Abbey Taylor of OneTrueTree Creations makes handmade toys and accessories. She has been offering her work online since August 2008 with adorable plush animals and dolls.
Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I had been considering it off and on for several months, but I didn't go through with it until one of my friends requested a custom owl plushie, after which I was encouraged by her and others to try Etsy. The owl I made for my friend was made for free, but soon after I received a second request for a custom owl from a girl who'd seen photos of the one I made for my friend. Unfortunately, that order fell through, but I made my first sale the next month (a lion plushie!), and the rest is history!
Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes and no. I'm still making the original patterns from when I opened my shop, but much less frequently. Recently I've been making a lot of "hugglemonsters," which is one of the first patterns I came up with, but never made very often until the past few months. I've also become fascinated with posable art-toys, like my chameleons and monkeys. I'm actually currently working on another posable art-toy project - a pair of cadejo(s?), which are mythical dogs in Central and South American folklore.
Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
I've had a couple friends order custom pieces from me, but the majority of my customers so far (that I can tell), have come to my shop through Livejournal, which I'm no longer actively using as a marketing tool (having switched over to blogspot and twitter), and a few through Deviantart.
What inspires you to create?
Oh, man. I think I get a lot of my inspiration from fairy tales and stories like that, legends/legendary creatures, or themes like seasons or ecosystems (jungle, savannah, etc)... I have a pretty active imagination, and I've always got new ideas popping into my head; it can actually be a detriment to my productivity level because I'm always trying new patterns instead of staying focused! Occasionally my boyfriend will chime in with a great idea or modification of my ideas. =)
What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
I think my most popular item would hands-down be my "hugglemonsters," and my personal favorites are my posable chameleons. =)
What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
I think it would have to be Livejournal, thus far! I've always spent a lot of time posting photos of my latest creations on various craft, plushie, and sewing-themed LJ communities. Deviantart has also been helpful in building a "fanbase," and it's also good for keeping a complete gallery of all the things I've created. I recently joined Twitter (@onetruetree), which has been quite fun, but I'm not sure how it has or will impact my shop yet.
I think more than any particular site, just keeping active, interactive, and listing new things is probably the most helpful thing. =)
Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
I'm really trying to stay focused and keep a steady stream of new inventory coming into my shop, so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be listing new items at least three times a week. Other than that, I'm considering changing my shipping policy to a set couple of days twice a week, but I've yet to figure out which days would be most convenient for me, so that may or may not happen in the next few weeks or months.
How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
I'm not affiliated with any teams, so far, but you can find me all over the place:
And of course I can be reached by email at =)
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