Better known to us on the British Sellers Team as flyingcheestoastie, Rachel's glass hares have become legendary!
Please introduce yourself and your business
I’m Rachel and I’m a glass artist working in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’m not a native Scot but came here to study my degree in Architectural Glass and after graduating in 2007, decided to stay and opened my own studio in 2009. I produce mainly kiln-formed glass, with my studio equipped with one of the largest kilns in Scotland as well as two other workhorse kilns. I use many different techniques including screen-printing in kiln fired enamels, lost wax casting and have recently started water-jet cutting the glass I use to incorporate this new technology into my practice.
When did you establish your business & what prompted you to start your own business?
The business was established in 2009 after I returned to Edinburgh from a work experience placement at a traditional stained glass studio in Birmingham called John Hardman Studio. It gave me the confidence that there was a market for the type of work I wanted to produce as well as in my own skills to build and maintain a studio of my own.
When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I have been working with glass since a basic introduction in 2000 via an adult education evening class. I started as a hobbyist and it’s one of the reasons I now teach classes to people with no experience to pass on the skills and let people have a go with something they would never have the opportunity of trying otherwise.
What inspires you – either to design/make something or the selections you choose to stock?
I love details, not the unnecessary frills, but the intricacies in everyday life that some people don’t notice but at the same time are instantly recognisable. I love making pieces that make people smile , whether that’s through recollection of a past memory or simply at the absurdity of it. It’s those principles that are in most of my pieces from the smallest brooch to my largest sculpture.
How did you hear about Etsy?
This sounds bad but I don’t really know when or how I first discovered Etsy, I’ve been browsing and buying since 2007, but only got my act together and properly stocked my own shop in November 2009.
|Fringe - Large Shed - Photographed by Simon Bruntell|
Ecstatic and appalled at the same time! It was a really unique bead that I made and had come third in British Bead Awards in 2009. I was so glad to see someone buy it but it sold after about 4 minutes of being listed, despite quite a high price tag, so my first thought were I’d priced it too cheaply, followed by sadness that I’d never make another like it again.
What do you like about being part of Etsy
I like the ease of it all, it’s easy to list something, it’s easy to buy and complete a sale with all the information you need. I also like how it guides your through things like tagging, and lets you re-edit as many times as you need to, to tweak and get things right.
I also like the community element of it, which for me has been a fairly recent discovery, after venturing from the solo team I was a member of to applying to a further 4 relevant ones in the space of a day!
Storm Troubled Sphere (Tempest Bead) - Photographed by Lucy Hunt
What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
Obviously the basics, good images, use all your tags when listing, stagger your listing etc. etc. But more importantly to new sellers, don’t’ loose heart, the business of hand-made goods is a luxury one and we are still in a recession, when people cannot afford the luxuries as often as they could previously. This is the wrong profession if you want to make a quick buck as you simply have to be in it for the long haul to see a return on your time and energy in marketing yourself, developing your products and all the other activities of selling your items. Utilise social networking such as Facebook, twitter, blogs etc, but don’t let them dominate or dictate your time and ensure everything you post or tweet has a follow through to your shop or a relevant item, to make sure people don’t just read and navigate away.
Scattered - Photographed by Sarah Rose Cameron
Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a special offer?
Readers can use the following code for FREE SHIPPING, anywhere in the world and for as many items as you like - FLYAWAYHOME
Where can we find you?
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/flyingcheesetoastie
My main website: http://www.rachel-elliott.com/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Rachel.Elliott.Glassworks