Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: allisonstrine

Jul 26, 2010

by allisonstrine handmade and vintage goods

When it came time to make her first bulk purchase of shipping envelopes, Allison Strine knew her creative outlet had become a successful business. Once a television editor, she now works full time on her Etsy business and has an assistant. Find out why Allison credits Etsy for her success in the art world, how she uses social media to boost her views, and learn her secret behind getting discounts on supplies.

How did you originally get into the business of making things?
I never was much of a maker as a kid. We lived on a farm and I was all about the horses. If you told me that I would be a happy and creative artist one day, I wouldn’t have believed it. But a few years ago when my friend Elizabeth gave me some canvas to play with, I had an absolute blast painting, glueing, and collaging at the kitchen table. I became entranced with painted ladies and birds. When the pieces were finished, one lady looked like she had something to say. So I bared my soul and added the line: “Sometimes she goes the whole day without putting on a bra.” Ha!

At the same time I was teaching myself to solder, also at the kitchen table. I soldered the bra-less lady into a pendant, and my friend suggested I try to sell it on a newfangled website called Etsy. That was in the summer of 2006, and of course the instant addiction to Etsy fueled my creative mango juices.

Tell us about your previous working situation.
I used to be an Arabian princess in a beautiful — no, scratch that. I used to be a television editor. I moved to Atlanta from my childhood home near Boston so that I could work at a post-production house. I was one of the very few girls behind the editing console, and I absolutely adored working with other creative people.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams of eventually quitting your day job?
In my wildest of wildest, I would never have imagined that I could earn money selling my wares. I remember that feeling of insane joy when I sold the first LadyBird to someone who didn’t already know me — they like me, they really like me! I ran right out to Office Max to get a shipping envelope. One, mind you. The next week I went back for a pack of five. And then ten. I still remember the leap of faith it took to go online and buy that big fat box of a hundred shipping envelopes.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
The words “plan” and “prepare” sadly do not appear much in my vocabulary. The creation of a business plan would have undoubtedly saved me some shilly-shallying and dithering about what to do next. I’ve come to realize that I just have to accept my quirkitudes though, so I’m okay with it.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
As Etsy has changed, my marketing tools have too. In 2006, Etsy was a tiny fraction of today’s glorious community. The website had only a smattering of today’s features, but when I listed something, it got instant views. So relisting and being active in the Etsy community were two extraordinary marketing ploys I learned. Today we have social networking, and I’ve found that sites like Twitter and Facebook get people looking and commenting, which brings me almost as much joy as the sale!

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?

Blech. I did a few ads in artsy magazines, and that turned out to be the best way to shred a few months’ income. In retrospect, I think I was more excited by the thought of being seen in Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion magazine than I was being wise about marketing dollars.

I think the biggest mistake I’ve made is not realizing that to create success in business, you have to first create failure, so you know what not to do. I used to get down on myself for making a boneheaded business judgment — heck, I still do — but realizing that it’s impossible to succeed without failing first has helped me lighten up a bit.

Have you made any business mistakes you regret?
I wish I’d known that as a business owner, I have a little clout when making bulk purchases of my supplies. I’ve developed relationships with many of my vendors. I enjoy buying from small companies, so I know that my dollar means something. I’ve learned it’s acceptable business practice to ask for a sample of a product I’m thinking about buying. What a concept! Now I’m brave enough to ask for a discount when working with vendors. I don’t always get the discount, mind you.

My best business mistake was an accident which turned into a monster money saver. I sell magnets, which I’d been buying online. It was kind of a pain, because I had to wait for them to ship and had to order in small bulk quantities, but I happily spent thousands of dollars having magnets magically manufactured just for me. One day I logged on to buy more magnets, and found that the price at my vendor had doubled overnight. I’m not getting rich selling $5 magnets, so there went any inch of profit I was making. After freaking out for a bit, I researched the magnet making machine and discovered that it wasn’t a million-dollar room-filling computer doodad requiring a college degree to operate. It’s a slightly expensive, easy-to-use machine that sits on the table and makes me happy. So, the mistake was in assuming that there wasn’t a less expensive way to get magnets made. Now I’ve got my eyes peeled for better, cheaper, faster ways to create quality products.

Walk us through your typical workday.

  • Wake up, bundle kids off to school, work out, dog park for Fern, and then head to the basement studio.
  • My lovely assistant Lisa is already there, checking email and working on orders.
  • I used to spend much of the workday doing social networking, tweaking, and listing on my Etsy site, but I’m finally learning to delegate. Now I can paint and create while Lisa does the tedious stuff!
  • Lisa and her two dogs work on soldering, packaging and shipping, while I work with Photoshop to resize, tweak and print my scanned-in collages.
  • Chit chat, solder, paint, Photoshop, cheesy TV, greet the UPS man, repeat… until it’s time to get the kids.
  • At one point my Etsy obsession (Etsession?) was keeping me at the computer way too much, but now I shut the factory down in the afternoons.
  • I’ll do an evening Etsy check, relist, answer convos, hope for sales, and then repeat the next day.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
I do kind of miss the rapport that I developed with my coworkers and clients, but I’m pretty darn happy with the commute!

