Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: NewDuds

Jun 29, 2009

by Mary Andrews

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Torrey and Tessa met in college, inspired each other’s creativity, and are now successfully running two Etsy shops, NewDuds and hannapt.  Both Torrey and Tessa had regular day jobs out of college and pursued their mutual creative outlets in order to cultivate their own businesses together.  They started out small, set consistent achievable goals along the way, and with their last busy Etsy holiday season, Torrey and Tessa were able to move their operation into a separate studio and call it quits with their regular careers. The two of them are now happily co-creating with their dog and cat by their side and are planning their handmade wedding coming this fall.

How did you originally get into the business of making things?
Torrey: Ever since I was little I’ve made things. I come from a family of builders; growing up, there was always a new tree house in the making. I have been drawing for as long as I could remember. I’ve always been a hands on, visual person.

Tessa: Torrey and I had a similar childhood. My parents were both teachers and stressed the importance of creativity. We always had a craft room and a wood shop at home. In college I painted but wasn’t fully happy with it. I met Torrey at college and he really helped keep my creativity going. However, after college I stopped being hands on and creative, and it really put me in a funk. I worked retail and it took a toll on my attitude. I knew I needed to do something else. I heard about Etsy through our friend Erin, a.k.a. elmbellishments, and I loved the site instantly. When we got a new kitten, it tapped into my long dormant love of sewing and I started making him cat toys. That led to opening our first shop on Etsy, hannapt. The catnip eyeballs were a bigger hit than we could have ever imagined, and the hope of being our own business bloomed from there. Then I finally knew it was the direction I wanted to take my life.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
Torrey: Absolutely. Etsy was a great outlet for us to get started and test the water for our products. I have always wanted to be self-employed and Etsy was the first step in proving to myself that it was possible while doing what I love…creating.

Tessa: At first I thought of it as a little extra income. I was barely making enough working retail to scrape by. However, I found myself staying up late and not being able to get Etsy off the brain. Soon I was daydreaming about being a Featured Seller and reading articles and trying to make our Etsy shops into something viable. Once we opened newduds in the winter of ’08 I knew quitting my job was nearing.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
Torrey: Yes, we worked out of our apartment for the first year and a half. I worked for a corporate screen-printer full time during those years. I made sure to really learn the process and equipment needed for screen-printing. I did lots and lots of research before buying any of my equipment or supplies. I got some amazing deals by purchasing refurbished equipment. We also figured out our favorite apparel wholesalers with whom to work.

Tessa: We got all our legal ducks in a row; as art majors, starting a small business was something we knew very little about. However, we have some great friends that pointed us in the right direction and some awesome Etsy blog articles and forums that helped out a ton! I spent about a year re-learning to sew, scrounging thrift stores for fabric, perfecting the catnip eyeballs, taking in as much supplies from friends and family as I could. The success of the holiday sales got us looking into workshop space in the area. Screen-printing the way we wanted to just wasn’t going to fit in our two-bedroom apartment. We got a small loan from a friend to purchase the needed printing equipment and to open our workshop. Finally in January of 2009 I gave my two weeks’ notice (I had been just part-time since the summer). Then just about a month ago Torrey left his job fully. We listened to a lot of people telling us to wait a few years and save more before we jumped in. But for us this was the best time. We have very few commitments, no mortgage, no kids, and very few payments. There might not be another time in our lives when we could put 100% into something as we can now.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
Torrey: Word of mouth, friends and family are the most fantastic (and free) means of marketing. Passing out business cards, and hanging posters is effective and fun!

Tessa: Promoting Etsy has been fun. Etsy is still a very foreign word to many here in Vermont. Explaining ourselves and what we do still gets quite a few confused looks. I find the best way is to just show people the Etsy site. We do some guerrilla marketing like leaving our business cards in bathrooms, posting flyers at local colleges, leaving the Etsy site up at libraries and college computers. The catnip eyeballs get on blogs weekly and that has been awesome. Just having unique products really helps.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
We haven’t had too many unsuccessful promotions. We don’t spend money on advertising if we can help it so I haven’t had any financial regrets. I don’t know if anyone actually finds us through our guerrilla advertising, but it sure is fun running around shoving business cards in bathroom stalls.

Walk us through your typical workday.
Torrey: Wake up before 8:00 (just about every day). I find that I feel more productive and fresh in the morning and tend to get more work done. I like to eat a good breakfast and have a cup of coffee. I bike three miles to work, which is not only energizing but a great time for me to be alone and think about my day, and what I want to get done. Get to the shop, check emails, check orders, and browse a few things on Etsy. Then from here on out it varies greatly depending on what I have to print for that day. I draw, paint, print, build or clean. My days are usually pretty different from each other, which keeps things refreshing. There is always something to do around here. At some point one of us will go to the post office and drop off the orders from the night before, and grab lunch.

