Allow me to introduce you to my Etsy shop, PeachPod! Here’s a little history about how and why my shop came about…
I have loved crafting since childhood. I come from a family of quilters and seamstresses, so I’ve always been surrounded by people making things by hand. There was always a quilt on the rack at my great grandmother’s house, and my great aunts even let me quilt a few squares when I visited (though in retrospect I’m sure my childish stitches were pulled out after I was gone!) Pawpaw was a talented carpenter, and I have fond memories of his workshop that always had the sweet aroma of sawdust. My Aunt Diana was a gifted artist, and once painted a huge mural on her bedroom wall…entirely with nail polish! But most of all, I was influenced by my grandmother, Nancy. Nana could sew anything and everything. Her sewing room was one of my favorite places to be, with so many beautiful treasures in various stages of completion. To this day, the sound and scent of a sewing machine brings back wonderful childhood memories.
I’ve dabbled in various crafts over the years, including quilting, cross stitch, and woodworking. I’m terrible with wood (though I still try from time to time!), but sewing has proven to be a talent. I have a special love for creating with felt; there’s something very cool about taking a sheet of of blank material and assembling it into a recognizable piece of jewelry, or a decoration, or a toy, or anything! Drawing has also been a lifelong pastime, and sometimes I wish I had gone to art school to become a professional artist.
My shop came about last year, when I made a few big changes in my life. I decided to work to make my dreams a reality, instead of just daydreaming about them in my head. But for that, I needed some extra income. One of my twitter friends had an Etsy shop, selling cute little plush toys that she sewed by hand. She talked about it on twitter often, and I was intrigued by this website that helped connect crafters with shoppers who appreciate handmade goods. So I took the plunge and opened PeachPod! My shop is a little mini-department store, with felt jewelry, decorations, artwork, beaded things (have I mentioned that I love seed beads?), hair clips, and other assorted things. I have what they call “crafting ADD”…I want to make anything and everything! 🙂 Luckily, other people like some of the things I make, and so far my shop has been successful. All of my profits go to paying off my debts (see the “Debt-free Dreams” post from a few days ago), which will clear the way for making my dream of owning a farm a reality!
Running an online shop has definitely been an experience. Before I actually tried it, it sounded so easy…just put up some listings and voila, you have an online storefront! Easy, right? Haha, nope! 🙂 I had to take a crash course in SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimization), which allows people to actually find your items in the sea of MILLIONS of things for sale on the internet. Then there’s photography to learn; you need great photos to show off your items and help a buyer across the world see how nice they are when they can’t actually hold it and feel it in person. Shipping is important; you have to know how to ship items safely and securely, and to properly charge for shipping so that the customer gets the best possible price, but you don’t end up eating part of the cost by misjudging and charging too little. And of course, I had to learn how to balance my time between my day job, crafting, keeping the shop in working order, and trying to live life and get some leisure time in!
It’s been a lot of work, but I’m very happy with my shop, I love my customers, and I hope I get to keep doing this for a long time. 🙂