Hi there again! How have you been since you read about the gorgeous jewelry created by Susmitha? Done any online shopping ;-)? If someone had told me 10 years ago that I, in India, would be sitting in my bedroom ordering diamonds online or food, or my curve ID jeans, I’d have believed the food and jeans, but not the diamonds. But that’s precisely where we are today – with just about ANYthing, and I mean ANYthing, not just anything!, available off of the net.
Distance selling was, and is, believed to be impersonal. But online shopping experiences that give you a one-on-one connect have changed that game. Stores like Etsy put you directly in touch with the seller, who is no longer an anonymous byte lurking somewhere behind layers of data! And Facebook pages have brought the private profile to the customer.
So obviously my next questions for Sus were around this phenomenon. And she sure does put things in perspective. Read on!
The power of the internet and of course, global shipping 🙂 has helped you immensely in operating from your studio where you create, and connecting with your customers worldwide. How has the concept of the business-on-the-internet helped you grow?
It is hard for me to imagine my business without the internet. My first sales were on the internet. (Ebay is where it all began. 🙂 And then I graduated to Etsy). I have tried consigning at local boutiques and the experiences have been alright I guess, but nothing has matched the convenience of being able to sell online. For me, the fact that my creations are safely at home with me makes the effort of packing and shipping worth it. Besides, I truly enjoy interacting with my customers! When I get feedback after a package has reached someone, it’s almost as good as seeing the expression on their faces when they opened that package. I often go through the feedback pages at my Etsy stores just to feel good. 🙂 My Facebook pages have been great for this as well! It’s so awesome to read people’s comments about my creations and it’s great to share my excitement with the ‘fans’ when a new tool arrives or when I’ve created something new. I’ve made so many new friends, all over the world, thanks to selling online! Kindered spirits whom I’ve never met in person but have been friends with for years! This means so much more to me than the selling itself!
Without the internet would you have considered marketing your work?
If online selling didn’t exist, I suppose I would have tried marketing my creations offline, but I doubt if it would have been as much fun. So I feel truly blessed to have discovered “business-on-the-internet” as you put it. 🙂
E-biz has spurred so many businesses online. How do you rate your competition? Or don’t you consider it such :)?
I know a wise business person would keep track of the competition but I’m not one of them. Hehe. Besides, I barely even consider my business a business. It is only technically that because I happen to sell what I create. But really, the business aspect is just a side effect of the creating. I’d be just as happy keeping everything I make to myself, but there’s only so much a person can do that. :oP
The handmade jewellery market is extremely saturated. There are way too many people making jewellery from home and attempting to sell their pieces onlie. A lot of them are highly talented too. But that doesn’t really bother me. I am of the attitude that if we make something with love and have the intention to sell it, it will sell. I’ve even written a long-winded blog post about this. hehe http://cutelittlepackage.blogspot.com/2009/07/make-it-with-love-and-it-will-sell.html
I find it unnecessary to compare/rate so called competitors. I’d rather just admire the beauty of what they make and even promote it with Etsy treasuries. I believe that each person has their own kind of talent and the lesser they compare themselves to others, the better they allow their own creativity to bloom.
If you would like to, share some of the experiences with co-creators on etsy.com.
Etsy has been, and I believe it will continue to be, the best online marketplace I have ever sold at. In my view, no other site has matched it yet. And lately, they are focusing more on the socializing aspects of the site and that makes it easier than ever to follow, admire and communicate with fellow artists.
I am a member of many wonderful Etsy teams – Vegan Etsy, Etsy Veg, Etsy for Animals, Pagan of Etsy, Etsy Ugly Cute… (I’ve even started a Bengaluru Artists Team but it’s had zero activity so far. :oP). Among all the teams, I am most active on Vegan Etsy (http://veganetsy.blogpsot.com) and Etsy Veg (http://etsyveg.blogspot.com). These two teams promote kind, compassionate artists and creations. I have met some amazing people on all these groups and have become very close to some of them. Often, if I have to purchase something, I first look at my fellow teammates’ shops before looking elsewhere.
Outside of the teams, I have also made a few friends with people I have purchased from and vice versa. I have many, many favorite sellers on Etsy but off the top of my head, here are some who offer fantastic creations and with whom I have always had great experiences buying from: DaisyWares, NaturallyHip, aktie9, CindyPack, NGOriginals, SweetVConfections, UberDuperCreations. I would recommend any of these shops with complete confidence.
And here are some stores I have admired for the longest time and intend to purchase from in the near future: Ctbydonna, vegandish, silentlotus, thisisit, vegancraftastic, krugsecologic, darkfaerie, myzoetrope, Veganville, CricketsCreations. I had to make a great effort to limit this list to just ten. I could go on and on and on. LOL
I hope to continue to to find more talented artists and great people on Etsy and build long lasting relationships. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading! And keep those comments coming. It feels great to hear from you!
And of course, thanks Sus for taking time out to talk :)!
All pictures are copyright Susmitha. Please do not copy without permission.