Question + Answer, May 2016
We are so excited to share our very first Question + Answer blog post with you. We always get lots of different questions throughout our day. They usually pertain to orders and shipping, but every once in a while we get a more interesting one! We thought we would take the time to answer some frequently asked questions pertaining to orders, some asked by past customers/friends, and some new that we have collected over the past week! This was really fun to do, and we hope to try again in the near future. If there's something you thought of while reading, feel free to leave it in the comments! We are happy to answer as best as we can :)
I need you retail guidance! Have any advice for me? Etsy or no Etsy? Shipping dos and don'ts? Any advice is appreciated. Jill here. Where to begin! I like Etsy; it's nice especially if you are just starting out. Etsy has all of the tools set up for you to help you out. They already have a strong following, so they kind of bring the customers to you. That doesn't mean you don't have to work at it! My best advice would be to have really great photos in your shop. As far as shipping goes, I prefer to go through USPS. We use priority mail, so I don't have to choose what the cost of shipping is and our products get to our customers within 1-2 days. It makes life easy!
Do you ever offer free shipping for big orders? We haven't in the past. It depends on the situation; we are open to that if it is something you are struggling with!
Can you make me custom design for my kid/spouse/self or change one of your designs to say something different? Yes, we can do a custom design! The issue with that is, there are only two of us working this business. It may take us more time than you were hoping to get a custom design/design change to you. If that is something you are okay with, please let us know! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message us through Etsy.
I would love to know, are you guys sisters or bffs? You are way too cute and seriously make me miss my sissies! I love that you are doing this together - whatever your relationship! We are mother and daughter (Jill is the mother and Kayla is the daughter LOL... most of the time. Kayla makes the lists and plans, and Jill spills things on her shirt constantly). But we are also BFFs!! I (Kayla) was raised in a very open household and have always considered my mother as my very best friend. I can't keep any secrets from her. Thanks so much, we miss your sisters, too!
How do you do business as mother and daughter? Do you ever fight? I definitely would not say that we ever fight. We do get pissy at each other. We both have our roles; Jill sews/graphic design and Kayla works the online portion/fiber art. That helps! Neither is trying to overshadow the other. If anything this makes our relationship stronger! If we fight, it's usually over who has to go get doughnuts in the morning. We keep asking Tad, but he just laughs at us.
Do you both sew? No! Jill does all of the sewing over here. Kayla knows basic sewing, but with everything we work on daily, sewing is not something she plans on getting time to learn anytime soon. Maybe one day!
Do you do your business full time? Yes! Now that we have collaborated with The Shop, Jill works there a couple of days out of the week. We did both have part time jobs when we started the business up again at the end of last year, but now we work this little shop full time!
I’d love to know what advice you’d give to someone just starting out in a craft/creative business. Learn as much as you can about your craft! Nobody enjoys anything more about a business than someone who is knowledgable about their products. People like to see businesses who are stable and can still move forward with the times. This is something we see a lot of businesses lack! In addition, there is a fine line between being true to who you are as an artist and listening to your customer. For example, yes, you may absolutely love the color blue, but it's not helping to sell your product, you may need to reevaluate your choices.
I'm sure as creative individuals you have ideas on ideas of products you'd like to offer. What is your process like to narrow down what you're going to carry and devote your time to? We have weekly brainstorms where we discuss lists we've compiled with ideas. This always involves coffee and a baby screaming in the background!!! We try to base our decisions on what our customers will like and what we like. Our products always try to stay classic and versatile. We also like to theme our products, so that helps in narrowing down choices. If it doesn't fit with the theme, then it's outed. Sometimes it takes making the product and realizing you don't like it or don't have the time to continue to produce it - this especially goes if you are making things by hand like us!
I want to know what inspires you! So many things inspire us! Seasons, the colors of nature (especially in this rustic, farm town!), Tad Henry, movies and books. If you are feeling stuck in a rut, try something new! Go for a walk or watch a movie you really love. Try and figure out what part about it you love so much and see if that can translate into your work. We love to pull color from different areas of inspiration.
I want to know why you guys are so cute? <3 It comes naturally (; Ha ha! Jill feels like she's cuter 99% of the time, and that Kayla's cute because of her. So, there's that.
This was so fun! Thank you so much for all of these. We hope we gave you the answers you were looking for!
xoxo Jill + Kayla