Tessa: I’m a bit of a later riser, and usually I run in the mornings also. This past winter I was training for the Boston Marathon so running was a main focus of my morning. It’s good that our schedules are a bit different. It gives us each alone time to focus and then some good hours together working. I try to sew up something new each day. I spend a day or so each week making cat toys. I don’t make a ton at once because I think nothing beats fresh catnip! We go to a local farmers market Thursday afternoons. We are also going to SOWA in Boston on some Sundays this summer with our friend Jesse, a.k.a. jessedanger. We spend a good chunk of our day with customer relations. We do local custom printing as well as Etsy so there is always an email or convo to get back to. We don’t have cable TV and that has been a great way for us to be creative instead. We love being at our shop and our dog joins us every day. It’s such a welcome and truly treasured part of our lives now.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
Torrey: The best part is the freedom to create as I feel. I remember being at work printing some job, and daydreaming about what I could be doing instead. Now if I get an idea I have the freedom to drop what I’m doing and lay out my ideas. Honestly there isn’t much that I miss about my day job other than the people with whom I worked.

Tessa: Oh my, I love so much. I love being able to say I’m a small business owner, I love working with my hands all day, I love bringing my dog to work, I love taking breaks for walks or just to sit outside, I love writing off business expenses, impromptu dance parties, and print shop parties!  Sometimes I miss the structure of a day job, having someone tell you what to do. Sometimes I miss my coworkers also, but now I have more time to hang out with my friends and family. I really missed that when I was working retail.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Torrey: Dealing with the trends of customers, being self-disciplined, and not having as structured of a life. Ultimately it’s a good thing, but it’s hard not knowing exactly what you have to do each and every day.

Tessa: Right now the hardest thing for me is learning to call it a day. I love having a hand in every part of the business but sometimes that can get overwhelming. I’m learning to make obtainable lists for each day. Set small goals and learn from our mistakes. It’s so different than anything I ever imagined myself doing. But that’s also what makes it awesome!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
Torrey: To be patient. As soon as I graduated college I wanted to hop right into having my own shop. Now that I have lived through the last two years I understand that gaining that experience was crucial to my ability to finally quit. If being self-employed is truly what you want to do, then it will happen. You just need to work hard and be patient.

Tessa: As far as advice for someone else I would say if you believe in your products and you really love making them, then go for it. I have found that if something isn’t selling, taking new photos and updating the description is better than lowering the price or putting it on sale. Even with the catnip eyeballs we just started stating bluntly that you get TWO in every order. Sometimes people don’t read the whole description. We had a sale boost after we put that at the top of the description. We recently changed our New Duds shop to have easy to find size categories. This made it easier for customers to find the size they are looking for without reading each listing fully. Sometimes the most simple, easy-to-do changes make the biggest difference.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?
Torrey: Have a good holiday season, promote, and get a following of fans that really enjoy what we make. I love having a customer come back because they loved what they bought so much!

Tessa: I really want to experiment more. Push the limits of screen-printing. There is so much more you can do with a bucket of ink and a screen than I ever thought. I want to make more cohesive lines of products based on a single print. I really want the cat toys to hit 1,000 sales! That will be an awesome day! We are getting married in the fall, so a handmade wedding is a huge goal. We found our caterer by making T-shirts for his business, and we are trading printed apparel for bar service.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Torrey: Sometimes being self-employed can be scary. If things aren’t going as you had hoped, don’t get depressed; use that time to fuel your creative side. Make something new, try something else, and just don’t let it get you down.

Tessa: Quitting our day job was right for us; this is the career that makes us happy. Even if your Etsy shop is no more than a hobby, enjoy it fully. As far as my generation is considered, I am shocked at how many people don’t have any “making things” skills. I am very thankful to my parents for letting me be creative and giving me the tools growing up to make things. I really lost a lot of it in college and thought I had to get a job that was already mapped out by someone else. You never know until you try. I am so happy, and I know I will look back with no regrets. Thanks Etsy!

Thanks to Torrey and Tessa for sharing their stories.  Have your own questions to ask? Come on by and chat with them Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 7 p.m. in Etsy’s Virtual Labs

You can see some of their product lines in the related items. Check out previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.

