Saturday, June 19, 2010
A Personal interview with the woman behind Emerald City Emporium
A well kept secret right here in Virginia! http://www.etsy.com/shop/emeraldcityemporium
Emerald City Emporium is your go-to business for earth-friendly, nature-inspired style. Her designs are modern, but warm and inviting. She discovered a love for sewing and creating other beautiful, but functional things when she began decorating her own home. Rachel says "I love being creative and hands-on, so learning how to make things myself just came naturally. I usually come up with an idea in my head, and skip sketching it or thinking about it too much, I just make it. I love spontaneous creativity. Normally I will make something in a day or two, photograph, price it and list it on Etsy. I try to list pretty frequently to stay current and have lots of new things for my customers to choose from. My craft creations can be made in so many styles that I am always willing to take special orders from my customers to make sure they get exactly what they want. Right now my business is pretty small, but I look forward to growing and becoming a part of my local community with a brick and mortar business in the future." That's great Rachel we all wish you the best of luck!
So Ms. Rachael tell us where you're from?
I grew up in the Detroit, Michigan suburbs. About a year ago I moved to Warrenton, Virginia with my boyfriend Andrew. Since then we have been gardening, painting and repairing like crazy- and loving every minute of it!
What has been your most challenging project?
Most of the ideas for the crafts I make come naturally, and I enjoy making things that aren’t forced. I wouldn’t say that I have actually had very many challenging projects. But one of my biggest personal challenges has been learning how to be patient while learning a new skill; and to pay a lot of attention to detail. I love instant gratification, but sometimes I have to remind myself to be patient.
Tell us about some of the skills you have learned along the way.
I have learned lots of new skills along the way, like working with wood. I’ve learned how to use power tools, how to sand and stain wood, and how to properly use a wood burner also known as a pyrography tool.
Have you ever had a project that didn't turn out well? If so, how did you fix it?
One of my most successful projects has been coat hooks http://www.etsy.com/listing/38476002/pine-tree-wall-hook that I make from recycled wood. In the beginning I had a difficult time because I had to glue the planks of wood together and whenever I tried to drill or cut them they would break apart. I kept trying different ways of putting them together; I found that layering cork on the back of the boards worked the best. I’m glad I didn’t give in and scrap the project because my customers loved them and they sold out as soon as I listed them in my Etsy shop!
What do you like the most about what you do?
I love bringing an idea to life. It’s fulfilling to see my creativity come full circle. Instant gratification is great!
What do you like the least?
The part that has been the most challenging and possibly the most unnatural to me as a creative person is marketing, and trying to sell my work. The market is competitive, and people are being very careful with their money. I’m just not a sales person, and I can’t stand pressuring people into spending money, especially since I’m a huge tightwad.
How do you promote your business?
In the past I’ve tried advertising online and putting ads in a few local publications, but I find the best advertising is usually free. I’ve found a great support system within the Virginia is for Etsy’ers team. There are a few people who really go out of their way to get attention to our stores, and it is hugely appreciated! Most of the hits I get on my site come from Virginians.
How has the current economy affected your online business?
Christmas was great for me, but since then, it’s been slow. I do still get a lot of visitors browsing my shop and setting it as a favorite (which is a way of bookmarking the page so they can return later). I can relate to people holding on to their money and really evaluating the worth of an item before they buy, we’re all in that boat together. One great thing about being online is that people from all over the world can make a purchase from your online shop and since not all countries are in economic hard times there are still buyers out there.
Well Ms. Rachel you are an awesome young woman and it's been a real pleasure to find out about the woman behind Emerald City Emporium on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/emeraldcityemporium. I wish you all the luck in the world.
You can reach Rachel through her Etsy shop page or by visiting her blog emeraldcityemporium.blogspot.com/
Please be sure to check out the slideshow below to see some more of Rachel's fabulous creations.
Then take a moment to visit the Virginia Etsy Street Team's blog page which is chocked full of beautiful hand made creations http://virginiaetsyshops.blogspot.com/. BUT first I want you to know that I look forward to everyone's comments so please be sure to leave me some below.
Any artisan wishing to be interviewed can leave me a comment or you can find my e-mail address in my bio.
Until next time I wish you a good day today and every day!