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Indie Shop Profiles

Company Name: Aimee Asher Elite- crafting, scrapbooking and printables

Location: Sand Point, ID

Website or Store Address: aimeeasher.com

Established: June 2008

Who works at your store?

We have several consignment Illustators and printable designers.

How did you get started?

We love to craft, create clipart and printables and many of us worked together in these fields so we branched out and started our lovely home on the web.

What do you sell?

Clipart, templates, candy wrappers, printable gifts, printable cards, scrapbooking, poems and teacher resources most all in digital downloadable format.

What are your most popular items?

We have several, Our baby and floral clipart along with most any of our printable gifts sets and cards.

What defines your shop and makes it stand out?

Our shoppe gives artist a place to sell their illustrations along with printable designers a place to create and sell their printable crafts. But our shoppe takes it a step further by enabling the small business crafter to buy our printables or art and make and sell their hand made items at craft fairs and small crafting parties. Our angel use policy allows this use and we also have a group of artist who also allow their work to be sold in digital format as well. So it is a wonderful way for our artist to have an income but also small business crafters.

What are your hopes, visions and dreams for the future?

We are in search of adding more clipart/ illustrators to our site as well as more instructional videos and tutorials for crafting. As well as continuing to grow and offer beautiful products for the small business crafters, and stay at home mom to create extra income.

Do you have any tips for sellers who are just starting out?

Advertise and market your products and services. Branch out and offer samples to those who are not familiar with your products and services. Offer ideas and tips for their use.

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.

Company Name: Mew Gallery LLC Location: 906 Christian Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 USA Website or Store Address: mewgallery.org Established: 2006

Who works at your store? Carolynne McNeel and Lauren Parker: we're co-owners. We also have a really tiny team of people who volunteer to help out sometimes.

How did you get started? Carolynne and I worked together in the fashion industry and were plotting to start our own thing. The plot became a true opportunity when the company we were working for was bought out and they laid off the whole design team. We started writing a business plan and got the whole thing together in about a year.

What do you sell? We sell all sorts of handmade stuff: art, jewelry, clothing, zines, handbags, and a million other things made by local artists and designers. 

What are your most popular items? People love to buy jewelry and affordable prints of original work by local artists.

What defines your shop and makes it stand out? We are really here to support Philadelphia's arts and the creative community. We don't just sell products by local artists, we also host rotating exhibits featuring the work of local artists, we host craft fairs and trunk shows with the local etsy street team members, we sometimes host workshops, and right now, we're hosting a "fringe festival" event. A local theater collaborative is using our space for a play. So that's our main focus.

What are your hopes, visions and dreams for the future? We hope to improve our webshop!!! It is still not where it should be!!!

Do you have any tips for sellers who are just starting out? Trust your gut feelings.


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