Yes it is Friday not Tuesday but we are featuring this lovely shop today due to an error on the Admin side of things(thats me) LOL!' This week we feature Lavenderkay. Her feature has some good insights for the new Etsy seller. She is a member of several Etsy teams and has some really wonderful bags and purses in her shop. So many bright colors and patterns. All of her purses are very well made and she has such a range of choices from puppies ,cats, insects to paisley. Really...how cute is her puppy purse!! Thanks for letting us take a peek behind your shop. Here we are Lavenderkay. Be sure to visit her shop. Where is your hometown? and where do you live now? I was born and raised in northwest Wisconsin, and that's where I still live. I live in a town of about 4,000 and that's the biggest town for about an hour in any given direction. So, I'm in the sticks, but I do enjoy it. Tell us a little about your daily life. Do you work outside of the home? I work full time at the county hospital as an admitting clerk. So, my schedule varies from week to week. Sometimes I work nights, sometimes weekends, and sometimes just a regular Monday to Friday week. I like it the spontaneity the variety provides, but that variety also keeps me from getting in a routine at times and some days I feel like I get nothing accomplished besides work. How did you get started with Etsy? I joined Etsy about three years ago, after hearing about it from one of my friends. I was immediately enamored with the concept and started buying supplies for my sewing and presents for family and friends (as well as treasures for myself). What inspires you? Fabric really inspires me. I love to go to a fabric store and just look at all the materials and fabrics and think about what can be made with all the different prints, and textures. Consequently, I have about three bins of fabric in my sewing room/ office and I’m really trying to use up a lot of that before I buy more. I also love to look around on Etsy for trims, buttons, and unique things I can add to my projects. I’m working to incorporate more into my projects and really embellish them with crochet flowers, or buttons, or vintage ribbon. How did you begin with your art? Since my shop is almost entirely sewing, I really like to just sit cross legged on the floor in my office with a cup of coffee and play with fabric. I’ll try to pair up ones that I think will make a good outside fabric with a good lining fabric. Then I cut, cut, cut. Often I’ll cut out a lot of pouches or bags at one time. Then, I start assembling and sewing them. What do you do for fun? I think sewing is fun, so a lot of my free time is spent doing that. But, I also love flower gardening in the summer and get the same thrill from mixing two or three unexpected flowers together in a planter that I get from combining different fabrics into one project. I also love to read a wide variety of books. Some of my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, Julia Cameron, Stieg Larsson, and Jane Austen. How would you describe your experience with Etsy? I really have had a good experience with Etsy. I shop and sell on Etsy and thus far, I haven’t ran into any nasty sellers or buyers. Most shops are really willing to help out and give tips or pointers. Etsy itself provides lots of tools to succeed, just read through their forums, and I love features like “Quit Your Day Job” and “How To Tuesday”. They’re just fun and interesting. What advice would you give to an Etsy beginner? Get involved in the community aspect of Etsy. I know when I was new, I kind of thought that once I got my shop stocked with items, the sales would just come naturally. But, you really need to work to network. Join some teams. Make treasuries. Play in BNRs. Heart shops or add them to your circle. Not only will it keep you motivated when you see what others are creating, but you can build friendships and connections on Etsy. What type of payment processing do you use? Have you tried Amazon? I take check or money order from the US, but wait for them to clear before I ship. I also take Amazon, and really like it, since there are no fees. But, most of my payments come from Paypal. Paypal is very convenient, but I think the fees are annoyingly high. Are you on any Etsy teams? If so what do you like about Etsy teams I’m a member a of couple Etsy teams: Indie Free Spirits, BNR Addicts BNR Team, Wisconsin Street Team, Late Night Queens of BNR. Etsy teams are a great way to connect with fellow sellers and potential buyers. I really like that the teams pages are all hosted on Etsy now. It makes it much easier to stay connected. Plus, teams like the Indie Free Spirit Team have contests to get you crafting, and also have a blog where they feature members and give pointers on making your shop better. The Wisconsin Street Team has a TweetBot so each time I list something, the TweetBot posts a tweet with the link which can bring exposure to your shop without you having to do anything. I really recommend joining at least a couple teams, one geographically similar to you so that you can find local crafters and at least one or two that sell things similar to yours to keep you motivated. What do you think about the BNR Experience? I love Buy and Replace treasuries. I think they’re a great way to get exposure for your shop and make friends through the comment chatting aspect. But, they are highly addictive, so be careful! It’s so fun to get a sale, but having to buy in to get that sale isn’t always cost effective. I try to really think about it before buying in. I love buying supplies out of BNRs because then I’m getting something that I can use for future projects and being featured in the BNR. It’s a win-win. Of course, there’s times I succumb to the pull of cute earrings, or I try to purchase from a newer shop that doesn’t have a lot of sales, just because I know how exciting it is to make sales when you’re a newbie. My best advice is to just be self controlled about BNRs and focus more on adding more product to your shop than making a sale through the BNR. Do you sell your products on other sites, or have blogs if so list the link.I don’t sell anywhere else besides Etsy. Etsy is just so convenient. I’ve thought about blogging, but right now I don’t think I would take the time I would need to really make a blog great. Please recommend someone you would like to see featured on our blog. It does not have to be an Etsy shop. One of my favorite “smelly stuff” shops on Etsy is Jessica Welch’s Old Wive’s Tales Soaps (www.etsy.com/shop/jessicawelch). She makes the most awesome bath teas, bath bombs, and soap. Everything smells great, but I love how it smells natural, not of tons of perfume, it just smells fresh and good. I’ve ordered from her several times and am always really happy with everything I get.