I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite artists, Vanessa from WhisperingOaks on Etsy. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and take a moment to get to know this talented artist with me!
Women in my family have always sat together to drink coffee and tea and work on crafts. Growing up my grandmother and mother taught us all to knit, crochet, make paper flowers, paint, embroider, and more. Our homes are decorated with crafts, quilts, pillows, ornaments, that we all make together.
Friends who come and visit always comment that we should sell our crafts. One day Oprah mentioned Etsy on her show and I decided to share our crafts and sell them on Etsy. I wanted to share with women the joy of celebrating seasons and holidays throughout the year by decorating our homes. We wear different colors and fabrics during the year, why not extend these changes to our homes?
I chose the name WhisperingOak for our shop because we live in an area where oaks give us beauty, shade and cool in the summer. Oaks are strong beautiful trees that go through changes every month like tassels in March and acorns in the fall.
I work very close with my mother coming up with ideas for new products or just creating together. We work on crafts not only for Etsy, but also to donate. Our inspiration comes from reading children’s books. Just following a story we imagine what characters look like and what they would wear. We like to work with fabric and felt. But also paper can give you a lot of inspiration.
We love having our shop on Etsy because the community is very welcoming. The interaction with buyers feels very friendly and personal. Sellers share advice and help promote each other. Teams have helped us so much to put our product out there. The hardest part of selling on Etsy is preparing items to be listed and listing the items. Because of this we started posting albums on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WhisperingOak.
Managing the store on line takes a lot of time. I try to dedicate an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to the on-line activities. Sometimes I wish I could spend more time, but I have a full time job and a family. When I get an inspiration I write it down, sketch it and save it. The next day you can find me working on that sketch until it comes to life. But life is not all work and no play. My family and I go out for walks, go to sporting events, and just enjoy each other’s company.
We have been welcomed in the Etsy community and we are hoping to reach our 100th item sold. To celebrate this milestone, we are giving a gift to the person who buys the 100th item (as shown by the Etsy counter). The free gift from us is our Pink Blossoms Couple. We love to work together with our buyers and create custom orders when asked.
If you are a crafter come and join the Etsy community. Prepare your product and your brand. Some of my favorite shops show the passion that the seller has for his line of items. Some like MBchills who has this wonderful collection of vintage sewing patterns, or MaggiesRageddyInn who knits with wool to GrandValleyFiber who spins her own wool show how diverse Etsy products can be and how much care shops put in getting these items together. I do have all the secrets for success, but can tell you that enjoying and loving what you do is what’s more important. I would also advise you to join a team and enjoy the good company.
Thank you Vanessa, what a lovely interview! I just love all the beautiful and whimsical creations in your Etsy shop!