Please introduce yourself and your business
Hi my name is Gemma and I'm from North West London. I work part time at a local nursery and spend the rest of my time working with fabric for my shop 'Homemade Gems'.
When did you establish your business?
I started to sell on Etsy and other UK craft sites in April 2010.
What prompted you to start your own business?
I was inspired by the series 'Kirstie’s Homemade Home' a year or so ago. I really disliked it when other people had the same bits and pieces that I had and I was in need of a door stop, so I decided to give it a go and make something unique.
What inspires you – either to design/make something or the selections you choose to stock?
I love soft furnishings, especially cushions. You can instantly change a room by adding a few cushions. Cushions can make a room feel cosy and homely..which is how I love to feel. I am also inspired by silhouettes and the beautiful shapes they make. A lot of my work is simple and I feel that silhouettes create this 'simplicity'.
How did you hear about Etsy?
From blogs. In the blog world there are hundreds of women who put their talents on Etsy for the world to see.
How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
I felt magic. I was on a high for ages. It is a struggle to be seen on Etsy, let alone to have people favour your work over others. So to have any sale is a huge achievement.
What do you like about being part of Etsy?
I love the fact that you can buy something unique from practically anywhere in the world. I love the treasury feature too.
What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
Firstly, make your descriptions clear and accurate. Your pictures should be clear and to a fairly high standard, remember your pictures are what make buyers look at your shop in the first place.
Secondly, promote promote promote!
Twitter and Facebook are a great way to boost views. The more people that view your items, the more likely someone is going to buy something. Blogging is also an option, which allows potential buyers to get to know you and your shop on a more 'personal' level.
Thirdly, give customers a little something extra. I provide all my buyers with a discount code, so that they may purchase something from me again. With larger orders, I also add a little gift such as a hanging heart.
Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a special offer?
Yes! Use the code HOMEMADEGEMS10 for 10% off anything in my shop. This discount code ends April 22nd 2011.
Where can we find you?
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/homemadegems2010
Blog: You can follow my blog which is about my general life, crafts and cooking