Name: Lisa Berg
Where you can find her: Etsy, Twitter, Facebook, Website [This is under construction. I plan to have it become my “main operation base” because it is intended as a mostly educational website where people who find my items on Etsy can go to find out more about the meaning of an item AND/OR a number of different types of Energy Healing techniques (most are based on the chakra system.) Etsy just doesn’t have the capability of space needed for people to learn about what I sell, as my field is full of complexities! Of course, this currently makes my listings too long! Some techniques that will be on the website I do specialize in, and in others, I’ll be looking for affiliates (already am, so if you know anyone, drop me a note!)… the main purpose, that of helping people find their personal “MOJO,” i.e. Energy Healing Talents, once they learn enough about what rings their bell, so to speak…where they’ll find their own, very personalized “bag of tricks” to help them with natural Energy Healing. Not all of us are cut out for yoga or reflexology, for example, but in offering info on a variety of methods people gain the opportunity to investigate what they believe they’ll like to do most and can choose one, two, or a few in which to master. In Etsy, I’ll offer products that relate to different techniques. The website will also be an online“SPA” because it will also be a place people can go “chill out” to free meditation/visualization/calming and soothing music, video, gentle yoga, other light energy exercise…an abundance of free, mind/spirit/body/emotion relaxation techniques to help them mellow out from the busy days of this 21st Century Life we live.]
I’ve been a single mom of a really bright, wonderful and loving 21 year-old-boy since he was 13, (well I’ve had him since birth…) When he was that age I’d just made it through lung cancer. I was on Clearwater Beach FL and had an epiphany that changed me as the physical, not-too-spiritual person I was into someone who is now much more. I can feel this, but sorry, can’t explain it well yet. Anyway, that epiphany moved me to make the decision that both my son and I would be better off without his father in the picture (which has turned out to be the right move. He now has the male mentors he should.)
I live in a great little college town where my son goes to University of Florida (the 4th best State Univ. in the U.S. yayyyy for him for getting in!!)…Gainesville, FL,where population is written to be about 125,000 but 50,000 students spend apx. 10 months here, so I really don’t know its size! My family (parents and I) also have a family cabin made from an old stagecoach stop out in (haha) a place called Fishtail, MT that has a population of 82. I’ve gone there every summer since childhood and still when I can, which sadly has not included the past couple years but hopefully I’ll start getting up there more often VERY soon, and hopefully again for a month or two at a time. Unfortunately, we may have to sell it due to extenuating circumstance in the next few years. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed that we don’t.
My family home extends to my 9 year old beagle, Cali, and a recent rescue Chihuahua (never dreamed I’d get that kind of dog but he belongs to my son, really) who spent 4 years in a 2 x 3 cage. He’s black and white and we call him Shadow. Very timid, but we’re doing our best to help him release his fears.
Joining the Etsy Community
I stumbled on Etsy as I was browsing the web for a gift. I’ve always felt handmade gifts were more special than store-bought, so it was a natural “fall.” I named my shop because of how Color Therapy, which works with the chakra system, helped heal the worst time of my life (I sunk my teeth into learning all I could about it, then took courses to become a Certified Color Counselor.) I wish I had more focus on what to sell first (and the funds to support that!) but I was a bead hoarder, lol, and had the hobby of making jewelry- so with a ton of inventory, I started with that first. Before too long, I’m going to have a nice sale on all that stuff that doesn’t “speak” color therapy or chakra system well enough in my mind, and carry only more closely related jewelry.
I’ve been artistic minded all my life and have taken many painting courses but worked in the stock market most of my life ‘til cancer made me stop. Then, I couldn’t paint, either. Oils and pastels were really bad on my lungs and I hadn’t worked in pastels or watercolor at all. I finally returned to the art world to start my Etsy shop a year ago since I can no longer work a “real job” due to my disabilities (I believe many of us are unfortunately yet fortunately in that position.) The great reward of my illness came because I could finally BE the artist I always wanted to be, as I learned who I really, truly am, AND how magnificent everyone in this world is, as I learned to see them differently, appreciate their own talents so much more than I ever had before…these things have enhanced my life beyond belief.
My favorite part about the Etsy community is – The many, many wonderful and helpful people I’ve met in my teams since starting! (At this very moment I can bring about 20 of you to mind without even having to “think!”
Motivation, Inspiration, Creation and the Future
I’m motivated because I believe, 100% TOTALLY in what I sell as an aid to healing body, mind and spirit. I know, without an ounce of doubt, when doctors had only experimental drugs and clinical trials left to work to try to help me, Color Therapy and things that go with it helped me heal. I’m motivated because I’ve “been there…” so I want a big part of my life mission to include helping others heal whatever kind of pain they have, emotional, spiritual, and/or physical, using as much in the way of natural energy healing techniques that I can teach them about. I also feel that by growing this business I’m “paying it forward” to so many others, people in all walks of life who helped me in my own worst of times. I should say here that I believe there IS a need for modern healthcare/physicians, but that we should try to stay away from as many man-made drugs as possible and learn that we are our own healers.
