Monday, August 25, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Paper Wood Vintage

Happy Monday!  Welcome to another edition of Artist Spotlight.  This week the spotlight is on Kristy from Paper Wood Vintage.  Paper Wood Vintage carries an eclectic assortment of vintage and handmade items. Here is one of Kristy's items:

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I am a Christian mom of five. Two of our children are nephews we adopted. I have been a collector of vintage since I was a very young child. I started out collecting vintage stamps, coins and beads to having small collections of everything from vases to matches, old ashtrays, salt and pepper shakers, planters, and quirky items like Mr. Potato Heads.

How did you get your start?

My husband and I started selling vintage & handmade items locally and on Etsy to bring in extra income. We had a baby on the way and our 2 nephews came to live with us right before she was born. Since I had been a collector for so long and came from a long line of antique dealers and collectors, this was the natural thing for me to do. So, I quit my job to stay home with the kiddos and then opened the shop in 2010.

Where do you get your inspiration?

When we first opened the shop we focused more on handmade items. But, 1 1/2 years later trying to keep the shop full of handmade goodies with him a full time job and us having 5 children, it got to be too much. So after close to 2 years, I revamped the shop and focused mostly on vintage.  Handmade items are/were stationery, matted prints and cigar box guitars. Our inspiration for the cards and prints came from vintage items that I had collected over the years.

The guitars was something my husband wanted to try to make just to see if he could. :) He has played guitar since a young age and has always had an appreciation for the old Delta blues guitar players, especially the ones who would make guitars from found objects. Unfortunately, because of his full time job, he doesn't have as much time to make these.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

My biggest success to me has been actually making money doing something I love. I hope that doesn't sound cliche'. I mean, I'm not rolling in the dough here, but I'm able to contribute a decent enough amount of money where it makes a difference each month.... even if it's a small amount... I figure when the kids get older I can focus more on the shop, but right now, I can do what I love, bring cash into our household and be here for our children.

What challenges do you face selling online?

One of my biggest challenges is not getting lost in a sea of online sellers. I'm always trying to think of ways to stand out... always trying to improve my photos, descriptions... keeping things looking fresh. Now, I may not always meet these challenges, but I think if you're constantly trying to improve yourself that is a good thing! Another challenge for me is time and time management. I try to stay focused, but some days it's really hard. I try not to get sidetracked while online! We have an active Facebook page with almost 5,600 followers and sometimes with Facebook you lose track of time easily. :) But I also sometimes have a hard time finding time for everything...Etsy sometimes gets put on the back burner between the kiddos, my husband, the house, church, bills, cooking dinner, and all the other things that comes with being a mom and wife.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?

My advice for someone just starting out on Etsy.... do your homework. Find out what sells, find out how to take great photos. Find a good support system. Etsy has LOTS of great people via teams. There is a really good sense of community here. I have met so many helpful people... so many knowledgeable people willing to give advice. Get some constructive criticism. Always be looking at new ways to keep your shop up to date, to keep items/your shop looking fresh. Change things up a bit from time to time. Never be afraid to ask for help/advice. I think it's important to be a supporter of other shops and /or businesses as well. Be a giver, you will always get a good return. :)

Thank you Kristy for sharing your story with us.

Want to see more of Paper Wood Vintage. Follow Kristy on Facebook.

Next week we'll select another Etsy artist to spotlight.  If you are interested please contact Zoica or myself via Etsy convo.
Thanks for stopping by...
Until next time,
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