Burlington Vermont Sweatshirt USA made Vintage inspired Camels Hump Unisex
Burlington Vermont Sweatshirt USA made Vintage inspired Camels Hump Unisex
NewDuds
$55.00 USD
Bike Glass TWO pack -  Bicycle barware screenprinted pint glass beer cycling art gift for him
Bike Glass TWO pack - Bicycle barware screenprinted pint glass beer cycling art gift for him
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Womens tshirt Burlington Vermont vintage inspired sunset tee
Womens tshirt Burlington Vermont vintage inspired sunset tee
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Women's Fit V-Neck Tee with Vermont Script Screen Print
Women's Fit V-Neck Tee with Vermont Script Screen Print
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Hops design - set of TWO pint glasses beer lover brewer gift for him
Hops design - set of TWO pint glasses beer lover brewer gift for him
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Corduroy Vermont Hat - Midnight color
Corduroy Vermont Hat - Midnight color
NewDuds
$29.00 USD
Fiddlehead Screenprinted tshirt mens shirt
Fiddlehead Screenprinted tshirt mens shirt
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Queen City Tshirt Mens tank Burlington Vermont
Queen City Tshirt Mens tank Burlington Vermont
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Hops design brewer beer lover beer gift
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Hops design brewer beer lover beer gift
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Pint Glass Set Lantern design
Pint Glass Set Lantern design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Womens Lantern shirt lightweight sweatshirt longsleeve camping lantern vintage lantern
Womens Lantern shirt lightweight sweatshirt longsleeve camping lantern vintage lantern
NewDuds
$36.00 USD
VERMONT Topo Map shirt screenprinted tee 100% cotton mens shirt
VERMONT Topo Map shirt screenprinted tee 100% cotton mens shirt
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Pint Glass Set Pinecone design
Pint Glass Set Pinecone design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
VEGGIE Baby clothes screenprinted bodysuit Vegetable baby gift baby shower
VEGGIE Baby clothes screenprinted bodysuit Vegetable baby gift baby shower
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Tea Towel Vegetables screen print kitchen towel
Tea Towel Vegetables screen print kitchen towel
NewDuds
$14.00 USD
Pizza shirt screenprinted tee BLACK
Pizza shirt screenprinted tee BLACK
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Pint Glass Set of two Vegetable design
Pint Glass Set of two Vegetable design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Lantern tee kids shirt toddler t-shirt charcoal grey camping lantern vintage lantern
Lantern tee kids shirt toddler t-shirt charcoal grey camping lantern vintage lantern
NewDuds
$22.00 USD
Tea Towel Kitchen towel with Hops screen print brewer beer lover
Tea Towel Kitchen towel with Hops screen print brewer beer lover
NewDuds
$14.00 USD
SALE Pizza shirt screenprinted tee Red
SALE Pizza shirt screenprinted tee Red
NewDuds
$15.00 USD
Vegetables Kids Tee Screenprinted shirt Organic cotton usa made
Vegetables Kids Tee Screenprinted shirt Organic cotton usa made
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Vermont Hat Organic cotton
Vermont Hat Organic cotton
NewDuds
$29.00 USD
Green Mountains of Vermont Crew Neck Sweatshirt Vintage Camp inspired Unisex fit
Green Mountains of Vermont Crew Neck Sweatshirt Vintage Camp inspired Unisex fit
NewDuds
$45.00 USD
Green Mountain Baseball Tee adult shirt USA made long sleeve
Green Mountain Baseball Tee adult shirt USA made long sleeve
NewDuds
$28.00 USD
Vegetables Womens relaxed fit shirt scoop neck ladies tee farmers market avocado art
Vegetables Womens relaxed fit shirt scoop neck ladies tee farmers market avocado art
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Vermont Script Tee for Baby, Toddler, and Kids
Vermont Script Tee for Baby, Toddler, and Kids
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Antique snowshoe print cozy organic cotton sweatshirt made in USA unisex size
Antique snowshoe print cozy organic cotton sweatshirt made in USA unisex size
NewDuds
$45.00 USD
Pizza Knit Hat USA made
Pizza Knit Hat USA made
NewDuds
$22.00 USD
Pint Glass Set Pizza design
Pint Glass Set Pizza design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
New Duds Artist Series Fall leaf foliage tshirt - Brainstorm Print
New Duds Artist Series Fall leaf foliage tshirt - Brainstorm Print
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Pizza design
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Pizza design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Vermont Topographical Map Screenprint - 6 color hand pulled art vermont hiking long trail mountain print
