This Monday we have Stephanie of Stoopher and Boots; a successful wearable shop that has cute Ts for babies, children, adult and doggies, inspiring us. To date Stoopher and Boots has successfully accumulated 244 sales since opening in Nov 2007. Here's how the ups and downs of the business is joy to Stephanie.
RRoF - Tell us something about your shop, how you got started and why you wanted to start an online business?
S&B - My name is Stephanie, proud owner of Stoopher & Boots. I live in NYC and am blessed with a loving family that is supportive of my artistic pursuits. So much so that I named my company after my Father's nickname for me (Stephanie/Stoopher) and my sister (Betsy/Boots.)
I started by looking for a creative gift idea for my sister's second set of twins (yes, second). I decided to try out designing shirts and got such wonderful feedback I thought I would continue. I took pictures of what I'd made, posted them to etsy and things took off from there. Now I've expanded into adult and dog tees too.
RRoF - Is your Etsy Business your full time job? Or what or who does your Etsy shop shares your time with?
S&B - I have a corporate job that takes up quite a few hours of my day (and night). This business has really allowed me to have a creative outlet which utilizing the business skills I've gained in the corporate world.
RRoF - When you started listing your first few items, was the response what you expected?
S&B - Response was slow at first, but I didn't expect fireworks - there are a lot of great sellers on etsy. It took time and dedication to get myself noticed.
RRoF - Looking back, what are some of the mistakes you think you've made when you just got started, and how you overcome them.
S&B - Passivity can be a mistake. You have to work hard to make etsy work for you.
RRoF - Have you ever felt like giving up? What made you stay?
S&B - I've never felt like giving up. I'm really inspired by what I do and the responses I've gotten have been very motivating.
RRoF - How do you promote? And in your opinion, which works best for you?
S&B - Other than etsy (http://stoopher.etsy.com), I'm on Twitter (stoopherboots) and have a facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=55563193685&ref=mf). I also participate in craft fairs and try to talk about my shop and goals with as many people as I can. It was through an aquiantance at the dog park that I made a connection which let to my first NYC boutique customer.
RRoF - If you knew then (when you started) what you know now, what would you have done differently?
S&B - I wish I'd started sooner. This brings me so much joy that I'm only sorry it took me so long to find that.
RRoF - Any other thing, thoughts, advice, links,... etc you would like to share with the Newbies?
S&B - Someone once told me, do what you love, and if it doesn't make you money, then find a job that allows you to have time for that which you love doing. I think it is so important to find time in your life for your creative outlets.
Thank you Stephanie for you time with the interview. Wishing every success!