Here’s a rapid-fire comparison: I get to come to work on my own schedule, but I don’t have any assurance that the next paycheck is in the mail. I get to work with my dog in my lap, but I can spend so much time on the computer that I don’t take her for a walk. It’s all give and take, good and bad, but way more good than bad.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
I love being my own boss. I also hate being my own boss. I had no idea how disorganized I was or that it took more than faith to do the finances. It is so not fun to keep track of the money. The buying of materials, the invoicing of customers (mostly now wholesale, not Etsy), the writing of checks — it all just sucks. If I had a minion to run that whole part of the business, I would be one happy artsy camper!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
Hire a bookkeeper. That’s a no-brainer. And maybe learn to delegate more? It’s very easy to slide into a non-creative zone, where I’m contacting customers, networking, Photoshopping, purchasing, and busying myself at the computer. Then, all of a sudden, a month has gone by without painting.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?
I would really love to reach more women, and to continue to create work that makes people smile, giggle, and even cry. I am finding some niches for specialty items, and look forward to creating more work to support those touched by autism, cancer and more.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I lived a whole life before the Internet came along, and I dove right into the future when it appeared. But I never would have guessed the impact a single website could have on my entire life. Because of Etsy, I’m an artist. From the humblest of humble beginnings, I now consider myself a successful contributor to the art community. Thanks to the moon and back, Etsy!

Thanks to Allison for sharing her story. You can see some of Allisons work in the Seller’s Items below.

Previous Quit Your Day Job posts


  • beautifulanodyne

    beautifulanodyne said 7 years ago

    I love that you've featured an artist this time! Everytime I read a "quit your day job" article, it's a nice kick in the butt I need. :) Thanks Mary and Congrats Allison!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 7 years ago

    Great article and beautiful work! Thank's for sharing.

  • Ayca

    Ayca said 7 years ago

    Great article , lovely shop...Thanks for sharing :)

  • kelledame

    kelledame said 7 years ago

    Today has been so filled with inspiration! No excuses not to live out my dream. Thanks for the swift kick in the rear! I would totally quit my day job if I had one :)

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 7 years ago

    Great story and beautiful work!

  • sarantos

    sarantos said 7 years ago

    Loved reading this one! :)

  • themustardseedco

    themustardseedco said 7 years ago

    Amazing work! Thank you for the great article, it's always the inspiration I need too!

  • CatchTheEye

    CatchTheEye said 7 years ago

    what great work!

  • pignkitty

    pignkitty said 7 years ago

    very cool arts!

  • Lineka

    Lineka said 7 years ago

    Love your shop and story, congrats!

  • brideblu

    brideblu said 7 years ago

    Lovely feature, lovely artist, lovely work!!!! Totally can relate to the "book-keeper" wish...I am no good with numbers either!!!!

  • bayousalvage

    bayousalvage said 7 years ago

    love your honesty about the ups and downs of running your own show. your work gives much joy- keep up the good work!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 7 years ago

    Way to go Allison, happy for ya~ Wonderful shop too, wish you continued success on Etsy and beyond. :)

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story!

  • shellieartist

    shellieartist said 7 years ago

    Love reading this...congrats and keep up the great work!

  • creativityismessy

    creativityismessy said 7 years ago

    I always love and feel so inspired by these great success stories! Thank you!

  • pasin

    pasin said 7 years ago

    Great article Very cool arts

  • twolefthands

    twolefthands said 7 years ago

    Love your story and your shop is fabulous! Congratulations!

  • JKiyomi

    JKiyomi said 7 years ago

    So inspiring! Congrats!

  • shopdomestica

    shopdomestica said 7 years ago

    What a great story - thanks so much for sharing - so happy for you - much deserved!

  • artbyaimeejoy

    artbyaimeejoy said 7 years ago

    Inspiring story, unique art! I love hearing about fellow artists :)

  • LicoriceTwig

    LicoriceTwig said 7 years ago

    Loved this article! Very sweet and encouraging.

  • BoydemTreasures

    BoydemTreasures said 7 years ago

    So many changes during your life: internet, art... lucky you!!!

  • BoydemTreasures

    BoydemTreasures said 7 years ago

    Very intresting! you are doing great art!! good luck!

  • stubborndog

    stubborndog said 7 years ago

    All sorts of congratulations! I love these articles because they're so motivating. Your shop is absolutely fun to look at!

  • SusanFaye

    SusanFaye said 7 years ago

    Inspirational as always! I love the pet pendants with the saying on the back!!!

  • VernaArt

    VernaArt said 7 years ago

    Great Work! I love all of your pieces and will order one as soon as I decide how to choose which one I love the best. In the meantime I am still trying to get my page to show. Best, Verna

  • sunstoneboutique

    sunstoneboutique said 7 years ago

    nice article keep up the good work!

  • Toxicguineapigs

    Toxicguineapigs said 7 years ago

    Inspiring as always! Love to read this when I'm at the office wishing I was home drawing :)

  • CarynsCompany

    CarynsCompany said 7 years ago

    What a great article, Allison!! I love your happy work, your quirky sense of humor, and your total uniqueness! There's no one else out there like you. You are so totally refreshing. You have the talent to dig in and uncover the universalities in the "modern" woman. I'm happy to say I own some of your art because it speaks to me! Thanks also for the little tidbits to light the way for the rest of us on the artistic path. ~A Facebook friend, Caryn.

  • thecraftpantry

    thecraftpantry said 7 years ago

    Love her style, beautiful work!!!

  • sweetpoppycat

    sweetpoppycat said 7 years ago

    I love this article. It inspires me to create more and keep my nose to the etsy grindstone.

  • haikumovingcompany

    haikumovingcompany said 7 years ago

    I'm at work reading all of these 'Quit your day job' stories...:) maybe one day I'll be featured!

  • TheWellingtonBoot

    TheWellingtonBoot said 7 years ago

    Brilliant artwork, very original. Hope I have my story on here one day!

