My Handmade Journey – The Yellow Birdhouse
Hi Friends! We are back with another interview in our series, My Handmade Journey. This week we are talking to Laura from The Yellow Birdhouse.
Laura works in one of my very favorite craft mediums. Felt! Felt has come a long way since I was a little girl! My mom would hand us sheets of felt and a bottle of glue all the time but what we made didn’t look anything like the amazing art people are making with felt today!
She’s a busy mom and wife as well as a talented artist and business owner and I’m excited to share our interview with you.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Laura, I’m from Nova Scotia, married to an amazing man and mama to 2 boys ages 6 & 4. I’ve been a crafty person since day 1 and I have a degree in Costume Studies. I worked in theatre before having my kiddos and starting my entrepreneurial journey.
What do you sell?
I make and sell wool felt children’s accessories including headbands, bow ties and hair bows. I also make nautical coin wallets and floral hoop art.
How long have you run your shop? Full time or Part time? When do you carve out time to dedicate to your shop?
I’ve been operating The Yellow Birdhouse since January 2014, but I didn’t open an Etsy shop until August 2015. It started out part-time as I am also a stay at home mom, but I’ve been gradually scaling up the business so that when my youngest starts school this September I will be working full time. I’ve always been pretty good at time management, and I work whenever I have a moment. My main workspace is in our living room so that I can watch the kids and sew at the same time. My husband tries to entertain the kids on the weekends so I can get some work done then too.
What is your favorite part of running your shop?
I love getting customer feedback that is so kind and flattering!
There is always one chore we all dread when it comes to running an online shop. What is your least favorite part of running your own shop or online business?
What inspired you to start your shop on Etsy? Did you have an inspiration or support that encouraged you to do it?
In order for my business to be successful, I needed to explore all possible income streams. I was hesitant to open an online shop because I knew it would be challenging and I was having success selling my work on consignment at some local brick and mortars. But I wanted to scale up and that meant braving the big world of the internet!
What helps you to stay motivated and creating new products? Do you listen to podcasts or have any favorite Etsy guru’s you follow?
Deadlines and lists tend to motivate me. I’ve recently started setting monthly goals and that has been great motivation as well. I read everything I can find by Jenni Waldrop, and I also follow Danielle Spurge.
What is your best advice for someone thinking of opening a shop up on Etsy or for someone struggling with their current shop?
Learning about Etsy SEO is vital. Also don’t be afraid to start. If you are waiting til all your ducks are in a row you will never open shop. Start now and improve as you go. You can always tweak photos and descriptions later on.
Share with us a few of your favorite or life-saving Etsy resources. (websites, forums etc)
Marmalead has really helped me improve my keywords. And setting up Google Analytics for your shop can help provide insights into where your traffic is coming from.
Thanks, Laura for sharing your story with us!
Go spread the handmade love and visit her Etsy shop and her blog. She recently shared a great post titled, Should you turn your Hobby into a Business? With experience in selling her crafts in both brick and mortar and online, she is a wealth of knowledge!