Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shop of the Week: Prairie Primitives

This week's Featured Seller is Tana Taylor, Tana runs 3 shops on Etsy, but other Sac Etsy teammates probably know her best as the founder of the Sac Etsy Team! She is the person who is responsible for getting us all together, providing us with a forum to openly and freely communicate with each other, and for creating this am azing and resourceful team! 1. What is your name? Tana Taylor 2. What is your shop(s) names and links? I have 3 Etsy shops: PrairiePrimitives - http://prairieprimitives.etsy.com, PrairiePrimitivesToo - http://prairieprimitivestoo.etsy.com, and  MoonlightArtist - http://moonlightartist.etsy.com. 3. Do you use other selling sites? Would you like to share those links as well? I have tried a number of other selling sites, including eBay, ArtFire, Zibbet, PictureTrail, and my own web site. My first exposure to online selling was on a mailing list called "Quilt Trader's Newsletter." I sold enough quilt/fabric/sewing-related stuff through QTN to pay for the gas when I moved to California in 1996. My own web site went live in May 1997 and I kept it up for about 10 years, though I never made many sales there. I signed up on eBay in 1997, then forgot about it until sometime in 1998 when I re-discovered it and started listing things and selling like crazy. eBay was a good place for me to sell until Meg Whitman left. Since that time, their focus has changed ... and not for the better. I opened my first Etsy shop in August 2006. I opened a shop on ArtFire in, I think, 2008, however the only sale I've made there was to a customer who had seen my things on Etsy but who didn't want to open an Etsy acccount just to make a purchase from me. When I told her she wasn't required to create an account on ArtFire to make a purchase, she asked me to list the same items there; I did and she bought them! When ArtFire offered a discounted $5.95/month rate in October 2010, I jumped at it. I really worked at my ArtFire shop through the 2010 holiday season, but made no sales, so went back to the free ArtFire account in March 2011. I opened a shop on Zibbet about the same time, but haven't yet made a sale there. More recently (early 2011 to the present), I have set up some photo albums on Facebook. I have done VERY well with the yard sale album, and occasionally make a sale from the other albums as well. My PictureTrail site has had little spurts of business from time to time, but it's been "closed for remodeling" for several months; I'm trying to decide what I want to do with it, and hope to re-open it soon! 4. What sort of social media do you use? Would you like to share your FB, Twitter, blog links? I jumped on the blogging and Twitter bandwagons pretty much right away. I was a little slower to sign up with Facebook, though I've now had a FB account for several years. My blog is http://prairieprimitivesfolkart.blogspot.com, my Twitter ID is http://twitter.com/#!/prairieprims, and my Facebook business page is http://www.facebook.com/PrairiePrimitivesFolkArt. I'd be honored if you follow, friend, or like me on these various sites! 5. What sort of items do you sell in your Etsy shop? My PrairiePrimitives shop focuses on handmade primitive folk art. This year I've started creating digital collage sheets and have a good selection of them available here too. My PrairiePrimitivesToo shop is for destash craft supplies, including cutter quilts. MoonlightArtist is for my newest passion, beeswax collages, as well as other art which I make that doesn't fit in my primitive folk art shop. 6. Explain a little about the processes/techniques/materials you use. My primitive folk art creations are usually made to look very old, and are often made with antique and vintage textiles. I am delighted when shoppers ask if they're antiques because that makes me feel like I've accomplished my goal! My collages are mostly made with antique and vintage ephemera, including antique book pages, photos, ledger books, almanacs, etc. with an occasional addition of antique handmade lace or vintage buttons. 7. How long have you been selling on Etsy? I opened my first shop on Etsy in August 2006, so I've been selling there nearly 5 years! 8. Do you do other sorts of crafts as well? My primitive folk art and collages keep me very busy! 9. How long have you been in the Sacramento area? I've lived in Sacramento nearly 11 years now. Prior to that I lived in Silicon Valley for 3.5 years and the Midwest before that. 10. What sort of non-crafty hobbies do you have? My non-crafty hobbies include reading, online games (king.com, pogo.com, etc.), hanging out with friends, and spending time outside. REALLY wish the beach was closer! 11. What is one trick do you have to stay organized and motivated? I seem to work well under pressure, so the last week or two before a craft fair usually finds me resembling a whirling dervish! I am a bit challenged in the realm of organization, though I can usually find what I need pretty easily. In my head, my studio looks like it belongs in the "Where Women Create" magazine. Reality, however, is a bit different. LOL! 12. What is one tip you would share with someone who is just getting started selling on Etsy? Actually, I wrote up a collection of 10 tips to help Etsy sellers! You can read these tips on my blog: http://prairieprimitivesfolkart.blogspot.com/2011/02/8-quick-improvements-for-your-etsy-shop.html. 13. In the future do you have plans to expand your business? My business has been larger in the past, when I had a thriving wholesale business in the mid-1990s. These days, I'm pretty comfortable with things the way they are. I'd like to make a few more sales, but the last year has been better on Etsy than the three years before it, so I feel very good about that! 14. Do you have a favorite seller (besides yourself) you would like to give a shout-out to? (doesn’t have to be a Sac Etsy person.) One of my favorite Etsy sellers is SarahClemensClothing; maybe someday I will own a piece or two of her clothing! 15. What is your favorite item you have available in your shop right now? I like everything in my shop, but this Prairie Doll is probably my favorite right now ... because it's the oldest-looking item I have for sale. 16. What is your most treasured handmade item? My most treasured handmade items is a wee collage created by Laurie Meseroll.


foothillfibersnphoto said...

So nice to hear your story Tana!

Tiffany said...

What a great start to finding out more about all of us who live and know each other through the world of the web.
Thanks Tana for starting this team. I am happy to have found it, and you go girl.

Cali Girl Collars said...

I'm tired just reading this. You are an inspiration and thank you for everything you do for Sac Etsy!
Cali Girl Collars