Welcome to this weeks Feature Friday!
Today we are talking to Amy Hatch of Ruby Rose, from Washington. Her jewelry designs are soft and delicate, for the feminine side of you :)
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My name is Amy Hatch, I live in the drier part of the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband, two boys- soon to be three boys in late August, and four hens. My hobbies are creating handmade jewelry, knitting, reading, and enjoying my family. I love color, art, classical music, antiques, flowers of all types and harvesting the fruit and vegetables from my husbands garden.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business since September 2007.
Did you start your business full time? if not, what made you take that leap into running your business full time?
Initially, I did not start my business full time. I figured that I liked to make jewelry and that it would be fun to have something on the side to do as a hobby. However, in the last year, I have had quite a bit of success with my sales and that has prompted me to market more and get more into the business aspects of my Etsy shop.
Did you write a business plan? or do you set regular goals to achieve?
I did not write a business plan, but I do have a fair amount of business experience in that I do the management work for my husbands busy Chiropractic office (bookkeeping, payroll, tax work, bills and invoices,marketing, etc.) As for regular goals, I do set them- I haven't made my goals yet, but I make sure that I take an 'action step' each day toward achieving those goals.
What selling venues do you use?
Currently, my one sales venue is Etsy. When I started out, I was selling on Etsy, Ebay, and RubyLane. However, I found I was kind pulled in several directions with different groups of customers, photo uploading, etc., so I decided about a year ago to streamline everything and focus solely on my Etsy sales, just because I like the website and the community. I advertise on three different blogs and another independent website which I know brings traffic through my shop.
Give us one tip on how you stay motivated (to run your business full time)?
One tip on how to stay motivated...Don't get discouraged if you make goals and they aren't being achieved right away- just make sure that you are taking the right actions on a daily basis to make those goals happen, and they will! Read business books and listen to self improvement and motivational cd's to keep yourself inspired and motivated!
What is your best advice on customer service?
Best advice on customer service...provide a beautifully crafted product and go out of your way to package it in a pretty and creative way, and ship it promptly! Go the extra mile when you can- I always thank my customers by tucking a little business card with a handwritten note into their package thanking them for choosing my shop. I also send an etsy conversation as soon as they have purchased their item and thank them and let them know when their package will ship. If time permits, I always try to ship their package out within 24 hrs of payment. In order to ship quickly, I have to have lots of things prepared ahead of time- a large inventory of the pieces in my shop, mailing packages with return address labels and stamps already on them, and gift boxes ready to be filled and wrapped with tissue paper. I am just really on top of keeping my supplies stocked as well! Also, I have postcards that I have had custom made for my business, and I always send out a postcard to each customer about a week after their order ships, and on the postcard I thank them for their order and offer them free shipping on their next order. I have had a wonderful response from this. If you want your Etsy shop to be an actual business, you have to market it like an actual business :)
What is your favorite tip you received from a mentor or someone in business?
Favorite tip received from a mentor or someone in business- Its actually 2 things- 1) have a blog that is just for your shop 2) On down days where you don't have any orders or very few orders- spend your time creating new products, taking new photos, replenishing your supplies, cleaning out your office space, etc. Spend your time productively!
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting a business, what would that be?
One piece of advice to someone just starting a business- Be persistent. Being in business for yourself requires a great deal of persistence- you have to keep implementing different strategies and constantly assess what works and what doesn't work for you. If you love what you are doing, don't give up, keep trying new ways to sell your product, and you will!
If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be? LOL sorry had to add this, I feel like Barbara Walters - haha - I was going to take this out but there have been some great answers so I left it in :)
What kind of tree.....definitely a cherry tree! Every spring they burst with the most beautiful blossoms that give way to gorgeous, red, sweet cherries!
Thank you so much Amy for some great advice and taking the time!