Melissa, of Made By Melissa, specializes in handmade jewelry, crochet accessories and toys. Her shop has been open for almost 4 years and has racked up over 300 sales!
Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I really enjoy making things and I was running out of room for my creations. Everyone I knew already had blankets and scarves and jewelry and didn’t really want more. A friend of mine showed me Etsy and I thought about it for a really long time and finally decided to open a shop.
Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes, very much. When I first opened my shop, I only had my jewelry listed. Then I slowly started adding my crochet items, first blankets and scarves and then washcloths. I most recently added amigurimi plush toys.
Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
Almost all of my customers are women, I would be hard pressed to find the last male that made a purchase from me, it makes sense though, just looking at my inventory.
I would love to know how people find me! I know some have said they saw me in the Etsy forums (although I don’t spend much time there anymore), some from the street teams I am in (EtsyNJ and EtsyBloggers) and some from Twitter and Facebook. Although, I can’t really say for sure how people find me, I’d like to think that the networking I do is a help.
What inspires you to create?
Everything! My supplies, what I see people wearing, my mood…. Lately I have been more into my crocheting than my jewelry making, so I look at my yarns and I check patterns and I think about what holidays are coming up and try to make things that fit what people are currently looking for. When it comes to the plush toys, my 2.5 yr old son has been inspiring me, he asks for animals and typically gets to keep the first ones that I make.
What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
Right now I am loving all my hearts! I started making heart shaped washcloths in preparation for Valentine’s Day and I love how they are coming out. I have three sets listed and more will come soon
Mi Corazon Trio of Heart Shaped Washcloths
Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
I am a proud member of the EtsyNJ street team, the NJ folks are really a great group of people. I do a lot of writing for the team blog at http://etsynj.blogspot.com/
I am also a member of the EtsyBloggers street team. The bloggers are awesome and from all over the world! Its great to read everyone’s blogs and see what is going on. Their website is http://etsybloggers.com/