Vermont Topographical Map Screenprint - 6 color hand pulled art vermont hiking long trail mountain print
NewDuds
$40.00 USD
Queen City Tshirt Mens shirt Burlington Vermont 80's inspired
Queen City Tshirt Mens shirt Burlington Vermont 80's inspired
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
SALE Mystery Print Pack Two screenprinted posters deal
SALE Mystery Print Pack Two screenprinted posters deal
NewDuds
$15.00 USD
Hops Tshirt mens shirt beer lover beer gift
Hops Tshirt mens shirt beer lover beer gift
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Winooski Vermont Kids Tee tshirt
Winooski Vermont Kids Tee tshirt
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Fiddlehead Womens relaxed fit shirt screenprint
Fiddlehead Womens relaxed fit shirt screenprint
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Winooski Vermont shirt screenprinted tee vintage inspired USA made BROWN
Winooski Vermont shirt screenprinted tee vintage inspired USA made BROWN
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Lantern Shirt Unisex Cut tee USA made Heather black
Lantern Shirt Unisex Cut tee USA made Heather black
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Vermont Mountain peaks shirt screenprinted tee tshirt mens shirt unisex made in USA
Vermont Mountain peaks shirt screenprinted tee tshirt mens shirt unisex made in USA
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
PIZZA Tea Towel Kitchen towel screen print cook chef
PIZZA Tea Towel Kitchen towel screen print cook chef
NewDuds
$14.00 USD
Tea Towel Pinecones screen print kitchen towel
Tea Towel Pinecones screen print kitchen towel
NewDuds
$14.00 USD
Kids Pizza Shirt USA made childrens clothing tshirt pizza party
Kids Pizza Shirt USA made childrens clothing tshirt pizza party
NewDuds
$22.00 USD
New Duds Artist Series Skull tshirt - LochNess
New Duds Artist Series Skull tshirt - LochNess
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
New Duds Artist Series Owl tshirt
New Duds Artist Series Owl tshirt
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Burlington Vermont shirt screenprinted tee vintage inspired camels hump
Burlington Vermont shirt screenprinted tee vintage inspired camels hump
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Vermont Script shirt screenprinted tee tshirt mens shirt unisex made in USA
Vermont Script shirt screenprinted tee tshirt mens shirt unisex made in USA
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Pint Glass Set of two Tools design
Pint Glass Set of two Tools design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Vegetable design
Pint Glass and Tea Towel Set Vegetable design
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Dinosaur Kids Tee tshirt stegosaurus Screen printed kids shirt
Dinosaur Kids Tee tshirt stegosaurus Screen printed kids shirt
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Lake Champlain Anchor Womens relaxed fit shirt scoop neck ladies tee sailing boat vermont art
Lake Champlain Anchor Womens relaxed fit shirt scoop neck ladies tee sailing boat vermont art
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
All the Bikes Screenprint - bike art cycle poster wall art
All the Bikes Screenprint - bike art cycle poster wall art
NewDuds
$40.00 USD
Vegetables Tee plant shirt avocado design vegetarian vegan produce farmers market gift for him
Vegetables Tee plant shirt avocado design vegetarian vegan produce farmers market gift for him
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
New Baby Gift Feather Baby bodysuit baby shower coming home outfit  baby clothes
New Baby Gift Feather Baby bodysuit baby shower coming home outfit baby clothes
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Burlington Vermont baby bodysuit baby shirt
Burlington Vermont baby bodysuit baby shirt
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Sleepy Bear Pile Screenprint - 4 color hand pulled animal print animal art bear art childrens room hibernate
Sleepy Bear Pile Screenprint - 4 color hand pulled animal print animal art bear art childrens room hibernate
NewDuds
$40.00 USD
Green Mountain Baseball tee USA made kids shirt toddler tee youth apparel
Green Mountain Baseball tee USA made kids shirt toddler tee youth apparel
NewDuds
$24.00 USD
Pizza Snapback Hat Maroon embroidery flat brim
Pizza Snapback Hat Maroon embroidery flat brim
NewDuds
$29.00 USD
Tools Shirt Mens screenprinted tee USA made
Tools Shirt Mens screenprinted tee USA made
NewDuds
$26.00 USD
Winooski Vermont baby bodysuit natural color USA made organic cotton vintage inspired
Winooski Vermont baby bodysuit natural color USA made organic cotton vintage inspired
NewDuds
$24.00 USD

