it up with some other type of leather to make it sturdier.

Cow which is suede or garment leather I use most often, suede is generally very reasonable to buy if you are starting out and the hides are on the smaller side. Usually cow garment leather hides are very large and pricey.

Buffalo leather is also very pricey but it is also heavy it usually is around 5-8 ounces but it is sturdy but soft. Heavy like belt leather but soft like garment leather. I think that is the best way to discribe it.

There are also heavier types of cow leathers used for bag making and belt making. Out of a whole hide you are lucky to get a dozen useable belts. It is cheaper to go this way, but if you are just starting out. I would suggest buying belt blanks from a supplier to get started.

EarthlyLeatherDesign is available to awnser your leather questions! Message her here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Interview with... EarthlyLeatherDesign

When did you start selling?

I decided to start selling towards the end of last year. I had so many friends requesting items from me; that I thought why not see if anyone else would be interested in what I am doing.
Since I am doing so well now, I thought selling supplies would be the next great step in my business. When I began I was looking around for supplies, but most places want you to buy in bulk. So now I buy in bulk and offer people what I couldn’t find before, a reasonably amount of goods at a reasonable price. I hope that it takes off, so I may eventually have to open a second store just for supplies.

Any new product lines coming out?

I really plan on working on my supply line this summer. I always have extra leather lying around; if I am not using it then I would like to see someone else give it a go at making something out of it.
I plan on offering a larger variety of leather, buttons, and hopefully even some tools. I want to offer leather lace, closures, and rivets. It’s a work in progress and I will get there and hopefully beyond.
What is great is anyone can use leather scraps for just about anything. I have a couple customers buying scraps for accents on there bags or to make strap closures for purses.
Leather has endless possibilites.

What are your plans for (your shop) for 2011?

I plan on to just keep on working at it. The shop is really starting to take off, and it’s great to see all of my hard work and hard earned money well spent. My life is always an adventure I can’t wait to see what is around the next turn.

Were you creative growing up?

I’ve always been creative, whether I have been crafting with leather or making my own reenactment clothing. I have always had some sort of crafting project in my life. I’ve tried painting/drawing, knitting, quilting (thought I didn’t get very far with that project), wood burning, let’s just say if it’s a craft I have probably tried it.
But I love leather the most. It comes so natural to me, like second nature.

Favorite season? Favorite beverage? Favorite dessert?

I love Spring! Different kinds of Juices. I would kill someone for a Hot Fudge Spilt with Banana Ice Cream.

What's your superhero power?

I can see the future. It’s nice to know what your customers are going to buy so you can make it for them.

Any type of craft you would love to try?

I have always wanted to try pottery. It fascinates me; I really envy people that have that kind of talent.

What's your top suggestion to new Etsy shops starting out?

If your not doing something original at least try to make it your own. I’ve looked around and there are a lot of leather crafters out there. I have yet to find someone that does work similar to mine.
Don’t give up; you have to do the work to see the results. If you’re not out there promoting yourself people won’t find you. I probably spend just as much time promoting myself as I do working on items. It’s all about balance and finding what works for you. Most people like to be organized, but I find a nice dose of Chaos makes my world go round much easier. I always try to do things outside the box.