Friday, August 8, 2008

Many Happy Milestones and a Giveaway to Celebrate

I have been in a euphoric state lately. When I started Elegant Snobbery seven months ago, I had no expectations of success. I like my pictures and I enjoy drawing, but I had never before given myself a chance to become successful as an artist, and frankly, I was scared stiff! If it wasn't for the encouragement I got from my blog readers back in December, Elegant Snobbery would never have opened. But I did it. I took the plunge, I sucked up my courage and opened my shop.

A few weeks ago, I hit my first 100 sales and am still glowing! And if that wasn't enough, I discovered my Captain Monkeybones print on the Etsy Front Page (thank you Amanda aka This Old Hen House for the screen shot!) (and thank you Holly aka Winklepots for creating such a beautiful treasury and featuring my illustration!!). And if that wasn't enough, Tootsie and Grace hit its first 100 hearts.

Getting my shop seen and getting my work out there hasn't been a just sit back and relax kinda deal. I have been working hard for the last seven months, to promote my shops. I am an active member of two street teams (actually three, but I just joined the Trunkt Team this week), the Fabulous Artistic Moms and the Interior Design Team. I post in the Etsy forums, actively participate in the blogging community, sucked up my courage and sent my portofio over to Trunkt, have Project Wonderful ads on blogs far and wide, renew items in my shop frequently (which was a super smart tip from KJ aka The Dreamy Giraffe), and make sure to absorb every bit of business advice that the Etsy forums and Storque have to offer. And my new favorite Storque articles are the Quit Your Day Job features which are so inspiring.

I don't plan on quitting my day job, because being an at-home-mom means I get to be there to watch my girls grow and learn and I love them to bits if you can't already tell by the millions of blog posts devoted entirely to their cuteness. But I definitely strive to reach the level of success that will allow me to give the girls as many learning experiences as I possibly can, through a great preschool, travel and the ability to take them places like the zoo and museums whenever we want.

I officially feel like I've got my leg in the door, and if I continue to create and promote, I might just make it where I want to be. It feels fabulous!!

To celebrate my many happy milestones so far and the success that I know is in my future (I'm not talking psychic abilities here, I just feel it in my heart) I'm having a gift tag giveaway! My gift tags, which measure 3 x 3 and have a black satin ribbon tie in the corner, feature my illustrations and are rather adorable if I do say so myself. I'm giving away a set of 8 gift tags to two different winners (you read that right folks, there will be two winners this time) with the winner's choice of images - from either or both of my shops.

Entering this giveaway is easy. You only have to leave a comment on this blog post declaring your best piece of business advice. It could be something that has worked for your own indie business, or something that has worked for someone you know. Just be sure to shout it out for all to see! The winner will be announced on Friday the 15th of August, which is one week from today.

Please make sure I have a way to contact you!



Apple Blossom Designs said...

Congrats on the success!! My advice would be to listen to any and all advice that Marisa (Elegant Snobbery) has for your shop! It will make your shop (well, mine really) look 100 times better! Thanks for being my hero!

idyll hands said...

My best piece of business advice is to show your business some attention every "work day". People talk all the time about taking a break from your business which is what I reserve Sunday's for and at least on week night to. Some people never pay attention to their business or will spend a few weeks away from it. This is bad - blogs aren't updated, work isn't refreshed, people get bored.

Just show it some love, which you actually do so I'm kind of preaching to the choir.

When someone asks me how I've sold over 100 items, that is my answer. I just pay attention to the business 5 days away.

That's it.

Nikki said...

Oh Yay Marisa! I'm so happy for you! You deserve to be super successful at this. I have to agree the the posting new items or renewing items frequently on etsy, also you have to go with your gut. I haven't hit 100 sales on etsy yet, but I'm finally getting close. I can't wait to read all of the other advice that you get.
Yippeeee....I'm so happy for you!!!

Whimsical Creations said...

Congrats on your success! I am such a huge fan of your work and you have been very inspriational to me and I am sure to many others. I love sharing your shops with family, friends and (as you already know) complete strangers. I guess the only advice I have is keep plugging away. I hopefully someday will hit that 100 sales mark.
=) melanie

sweetpicklespottery said...

Yay on your success!! i knew you would be of course!! Elegant Snobbery is one of my VERY favorite places to shop!! I would say to relist and list often. That seems to be helpful. Take good pictures, (i always am redoing mine) And find a great team for support.. Our FAM's are the greatest bunch of gals!!

Denise Felton said...

(I'm not here to enter the giveaway or to offer advice.) I have loved getting to know you over these past months. Your enthusiasm is infectious, and your talent is awesome. How could you NOT succeed! So I'm just here to say you SO rock!

esque said...