142 comments

  • maiziedesigns

    maiziedesigns said 10 years ago

    Such and inspiring and motivating tale. Thanks for sharing and good luck to you!

  • KOALACaddie

    KOALACaddie said 10 years ago

    Thank you both for sharing your experience - there is a wealth of information that lowers tuition at the school of hard knocks. Mary asked great questions! AND Ya just GOTTA love the Catnip Eyeballs!!!

  • cthings

    cthings said 10 years ago

    Congratulations to the both of you!! I like the pics of both you with your shirts!! To cool! Many more success!!

  • scarletbloom

    scarletbloom said 10 years ago

    Two thumbs way up! Inspiring story and congrats on your accomplishments.

  • aimeesarmoire

    aimeesarmoire said 10 years ago

    YES!!! Congratulations to you both! My cats AND elderly poodles love their hannahpt catnip Eyeballs and kickin' stick. And another Vermont seller -- super-awesome-bonus!

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 10 years ago

    Excellent inspiring article!!

  • mybirch

    mybirch said 10 years ago

    Congrats on your success Torrey and Tessa! You two are probably the cutest couple ever.

  • AkumuInk

    AkumuInk said 10 years ago

    Good job guys! I just quit my dayjob too last week doing something similar with my lady. Keep up the good work.

  • JesseDanger

    JesseDanger said 10 years ago

    Congrats guys! I'm wicked excited for you both!

  • MissMinoes

    MissMinoes said 10 years ago

    That is so funny, I never realized there was another designer also making catnip eyeballs! =^x^= Congrats on your success story!

  • redyellowandblueink

    redyellowandblueink said 10 years ago

    Cool! Ah $%@% I love the notebook tshirt series.

  • stubborndog

    stubborndog said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! I loved reading your story and you have wonderful shops.

  • SybilStyle

    SybilStyle said 10 years ago

    Yes! Cutest couple ever. Soooooo encouraging! Live your dreams.

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 10 years ago

    I am so happy for the two of you. I think it's wonderful that you work so well with each other. Thanks for the inspiration, you have wonderful products!

  • stitchknitsew

    stitchknitsew said 10 years ago

    Great article. Both of your shops are excellent, and I love your Catnip Kicken Stitcks.

  • alphabettispaghetti

    alphabettispaghetti said 10 years ago

    I love those eyeballs!!!

  • dreamerchar

    dreamerchar said 10 years ago

    very cool!! gives me fresh hope! :)

  • 4TheSparrowsNest

    4TheSparrowsNest said 10 years ago

    Love it!!! Great teamwork you two, it's inspiring!! My own cats are my sidekicks for all things fun and crazy around the house. I think they deserve some fun cat toys. :o)

  • thingsbuilt

    thingsbuilt said 10 years ago

    thanks for the info. we're hoping to start doing some of our own silk screening, so this was cool to read. nice work.

  • CarolineCreates

    CarolineCreates said 10 years ago

    So inspiring! I too dream of working with my pets by my side!

  • injeanuity

    injeanuity said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your Etsy experience....very inspiring. Good luck and God bless! :)

  • piddix

    piddix said 10 years ago

    Okay, you two get my nomination for the cutest etsy couple ever. Best of luck.

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring and encouraging!

  • LoveLeeSoaps

    LoveLeeSoaps said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! This is so inspiring.

  • softboiled

    softboiled said 10 years ago

    Catnip eye balls = brilliance

  • ModFarmgirl

    ModFarmgirl said 10 years ago

    Awesome!! Congratulations on going full-time and on the wedding!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is very inspiring! Best wishes to you both!!!

  • caoimhamarie

    caoimhamarie said 10 years ago

    congratulations what an inspiring story i hope your success continues and you're happy!! x

  • chandistreasurechest

    chandistreasurechest said 10 years ago

    If that's not team power . . :-)!!!

  • starshinecompany

    starshinecompany said 10 years ago

    Congrats on quitting your day job! Wishing you both continued success. :)

  • 20BucksorLess

    20BucksorLess said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! And kudos to you for the upcoming hand-made wedding plans. The two of you look so down to earth, real and happy. Good Luck to you and remember...the best is yet to come.

  • eveartdesign

    eveartdesign said 10 years ago

    Very valuable story to me! Thanks for the inspiration, and good luck to you!

  • classicc11

    classicc11 said 10 years ago

    So unique and fun! Very cool guys.

  • jamesmartin

    jamesmartin said 10 years ago

    Congrats to the happy couple. I'm glad you have a good thing going. I still have to wonder about the "quit your day job" thing though. Looking at the 2 shops sales for 1 year, I pay more than that for my son's rent & health insurance & car insurance (lucky college boy). I'm just not seeing how this adds up to quitting the day job, unless you have a wonderful website & wholesale business going also. But best of luck to you, and I hope you expand and develop that business into one that actually supports you in the future.

