Amanda of LoveStamped recently quit her day job after a television mention of her designs sparked a new level of personal success. Her days are now spent caring for her three children and working on new pieces late into the night, rather than at the local nursing home where she formerly worked as a nursing assistant. Find out how this self-proclaimed night owl juggles motherhood and a thriving business.
How did you originally get into the business of making things?
I have always loved to do crafts! The business part of it only started about a year ago. At the time I was working full time as a certified nurse assistant and raising my three kids. I wanted nothing more than to be able to spend more time with my children, but with bills to pay I felt that there was no way — until I discovered Etsy. I remember staying up ’til all hours of the night looking at all of the amazing things that everyone made and thought I could do that — so I took the leap!
Tell us about your previous working situation.
For three years I had worked as a certified nurse: what an amazing job, but also really hard, and sometimes sad, work! I absolutely love all of the residents that I’ve had, and my coworkers were amazing — they have always supported me to get to where I am today. This past April I received a convo through Etsy saying that ABC wanted to feature some of my pieces for a Mother’s Day special — but they had to have the items overnighted to New York that day! I freaked, since I got the message at 1:30 p.m., and I had to be at work by 2. I flew to work, talked to the scheduler and she let me off for the day. Like I said, I worked with some amazing people.
When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
Of course. I love the business life! I love crunching numbers, marketing, packaging and networking. I have always wanted to run my own business, but have never had the financial stability to open my own store. Etsy was necessary for me to make that dream come true.
Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
I knew what I wanted to sell, took the small amount of extra money that I had, and ran with it. I did do very careful planning when it came to shipping, packaging and marketing. I also worked on my Shop Policies for a while before I opened shop.
What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
I think the biggest marketing push for my business was having three of my designs shown on Good Morning America on national TV. I was so thrilled. Of course, once all of that died down I had to figure out different ways to advertise.
- I currently relist my products a lot.
- I buy Etsy Showcases once in awhile.
- I am going to be doing some local craft shows this summer, so I am really excited about those!
What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion? Have you made any business mistakes you regret?
I have no regrets. I took the leap and I am so glad that I did! I feel that social networking sites are a waste of my time, and, personally, I would much rather be making new pieces. I also think that blog reviews do not get me a whole lot of extra exposure, but it does give someone a free piece of my jewelry. From all that I’ve learned, I even started a new shop, inspired by children, called lovestampedkids.
Walk us through your typical workday
- I get up at about 8 a.m. and get my kids up, fed and ready for the day.
- I check my Etsy shops, emails and my PayPal account.
- I am usually to the post office around 10 a.m. every day — the poor ladies know me by name now!
- I am home by 11 and my husband gets home from work at 1 p.m., so we all get to hang out with each other all day long. It’s fabulous!
- Once the kids are in bed (around 8:30) it’s off to work I go. I “retire” to my craft room, where I am sometimes up until 2 a.m.
I am a night owl, and this is the most perfect “job” for me! I get to hang out with my kids all day, see my husband a lot more and work at the time that I feel most creative — when most people are sleeping.
What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
I enjoy the flexibility. I no longer have to miss field trips and I don’t have to rush from a doctor’s appointment to get into work on time. I get to take my kids to school and pick them up — overall, I am much more involved in their lives. Life is too short to work it away, and I want to be there for my kids as much as possible. I do miss adult socialization. I love my children to death, but some days it would be nice to be able to go to work and get out of the house.
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
The hardest part? I think that the financial planning was hard, but it is getting easier. I have to calculate the cost of each item, shipping costs, and overhead costs. I also get really stressed out when sales are lower than usual, since this is my income now, but it always works out in the end. I feel like I never get a break from my shop. Even when I’m on vacation I am constantly thinking about new jewelry pieces, how many sales I have, convos, etc.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
I would say to do your homework. Make sure that you look at every aspect of the shop that you want to start before actually opening up. If you are selling online, take wonderful pictures, as this is the first thing people see!
What goals do you have in store for the future of your business?
- I will be extremely excited to hit 1000 sales. I am getting pretty close.
- I would also like to have my designs featured in a couple of magazines, though I haven’t really figure out how to do that.
- In the end, I just want to be able to make pieces of jewelry for people that cause a stir of emotion. I get messages all the time saying, “My mom cried when I gave her the necklace that you made!” That is what it’s all about!
Have any favorite Etsy shops we should know about?
- I love saratams! I have ordered 3 prints from her shop, and they are fabulous.
- Mandizzle has the most fabulous, gorgeous hair pieces, I just love them all.
- Ohbananas has super cute, funky, adorable children’s wear. My kids are very simple, so this shop is great for them!
- Melissahewitt has coffee cozies that are so beautiful. I don’t drink coffee, but I think I should start just so I can get myself one.
- Sweetsimple has the most lady-like jewelry.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
If you are not completely passionate about what you sell on Etsy, then don’t make it anymore. Also — work, work, work. No one ever got anywhere in life by sitting on their tush! Get up, get out there and show ’em what you are made of!
Thanks to Amanda for sharing her story. You can see some of Amanda‘s work in the Seller’s Items below.
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