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The Handmade Highway!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Feature - Recycled Ideas

Today begins our journey of finding businesses all over the web that are succeeding in the handmade market. I reached out to artists with bigger businesses hoping to dig a little deeper and see what makes them tick. I hope that you will enjoy reading their thoughts and ideas here and hopefully even learn something as well. Let our weekly Friday Feature begin!

Company Name: Recycled Ideas

Website Address: recycledideas.etsy.com

E-mail Address: recycled.ideas@yahoo.com

Describe your products or services in detail?
I make handmade paper that is recycled and can also be recycled in a unique way — by planting it to grow flowers, herbs and trees.

What made you start your business?
My husband encouraged me to start an Etsy storefront after he received a press release from them. He thought my handmade paper would
be well-suited for the site. Turns out he was right (he usually is)!

What made you decide to use a particular material?
I've always admired fine, high quality paper and recycling is a lifestyle choice. Recycling paper to turn it into handmade paper that can itself be recycled in a unique way (by planting it) is a marriage of both.

What inspires you?
People who are more creative and successful than I am.

Do you have anything unique or interesting that you would want readers to know about?
I earned a PhD in psychology in 2007 and have taught primate behavior courses at 3 different colleges and universities. Primates are definitely a passion of mine.

Out of all your products which is your favorite and why?
I love the plantable leaf embossed cards I make with real lavender. They were inspired by the area I live - it's like living in Provence, France but right here in a sleepy corner of southeast WA state called Walla Walla - the town so nice they named it twice! These are my signature cards. They are not only made with lavender I grow myself, but also lavender seeds (that I harvest from my plants). The cards can be planted to grow lavender after they've been used..

Who is your target market?
All nature loving people.

Is crafting a full-time job for you?
It isn't, but when sales are brisk, it can certainly become one!

What one thing would you pass down to new Etsy members? What sort of advice would you give them?
Take your photography outside to get the best shots. You don't need a fancy camera, but you do need excellent lighting. In online sales, good photos are essential - it's how customers decide whether to buy or not. Sure, price point is important, but no matter how good your prices, people won't buy what they can't see. Get outside for those photos! Late afternoon is the best - it will bring out colors, give you contrast, and create shadows to show off those very fine details.


KatieG said...

Very cool concept! And she is definitely right about pictures being important to selling an item!

Periwinkle Studio said...

I love the concept AND the monkey! :)

Rasberryswrlgirl said...

That's cool she works with primates I love monkeys. And definately good advice about the lighting.