And of course, motivation comes as I am now finally making up some of my investment money to help supplement my disability, my boy’s college education, and once I operate “in the black” I’m looking forward to being able to become more involved in and to contribute to my two favorite charities, domestic violence/ child abuse and animal neglect and abuse. Each day I wake with these thoughts in my head, and face the day asking myself, “what can I do next?”
I never finished my Bachelor’s degree for a number of reasons, one being that my parents wouldn’t let me go to school for art because “I wouldn’t make any money until I died.” I want to prove to myself that I do not need that degree to be successful in doing what I enjoy MOST. I’ve already done that working in the stock market, but this is the total opposite type of world and FAR more enjoyable (I do have enough credits for a degree but the problem is they are scattered over too many areas…and by now, in my mid 50s, I care more about specialized schooling like aromatherapy, reflexology, etc.
I usually work on my kitchen couch, often with a card table in front of me that I use to create things, even though I have an “office.” I MUST have noise, but I have no idea why. So the TV is always on, though I hardly ever know what I’ve been watching. I get claustrophobic, so use my workroom more as a storage room for the enormous range of arts and crafts I do than to work in, except to sew.
I think a milestone I’ve reached is to have over 100 other Etsians know of my shop. I really think they do, though can’t prove it, but it does make me feel pretty good. More is still future-oriented. I’ve recently been talking with some influential people quite familiar with my own niche, and I am hoping they’ll help coach me along and help me get where I want to be in business faster than if I did this just on my own, so that my brand will become known not only on Etsy but around the country (sort of what it’s like when you run into someone on the street and ask, “have you heard of ETSY?” and often get that “yes” answer. I especially look forward to the time when people believe in and understand much better the immense power of many Energy Healing methods (some are junk, simply made up by people who want to make names for themselves, which makes it difficult, and aggravates the @#*$&* out of me because I know they are selling “snake oil” to people who need REAL help. Along a different path, I am uber-excited about creating a line of casual wear (much like loose, tai-chi or qi-gong wear only more fashionable) that can be worn around the house at any time anyone may drop in, but that also fits within my niche. I need LOTS of help with that, but am working on its development. The last, perhaps most important thing is that I want to develop myself as more of an artist than artisan. I’d really like to get out more and get involved in shows, but that’s difficult for me because there is so much time involvement and with my health issues it is impossible…at least at this time in my life. I also wish I could stay more focused, but having elderly parents/ my dad’s upcoming surgery and being the only child to take care of things that arise can sometime cause a lot of interruption and interferences…but hey, it’s my turn to start caring for them, so I can’t complain about it! If I could change one thing, it would be to have a pace set, a way to go about my days that could remain more consistent, and obviously then would be more focused. By the end of 2013 (well, November, my 3rd fiscal year) I expect to be making enough profit to raise my (financial) life quality high enough so I’ll have paid for my son’s school and can afford to purchase my nice little dream home and studio (completely designed in my head already!) through several sources- Etsy, the website I just started working on, and within both, doing much more holistic life counseling (I’m also certified in that.) With all I have planned, I hope that by then my business will have taken on wonderful and exponential growth!
Advice for others
It takes time and lots of patience to build a business. This is not my first business, but is my first web-based business (it took 3 years for my first to become a success.) In this economy it’s even harder than in the past, especially in summer months for artists and artisans. So in the advice category I’d also add, “think of something people need year ‘round, not just what they “like.” This is only the beginning of my second year owning my Etsy shop and has been a fabulous learning experience. I didn’t EXPECT to get rich or successful quickly- I don’t feel I really started getting noticed/known a bit until very recently, but now, business is picking up (I’m on the “three year plan” to success once again, and if anyone wants to know what that is they can contact me and I’ll be happy to tell them more about how I put this together. In a nutshell, it’s a plan that lies in the thinking that if one works really hard for THREE years, creates a solid business plan, sets goals, reads all he/she can about successful market strategies, asks questions whenever possible, never stops learning new things and definitely shares that new knowledge with others, your chances for success become much greater, not to mention that after that three year period, owning and operating the business gets easier. It also means one should ALWAYS work his/her hardest when things look gloomiest. But I can’t stress enough that I think most important is to do your best to remain patient with and kind to yourself. This has helped me keep me level-headed MOST of the time, but we’re all human and do have our bad days regardless…just keep the road ahead in mind as much as possible vs. what’s negative about “today.” My biggest motto: NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.