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring :) Best of luck!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 7 years ago

    What a delightful interview! Here's to your continued success.

  • LafesHiddenTreasures

    LafesHiddenTreasures said 7 years ago

    A really great interview and a joy to read. Congrats on your success and Happy Sales.

  • NoMoreTwistHandmade

    NoMoreTwistHandmade said 7 years ago

    totally agree with you on the tendency to get side-tracked by all the "non-creating" stuff. everything seems so necessary and it all can be such a time-suck! keeping my focus on the goal of creating and learning how to delegate is something i am really struggling with right now, so thanks for the advice--i needed to hear that again!

  • PACountryCrafts

    PACountryCrafts said 7 years ago

    Great article! I just ordered my first batch of bulk envelopes, so I am holding my breath! :)

  • AlyTheRed

    AlyTheRed said 7 years ago

    Allison! What a great interview! I love your unique work, and sense of humor. I've bought several things from you, so it's fun to read more about you. I relate to so many things you said about the computer work required to be an artist, and the joy and work of selling online. I'm just recovering from lack of studio time, myself, by breaking my habit of going to the computer first. I have studio time first every day! Then work out, then computer time (shipping etc), and family time in the afternoons. It's easy, when you are self employed, to spend too much time working or attached to the computer, but THAT doesn't create art. :-) Cheers to you getting an assistant! Aly

  • APeacefulLife

    APeacefulLife said 7 years ago

    Wonderful interview! I have loved Allison's work for several years now. I've seen her work in some stores in Alaska, which is quite a thrill!

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!!

  • CindyEllison

    CindyEllison said 7 years ago

    It is wonderful to see an artist profiled and that the artist is YOU! Enjoyed reading your story and advice. Love your work and may continued success be yours!

  • FoundDays

    FoundDays said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring... quitting my day job seems like such a dream, but I see people do it, it's possible. With a baby on the way, I can think of nothing better than to somehow work from home, and not have to shuttle baby off to be cared for by someone else.

  • farfallagialla

    farfallagialla said 7 years ago

    Exciting! Congratulations!

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio said 7 years ago

    Great story! Thank you for sharing!

  • sarahogren

    sarahogren said 7 years ago

    Love your sense of humor Allison! Congrats on all of the success!!

  • LeafandInk

    LeafandInk said 7 years ago

    This was a fantastic interview! We enjoyed the feedback in the advice category : ) Beautiful creative work Allison Strine! Come check us out too! Become a part of our LeafandInk family at we would love to meet you! Blessings!!!

  • JudyBFreeman

    JudyBFreeman said 7 years ago

    Wonderful interview & I've been a fan for a long time. Congratulations & I'm sure this feature will bring more orders your way. Well deserved ♥

  • ShopOlio

    ShopOlio said 7 years ago

    What a fun read! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • denicerinks

    denicerinks said 7 years ago

    I am so happy for you Allison! What a beautiful spirit you have. I so love your comments in the article. I will share your work and wish you continued success!

  • valleykatdesigns

    valleykatdesigns said 7 years ago

    beautiful & inspiring article! I've been trying to figure out my own 'reason for being here' - convinced that it has SOMETHING to do with my art! now to figure out WHAT to focus on?!?! Quit your day job articles are always super inspiring, this one takes the cake! Allison, congrats to you... you are creating a form of art that touches people and THAT is something to be proud of! you rockstar, you. oh... love the 'skip the bra' comment, too! freakin hilarious! I joke that I love to paint in my pj's (same thing!!!) thanks for the smiles.

  • yourethatgirldesigns

    yourethatgirldesigns said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Always inspiring. I love her sense of humor too.

  • sharmadesigns

    sharmadesigns said 7 years ago

    Aww Yay! I've been a fan for such a long time. I'm so happy Allison Strine is the featured seller this week. Congrats!

  • ThreeRubies

    ThreeRubies said 7 years ago

    Absolutely adore Allison's art! And, this particular interview was especially engaging, informative and just plain fun.

  • PaperDemonJewelry

    PaperDemonJewelry said 7 years ago

    My favorite quit your day job post yet. So real, so down to earth, so willing to admit mistakes! I love your attitude! I'm trying to quit my day job, still a long long way away. Come check out if you have a chance, and best of luck.

  • ShellysDesign

    ShellysDesign said 7 years ago

    I absolutely LOVe these quit your day job articles! So happy for you Allison and thank you for the inspiration!

  • CassiopiasCreations

    CassiopiasCreations said 7 years ago

    Wonderful pictures!! Many blessings on your new "job"!

  • lindaketelhut

    lindaketelhut said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story Allison! Your work is so joyful and fun. Congrats on your success - it's inspiring to see fellow artists prosper!!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 7 years ago

    Yay! I have "she didn't think he needed fixing" on my jewelers bench. Wonderful for you Alison!

  • AbraCat

    AbraCat said 7 years ago

    I really enjoyed this article. I particularly liked what Allison said about being so excited for her first sale to someone who didn't know her. I'm still waiting for that sale myself, so I can completely understand.

  • VeronicaRStudio

    VeronicaRStudio said 7 years ago

    I love reading stories like this one, mostly to remind myself it can be done, and also to see how other people working from home organize their time (one of my biggest downfalls!). Congratulations on your success Allison, and thank you for sharing your story.

