The Etsy community is full of warm, helpful, supportive people. If there were to be a prize for “Etsy Seller Who Goes Out of Her Way to Make New Sellers Welcome While Giving Helpful Suggestions” it would go to Diane of eclecticasia. In February Diane, or “E” as she is known in the forums, started a thread for sellers with ten sales or less to promote their shops and their items. That’s where I first met her and many of my other favorite Etsy friends. When enough of the regular posters passed the ten sales mark, she started a thread for under 25 sales. The current thread is for people with 35 sales or less, and is a totally happening place to hang out. Of course, if you’ve spent any time at all in Etsy’s forums, you know there are always a zillion promotion threads popping up. So what makes E’s threads different? The time, energy, and enthusiasm she puts into them. Many people start threads and then run off, or stick around for a bit until the thread gradually dies. Diane has been continually posting–by which I mean looking at other people’s shops and commenting–for five months now and shows no sign of stopping yet! Her dedication has inspired a troop of us and I guarentee that if you come by the thread and say hi someone, if not several people, will take the time to look at your shop, pick a favorite, and maybe offer some advice.
Diane has a greenhouse where she propagates her own rare plants to sell on etsy and elsewhere. She also makes scarves, jewelry, trinket boxes, napkin rings, and silk floral arrangements. She also sells her plants on ebay and she is working on constructing a website for her greenhouse.
I bought a lovely begonia from her which now lives on my porch.
I asked Diane to answer some questions about her shop, the threads, and why she does what she does:
Celeste: First and foremost I want to thank you again for starting the “35 sales or less” thread and its predecessors. The threads have had a profound effect on use etsy newbies–in morale, encouragement, and even in sales! What made you start them, and what makes you keep them going? I know you put a lot of your very valuable time into the thread.
Diane: I hope the threads are serving a good purpose as I know people are struggling to get sales in a very swamped site. I was also a newbie but had been reading a lot in the Etsy Forums, gleaning as much info as I could about ‘selling on Etsy’ but I also have a ‘common sense’ approach to life in general. I had posted in a thread that yessydesigns had started of 10 or less sales, which is where I first met her. At the time I had one sale in January. Then someone else called BeadDiva09 started 2 different threads, one for people with few sales which I posted in and helped her with, commenting etc. then another for ‘Your most viewed item’ which I also did a lot with and started thinking about what could actually help sell those most viewed products.
So in February I decided to take the plunge and do my own thread for sellers who’d sold 10 items or less to try and help kick-start sales for them and myself as a promotional tool, but to be different in trying to assist with pointers I’d gleaned along the way. Lots of people benefited from it I think, which spurred me to create the 25 or less and 35 or less threads too. Kind of team work without being a literal team! I’ve received such staunch support from people like yourself, because there is a ‘Team Spirit’ in them. People feel they’re promoting to people who are actually paying attention and I hope it is doing some good!
Celeste: Tell us a little more about your shop name.
Diane: Eclecticasia came about because of the variety of items I offer for sale….crafts mixed with plants. The plants are mainly rarities, eclectic in themselves, and I produce a plethora of crafts, which vary a great deal, as I have done many crafts in my lifetime, so I thought this name would encompass everything in one neat package.
Celeste: How long have you been propagating your own plants? How did you get started at it?
Diane: This is my second year fully propagating from our stock plants. When I lived in the UK I used to grow my own plants for the garden in a small way and did work for some friends who propagated about 80 varieties of Fuchsias. That is the only experience I’ve had, but I tend to learn the ropes very quickly and my hubby who has a Degree in Horticulture has taught me a lot more. Begonias and their propagation and care have been more down to me experimenting and learning about them. This ‘project’ is what he’s been wanting to do for several years, looking to when he retires and establishing it. Because he works full time it’s mainly my baby! I think it may be that because I have a Doctorate in Medical Herbalism I manage to remember the Latin names, more so than the common ones!
Celeste: You do a lot of different kinds of crafts. Do you have a favorite?
Diane: I think my favorite craft of all of them is actually desgining and dressmaking, which I don’t actually have items of in my shop, yet! Something I’ve done since the early 80’s and was dressmaking and gave personal fittings in the making of garments and alterations to purchased ones that didn’t fit. This progressed to designing and making stagewear in the 90’s and onwards.
Celeste: What do you think the importance of buying and selling handmade is?
Diane: Handmade is important, especially when there are so many poorly made commercial products out there in the general shops. It usually means that they’re different, unique, well made and designed with care and love of the craft. Without handmade items I don’t think the diversity would be there and people buying the crafted items know who produces them, where they come from and that they’re not exploiting a person in a Third World country.
So take a minute, visit electicasia, look around. I am positive that you will find something that you love. And if you are an etsy seller with few sales, come by the thread. Say hi, look around the shops. You will meet some very nice people and get lots of exposure from your shop. But remember, don’t post and run! Being friendly goes a long way.