Friday, July 24, 2009

Etsy Artisan Interview - tamdoll

Before we start on my final interview (#38), I want to thank all the Etsy sellers who took the time to write about their experiences. It's interesting to see what others are creating, and how they manage their time. Beginning next week, I'll start my new series, the Internet Artisan Interview, which will consist of any artists who sell on the web. So, if your interested in answering a new set of questions, leave me a message (here, e-mail or facebook.) And of course, drop by on Fridays, and get to know your friends (and competition {:-D) better.

It seemed very appropriate to have an Etsyblogger here on my last interview. Thanks, Tammy, for responding. Tamdoll is a new member to the etsybloggers team, but has been blogging AND selling on Etsy since 2006. She has some real adorable handmade items in her shop. And it looks like we can use some of her marketing advice. Tammy, glad you found us - welcome aboard!

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?
Tamdoll's SILVER Mountain Originals

  • What types of products do you sell?
"Art to Wear, Unique Accessories, Fiber Jewelry" along with Ribbons & destashing my art supplies once in a while.

  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
My favorite is definitely the Linen & Velvet Bird Cuff Bracelet - it's something I would love to wear.

  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
I've been a seller since 2006! I think I joined to have a place to sell unsold items from a craft fair, but it's been so long, I can't really remember.

  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?

Involved with Teams: Eco Etsy, Etsy Chai, Etsy Trashion, NH Street Team, Etsy Twitter, Etsy Bloggers

  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?
I sell some of my "Art to Wear" fabric jewelry locally in my hometown in a boutique. I used to sell from my doll website... but since I don't make dolls anymore... I don't promote it as often ( you can see it here)

  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?
I started off crafting with fabric - making dolls, then original art dolls. When I started embellishing the dolls more creatively I added beads and then tried jewelry making. I've always loved paper and collages, too, and have been a knitter since I was a kid, recently learning to crochet. For the last few years I've been working on combining everything I love - making fabric jewelry with beads and yarn embellishments. I also find I can't throw anything away, so scraps and found objects often find their way into things I make, recycling everything I can get my hands on!

  • Everyone knows images are important when selling on the internet. What's your procedure for taking photos of your products? Do you have any tips on taking better photographs?
I always make sure I take pictures on an overcast day with no flash. This reduces the shadows and keeps the focus on the art I'm working on. I have a big roll of white paper to use for backgrounds, and always check the white balance on my camera before I start. A little post-editing always helps if I need to still brighten things up - thank goodness for digital cameras! I used to run to the photo store for one hour developing and after one roll of film only end up with 1 or 2 pictures I could actually use.

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I put a lot of pictures at my blog - and more at flickr.

Knitting & Crochet focus pictures at

They're not public, but really handy to keep photos organized and for quick editing - is Picasa, a free download from Google. Along with Windows Live Writer, another free download, I can put pictures and blog posts together pretty quickly.

  • Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?
Aside from selling art, I have a couple of part-time jobs while my kids are in school, sometimes as a substitute in our high school and I do a lot of local volunteering.

  • We are all looking for good marketing advice. What's the best tip or trick you can share with us?

As far as marketing, I've noticed a couple of things... putting tutorials on my blog gets the most traffic there, but I don't think any sales have resulted from it. Having pictures at flickr has definitely resulted in a sale or two, but I'm always careful not to violate their terms of service by direct sales links. Being consistent is important, with blog posts, and participating in group discussions/events. The more I put myself out there, the more networking and cross-promoting opportunities there are.

  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
Facebook Fan page

I love to be online... can you tell? Only if I stayed away from the pc a little more, I'd get a lot more crafting done!

OK, it's the storybeader's turn!
I love this bag! Reminds me of my hippy days, when I was a teenager!


BeadedTail said...

Great feature and such great items! Her tips were good too. I need to utilize my Flickr account better!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Great feature - it was a lot of fun to get to know our new team mate better!

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