  • lamixx

    lamixx said 7 years ago

    I loved reading your story, a great inspiration!! Thank you for sharing.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    I love the QYDJ series. Another great inspiration. I've just gone part time, two weeks in, and I love it. Even if I break even every month, the quality of life is just... better. I do what I love and I get to pay the bills (barely) doing it. But I'd rather work (if you can call it that) to live, than live to work, any day.

  • Collagitation

    Collagitation said 7 years ago

    Congratulations Allison! I intend to be in your shoes (on my feet!) in the hopefully not toooo distant future. I recently opened my own Etsy shop--all original collage art--but haven't sold anything yet. I love how you list your items, complete with story. They are great pieces, whimsical and full of spirit and fun! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump said 7 years ago

    Great story! Lovely to see a neighbor on here! (Hello from East Atlanta!) :)

  • foxconscious

    foxconscious said 7 years ago

    Amazing to think how you can carve out a life for yourself by doing what you love. It's so flattering when people love your work!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    Formidable story ! Congrats Alison !

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your work is so colorful and whimsical ~ I can't help but smile when I see it! :)

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 7 years ago

    Nice story. lovely colorful art!

  • sarahspiral

    sarahspiral said 7 years ago

    what a fantastic interview...if i were closer i'd be your bookkeeper (it's my morning job, doing more and more books for my amazing creative friends!!) what an energy packed, inspirational article - thank you!!!!!!!!!

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 7 years ago

    so fun paintings and living the life as an artist! i love when etsy features painters and illustrators.

  • JayNineFrankenstein

    JayNineFrankenstein said 7 years ago

    Great story! Very inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Casualelegancedesign

    Casualelegancedesign said 7 years ago

    Nice work, great story, and what a great person.

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 7 years ago

    i really like the style of your work. bright colors and very cheery.

  • RememberMeEmily

    RememberMeEmily said 7 years ago

    Allison ~ your work is so happy & inspirational! What JOY you are bringing into the world! Bless you & thank you! XOXOXO

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 7 years ago

    I love your work and your story is an inspiration.

  • CustomDogBandanas

    CustomDogBandanas said 7 years ago

    A great story and very inspiring!!

  • DotD

    DotD said 7 years ago

    You are also a very talented writer. Enjoyed your article immensely! Thank you.

  • MagicMarkingsArt

    MagicMarkingsArt said 7 years ago

    Your personality totally fits your art - well, I guess it's the other way around - your art work defines your whimsical personality. This was a great article. Thank you for sharing your insights and your sense of fun.

  • Venbead

    Venbead said 7 years ago

    I contacted allison a few months back about using one of her quotes on a piece of jewelry in my shop and she was so gracious and lovely about it. I feel honored to have "collaborated" with such a talented and funny lady! I LOVE this article!!!

  • WrenWillow

    WrenWillow said 7 years ago

    yay!!! I've long loved your work and your helpful forum posts!! thanks for sharing some *more* insights into your work and life - inspirational!!

  • pamwares

    pamwares said 7 years ago

    love it! great story! And love your work! perfect in my colorful home!

  • MonkiVintage

    MonkiVintage said 7 years ago

    So inspiring! Congratulations on your well earned success!!

  • woolies

    woolies said 7 years ago

    One of my favorite shops. As a corporate executive in the wonderful world of advertising (NOT), it is my dream to quit my day job one day. :)

  • CremeDeLaGems

    CremeDeLaGems said 7 years ago

    What a fun article to read! Thank you for inspiring me and for all the good & real advice ;) LOVE your artwork!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 7 years ago

    Big Fan!! LOVE It!

  • annashoub

    annashoub said 7 years ago

    I love Allison's work and her brilliant sense of humour. so nice to hear from someone who has really taken her business to a new level. Great story.

  • GypsyInMe

    GypsyInMe said 7 years ago

    wonderful article...made me art

  • TerrierTrousers

    TerrierTrousers said 7 years ago

    Love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing and being an inspiration. Your work is fun and it sounds like you are as well.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 7 years ago

    lovely and cheerful work!

  • highwaterstudios

    highwaterstudios said 7 years ago

    what a nice article-great stuff too thanks.

  • 111collagedesign

    111collagedesign said 7 years ago

    Great article and good advice. I love Allison's artwork :)

  • franz66

    franz66 said 7 years ago

    wow. this is the first "quit your day job" post ive read that really hit home.... you sound like a person with a fantastically balanced attitude. thanks!

  • KathyPanton

    KathyPanton said 7 years ago

    So good to see an artist featured

  • pamelam

    pamelam said 7 years ago

    I'm a fan. Keep up the great work, Allison!

  • mybainne

    mybainne said 7 years ago

    I love art, your art is very unique and funny! It makes me laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • monkeyminddesign09

    monkeyminddesign09 said 7 years ago

    I love reading these interviews... so inspiring!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 7 years ago

    You look so relaxed and at peace I know you love being able to creat outside. I'm moving into a house with a wonder patio I can't wait to create outside in my own backyard. Thanks for your inspiring interview.

  • helenapuck

    helenapuck said 7 years ago

    What an inspiring story! I love quirky artwork. It has such personality.

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony said 7 years ago

    like the "go with the flow" model of doing business, sounds kinda familiar:) Neat too, to hear about the early times on etsy as I came late to the party. enjoyed reading your article!

  • jmliss

    jmliss said 7 years ago

    Great article, thank you!

  • ekra

    ekra said 7 years ago

    Incredible and inspiring story!

  • SillyMonkeyParade

    SillyMonkeyParade said 7 years ago

    Very very inspiring!! :)

  • DomesticallyGreen

    DomesticallyGreen said 7 years ago

    very inspiring!! I love her stuff :)

  • GoodGriefGlass

    GoodGriefGlass said 7 years ago

    Congratulations on your success!