  • VintageJamie

    VintageJamie said 10 years ago

    Thank you! Great article~

  • missindie

    missindie said 10 years ago

    Oh my word, these two are just the cutest!! Congrats to you both on being able to quit your day jobs AND to your upcoming wedding! Very cool! :] xo.

  • hazelandhunter

    hazelandhunter said 10 years ago

    very inspiring! congrats on your success!

  • dbabcock

    dbabcock said 10 years ago

    Great story!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 10 years ago

    Torrey: Sometimes being self-employed can be scary. If things aren’t going as you had hoped, don’t get depressed; use that time to fuel your creative side. Make something new, try something else, and just don’t let it get you down. ******** Absolutely! Look at those breathers to try out new ideas & make prototypes. If you've managed income from the good times well, slower times can be immensely productive in other ways.

  • BeadinBabe

    BeadinBabe said 10 years ago

    So inspiring!! :)

  • ClutchThat

    ClutchThat said 10 years ago

    Congrats to both of you : )

  • CouchPotatoes

    CouchPotatoes said 10 years ago

    The eyeballs are too CUTE!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 10 years ago

    :) prints are king! t-shirts are golden!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 10 years ago

    Great shops with a wonderful story and congrats on quiting your day jobs to continue to follow your creative juices where ever they may lead. Nice bartering or trading for some of the expenses of your wedding as well. We did that with our friend doctor who was our dentist, he called it the barter system.

  • JustLiv

    JustLiv said 10 years ago

    Such a great article! I think they hit the nail on the head when they said that self-discipline is an important, yet difficult part of being self-employed......does anyone know where I can get some of that discipline they speak of?!?!?!

  • Tidepools

    Tidepools said 10 years ago

    So encouraging for a new etsier! One day I hope to accomplish something just as wonderful... (You two are so adorable!)

  • Goobeetsa

    Goobeetsa said 10 years ago

    Congratulations. That was a fun read (see you at SoWa!)

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 10 years ago

    Great article!

  • silverblayze

    silverblayze said 10 years ago

    I live for the "Quit your day job" stories, and yours does not disappoint. Thank you for the inspiration and congratulations on quitting your day jobs as well as the upcoming wedding.

  • karinec

    karinec said 10 years ago

    Wow !! what a nice story, it's very nice to read this story and I hope to quit my job one day too !

  • ModFarmgirl

    ModFarmgirl said 10 years ago

    You two make the CUTEST Etsy couple, by the way!

  • JAdamsDesigns

    JAdamsDesigns said 10 years ago

    Awesome story! Love the screen printing! I know how hard it can be at times because I have been screen printing a lot lately and sometimes I want to pull the hair out of my head! Good job realizing your dreams! And Congrats on getting married!

  • That70sShoppe

    That70sShoppe said 10 years ago

    Great story and inspiration. Best of luck to both of you in business and your marriage.

  • lzubal01

    lzubal01 said 10 years ago

    Cute stuff and very inpirational! I'll have to try leaving my business card at random places :-)

  • lzubal01

    lzubal01 said 10 years ago

    Catnip eyeballs, who would have thunk! :-)

  • BROOKLYNrehab

    BROOKLYNrehab said 10 years ago

    yay truly an inspiration. congratz on the up coming wedding. i hope etsy covers the event! i'd love to see these creative minds at work.

  • lucky0girl0racer

    lucky0girl0racer said 10 years ago

    yay! way 2 go!

  • evihan

    evihan said 10 years ago

    thanx for sharing

  • kidacollective

    kidacollective said 10 years ago

    Great article. How cute are you both! I hope we get an article on your handmade wedding to. :)

  • zeropumpkin

    zeropumpkin said 10 years ago

    oh wow..the working place so cool :D

  • sandali

    sandali said 10 years ago

    AWESOME article -- congratulations on the good work ;) You guys both have great shops with really trigger happy items ;)

  • masaoms

    masaoms said 10 years ago

    Great article, I love their stuff!! ;-)

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 10 years ago

    Cool shop!

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 10 years ago

    Great!!!

  • spottedcowsoaps

    spottedcowsoaps said 10 years ago

    Awesome! Congrats on a job well done! Great seeing a fellow Vermonter in the headlines!

  • MoonTrail

    MoonTrail said 10 years ago

    very cool!!!!

  • floria

    floria said 10 years ago

    So inspiring! Wish I could the same some day!

  • Morado

    Morado said 10 years ago

    Another inspiring story!

  • jenniferlynnstudio

    jenniferlynnstudio said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this motivating story! Good luck to you both! Happy wedding!!