What do you wish you had known when you started your business?
How to market it better, though I still have a long way to go. There are so many paths to try on the internet!! I also wish I knew Etsy had its own way of SEO that doesn’t really follow Google, which I know fairly well and which I started out with. I’m glad I’ve figured THAT ONE out, d’oh! I also wish I had joined teams earlier and been involved more (STILL need to be more involved!!!) I wish I knew how great it would be to meet and get to know so many other wonderful team “mates! “ Unfortunately this first year or so I’ve had to run through many personal hurdles, but I’m hoping that my dad’s surgery ends this bad karma and I can become CONSISTENT in all I do with Etsy, once and for all! I know now that I’m changing my shop to better reflect the niche I’m truly involved in, which I believe will make it something like a marinade of flavors that all go well with one another. (Watch for my big BLOWOUT sale coming soon to get rid of all that DOESN’T fit!)
When Lisa isn’t creating…
I draw, with pencil or colored pencils, or inks when I lie down in bed at night (often early morning.) Oops, I guess that’s still creating. What else? I joined the Gainesville Orchid Society a couple weeks ago!!! I am really looking forward to learning how NOT to kill orchids but rather, train them to thrive and perhaps eventually start a little greenhouse! MOST, I enjoy spending free time with my son, just hanging out with him or seeing a show with him…he’s very close to me when he hasn’t passed out from his mostly exhausting days of full-time school and near full-time work. I don’t think I could live without him.
I “work” 24/7 less a few hours weekly of visiting doctors, parents dropping in on me unexpectedly too often, watching TV and sleeping when I simply cannot hold my head up any longer (it’s pretty funny to see me slumped over totally asleep, still SITTING on the couch with my hands on the keyboard!)
What Makes Lisa Smile
First and foremost, my son, his gentleness, love, and humor, and second, I get goosebumps (literally!!) when I get feedback or a note telling me how much something I created has helped someone. Last, I have to smile when I see my parents act like Energizer Bunnies- they’ve always been more active than I’ve ever even THOUGHT of living. To this day, my father will still set up everything for camping trips, change his own tires, work out with weights…they just returned from a week long camping trip on FRIDAY. BUTunbelievable to me, my dad is having really major cancer surgery this upcoming TUESDAY (the 12th.) How do they do it all? I can only pray that because he’s always been a health nut, he’ll pull through this just fine.
Favorite Items to Create
It’s changed in the past several months- I’m getting back into Fine Art with mandala, floral and abstract painting, home décor based on Color Therapy, home accessories that are more “art” than “crafts.” Though much of my art is in the works, I have little posted because I need to make groups of things, e.g. there are seven main chakras, therefore I want to have seven chakra mandala paintings put up for sale at the same time. I’m also still searching for local sources for giclee printing, which I have yet to find and which is frustrating the heck out of me! I also LOVE creating aromatherapy blends and mists, knowing better now what parts of oneself essential oils help heal and love creating custom blends which most Etsians who know of my shop don’t see, but which I do for clients in hopes of helping them with some pretty unusual illnesses I’ve never heard of before!
Actually, I have TWO favorites items in my shop now – my Aura Blend ( a spray mist) and my Fibro and Arthritis Essential Oil blends (in jojoba oil, used in drops)…they “fly off my shelves” and offer valuable help to every one of my customers who have used them (from what they tell me!) which pleases me IMMENSELY! (I’m that person who goes Christmas shopping in search of the “perfect” gift for someone. Giving it here on Etsy, knowing it will be just perfect for one certain person, is equally fulfilling.)
My Aura Cleanser, which smells out of this world wonderful, offers INSTANT refreshment and relaxation, and makes you tingle as its molecules float down and reach your body from above your head. Using it daily, one keeps that feeling with them long after the spritz is done and over with, and it makes a body feel more balanced, more in tune with one’s whole self. Auras are your subtle body, and I fully believe that my Aura Cleanser helps by “patching” scratches and holes in it, while adding back the Color Energy it needs to be healthy. One client told me her energy field “lit up” under fluorescent lighting right after she used it! My fibro/arthritis blend is something in which a drop or two can be used any time of day- even taking in the scent without actually using any drops is a helpful way to get relief- and for me, it’s greatest benefit is taking away the feeling of extreme muscle/tendon tension and the feeling of stinging bees under your skin that people get with either fibromyalgia or arthritis (they are both far more similar than I had ever thought before!) It doesn’t cure the illnesses (what does?) but offers quick relief from the pent-up stress one feels when they’re having a flare. That’s important because once the stress calms, so does the physical body and therefore the overall level of pain!