Congrats! That is quite an achievement! Although I have yet to hit 100 sales, I do think that nice, clear photos are important. I've redone most of mine and have increased my exposure significantly!

ps. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

jenny fowler said...

congratulations on your success. i hope you have many more. the best advice i ever got and am getting ready to implement into my new business is to be myself and do what i love and not try to have someone else's dream.

Janna said...

Don't enter me in the drawing, as I know nothing about business and couldn't begin to advise anyone about it. I just wanted to comment to say congratulations on your success and wish you good luck with even bigger success in the future. From what I can tell, it looks like you are doing all the right things and certainly deserve the success you've gotten. All of your illustrations are beautiful, but my favorites are your Tootsie and Grace collaborations. They are just so adorable.

Andrea Baker said...

I'm so happy for you. I missed you being on the front page. That is awesome!!! I hope that it brought you lots of business!

My advice, well for any etsy business, join a team! Being a part of a team is very special. You have support from people who share an interest with you. Being on a team has been such a blessing for me and has brought me business as well!

RetroRugrats said...

Your success is wonderful! I'm so happy for you.

My piece of advice is to never give up. Keep trying, even on the toughest days when you feel you want to call it quits. Keep creating, keep smiling, keep your head up.

Continued success to you my friend!

Marie said...

Congrats on all your success! I'm no business expert-I just do what I love and earn extra money for fun to treat my kids out to eat when I want and so Isabella can be in dance class.

It's for the love of sewing and crafting and getting wonderful feedback from customers and certainly not making money for me, but I would say to personalize everything. Signing a little note with each order or making sure you communicate effectively with customers so they feel comfortable with you puts it on a personal level, and I always love that about Etsy sellers.

Good Luck Marisa!

quitecontrary1977 said...

My best advice is to soldier forward, no matter what. There will be disappointments and rejection and dramas in your personal life, but just pretend to be a robot. be numb in matters of business, and move methodically forward all the time.

Alayna said...

Congrats on all your success! You absolutely deserve it!
My advice is to network as much as possible. Talk to everyone you can about what you do and give out business cards every chance you get!
Good luck for the future!

Bunny B said...

Congrats on your success!! Woohoo!! My advice would be to have gorgeous pictures, great marketing and customer service! :)

Best wishes,
bunnybx at gmail . com

MoonMaidenSoap said...

Oooo Marisa!

Congrats to you on your success ... I'm so excited and happy for you. :) Awesome ... doin' the happy dance right alongside you.


AmyEsther said...

Congrats on all the success! I've been very happy with my business since I've started, but nowhere near 100 hearts yet!

My piece of advice? Find something you are really good at, that other people maybe can't do, and flaunt it!

::::Lula Boutique:::: said...

Congratulations on being on the front page of Etsy and for all the success of your shop...Just fabulous really!!! best advice I can give is to LOVE what you do. I truly believe that if you have passion for what you make, it will show. It's like a piece of who you are... your soul, your spirit will shine through your work and it will be naturally beautiful to someone else. Just put "heart" into it...It's that easy. :)

LINDA said...

My advice is keep doing what you love and don't be distrated by the drama of others.
Your work is amazing and I would be proud to have your tags.
Keep up the good work.

Rosebud Collection said...

I will abstain from the giveaway, since I have two beautiful pictures from you already..Don't want to be a hog..My best advice and I tell my girls, "use every gift you have to the fullest, for they are given to you and only you"..Whether you succeed in the business world, it doesn't matter, you have already succeeded.
I don't mean it isn't important to have a business..but just know you are a winner already..

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all of your success!! :) My best business advice?

Just keep on truckin'! :D

Regal Beads said...

Congrats a million times over :)
I don't think I can offer any amazing business advice beyond saying keep doing what you love :) Your love and passion come through in your work, which is probably part of why you are so successful!!

Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

Do what you love, work on it everyday and believe in yourself.

Okay, a good business plan with year and five year goals are good too.

Congrats on all the sales.

Simply Sentimental said...

Love those gift tags...those would make super cute greeting cards too....The best advice someone gave me is to always love what your doing...If you don't it will show in your work...


ThisOldHenHouse said...

Congrats Marisa! Your drawings are fabulous and you totally deserve all of the milestones you are hitting - and then some! (and trust me, there will be more for you!)

My best piece of business advice is the stay true to yourself and what it is you love when doing your craft. When you create something that you think you should make because someone else might like it you lose a certain charm to your pieces and to what you do. Your business should always reflect who you are as a person, not what will sell - that ways its always fresh and fun and you will always enjoy doing it :-)

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