  • GorgeousKarma

    GorgeousKarma said 10 years ago

    very motivating story! It's great that you followed your heart and are working at your dreams. The two of you look so beautiful and in love together...

  • fotogenic

    fotogenic said 10 years ago

    thanks for the great story!!

  • bungalowmarketplace

    bungalowmarketplace said 10 years ago

    You guys are awesome! Thanks!

  • klacustomcreations

    klacustomcreations said 10 years ago

    how great that you can create your work together and very cool items!

  • tldgrainwear

    tldgrainwear said 10 years ago

    I love Newduds! I hearted them a few days ago and now it's a surprise to see'em here! Great tees, cheers!

  • PawPawsWorkshop

    PawPawsWorkshop said 10 years ago

    That is wonderful

  • stoutwoodworks

    stoutwoodworks said 10 years ago

    Always fun to read these inspiring stories!

  • LuttrellStudio

    LuttrellStudio said 10 years ago

    Great article!! Congrats on your success and good luck with your handmade wedding!!

  • SimpleTraditions

    SimpleTraditions said 10 years ago

    Very cool. I love stories where a couple works together and achieves their goals, especially when that's what me and my husband are trying to do. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • babook

    babook said 10 years ago

    Totally great team for work it perfect ! Thanks for sharing :)

  • beachhouseblues

    beachhouseblues said 10 years ago

    That's a great business story. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • bettyw00

    bettyw00 said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring and motivating. It definitely makes me want to reach my goals and actually LOVE what your doing every day ie. job. Thanks so much! Good luck to you both;)

  • contempojewels

    contempojewels said 10 years ago

    Inspiring! Good luck!!

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 10 years ago

    catnip eyeball- how great is that! and i like the guerrilla marketing techniques of leaving cards in bathrooms/ leaving Etsy on at college libraries- sneaky in a good way

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 10 years ago

    Love the cat eyeballs -- looks like I'm going to have to order some! :) Thanks for sharing your story - it was very uplifting and inspiring. I appreciated the tip on not lower prices but instead to take new photo's and change the description a bit -- good advice. Congratulations on quitting your day jobs and making your dream come true.

  • rntn

    rntn said 10 years ago

    wow .... i like this shop :) Thank you admin

  • SweetwaterGifts

    SweetwaterGifts said 10 years ago

    Don't have a cat, but LOVE the eyeballs! Inspiring story. You're right about one thing - it's very unlikely that most people will ever follow their dreams if they wait for the perfect moment to do it! Congratulations on taking that big step!

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 10 years ago

    What a great variety of items. Keep up the good work you two. And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope it is a dream come true for you.

  • prendasbyenid

    prendasbyenid said 10 years ago

    This is the type of stories I need to read!!! Thanks! Congratulations on your wedding!

  • bellecamicie

    bellecamicie said 10 years ago

    This story is so inspiring! I love that doing what they love paid off and they still enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky in life.

  • megalunostudio

    megalunostudio said 10 years ago

    What an inspiring story! I love to read how other sellers are making full-time work for them. Good for you, Torrey and Tessa! And congrats on the upcoming wedding!

  • BabyNest

    BabyNest said 10 years ago

    what a fun shop. Congrats you two on your success and your upcoming wedding.

  • TheCraftyRagamuffin

    TheCraftyRagamuffin said 10 years ago

    It's tough to ignore negative feedback and naysayers. Good for you guys for forging ahead to make your dreams your life!

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 10 years ago

    How I love these articles. Congratulation to both of you. Many many happy creative years.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    Best wishes for continued success! AND good luck with your upcoming wedding. Be each other's best friend. That's what I think is the secret of a good marriage. (I'm married 11 yrs to my BFF!!!)

  • amyshade

    amyshade said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring; thanks and a big congratulations to you both! May your lives be happy and blessed.

  • CityChicCountryMouse

    CityChicCountryMouse said 10 years ago

    Love your shops! I hope we get to see some wedding photos when the big day comes!

  • desertsoapstone

    desertsoapstone said 10 years ago

    I love hearing stories like these. Nice work folks. I think you will go far!

  • desertsoapstone

    desertsoapstone said 10 years ago

    Oh yeah, your a way cute couple too. So sweet. :)

  • PAINTINGSBYSAM

    PAINTINGSBYSAM said 10 years ago

    Great Article & Wonderful Creations!

  • Orangeheat

    Orangeheat said 10 years ago

    Great to read about people who quit there jobs! I never get tired of that theme...

