Member Monday Group Discussion: Beginning on Etsy and Advice for newcomers

Last week’s group discussion topic was so much fun, that we thought we’d do it again yesterday! This week’s topic was “When did you first start creating? Why did you decide to open up shop on Etsy? What’s your advice for a new shop owner?” Here are what two of our awesome teamies had to say over on the Hippie Peaceniks team!

Sarah from StarJewels
I first started creating as a child, I was in art clases when in preschool. Then I got into ceramics which I did for 16 years. I started designing and selling jewelry in high school, making earrings and other jewelry by soldering straight pins and safety pins in various designs. I got into beading later, and have been doing it for about 20 years now. I decided to open a shop on etsy because I had to scale back my “regular” advertising and marketing work, which involved long hours and tight deadlines, due to taking care of my young daughter full time, and jewelry was something I loved that I could do during naps etc. I have sold in boutiques but did not like that they take 50% or more of the sales price, and schlepping around to boutiques was not manageable with a baby. I had sold successfully on ebay before but found it was better for supplies and simple trendy items than for intricate handmade jewelry. Etsy was a good fit for my work and life. My advice for a new shop owner would be “don’t give up”. Sales are few and far between at first and it takes time to learn SEO, and get your photography great, develop your branding, and build a large enough inventory of listings to get decent visibility and sales on the site (my sales got regular at 100 listings). Try to keep improving and evolving, create a shop policies page, and keep adding listings. If you create lots of things people want to buy, and can get your SEO and pics where they need to be, the sales will come, as long as your pricing and shipping is within range for your category.”
Deni from Cutterstone
When hubby and I got married 3 years ago, I encouraged him to do his own thing and we’d open our Etsy store. I create some, don’t consider myself very creative, but I know what I like when I do create. I’m just a much better “busy work” person, numbers are my thing! Hubby is amazingly creative, to look at him you’d think he was just some old hippie dude, but he can do flowers better than me! My advice to a new shop owner is: be prepared to network, network, network…you will be amazed at how your shop will do!”
Thanks so much for stopping by the Hippie Blog! I hope you enjoyed learning more about a couple of our members beginnings, and maybe picked up a reminder or a tip for yourself! Stop by next week for another closer look on some of our awesome hippie shops and their owners. Until then, smile and pass it on 🙂 

Member Monday: What drives you to create?

Yesterday over at the Hippie Peaceniks facebook group, we decided to try something a little different for our Member Monday! We wanted you to meet more of our members, so we posed the question What drives you to create? How do you find inspiration or motivation?” and boy did we get some great answers! I hope you get to enjoy a little taste of behind the minds of some of my favorite Etsy shop owners and artists. They truly are such an inspiring and wonderful bunch! 




 Sarah from StarJewels   



“Both my parents are/were artists so I think creativity is in my blood. I always have a need to create and do something artistic. Lately it has been jewelry but I also did ceramics for 16 years. I just love making jewelry and seem to have no shortage of inspiration and motivation. I am inspired by styles, by stones and beads and other materials, by techniques, and by nature…things like flowers, and the ocean. Selling on Etsy encourages me to make more because there is an outlet for it all and some profit, so that is motivation.”
Jayne from TwiggyandOpal 