  • FindingFelicityLLC

    FindingFelicityLLC said 7 years ago

    Um, I adore the fact that you used the word "quirkitude." That made my day right there. Lovely interview, lovely shop! Congratulations on all your succes!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 7 years ago

    Love the laughs in this article and your art!

  • 1elegantlady

    1elegantlady said 7 years ago

    How inspiring for me! I have just recently opened my shop and am trying to learn the how-to's of the selling on line world. But I just love Etsy. Thanks for the advice. all is well taken.

  • rkbrushworks

    rkbrushworks said 7 years ago

    Great article and very inspiring! Congratulations!


    LANYARDLADY said 7 years ago

    It makes me so happy to see creative people realize their dream of making a living doing what they love. The world needs more Allisons!

  • PotteryHeaven

    PotteryHeaven said 7 years ago

    Wow, awesome article!

  • aynart

    aynart said 7 years ago

    the world would be a better place if more people could do what they love. hooray for allison!

  • hankietankie

    hankietankie said 7 years ago

    your art is so happy & colorful...just what the world needs! wonderful article, super inspirational...XOXOXOXOXO

  • SmilingGirlStudio

    SmilingGirlStudio said 7 years ago

    I love your art but better yet the story of success behind it!!! Thank you for encouraging those of us who have yet to "make it" to keep on keeping on! xoxo

  • elisawalshdesigns

    elisawalshdesigns said 7 years ago

    Your shop and artwork are beautiful. I have enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for sharing

  • SuzanneDesign

    SuzanneDesign said 7 years ago

    OK, yours is the first shop where I saw something for just about everyone I know/work with. You are a hoot! Love your sense of humor. Your sayings are great, funny and even thought provoking. I am so glad you are successful and took the time to share your etsy biz adventure!


    ZZsROCKnRECYCLABLES said 7 years ago


  • junebell

    junebell said 7 years ago

    great take on how to view mistakes

  • knotworkshop

    knotworkshop said 7 years ago

    Even though I have yet to 'quit my day job' in the true sense, I can still relate to so much of what you're saying. Congratulations on your success.

  • PinkGlassPalace

    PinkGlassPalace said 7 years ago

    very interesting & love the colorful artwork!

  • theStarcraft

    theStarcraft said 7 years ago

    inspiring :D

  • helensadornments

    helensadornments said 7 years ago

    Loved reading your story and found it inspiring.

  • HollyvisionArt

    HollyvisionArt said 7 years ago

    Congratulations, its so nice to meet the woman behind the fabulous art.

  • SEOWebDesign

    SEOWebDesign said 7 years ago

    Congratulations! We DO learn more from our mistakes and lessons learned well go on to become successes. Your artwork is so happy and creative.

  • evertonterrace

    evertonterrace said 7 years ago

    Delightful and full of joy. I loved this one. Your art is wonderful and my most favorite new word is "Etsession"!! Wishing you continued success.

  • thesleepingdog

    thesleepingdog said 7 years ago

    been following you since my introduction to etsy...and still LUV your funky whimsical paintings!

  • Evajune

    Evajune said 7 years ago

    I had such a long day today. This story made me so happy. I love all the beautiful colors in your paintings

  • 1920

    1920 said 7 years ago

    love the story and its humor so much!

  • realisationcreations

    realisationcreations said 7 years ago

    Long time fan - love your work! Wonderful to read more about you - congratulations on the feature! :)

  • wishartglass

    wishartglass said 7 years ago

    I love this story! Thank you Allison and Mary!

  • heartquake

    heartquake said 7 years ago

    you are a great inspiration. i love your quirky paintings and collages!

  • thebqe

    thebqe said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story! Def needed this to lift my spirits and keep working hard!

  • florasvintagecloset

    florasvintagecloset said 7 years ago

    Great article! I really enjoyed reading it. :)

  • BitsyB00

    BitsyB00 said 7 years ago

    i agree, your first sale to a stranger is liberating! :) and i think "etssesion" should definitely be in my vocabulary!

  • JessicaTorrant

    JessicaTorrant said 7 years ago

    Honestly this is my favorite QYDJ article yet! I loved the line "I think the biggest mistake I’ve made is not realizing that to create success in business, you have to first create failure, so you know what not to do." Everything about this article lifted me up - which is no surprise considering that your artwork has been doing that for years! My sincerest wishes for continued success, Allison. In my book, you're a true star. :)

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 7 years ago

    awesome, allison. do happy to see you here! xoSherry

  • forrestinavintage

    forrestinavintage said 7 years ago

    Nicely written! Alison is not only an artist but has a very approachable and genuine 'voice'...kudos for shutting down the factory in the afternoons, too!

  • shadowdream2007

    shadowdream2007 said 7 years ago

    Great article, very inspiring. Was needing the extra little push to do more listing. Thanks.

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 7 years ago

    Awesome, so happy for her!!!

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 7 years ago

    Congrats Allison! Super cool reading about your whole process, well deserved. Cheers!

  • SissysArt

    SissysArt said 7 years ago

    Love your work Allison! It's so colorful and joyful.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    I love your bright colors!1 great story!1

  • Luckybutterfly

    Luckybutterfly said 7 years ago

    Im so glad its a painter this time! I am always looking for stories about painters :) Thanks!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 7 years ago

    Great story....that's one happy artist...with amazing artwork!

  • littleputbooks

    littleputbooks said 7 years ago

    Alison, you're awesome and I love you! Congratssss!

