Monday, August 17, 2015

Artist Showcase - ElinaQuills

Welcome to this week's artist showcase.  is week our artist is Elina from ElinaQuills. Elina makes paper art and jewelry using a technique called quilling, which is a beautiful form of paper art that is centuries old.

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I'm Elina, a 26 year old woman from Finland. I had never thought of myself as a particularly creative or imaginative person, but through my hobby and craft, I've been able to prove myself wrong. My shop has only been open since the end of 2014, but I'm excited to grow and see more and more people liking my creations.

How did you get your start?

I came across quilling in a crafts magazine which my mother-in-law bought for me. There was a small article about quilling, and the beautiful shapes made out of paper caught my attention. Before this I had never heard of or even seen quilling before. I started with DIY tools (some made of bobby pins!) and hand-cut paper strips. A few months later as I got more excited about it, I got my first quilling kit and I've been hooked ever since. At first I made cards for family and friends, but after being told I should try and sell my crafts, I found Etsy and the rest is history!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Honestly, I don't get "inspired" by things most of the time. I sit down and try to think of what my next project could be and an image just pops into my head. Annoyingly, this sometimes happens when I've just got into bed, and I'll have to get up and draw a sketch so I'll still remember it in the morning! Other times I will just be fiddling with the paper strips, trying out different shapes and an idea will emerge from my hands. One idea can easily evolve into several other ideas around the same theme as well. Keeping upcoming holidays in mind helps if I'm stuck for ideas or inspiration. Sometimes as I'm working on something, the project may end up going into a completely different direction to the one I had planned or envisioned. With that in mind, I try not to plan too far ahead and let the work speak to me instead.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

As my shop is relatively new in the Etsy world, I'm hoping my biggest success moments are still ahead of me. Due to my day job, I haven't been able to put as much effort into my Etsy shop as I would like, but slowly and steadily I'm creating and adding more items to my shop which will hopefully attract more customers or 'fans'. So far, each sale I've made has been a success and a source of joy and motivation. It still feels surreal sometimes that little old me can create something that someone across the world will like enough to buy! It's a wonderful feeling.

What challenges do you face selling online and what advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?

The online world is incredibly crowded, so it's a challenge to stand out. Product photos need to look professional and clean in order to get people to even look at your items and your shop. As someone with little to no photography skills this can be challenging! I don't necessarily have the best equipment for taking professional looking photos, but I make do with what I have for now. Shipping can also be an issue, as sending heavy or larger items can cost quite a bit. Not every customer is willing to pay for it. I would recommend reading the Etsy Seller Handbook thoroughly. Aim to get as many products in your shop as you can to improve your visibility, work on your tags and titles to get higher up in search and remember to fill in your shop policies. Oh, and most importantly, never stop loving what you do!
Thank you Elina for sharing your story and your beautiful items with us. If you would like to see more of Elina, you can follow Elina on Instagram @elinaquills and on Pinterest.
Next week we'll select another Etsy artist to feature.  If you would like to be considered, just drop me or Zoica a note via Etsy convo.
Thanks for stopping by,
Until next time...
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