                                                                                                                                          “Color is my driving force! I love to experiment with color, which leads to unique and artistic designs. To me, bolder is better! My motivation is my daughter! She has been a huge influence in my designs. From critics, ideas to support!”
Colors affect me on such a deep emotional well as music also does. Sometimes texture begins the process however…I cannot keep my hands off of anything with interesting texture…we almost got thrown out of a museum once because I loved on-(just touched…lol) this wonderful piece of glass which had multiple textured worked into it! I feel so incomplete as a human if I cannot create whether it is jewelry, mosaics, or music…it has to happen…most of it just gets in my head and HAS to GET OUT. (It’s scary in there sometimes;)”
Margalita from MosaicMargalita 
I’m effected by colors and materials in my Mosaic works, Many times I have no idea what I’m going to do. and I just follow colors and textures, and materials and they “lead” me…till it feels right. I guess it’s more intuition than knowledge that I follow.” 
I love to create. I have to be doing something creative. I too am effected by colors, textures and shapes. My love for animals, and nature is my inspiration in most all my designs. I like to be different and try new techniques in my designs. Although currently my focus is making jewelry and hair accessories, I use to sew a lot and work with ceramics and painting. There are so many areas I would love to try like felting and creating jewelry with clay, but for now I am so full of ideas when it comes to jewelry it feels like my head will explode. Getting these ideas made, and seeing the finished outcome inspires me to do more, especially when these pieces are purchased. It is such an amazing feeling knowing others love and want what I have made, especially since I know my creations are not necessarily trendy and are a bit different.”
Lisa from ArtisticFunk 
I am driven to create by sight. When I see bold color, patterns, textures, anything in a newspaper ad, magazine print ad, hospital hallway benches or artwork, a documentary about historic tribes showing their clothing and colors, the costumes on the show ‘Once Upon A Time’ and the landscape across my canal interspersed between the branches of the tree in my backyard that is yet to bud, or the shadows the tree casts on the ground, I am suddenly SEIZED by the need to create something. Generally that takes me to my studio where I look among all the pieces of materials, beads, leather, hemp cord, yarn strings, buttons, that I begin to drape together in an attempt to CAPTURE and re-create the FEEL from the combination of colors and juxtaposition of lines that just inspired me. I also take to computer where I search for that new thing I MUST add to my materials repertoire that seems to be taking me in a direction of color and design that is still finding it’s way towards it’s ultimate goal of “THE LOOK” “THE FEEL” “THE CLOTHING ITEM” “THE JEWELRY PIECE” “THE ARTWORK ON that piece of glass, or bottle, or tank top, or bag or canvas” and find where it goes and what and where and how it all fits together to form that final creative vision. And, then, when it comes together JUST right, there’s this BIG aaaaah!
But that aaaaah may take an hour or a week or a month or a year to get to! I LOVE my creative journey! It actually is helping me to find myself, who I am, a thing I never knew because I was SO busy surviving life that there never seemed to be time to ask the question who am I? what can I bring to the table? What do I want? How can I help others? What will I leave behind that will show I was here?”
Fiona from TheHappyMushroom 
I am inspired by pattern, as the greatest part of my craft is making the patterned millefiori ‘canes’ to slice and apply and turn into my beads, pendants and little fairy houses. The patterns can be found in nature or on fabric prints or almost anywhere. I sometimes wonder where inspiration comes from. Sometimes it is like I am being bombarded by a thousand tiny ideas. Recently I have been making ‘canes’ inspired by patterns found in Native American beadwork.” 
Thanks for stopping by, I hope everyone starts their week out feeling inspired and motivated by these gals, I know I did! Stop by next Monday for another look inside the minds of the Hippie Peaceniks family. 
Smile, and pass it on! 

Member Monday: Meet Kendra from CopperTreeArt!

About Kendra

 “I live in San Diego, CA and am married with a dog and two cats.  I’m very fortunate to have my dream job of training dolphins.  I have always loved creating things and one day decided to sign up for a metalsmith jewelry class.  Several years later, I’m still taking classes on my days off from work and decided to create my etsy shop since my jewelry box was over flowing!”



  “I make jewelry as a hobby and passion. I do it because I love it.  I make jewelry when I’m in a creative mood and try not to pressure myself to make jewelry unless I’m in the mood to.  I’ve found that’s when I do my best work!”

 Inspiration and Creative Flow

“I love bohemian inspired pieces.  I like jewelry that looks distressed, worn and loved and I try to incorporate is is my pieces.

I have set up a little studio in my garage.  I love to turn on music and let the creative juices flow!  It is a great way to unwind after a long day!”

Exciting Milestones

“I can’t wait to reach my 100th sale.  I started my shop a little over a year and a half ago.  A first I was excited for my first sale, then reaching 50 sales, and now I’m close to my 100th sale mark.  It is very exciting and rewarding to know people enjoy wearing my jewelry as much as I do!”

Favorite Creations

“My chunky distressed silver bangle is my favorite listing in my shop now. I have made myself one and wear it almost every day.  I sometimes wear it alone or stacked with other bracelets.  It has a great weight to it and goes with everything.”

You can find Kendra’s Beautiful shop and more of her creations in her Etsy store, HERE. And I hope you stop by and “like” her on Facebook, it’s a great way to see the new products as soon as they come out! You can also find her pinning away on Pinterest, she’d love for you to follow along! 

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Kendra, I know I did! I absolutely love her beautiful pieces, they’re so unique and have such a great character about them, and there’s truly something for everyone! And how cool is it that she trains dolphins?! Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes view, Kendra! It was lovely to put a face and back story to your gorgeous shop! Goodness, the Hippie Peaceniks sure are a fun and talented bunch, be sure to check back every Monday for another wonderful look at the artist behind the art! Until then, smile and pass it on!