  • CraftedByMei

    CraftedByMei said 7 years ago

    Allison, I enjoyed reading your interview & your sense of humour, that was great!

  • anthologyorganic

    anthologyorganic said 7 years ago

    this art makes me feel quietly peaceful :) great story

  • artangel

    artangel said 7 years ago

    Lovely to see such a wonderful artist featured - well done on all your success Allison, you're an inspiration!

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca said 7 years ago

    Aww, Allison, this is one of the best "quit your day job" interviews I think I've ever read. Thank you for sharing & I wish you the many-est of joys being an artist--pup in your lap & all!

  • shellsherree

    shellsherree said 7 years ago

    All kinds of wonderful! Congratulations and thanks, Allison. Here's to many more four-legged assistants for you and Lisa.

  • Earthystyle

    Earthystyle said 7 years ago

    One of a kind!

  • lakesidecottage

    lakesidecottage said 7 years ago

    Just shows to go ya that there's hope for us all! Brava!

  • Dryw

    Dryw said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane said 7 years ago

    I love your spirit. You are an inspiration! Congradulations on your life!

  • marbled

    marbled said 7 years ago

    Great story!

  • joyceweaver

    joyceweaver said 7 years ago

    Great article - very inspiring!

  • animalcracker

    animalcracker said 7 years ago

    Great article. Thanks for the tips!

  • Marleyart

    Marleyart said 7 years ago

    Your article gives me encouragement to keep doing what I am doing. Thanks for the info...very helpful.

  • AnselsAttic

    AnselsAttic said 7 years ago

    Great article and I LOVE your art, Alison! I thank you also for your business advice. I'm just getting started today with ETSY and I found your tips very helpful. Thank you and Congratulations on your new and fulfilling career! You've inspired me!

  • CarolJoyFashions

    CarolJoyFashions said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful, uplifting article! Thanks for the insights!

  • EvenAndy

    EvenAndy said 7 years ago

    Great article! Thank you so much for sharing your great advice. I am bad with bookkeeping too.

  • noritadesigns

    noritadesigns said 7 years ago

    Well, you have certainly inspired me to pick up where I left off months ago! I absolutely love what you do and say...I have been holding back thinking I needed a business plan downpat.well, blow that! and my bra :)

  • Faerydog1969

    Faerydog1969 said 7 years ago

    very inspiring :)

  • beadweaver

    beadweaver said 7 years ago

    I don't often read the entirety of a Storque article but this one caught my attention. Wow, thank you for sharing your story. It's truly inspirational.

  • lynncyrart

    lynncyrart said 7 years ago

    SO happy to see Allison being featured here!! I've always been a fan of her work, and it's great to see a Fine Artist featured here!! You've given us all some great advice and are an inspiration to us all... keep up the great work!!!!! :)

  • aileenrae

    aileenrae said 7 years ago


  • WonderfullyMadeArt

    WonderfullyMadeArt said 7 years ago

    So inspiring! Definitely makes you want to work harder and be a part of the "Quit your Day Job" community :) Awesome!

  • PurdyThings

    PurdyThings said 7 years ago

    Love this article!! Allison you seem like you would be such a hoot to be around, I love your sense of humor!! I love your advice about shutting down in the evenings. Thank you!!! :)

  • JaniceCordeiro

    JaniceCordeiro said 7 years ago

    Now that's a great story.

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 7 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiration!!

  • SherriConley

    SherriConley said 7 years ago

    What a terrific inspirational story! Thanks for sharing!

  • buttonsbyrobin

    buttonsbyrobin said 7 years ago

    I love the artwork. So colourful/colorful and fun!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Great article interesting to read that taking press adverts doesnt always work!

  • SugarKids

    SugarKids said 7 years ago

    Love your work. Really fun! CONGRATS ON YOUR SUCCESS.

  • happygolicky

    happygolicky said 7 years ago

    One of the best articulated be-your-own-boss experiences I've read. I love that she shares examples of her "mistake regrets" instead of saying something to the tune of "it's all a learning experience so I have no regrets," which seems to be a common theme.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 7 years ago

    Your work is so honest and straightforward, I can see why it has allowed you to be successful. Congratulations!

  • TanyaMac

    TanyaMac said 7 years ago

    Allison you are one of my favourite artists here at etsy! Woohoo for you! Great to see you getting a bit of etsy love for all the hard work you do! congratulations! ;D

  • hellokittyandme

    hellokittyandme said 7 years ago

    Truly inspiring, thanks so much for sharing!

  • lecollezione

    lecollezione said 7 years ago

    Great article and inspiring story. Congrats on your success!

  • creativebusybee

    creativebusybee said 7 years ago

    Very creative, lovely items. Thanks for the tips too.

  • Chandeluse

    Chandeluse said 7 years ago

    Congrats on your story on the front page, now I'm buying even though I don't know what I will do with them.

  • iwearmetal

    iwearmetal said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring! Love your work, so original and a great use of color. Onward!

  • bmegdesigns

    bmegdesigns said 7 years ago

    Yay Allison!! Now I just have to mention, I was Alison's 12th and 17th sale. Do I know how to pick em or what!? Thanks Alison for the sweet, inspiring and informative interview. You continue to ROCK!! xoxoxoxo

  • TandRHandweaving

    TandRHandweaving said 7 years ago

    Nice Article for a newbie like myself to read - read at just the right moment in time - when I am working on opening my store. thank you so much!

  • moonstr

    moonstr said 7 years ago

    wonderfully inspiring! thanks for sharing Allison!

