Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Weeks Feature Artist

This weeks feature couldn't have come at a better time. With Easter just around the corner, this artist has the perfect addition for any Easter basket or Easter celebration. It is my pleasure to introduce you to..............


1. Why don’t you start by telling us your name and when and how you got starting crafting?

My name is Debra Amon. I started crafting about 10 years a go. I sold personalized letters from Santa to people at work. I earned about $200. It really came in handy. I had been widowed a couple of years before, had two kids (12 and 6), and was temping at a job making only $6.50 an hour. Then I got into making cards, and now I dabble in a lot of different crafts. I still sell the letters to Santa every year!

2. How did you learn about Cascarones?

I live in San Antonio, Texas, and cascarones are everywhere! They sell them in the grocery stores; they sell them at events; families sell them in their yards. Next to the pinata, cascarones are the most popular celebration "accessory" at a party. In the spring, San Antonio celebrates Fiesta. No one's head is spared a confetti shower of a cascaron at Fiesta! My granddaughter's daycare is very small--only about 6 kids. Last year at their spring party, they had 30 dozen cascarones to crack. And they cracked every last one of them.



3. How many hours a day do you devote to your craft?

I usually start working on projects and marketing as soon a I get home at about 6. Before I know it it i midnight, then I keep going a little bit longer. Since my kids are grown, I do not have the same family obligations that many of my fellow crafters and artists do. I don't know how they do it!

4. Do you have a job outside the home or is your online business your full-time job?

I work at an educational publishing company during the day. I love my work and the people I work with, and I need the health insurance.


5. Do you sell anywhere else in addition to Etsy?

I sell a lot of products at work and I also sell at craft shows (about one a month).

6. What would you say is the most difficult thing about having an online shop and what have you done to overcome it?

Getting the word out that I exist! I have been participating in forums and I just launched a super-cute blog. I am going to start marketing as much as I can at events in San Antonio. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo starts this week and goes for two weeks. I am going on opening day and will pass out free cascarones and business cards to rodeo-goers. San Antonio's number one industry is tourism, and I plan to take advantage of that by reaching out to that demographic. I think that tourist will appreciate being able to order online a product that they discovered in San Antonio. San Antonio is a huge city (believe it or not it is the 7th largest city in the nation!) and there are lots of people to target out there!


7. What are your long term goals for your shop/craft?

I don't think I can ever make a living at my crafts, but I do earn extra cash to help pay off some of my debt. When my husband died, everything he left to me would have fit in a shoebox (and unfortunately, it wasn't money!), I had been laid off my job the day he went to the hospital, and things were pretty desperate. I lived off my credit cards and racked up quite a bit of debt. I am sure I am *still* paying for underwear and socks I bought my kids! But, slowly and surely, I am inching my way out of debt. Selling crafts has helped to achieve that. And since I don't expect to make a living crafting, I think I will always have fun doing it!

8. Do you take custom orders?

Yes! That is one thing that makes my cascarones different than the ones found around here in the grocery stores and events. I can make them to fit the occasion. If you child is having a Dora party, I can make them in the color palette of Dora. I can make them for a wedding in a color palette to match the wedding. I can decorate them however you want them to be! It is surprising what you can with an egg as your canvas.

9. Where would you say has been the most helpful place in finding information to help run your shop on Etsy? The forums, the help guides, other sellers’ blogs?

I have found a lot of help in the forums. Everyone is helpful in either answering your pleas for help or guiding you to where you can find the answers. I have also found the resources page very helpful (especially when I created my first banner). I have just started to get into blogging, but it looks like there is a wealth of information out there as well!

10. If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about opening a shop on Etsy, what would it be?

Be patient. It really takes time to be seen. Just because a shop is online and accessible to millions of people, that doesn't mean it will happen overnight. You have to market, market, market! All of that takes a lot of time, but I see it as an opportunity to learn and network with people. And that can be as much fun as making my crafts.


I want to thank Debra for taking the time to let us get to know her and her awesome shop on Etsy. If you want something different and fun for Easter this year or if you just want to add a uniqueness to that next birthday party, definitely go visit Debra at gracieseggies.etsy.com

And remember she does custom orders, so you can design you Easter eggs however you like.

Thanks Debra!!

5 comments:

alwaysadorable

Gracie Eggies, is seriously one of my favorite shops! I love the joy she has put into such a fun item! And I couldn't agree more, Candi, perfect timing!

sassyglassdesigns

These are so great; very nice feature.

Sweet Romance

Just new to following your blog and looking forward to reading! Great idea to feature like you do! I love promoting the things I love.......candy

TheModernPetBlog

I just purchased 2 dozen of these :) I can't wait to give them out at our Easter party!

http://blog.themodernpet.com

Lo Lo

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