1. How long have you been in business?
Not long--I opened my Etsy shop in the beginning of this year.
2. How did you get started in this business?
My husband joined the military a couple of years ago and I knew I wanted a job that would be portable. I’ve always enjoyed making things, so I decided to make my own business selling things that I would make.
#.Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I completely hand-make adorable plushies. I started my business making what I now call “officially unofficial plushies”—they’re my own plush versions and style of characters from books, movies, video games, and so on. I currently carry 6” versions and 2.5” versions of some characters; I call the smaller size “hobbit-sized.” I’m currently working on a dwarf-sized line in time for the next Hobbit movie coming out this year.
My more recent line of plushies are called “chichaimon,” which roughly means “little monsters.” They’re small round plushies made to look like different animals—fox, narwhals, cats, and so on. I also decided to make my chichaimon with an added touch of my officially unofficial line—I now have a couple of chichaimon that are inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (yes, I’m one of those people in their 20s that like that show).
4. How did you come up with the name of your business?
My business’ name is “Drowsy Aurora.” It’s a bit of a pun, actually. First of all, I like to sleep. Secondly, the fairy-tale princess I’m most like is Sleeping Beauty, aka Aurora.
My sister and I decided when we were children that she was dark and I was light. “Aurora” means “dawn” or is used to refer to the Northern Lights. Basically, it all refers to me.
5. Is this your only job?
Indeed, it is. Between Drowsy Aurora and housework, I manage to keep pretty busy.
6. Favorite part of owning your own business?
I enjoy having flexible hours. I’m a night-owl, so it’s nice to be able to stay up late to finish a project without having to worry about missing work in the morning.
7. Least Favorite part?
The legal aspect. It’s so difficult, and admittedly boring, to figure what I need to file and what I don’t need to file…I’d much rather be creating something.
8.What has proven to be the best ways to market your business?
One thing that I think has been extremely beneficial to my business is I have a Facebook page dedicated to my business. I’m able to, in essence, advertise multiple times a week without feeling guilty about it. I don’t spam my followers by any means, but I do post a few scheduled things each week: a “creative spotlight” post on Mondays—I feature different artists that I find online; new products on Thursdays; and post little previews of my current project(s), what I call “spoilers,” during the week.
One other thing that I’ll share is that I advertise a lot within the Etsy teams. Many of the teams include games people have made up in order for all participants to get more publicity. I’ve been busy recently with some custom orders and personal things lately, but I still try to take part in the teams’ games at least one or two times a week.
9.Your advice to someone just starting out?
Take decent product photos. It’s one of the first things people will notice about your product, so you need to make sure that they are eye-catching and, well, amazing. Once you take the photos, make sure to touch up the photos before you upload them. Sure, this can sound intimidating, but you can use a simple tool like PicMonkey.com to edit your photos. They even have an “automatically adjust” button for some of the settings. How easy is that? Another tool for photo-editing that I recommend is Gimp; it’s basically a freeware (free and not pirated) version of Photoshop. Did I mention that both of these are free?
Another thing I recommend is to make sure to add a personal touch to your listings. Look at the listings of those who make Etsy’s front page and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t copy them, of course, but do be inspired. I’ve redone the wording of my listings a few times now, and I doubt it’ll be my last. Don’t be afraid to make it your own brand.
10. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?
I’ll be attending my first two craft shows soon—one is in November near Omaha, NE; the other is in Chattanooga, TN on Saturdays and Sundays in December. I’m pretty excited to spread the word about my shop to people who likely wouldn’t know I existed otherwise. Since I’ll be travelling and working remotely near Christmas, be sure to plan ahead and order early if you want to get Christmas presents!
If you're in one of these areas, be sure to stop by my booth!
OESC Holiday Bazaar, Bellevue University
Saturday, November 16, 9am-3:30pm
Chattanooga Holiday Market, Convention Center
Saturdays and Sundays in December before Christmas
Saturdays, 10am-5pm; Sundays, 11am-5pm
Shop online: etsy.com/shop/drowsyaurora
Follow me on Facebook: Facebook.com/drowsyaurora
Follow me on Instagram: instagram.com/drowsyaurora
|Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat)|
Stop by and visit Abby at DrowsyAurora and check out her unique creations.