  • AngelasAlchemy

    AngelasAlchemy said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 7 years ago

    Congratulations on your faulous success! I love your style and attitude -- very inspiring article!

  • Joanna1966

    Joanna1966 said 7 years ago

    like your shop !

  • kindlivingdesigns

    kindlivingdesigns said 7 years ago

    So wonderful to put a face to your lovely sing-song. I am a buyer of all things Allison exciting to "see" you featured. I love my birdie girls, but especially my Momma & baby birdies. Great article, super-duper fun artwork and items, but most imporantly, wonderful person and absolutely perfect customer service. ;) Congrats!

  • ArtbyRuth

    ArtbyRuth said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring, Thanks for share :D

  • PhotographyOf

    PhotographyOf said 7 years ago

    Thank for the inspiration. I love your work. Contrats!

  • chellielynn

    chellielynn said 7 years ago

    Having to make mistakes to learn is a good point, I have been doing my share of that recently! I love all of your color!

  • KJoannRussell

    KJoannRussell said 7 years ago

    Delightful story! So good to see an artist featured for this column.

  • sakurabathandbody

    sakurabathandbody said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, it is truly inspiring! Congratulations! :-)

  • IStandConnected

    IStandConnected said 7 years ago

    A Dream Come True. Congrats to a strong and courageous woman. You must love having all that color around you everday.

  • tagyouritbykari

    tagyouritbykari said 7 years ago

    "It takes more than faith to do the finances?"- I'm in trouble!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 7 years ago

    This story is inspiring as always. She looks so free and happy!

  • kunklebaby

    kunklebaby said 7 years ago

    Love your work-great interview! :D

  • SillyBuddy

    SillyBuddy said 7 years ago

    Grats Allison, you're living the dream :)

  • AdultIndulgences

    AdultIndulgences said 7 years ago

    So happy for you Allison. Your work is adorable and I can tell your heart goes into it!

  • designMatter

    designMatter said 7 years ago

    Tnx too for sharing:)

  • twirlaway

    twirlaway said 7 years ago

    What a great interview. Very inspiring! All the best!

  • RubiesandPetals

    RubiesandPetals said 7 years ago

    These "Quit Your Day Job" articles are soooooo inspiring! Love your work Allison! Your work is sensational. To infinity and beyond!

  • teedle

    teedle said 7 years ago

    I love your shop! Congratulations on turning your dreams into reality!

  • jcjewelrydesign

    jcjewelrydesign said 7 years ago

    Beautiful works and great article! Congratulations and thanks for sharing ~


    KIMMSMITH said 7 years ago

    Bright and Beautiful work, great interview!

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 7 years ago

    Very creative art!!! Love all the colors and the funny quotes. Hope to quit my day job one day! Thanks for letting me see it can be done!!!!

  • vroberts1017

    vroberts1017 said 7 years ago

    Great article... thanks for sharing and for inspiring.

  • maiziedaisy

    maiziedaisy said 7 years ago

    One of my most cherished posessions is my Ladybird pendant,which you customized for me a couple of years ago. It had my four grandchildren plus my little angel baby(yet to be born) in the sky.."She loved her grandchildren to the moon and back." I love it so much! You are so talented and inspiring!

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 7 years ago

    I think I might know Allison from my own years in television in Atlanta. Or maybe not. In any event, this was a fun and inspiring article to read. Your shop looks like a huge success to this relative newcomer!

  • polkadotshop

    polkadotshop said 7 years ago

    I remember your fabulous scrapbook/art from Creating Keepsakes magazine. It is great to see you have continued with your beautiful work.

  • JeansVintageCloset

    JeansVintageCloset said 7 years ago

    Love the kitty cat and This is nice to know that all this hard work in the studio produces this sweet artwork

  • KnuttinButYarn

    KnuttinButYarn said 7 years ago

    you have some beautiful work showcased here. I love the colors and just the very idea of it as well. I also was intrigued by some of the points you made. I have read some people say you don't need to re-list and then I see where you have made that a standard policy. I haven't done it yet, but I think I'm leaning into that direction. I always appreciate those that are successful handing out their gems of advice. Thanks.

  • novella

    novella said 7 years ago

    I love what you said, "...first create failure, so you know what not to do." Amen! Best wishes with all future successes!

  • MeowBarkArt

    MeowBarkArt said 7 years ago

    Your work is amazing... I love that it is whimsical yet encouraging. It's so recognizable too! You bought the first thing I sold on etsy & send me the kindest convo. I'll never ever forget that kindness. Congrats on your successes!

  • LoveHonorUpcycle

    LoveHonorUpcycle said 7 years ago

    I heart your art, your store and your story. I'm truly inspired. Thanks for sharing.

  • RoryRoo22

    RoryRoo22 said 7 years ago

    wow- i love reading stories like this, so inspiring, especially to us moms trying to figure all this out. it's worth it!

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 7 years ago

    wonderful! thank you so much for featuring such an inspiring Visual Artist!

  • hgoncalves

    hgoncalves said 7 years ago

    Great advice and very inspiring story! Thanks for sharing!

  • derbydolls

    derbydolls said 7 years ago

    What an inspiring story!!! Thank you so much for inspiring me to get back to work. ;-)

  • sandyk75

    sandyk75 said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring work,its difficult 2 manage n multitask home,kids,etc n also b creative,u really inspire me to be like u,i love role models,All the Best!!!!!!!!!

