From Kim's Etsy Bio:"I am currently a stay-at-home-mom of two small baby girls, recently retired from my full time job as a civil engineer. I have been creating things my entire life and whenever possible, I choose to make my own instead of buying something. The name of my store comes from the fact that I am part of a family-owned and operated apple orchard. When I first started dating my now-husband, his family let me display my jewelry in the apple store. It went over better than I ever expected and I have continued to create things to sell during the apple season."
How long have you been selling on Etsy, and what do you sell?
Of course I’m going to give you a more complicated answer than you were expecting for this question. KimsCraftyApple opened on February 29th, 2008 – 5 days after I had my second child. I actively started to sell on etsy in November of 2008. When I first started my shop I thought I could just list my things and they would sell – turns out that’s not true. You actually have to take decent pictures, work on social networking, learn the ins and outs of etsy and more to make a go of it on etsy (unless you’re extremely lucky and get ‘found’ right away) . I opened TheApple on April 17th, 2009 and I recently started selling canned goods from my apple orchard on LapaceksOrchard.
What do like most about being an independent artist/seller?
I LOVE being my own boss. I love deciding what to create, when to create it. I really enjoy doing craft fairs and meeting people. When I was in sixth grade we went to the Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco and I told my mom that I wanted to be a street vendor when I grew up. I feel as if I have accomplished this dream in craft fairs and farmer’s market. Talking to people and meeting everyone makes me happy (most of the time…).
What do like least about being an independent artist/seller?
I haven’t quite figured out time management. I feel that I work 20/7 (gotta sleep 4 hours…) There’s always more that I could do – either make more items, take better pictures, blog, twitter, talk in forums, research how to take better pictures – something that would make my shop better or help me reach more people. A lot of times it’s hard to step away and live a normal life at times. But, I still love it all and as long as I love it, I will keep doing it.
Tell us about your most positive/unique/fun Etsy (seller) experience?
I love first time etsy buyers. They’re so new and excited about buying handmade. It’s fun to help them through the process and I just love hearing back from them about how amazing their experience was. What’s great about etsy, is that you are buying from another person like yourself, instead of a big corporation who doesn’t ‘really’ care about you. It’s fun to personalize things for people or create them something amazing that they sort of new what they wanted but not quite and that’s where I, as the artist, come in to help them out.
What one piece of info/advice do you wish someone had told you, the day before you opened shop on Etsy?
Join a Team (like etteam or team quiltsy) – from there you’ll learn most of the other things you need to know like taking pictures and social networking…
Where or how do you market your Etsy Shop/s?
Twitter, facebook, within etsy, I’ve used project wonderful, I always carry cards with me. I’ve also found that working on projects as I wait for things or go to meetings catches peoples attention. I’m one of those people that can pay attention better while doing something that doesn’t require a lot of thought. In January, I attended the Wisconsin Apple Grower Association conference and I was cutting out the clothing for my paper doll quilts – which attracted a lot of attention of other attendees. Creating is an easy way to start a conversation and helps you to meet people. I also sell my items at my apple store for three months a year and attended craft shows/fairs in my area. I’ve recently become a participant in the Madison Craftacular organized by Naomie from the GlitterWorkshop that have been SPECTACULAR!
What is your favorite single item that you make (the one you hate to part with)?
It has to be my quilts. I recently parted with my Autumn Wonder (seen above): (my cousin’s girlfriend bought it – the pictures don’t even come close to doing this quilt justice…) but I know it went to a good home so it made me feel better. It will also be really hard to see my Batik Around the Nation Quilt go too. Unfortunately, again, my photographs of my quilts don’t even start to do them justice…but the batiks in this one are just beautiful.
And last but not least (quick short answers) - what is your favorite color, your favorite song, your favorite food, and your favorite day of the week?
Capri by Colbie Calliat
Favorite Day of the Week: Not apple season – Saturday, During Apple season - Monday
Here's where you can find Kim: