May 18, 2009

My First Featured Etsy Seller - Fubabee

I'm so excited to have some great people working with me to get a feature series going for my blog. I'll be posting a different Etsy artist every Monday, starting today, so you'll have to check back often for the new featured artists.
The first Etsy artist in this series is Lisa from Fubabee - Pretty Stationery for Beautiful Souls. I had the pleasure of working with Lisa when I was planning my wedding over a year ago. She was such a great person to work with, and I wound up having her not only design my wedding invitations, but also place cards, table numbers, and a little message for my photo guest book. They were so very pretty!  And, as a bonus, Lisa was so simple and pleasurable to work with! Here are a few pictures from Lisa's shop of a few of the things she created for me:


Aren't they pretty?? Well, anywho, without further ado, here is Lisa from Fubabee...

Tell a little about yourself.
My name is Lisa and designing stationery is my part-time love affair. I work as an art director in a publishing company at my full-time, and doing this helps me balance out my corporate life.

When did you open your Etsy shop?
It was 2 years on May 17!

What inspired the name of your shop?
Fubabee is a nickname a childhood friend's mother gave to me.  I went to a boarding high school in Massachusetts, which is a 5 hour drive from NYC where I lived.  My friend's mother gave me a lot of advice growing up.  And when I'd visit she'd always exclaim, "My Fu Baby's come home!" So naturally it became my handle. These days I'm transitioning to "Pretty Stationery for Beautiful Souls" because that's what my philosophy is, and it can be taken to mean several meanings by both the giver and receiver.  It's a happy medium to work in and I love it.

Do you have any advice for fledgeling shop owners such as myself?
Develop your own style and do what you love.  I've seen a lot of people struggle only because they aren't true to themselves.  If you are passionate about what you do, it will show through in your art.  People are savvy and they know how to spot someone that is less than genuine.  You have let your own love for what you do guide you, and it is constant work to improve.  Success isn't an overnight thing.  It takes dedication.

Do you have a blog?

What was the reason for you to start a blog?
Sometimes I'll present client spotlights, sometimes I'll talk about mistakes I've made, and I fixed it.  It's a smorgasbord of paper talk.  My reason for starting it is so people can see that it's a one woman operation, and that it's far from perfect.  But in the end they know that it's me that touches every single piece of invitation or note card they order from me.

How do you deal with the ups and downs of retail in handmade sales?
I just deal with one project at a time, one issue at a time.  Whenever I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of orders that come in (usually around now since it's wedding season), I plow through and just make a checklist of To Do's and just mark it off as I complete.  At the end of the day, I get a great sense of satisfaction once I finish all my orders and look around and see all these packages ready to be shipped.  I just have to be appreciative that people can appreciate what I do.

What is your favorite color, food, and person?
Right now my favorite color lingers in the blues, between pool and robin's egg and teal.  My favorite food...that's hard to say because I am a foodie! The other night I ate this Mexican sandwich from the local Mexican restaurant.  It's called a cemita, and it's like the perfect sandwich with grilled chicken, cheese, basil, onions, tomatoes, guacamole and mole sauce.  So bad but so good! I have to run it off later! My favorite person is my fiance. There's not a day that doesn't go by that he doesn't make me laugh! We're like two silly kids when we're together.

Do you have a favorite item in your shop? What inspired you to create it?
Great question! I'd have to say the Modern Lace Wedding Invitations because it was my first set of invitations designed.

The most fun to touch would be the Japanese Collection note cards.  I love how they dance in the sunlight.

Are there any random facts about yourself that you'd like to share?
I love to bake, and I will be training for my third marathon which is in October. (So in this case I run to balance out all that baking!)

How long after opening your Etsy shop did you have your first customer?
Right away! I was shocked! But then it took a couple of months before I started to do consistent promotions and saw results.

Do you have a job separate from Etsy?
Yes, although I would love to have Etsy as my full time! It's much more satisfying.

How do you promote your work?
It's a constant process of marketing and selling and getting feedback from clients. I write a lot for others and offer advice to couples who in turn trust me enough to purchase from me. If things aren't exactly as they like, I do what I can to make it right. I'm a fan of an honest day's work and stand by the integrity in which I conduct myself. I also set up a Flickr photo account where people can see what I've done. That helps drive a lot of traffic to my shop.

What are your three favorite Etsy shops?
The Fetching Hound because her little bites are so addictive!

Earmark Invitations Her style is so fun. I met Bridgette back in December and she was just the nicest person. It's always nice to see other stationers who are doing it because they love it. Sometimes people get so competitive that they won't give you the time of day if they know you sell in the same category, but I always feel that there's room for everyone, and certainly for her work which is so fun and bright!

I'm also very fond of Morgan Street's soaps and scrubs. They're instrumental in my relaxation after a hard day's work!

What is your favorite small pleasure?
I love coffee, especially from this tiny mom and pop shop from the west village called McNulty's. They've been around forever, and I can't get enough of their coffees.  That first sip in the morning just makes the day!

What are a few of the goals you have for your future and how do you plan on making them a reality?
Goals are just small steps to a big dream.  Right now I'm crossing off the home ownership goal. My fiance and I just purchased our first home so we're excited! My dream is getting a small studio/retail space, and I plan to do that in about 2 years after we're all settled in to our new neighborhood.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Don't think you "can't" do something. Just think "how can you"?

What a great interview with some great answers!  Thank you bunches, Lisa, for participating in my very first feature series!  Another fun thing I'll be doing for this series is posting my own favorite item that the Etsy sellers currently have in their shops.  From Lisa's shop, my favorite (other than the design used for my wedding) is the Personalized Daisies Flat Note Card.

 And for those of you who've never visited Lisa's shop, you'll definitely have to.  She makes such pretty stationery that appeals to so many different types.

Stay tuned next Monday for my next featured Etsy seller!

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