A Cuppa With Etsy Seller Chloe from By The Lock Handmade

Etsy Seller Interview - By The Lock Handmade

Tea or coffee?
Coffee! Every single time.

Who are you and what do you do?
Hiyur! I’m Chloe of By The Lock Handmade; a little Etsy shop where I sell zipper pouches I design and make. I like to make useful, unique stuff.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Just less than two years.

Do you run your Etsy shop full time or do you also have a ‘day job’?
I have a day job, boooo.

What’s the one thing you wish you had known before you opened your shop on Etsy?
I wish I had realised how much my ideas will change over time and to just roll with it. I originally set out with this clear expectation of what I wanted to be and what I wanted to make and I didn’t let those ideas evolve because I was so set on the original idea! Now I am much more “I love that! I’m making it”.

What are you working on right now?
I’m playing around with printing my own fabrics! It’s totally at experimental stage right now but I’m playing with carving stamps, hand dying and eventually I’ll be screen printing too! Making my own fabrics is really exciting. I can’t wait to start working with them.

UK Etsy Seller Workspace - By The Lock Handmade Sewing Desk

If money and time weren’t an issue, where would you like to take your Etsy shop, brand and products in the next 3 years?
I’d have the most beautiful studio full of plants with a little store front to sell my pieces in; it’s always been my dream to have an espresso bar so maybe with a couple of tables at the side so people can sit and enjoy the shop! I’d get a couple of sewers onboard too so I can focus on printing and design.

If you could give one piece of advice for starting an Etsy shop, what would it be?
Just do it! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have everything perfect from day one. You learn so much as you go, waiting until the time is right will mean you’re waiting forever. What’s the worst that can happen?

Are you a dog or cat person?
Easily easily dogs. By a 1000 miles. But I love all animals so will not say no to a good cat

Tell us something fun you do or a silly habit you have when you’re working…
I almost always have a series running on my laptop even though I miss 50% of what they’re saying when my machine is running… so I usually have to re-watch it because ill suddenly be like “wait, what?! Who died!?”

Handmade Zipper Pouches Made in Yorkshire

What is your fuel to get through a hard week?
I always reward myself with beer and pizza. Set myself a to do list and once I’ve done it it’s vegan pizza time.

What do success and happiness look like to you?
Success to me is being able to surround myself with dogs every single day. I have a pup and it breaks my heart I’m not with her 24 hours a day. I want to be able to get to a position where I manage my own time completely, then I can adopt a small herd of dogs.

What do you struggle with as a small business? What help would you love to be provided with that you feel isn’t already available?
Time. I’d love more time to be able to work on my own stuff. Day jobs definitely get in the way so it’s hard; I have all these ideas but they take so long to finish! I do a lot of late nights and weekends, it’s totally worth it! But more time to focus wouldn’t be bad.

Thank you for dropping by, Chloe!!

You can find By The Lock Handmade on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram and don’t forget to pop over to Etsy to see Chloe’s amazing handmade zipper pouches and accessories!

Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Etsy,Handmade and have No Comments

Etsy Captains’ Summit 2017 at Etsy HQ in London

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

What is the Etsy Captains’ Summit? Well let’s start with what is an Etsy team? Some of you will know I am one of the Captains of our local team of Etsy sellers, Etsy Team Leeds, alongside the fabulous Laura from Elsie & Nell. An Etsy team is a group of sellers with a common interest, which is usually location specific, but not always. As Captains we keep in close contact with Etsy themselves, receiving news and information about new changes on and being able to give feedback on how things are working for the sellers themselves.

At Etsy Team Leeds we keep in touch daily using a Facebook group that all our members are part of and we meet up in person once a month in the Leeds area to share knowledge, chat over a cup of tea (or a beer!) and just get the chance to see another human being, which can be a luxury when you work for yourself.

Last weekend all the team captains from across the UK were invited down to the Etsy HQ in London for the Etsy Captains’ Summit to spend the weekend with Etsy Admin and each other talking about small businesses, how to improve our shops and how to lead our teams of sellers.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

We gathered at Etsy HQ early on Saturday morning where the team had laid out a fabulous, healthy breakfast with loads of options for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans and gluten free folks. There was constantly a pot of tea on the go and you could help yourself throughout the day. We sat on long benches to eat and get to know our fellow captains, always turning the person next to you or across from you to ask about their shops and their teams.

After breakfast we headed into the conference style room where wheely desk chairs were laid out in rows. The chairs were super comfortable, which is more important than you’d think and being on wheels it made it so easy to wheel into groups for discussions and pop over to see another team captain that you hadn’t had chance to speak to yet. It was an ideal touch.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

A number of the Etsy Admin team lead talks on PR & marketing, what’s new in the community and ways we can use making for good. There were also a number of external speakers from amazing people in the handmade community like Jessika from Oh My Handmade. These sessions were run on coaching, burnout and ideas for creating a community feel within our teams.

Lunch was also provided which was a huge spread of healthy treats with fresh chicken and salmon for meat eaters and chunky falafel balls and various salads for vegans. I wish I could eat like that every day.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

On the Saturday evening we had a social event where Etsy wined and dined us by bringing in the amazing pop up restaurant, Fabulous 698b (more on them in another post!!). It’s lovely to be looked after so well and shown we are an appreciated part of the Etsy community. Being a team captain is a voluntary role, which can be a lot to take on if you run your own business as well. Some captains even work full time as well as running their shops. The meal was incredible and such a great way to get chance to chat to the members of Etsy admin and fellow team captains. I was sat next to Erin from the Toronto offices and we chatted about Etsy of course, but also music, food and the traditions from where we’re from. Erin has a fabulous Etsy shop of her own selling Feminist zines and books.

On Sunday morning we were treated to breakfast again before delving straight back into talks and workshops. It was great to be able to feedback our thoughts to the people who can make changes happen as well as sharing tips with and learning from other captains and more importantly, other Etsy sellers. Lunch and cake was provided and we headed home with full heads and hearts.

The whole weekend was so inspirational, especially for me. I learned a lot of tips from the workshops, but mostly I just felt like I could. Whatever I wanted to, I could do it. Now I’m back home in my office I feel ready to face the world again and even more amazingly, I feel excited again to get to work.

If you have any questions about the Etsy Captains’ Summit, please do leave them in the comments or ask me on Twitter! More soon!
Loves x xx

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Business,Etsy,Travel and have Comment (1)