Company Name: Heidi’s Love Letters
Website or Store Address: Heidisloveletters.etsy.com
Established: March, 2009
Who works at your store?
It’s me and only me, but I have a good group of friends who have promised to pitch in if I get a crazy number of orders all at once. My writer friends can pen a few verses and I have lots of crafty friends who would be perfectly at ease embellishing a message in a bottle.
How did you get started?
My friend Kim and I were walking on the beach talking about how neat Etsy is and thinking of shop ideas. I told her that I hadn’t seen a writing service listed yet and she encouraged me to start a shop myself. When I went back home, I did a more thorough search to see if there were any shops doing what I wanted to do and I couldn’t find any. I started making a list of all the things I would need to do to launch my site: write sample love letters and poems, craft samples for photography, list each item, create the questionnaire for customers to fill out, and get the word out.
What do you sell?
I sell original poems and love letters that are handwritten and embellished. Each customer fills out a Likes, Dislikes, and Other Important Information survey that tells me everything I need to know to write a poem or love letter that perfectly captures what they want to tell the object of their affection. I work closely with the client to make sure the final product is exactly what they want. These make lovely presents for an anniversary or special birthday. They also tend to be popular with men who need help saying, “I’m sorry.”
What are your most popular items?
The customized message in a bottle is my most popular item. Whether it’s an original poem or a customized love letter, this item is a beautiful gift. I also always get lots of questions about the set of haikus. People love haikus and this set of three original haikus is a total deal.
What defines your shop and makes it stand out?
I wanted to create a piece of romance with a bit of a whimsical twist. There are some shops that offer calligraphy services and some that create things similar to my message-in-a-bottle line, but none of the shops offer customized love letters or poems. As a professional writer and editor, I work with each client to craft an item that perfectly expresses what they want to say and my customers know they are going to be satisfied with the finished product.
What are your hopes, visions and dreams for the future?
I love trying new things, so I am always on the look out for new projects. For the shop, I would like to expand the offerings to include other romantic items so that customers can purchase a whole package with flowers and chocolates. I would love to collaborate more with other indie businesses. Eventually it would be great to offer online workshops to encourage others to write their own love poems—I think everyone should be writing poetry!
Do you have any tips for sellers who are just starting out?
I knew that the items that stand out the most on Etsy are usually the ones that are beautifully photographed. I’m a terrible photographer and I was worried that I would get hung up on trying to create great photographs of my products and never launch the site, so I contacted one of my favorite photographers on Etsy, Madelyn Mulvaley of Courage My Love. We worked out a fabulous deal and she took the beautiful photographs that are featured on my site. I would definitely recommend getting help with photographs, or any part of a new business that just feels like a huge hurdle to you.