  • CrystalRainJewelry

    CrystalRainJewelry said 7 years ago

    What a fun article to read. I love you're sense of humor as well as your art. Very encouraging. Thank you.

  • Goofingoff

    Goofingoff said 7 years ago

    I've always admired your work. Your story is inspirational.

  • judycolorsincreation

    judycolorsincreation said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder and inspiration that our crafting can be rewarding in so many ways.

  • PoisonGarden

    PoisonGarden said 7 years ago

    Great article! It was interesting to read about her marketing dos and donts :)

  • DeStashParty

    DeStashParty said 7 years ago

    YES!!! I finally get to comment on your interview! I have spent 2 days pulling my 19-month-old away from the computer just so that I could read the interview, check out the comments, look at a few of the commenters' shops, and re-read parts of your interview! Did you realize you would inspire SO many people with your story, humor, and the way you do things? I'm just hoping I get to work outside some time soon. And I must remember to use the words "minions" and "quirkitude" in a sentence. I enjoyed you thoroughly and I wish you the best! You inspired me, too!

  • ChloeandCalista

    ChloeandCalista said 7 years ago

    Great story!

  • CrazyAngelArt

    CrazyAngelArt said 7 years ago

    love this all esty artist hope for the success we'r dreaming of...

  • lauriepearsall

    lauriepearsall said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this, Allison. I especially am appreciative of your comments about learning from the failures, and trusting the cool. I've just started with Etsy after contemplating it for ages. I'm a single mom, also originally from the Boston area...thanks for the extra inspiration today.

  • TCoppolaPhotography

    TCoppolaPhotography said 7 years ago

    I loved your interview. And I agree with many when they said it was inspiring. Nice colorful work. I love to encourage people to try a form of art because many of us have 'something' but don't know what it is ourselves. If you get a minute check out my etsy shop and let me know what you think. Thanks!

  • TCoppolaPhotography

    TCoppolaPhotography said 7 years ago

    Thanks for that great interview. It was interesting, inspiring and funny. Your work is fun and colorful. ll I am new to the online shops and blogging so if you get a minute check out my etsy shop and let me know what you think. I am open to constructive criticism. Thanks!

  • RoyiasHandiwork

    RoyiasHandiwork said 7 years ago

    I was just sitting here on a hot SSaturday afternoon and decided to explore Etsy (I'm a new user). Your interview was delightful and inspirational. I can only hope that I have as much success as you have had. Thank you! I am so excited at the prospect of growing a business that is as successful as yours has become. I am always open to a few tips!! Thanks again and keep up the good work!!!

  • EdgeInspired

    EdgeInspired said 7 years ago

    This was a great interview. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Such an inspiring read and beautiful work :)

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 7 years ago

    Inspiring Thanks needed that keep up GREAT WORK !!!!!!!

  • blueridgewoodworking

    blueridgewoodworking said 7 years ago

    Great Story. I enjoy reading it, really gives me hope for a chance one day to be home, working with what I love to do. Keep Up the Great Work! I Love your paintings.

  • alittlemomento

    alittlemomento said 7 years ago


  • discerningchichi

    discerningchichi said 7 years ago

    About time she was featured! I've admired Alison's work since I came across her shop in 2007!

  • blackmare

    blackmare said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is so wonderful to know that you can be disorganised and still be successful and make a few dollars. It is has inspired me to stop wafting about and to start getting my art/act together, and get it up here! Thanks you for your inspiration!

  • 7ravensChioke

    7ravensChioke said 7 years ago

    Just when I needed it - inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story - it's so good to see someone more like myself succeeding. Time to get back on track. I needed the 'reboot'. I love your work, too. Thanks again.

  • SandisShellscapes

    SandisShellscapes said 7 years ago

    I've been wanting to get back into painting and this was just the inspiration I needed. Love your work!!!

  • SEOWebDesign

    SEOWebDesign said 7 years ago

    Wonderful story of your journey, Allison. Your work is so wonderfully imaginative, creative and festive. Wish you great success as your business grows

  • iheartmodernart

    iheartmodernart said 7 years ago

    I really enjoyed your article and you've given such great advice. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your work is so colourful and uplifting, I love it! :-)

  • InvisibleFountain

    InvisibleFountain said 7 years ago

    wow. I love success stories - especially when they involve art and lovely assistants.

  • Mamacita4367

    Mamacita4367 said 7 years ago

    Hey, My name is Charlene and I also am an artist, but I am stationed in Canada. I paint scenery,landscapes mostly and I like your work. Could I add you as a friend on facebook?

  • CarlasFunkyArt

    CarlasFunkyArt said 7 years ago

    Love the art, and the story is soooo inspirationall!!!! :) Love, love, love it!


    ARTbyTRUDI said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing - Inspirational ! And your work is thoughtful and lovely. Trudi

  • cutiepeacouture

    cutiepeacouture said 7 years ago

    What a great story, I'm inspired again. Thanks!

  • molgallery

    molgallery said 6 years ago

    Thank you.Yes,Photoshop takes time too...

  • JansJewelryOrganizer

    JansJewelryOrganizer said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoy reading these!

  • trumosaics

    trumosaics said 6 years ago

    Great article, I found it very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

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    mia lopez said 5 years ago - With more than ten million website visitors per month, Fondness Media provides a unique opportunity to the advertisers and publishers that would like to expand their reach in a targeted way. We combine the power of the internet and mobile communication.

  • lepetitoisillon

    lepetitoisillon from ThePurplePim said 5 years ago

    Just found your profile and read your inspiring story! LOVE your work! Congratulations on your success! x x x

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