My Handmade Journey – Blue Umbrella Designs

Hi Friends!  This week I’m bringing to you the journey of Amanda and she is the brains behind Blue Umbrella Designs. She is the dream shop for any mom who is looking for educational toys for their children. Enjoy!

1) Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a 30-something mom of 2 boys. I’ve been a SAHM for 10 years. I’ve been an Etsy shop owner for about 4 and a half years now. I’m also a part-time college student studying web design. I’m a hardcore DIYer and there aren’t many crafts I haven’t at least tried.

2) What do you sell?

Embroidered educational felt board pieces.

 Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs

3) Without giving away your secrets can you describe a little about your process or the time that goes into making an item?

Depending on the set, I put anywhere from 30 minutes to 4+ hours into a set. Beyond the embroidery process, all of my pieces are hand cut which takes some time.

4) How long have you run your shop? Full time or Part time?  If part-time when do you carve out time to dedicate to your shop?

My shop has been open for 4.5 years off and on. I recently reopened after 18 months off while I was with a direct sales company. I’ve been operating on a part-time basis but am looking to make it more of a full-time gig now that my youngest child is in school full time.

5) Your favorite part of running your shop?

I love helping kids learn! I love when parents and kids alike find my products fun and educational.

 Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs

6) The least favorite part of running your own shop?

Well, I would be lying if I said I enjoyed hand cutting all those pieces! 

7) What inspired you to start your shop on Etsy? Did you have an inspiration or support that encouraged you to do it?

I just love creating things and I kind of stumbled into this line when I shared something I made for one of my kids and people loved it.

8) What helps you to stay motivated and creating new products? Do you listen to podcasts or have any favorite Etsy guru’s you follow?

Mostly my kids. I’m always thinking of things that I can create to use with them.

 Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs

9) Your best advice for someone thinking of opening a shop up on Etsy or for someone struggling with their current shop?

Research SEO and do it right straight out of the gates!

10) Share with us a few of your favorite or life-saving Etsy resources. (websites, forums etc)

The Facebook group Craft Junkies 2.0 has been my rock since I started my shop.

 Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs Photo Credit: Blue Umbrella Designs

I just love these toys and was super excited when Amanda said she’s looking to take her business full time. I can’t wait to see what she adds to her shop next. So I hope you’ll go check her out over at her shop. Here’s the link again for you!

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