Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My 15 Minutes (or more literally 48 hours)

Today I am the featured seller on Etsy! It is about the most exciting thing to have ever happened. Truly. The interview is up for about 48 hours and I've been glued to my computer all day. Even wondering if I'm going to sleep tonight. Got to catch those sales in Finland, or Iceland, or where have you.
All day has been a bit of a blur. I've been answering emails (over 300) , fielding wholesale requests, and filling orders (current count 90+). Check out the feature here. Or if your too tired to click, I will paste it for you below....please read it all...there will be a test later.

Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.
My name is Cory Smith and I am the owner of Sweet Petula, Inc. I make bath & body products that are all about indulging your senses. My goal has always been to make an amazing product that works wonders, but also looks really pretty in your bathroom just begging to be used. I love anything to do with baths, the ocean and soaking your cares away.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Sweet Petula keeps me very busy. My studio is behind my Sweet Petula brick & mortar shop and I am open 6 days a week. When I’m not making products, I’m talking with customers, balancing the books, taking a coffee break, designing new packaging, shipping packages, promoting, cleaning the floors…the list is endless.
I really love what I do and immerse myself in it. The best feeling after a long productive day, is when I walk out the door, and look back into the shop as I am locking up. It makes me happy knowing that I have created this little soap business from scratch. It gives me butterflies in my stomach (sort of like being in love), and makes me feel immensely happy.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Most everyone in my family is an artist. My immediate family is made up of a photographer & illustrator, sign painter, sculptor, and more than one taxidermist. The list goes on and on. I’ve always been surrounded by people who create. In my early 20’s, I realized that working for someone else simply wasn’t for me and I turned my craft into a business. I’ve always wanted to be as self-sufficient as possible and working for myself was the way to do that.
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I am a night person and most of my creating comes after 10 pm. My best ideas come to me when I am in my studio working on an existing product or packaging. I’ll get just a snippet of an idea and must immediately stop what I am doing to run with it. I can get distracted very easily with new ideas. Things that inspire me can be so random and varied. A photograph, (I actually studied photography in college), a pretty piece of paper, the smell of a smoky cinnamon desert at a restaurant. Anything.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A braided rug made by my aunt Judy. Years ago, you could find Jessica McClintock Gunny Sack dresses at thrift shops. My Aunt would buy them all up, deconstruct them and braid them into rugs. These rugs were so beautiful and feminine but surprisingly durable. I’ve had mine since I was 16. My Aunt was the first person I knew who was an artist that made crafts. Before her, I thought you were either an artist or a crafter.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
Books:My Life In Heavy Metal - Steve Almond
Charms for the Easy Life - Kaye Gibbons
Comfort Me With Apples - Ruth Reichl
Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
MoviesHigh Fidelity
Betty Blue
Little Miss Sunshine
Running with Scissors
Music:My music taste is so varied. I can’t list just 5 “favorites”. So instead I’ll list the five that are in my player at this very moment.
Flo’Ology - Floetry
Music to Make Love to your Old Lady By - Handsome Boy Modeling School
Till The Sun Turns Black - Ray Lamontagne
The Best of Paolo Conte - Paolo Conte (one of my very favorite songs of all time is on this “Via Con Me”, which is about love & taking baths)
Colour the Small One - Sia
Websites:I’m addicted to Twitter and Facebook at the moment. So much that it is embarrassing. I love seeing what my old friends and new friends are doing. I also like reading personal blogs. My favorites right now
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Do what you love and have a passion for. If you want to make a living at selling your craft, you have to think of it as a business. It isn’t going to just happen. It will actually be really really hard. There just isn’t any getting around that. Don’t complain about it. Just get to it.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
In general, my favorite thing about Etsy is the immense amount of talent in one spot. There are some amazing artists here. It is so inspiring just to look around.
My favorite feature on Etsy is Shop Local. I have found some great vendors for my shop as well as met some wonderful friends. I also love being able to “favorite” sellers and items.
As for new options, I’d love to see improved searches. I’m looking for a cute crafty single straight man that is comfortable talking about his feelings. If I could find that on Etsy, it would be super. I’d also settle for an easier listing process or more shipping options based on weight.
How do you promote your work?
I hand out samples. Lots and lots of samples. It works wonders. And free stuff makes people happy. I also keep a very detailed customer list that I email and mail to about once every 6 weeks.
In ten years I'd like to be...
happy, healthy & loved.


Jacquie said...

Congrats on being the Etsy featured seller. Your products are awesome.

Anonymous said...

Very cool!!


Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

I am a fellow lover-of-all-things-bath! :) I really enjoyed reading your interview and like your "don't complain, just get to it" attitude. Having spent a lot of time on work lately (and not much on a nice bath) I found your interview inspirational. Thank you and good luck catching-up with the *flood* (albeit a wonderful flood) this brought you! :)

Anne-Marie said...

Congrats! I'm planning on visiting your store on Valentine's Day. I can't wait to see all your goodies in person.

Lauren said...

Congrats! Great article! :)

Lemon Lollipop LLC said...

AH! What a cool update! I'm so excited for you!!

heidi said...

WOW! Congrats!

Sweetest Petula said...

Anne-Marie..please come on V-Day! I'm having a trunk show with some really cool handmade perfumes by a local company

or is late :)

her scents are amazing and prices even better. Not to be missed.