Friday, August 10, 2012
SHOP FEATURE - august 10th, 2012 - HappyWalrus
we can think of nothing better than a big ol' floppy sunhat in the dog days of summer... and no one makes 'em better than Emma over at HappyWalrus! enjoy the Q & A with Emma and then head on over to her shop to take advantage of her exclusive DDH discount code!
What made you decide to start your shop?
I started Happy Walrus as a way to sell the excess of hats I started making and as a response to all the people who kept asking me where I got my girls’ hats from. My hope is to not only give myself a new creative outlet, but also to help other parents enable and encourage their kids to show off their individuality. Society often puts pressure on us to fit a standard mold and go with the flow, but it is important for us to identify who we are as individuals - what drives us, what excites us, what are we passionate about. Wearing a hat with a pattern that we can look at and smile about is such a small, simple way to bring joy and a sense of individuality to the life of a child. That is why I love doing custom orders. When parents tell me what their children love and ask for a hat matching their son’s or daughter’s interest, I feel honored to get to make that hat for them.
What kind of products do you sell?
I sell children's hats in three styles - beret, sashed bucket hat, and appliqued bucket hat - plus a few purses to coordinate with the hats. I like to keep it simple and experiment within those styles to show how similar things can really be different and individual. I'll use the same pattern 20 times and get 20 totally different hats.
What is your favorite shop accomplishment so far?
My favorite shop accomplishments are the positive feedbacks I have gotten. I don't just crank out hats and then forget about them. I make them imagining them being worn and loved. It is really rewarding to hear back from customers telling me their children love the hats and are really using them. That is the best part of selling on Etsy, I think.
What is your biggest challenge as an online/etsy seller?
The biggest challenge is getting my stuff out there. I am constantly tweaking things from how I photograph to how I tag my items to try to get more views. People can't fall in love with my hats if they never see them. Over the last year I have been able to increase my views and sales, but it has been very gradual. A smaller challenge is just finding time to really build this business as much as I would like. My machine isn't really portable, so I have to be in my sewing room to work. That doesn't go over so well in the summer when my daughters want me to be taking them to the park.
What is the top selling item in your shop?
Custom order bucket hats are definitely one of the top selling items with medium (20ʺ) bucket hats a close second.
Do you have a tip for others selling in the online community?
Find something you enjoy making and stick with it. It takes time to build a name, but if you are consistent and people know what you sell, down the road they will come back to you for that product. I am a repeat shopper for Etsy shops that specialize in one or two things because I know, ʺI need more soap...soapilyeverafter sells that,ʺ or ʺYasya needs more snack bags....littlebughouse sells that.ʺ
Do you have a crafting resource/handmade blog/shop that you go to? If so, what is it?
I spend way too much time browsing pinterest for ideas. I love looking at what colors and patterns people are repinning. I get inspired to then go to the fabric shop and try to match it.
What are you currently working on?
I am wrapping up a couple more bucket hats, and then I will start working on some new berets for the fall - corduroy lined with satin, flannel lined with fleece, and faux fur gallore!
thank you so much, emma! and now for the discount - use the code DDH15 at the HappyWalrus and save 15% storewide! (expires Sept 10th, 2012)