Monday, February 2, 2015

Artist Showcase - Things That Sing

Welcome to this week's Artist Showcase. This week our artist is Melissa from Things That Sing. Melissa's shop is full of beautiful housewares & accessories designed to inspire, complement and uplift.

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I grew up in Toronto and studied film for a year at university before moving to London (my birthplace) to gain experience in publishing design. I went freelance after a few years and moved out of London while expanding my client base and enjoying a great work/life balance. In 2011, I was ready to start focusing some more on one of my abiding passions - applying designs to practical objects in the home - in between my freelance work. I launched my online shop with limited edition giclée prints, cotton tote bags and vinyl wall decals to make a start!

How did you get your start?

The home decor products launched in summer 2014. It was the perfect time for me to move forward with my original plan for Things That Sing and I was thrilled to find a quality print on demand manufacturer enabling me to offer a choice of colors and custom options on a sale by sale basis. I have since been putting more time into this, as it quickly started taking over my freelance work!
Where do you get your inspiration?

Native and pre-20th century art, native cultures and wisdom. Various eras of furniture design. Inspiring folk throughout history - their quotes and quips and the things people say. Things that make me smile and chuckle. Nature and the wonders of our universe.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

A new launch of fine bone china tableware with a bespoke potter in Staffordshire, UK. Not long after posting up my DH Lawrence 'beard play' (Harebrain Litpick / Hashtag Classics) mugs, I was contacted by DH Lawrence Heritage and most recently the Nottingham Tourism Centre showing interest in stocking the cheeky mugs!
What challenges do you face selling online?

So far, it's just been about making sure the policies and listings are as clear as possible to be sure the customers are informed and happy. I really enjoy the interaction with my customers, as well as the inspirations they bring with custom requests and I've learned a lot from the different questions buyers have. On the whole it's been pretty smooth and I appreciate opportunities to fine tune things along the way.

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

To stay playful and light with regular breaks, so you remain receptive to the flow of ideas that often hit you at the oddest times - for me, it's often on long, rambling walks! And to remember that there is always more than one way or path when it comes to molding your vision into a enjoyable business. There is so much inspiration on Etsy with the different approaches that folk have, but always stay true to what works best for you.
Thank you Melissa for sharing your story and some of your lovely items with us.  Next week we'll showcase another Etsy artist.  If you would like to be considered, just send Zoica or me a note via Etsy convo.
Thanks for stopping by...
Until next time,
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