Thank you for your interest and welcome to my newest platform, The Fourth Seam, which will officially launch on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
I am so happy you are here and would like to take a few minutes of your time to share my story.
In 2006, I founded my first handmade business, Watermelon Wishes. Initially the plan was to buy and resell handmade goods. As the product began to arrive, I was quick to pick out design and craftsmanship flaws and could clearly see how I could improve each piece. The next thing I knew, I had purchased a sewing machine, the dining room table was covered in fabric and I was teaching myself to sew.
I admit, this was not an easy task; but, I was absolutely determined. Yard after yard, I stitched, screamed and ripped out the seams until the day came when I was left holding a marketable product.
I sold my first bags and baby themed accessories on eBay and it wasn’t too long before I had achieved the then prestigious Power Seller label which required a seller to have more than $500 in sales per month for three months in a row. There were other makers on eBay who unknowingly served as my inspiration. I studied their listings and products and then improved upon them. In addition, I also pedaled my handmade goods at local craft fairs and to friends and family. In 2008, a customer told me about Etsy and I was very excited to join an exclusive handmade community. I sold my first bag within hours of setting up my Etsy shop, also under the Watermelon Wishes label, and the rest as they say is history. Today, I have amassed more than 5,500 sales and sold a quarter million dollars in inventory on Etsy alone! That number always amazes me and I can hardly believe I personally stitched and filled that many orders, by myself. One woman and a sewing machine. It’s even more impressive, when you consider I was entirely self-taught.
I feel as if all of my major life experiences have led me to this day and the launch of this platform. Before having children I worked in management, then I had a brief stint as a flight attendant and met my husband. After my children started school, I served two years as the President of the PTA and then got a job writing for a local newspaper. It was this position that sparked my entrepreneurial spirit as I had the pleasure of interviewing hundreds of small business owners.
I took the knowledge I had gleaned from those savvy business owners and I started my company. At that time, I considered myself to be a stay at home mom and we had three young children. My husband had just lost his job and I desperately wanted to contribute to our family without feeling I was abandoning my children.
While I have obviously experienced financial success, there were other benefits which I never anticipated and do think far outweigh the money I have earned. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to find myself and develop an unwavering faith and sense of confidence. It is so fulfilling to know I have created something unique and to have a purpose! What I have created was born from nothing but a desire to make and was solely dependent upon me showing up and growing it. Eagerly, I have done just that. Pouring my heart and soul into every design and perfecting every process. I love my work and my customers!
In 2011, my business was grossing more than $60,000 in annual sales and I decided to move the business out of our basement into a commercial studio. This was a huge leap of faith and I am so glad I made the move. Mentally, it took my business from what I subconsciously had thought of as a hobby to being a legitimate company. I had a space of my own and it felt so amazing!
In 2012, I took it one step further and opened up a full retail boutique where I sold my handmade goods and other artisan products on consignment. It was an incredible adventure that lasted almost five years until I made the difficult decision to close the shop. I like to think of this period of my life as the equivalent of earning an MBA. Doing business in a small town presents a lot of challenges or what I prefer to call opportunities for growth.
Meanwhile, the yearning to do more and have a greater impact was growing inside of me and I had to be honest with myself. The truth was, I knew I had reached my full potential in that particular town and retail was and continues to be a very unpredictable business model. What I really wanted to do, I finally fessed up, was to help other woman grow their businesses. I always enjoyed strategizing with my consignors in the boutique and it was a pleasure to help guide them and watch them reach their goals.
So, I closed the boutique and transitioned back into a private studio setting. The year prior I had launched a sewing blog, Sewspire.com, and I was very much looking forward to growing that online venue.
As my audience at Sewspire began to expand to more than 10,000 members, I realized a significant portion of my audience was expressing a desire to create something of their own too; but, they had a lot of questions and were lacking the business knowhow.
Understandably so! I remember when I first started out how little information their was. Now days, we have the total opposite situation with an overabundance of information which is frankly quite overwhelming to most.
Starting an Etsy shop is not as easy as it was when I began. There is a lot of competition and I can see how it would be tempting to just give up if you are lacking a proper support system. Especially that first year when you are so vulnerable and doubt starts to creep in to your mind and quickly sabotage your dream before you have the amazing opportunity to know your true worth as a maker extraordinaire!
That’s where The Fourth Seam comes in and I can help you! I will be there right by your side you wait for that first sale and can teach you how to overcome the fear and doubt that conquers so many handmade artisans.
In the 11 years I have been selling online I have mastered my craft and perfected numerous products. I have diligently studied the art of selling and always strived to provide stellar customer service with every sale.
With ease, I can show you how to set up your shop, navigate the Etsy platform like a pro, price your products to stay in business, establish customer friendly shop policies and deliver amazing customer service so that you can grow your brand quickly and with total confidence.
Regardless of your age or business experience, this is an amazing time to be an entrepreneur! I am so grateful to be alive in this era and able to serve and give something back to the handmade community that has afforded me so many freedoms. If my story speaks to your heart, it would be my honor to work with you to create a business that fits your lifestyle perfectly.
I will be formally launching my offerings on Thursday, October 19, 2017. I shall be looking forward to learning more about you, your products and your dream!
P.S. Email is my preferred method of communication. Feel free to reach out anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org