  • BeeDazzlesGifts

    BeeDazzlesGifts said 10 years ago

    Congrats to two very deserving sellers!! And can't wait to hear all about the wedding this fall! :)

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 10 years ago

    OMG I love this shop!

  • ArtworkbyKD

    ArtworkbyKD said 10 years ago

    Great article!!! Congrats!!

  • capitalcitycrafts

    capitalcitycrafts said 10 years ago

    It's so wonderful to hear about people who can make a living being creative!

  • magpyi

    magpyi said 10 years ago

    congrats! enjoyed the article and hearing about your success!

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 10 years ago

    Congrats to both of you and I wish you many more success!

  • JoDyer

    JoDyer said 10 years ago

    Wow, congratulations guys!

  • littlemoandfriends

    littlemoandfriends said 10 years ago

    oh such a good read! so inspiring to all small business owners! congratulations guys!

  • bunnyboutique

    bunnyboutique said 10 years ago

    Catnip eyeballs...love them!!! I want some bloodshot ones too.

  • Papatya

    Papatya said 10 years ago

    What a great couple! I wish you many years of happiness together, and much success on etsy. Thanks so much for taking the time to inspire the rest of us! Your products are incredible....

  • LaraLeighDesigns

    LaraLeighDesigns said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration!! You guys are great :)

  • mgilinfo

    mgilinfo said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • CutieDynamite

    CutieDynamite said 10 years ago

    So cool! Thanks for sharing!

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations said 10 years ago

    wonderful article!

  • jitaplana

    jitaplana said 10 years ago

    so awesome!! mylittle-way.blogspot.com/

  • fantasticbeasts

    fantasticbeasts said 10 years ago

    Wow, nothing recently has inspired me so much as Tessa's attitude and insights. Like a direct link into my own experiences and fears and wonderings and brightest hopes. More of the world should take notes from Etsy's structure. I'm not sure what that means, but maybe it's about freedom and creativity mixed with self-employment and self-empowerment while supporting those around you. Yeah. Awesome article and sellers!

  • clothpaperstitches

    clothpaperstitches said 10 years ago

    Great piece, Tessa and Torey. I will be at SOWA on the 19th. I look forward to seeing your stuff in person, again! Congratulations and continued success to you!

  • DetailsMatter

    DetailsMatter said 10 years ago

    Wow, y'all are really inspiring! I'm just getting started and it was great to read about your success. Thank you.

  • MyJunkyTrunk

    MyJunkyTrunk said 10 years ago

    Now this was super helpful and really inspiring! These are my absolute favorite articles on Etsy. Continued success!

  • AchAchLiebling

    AchAchLiebling said 10 years ago

    Your studio looks lovely. Congrats on your successes and good luck with your journey.

  • prettylittlethieves

    prettylittlethieves said 10 years ago

    inspiring! congratulations!

  • galstudio

    galstudio said 10 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiration! ... It really puts things in perspective and helps me stay on track with my home business.

  • amber84

    amber84 said 10 years ago

    so awesome! My dream one day is to 'quit my day job' but as for now... I'll just dream while I work a 9-5 and then come home to freelance from 7-whenever I can no longer hold open my eyes! Congrats!

  • enjoleuse

    enjoleuse said 10 years ago

    Really neat and inspiring article. Thank you, enjoleuse

  • perfectsixtynine

    perfectsixtynine said 10 years ago

    cool-6969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969

  • ChristopherBoswell

    ChristopherBoswell said 10 years ago

    How wonderfully inspiring! Way to go!

  • nightcloud

    nightcloud said 10 years ago

    great teamwork, you convince because you are convinced! thanks for sharing

  • LydiaRener

    LydiaRener said 10 years ago

    You honesty describe the process so nice and optimist!! Good luck.

  • goinsewin1230

    goinsewin1230 said 10 years ago

    Go for the gusto guys! You are living the American Dream!! Sorry, read this on 4th of July Weekend and got all "USA" on you. The truth is tho..."only in the USA". Keep it up!!!!!!

  • JanaPark

    JanaPark said 10 years ago

    I'm a new Etsy seller and am so glad I found this article! I hope to be as successful on Etsy as these two some day!

  • congcongdesign

    congcongdesign said 10 years ago

    oh great. i wanna quit my job.starting my own business. be a new Etsy seller.

  • KnitTwits

    KnitTwits said 10 years ago

    An inspiration to us all...one day I'll be here :O)

  • jclange

    jclange said 10 years ago

    The catnip eyeballs are the best! Thanks for all of the inspiring info!

  • LilBlossoms

    LilBlossoms said 10 years ago

    What a great story! I'm of course uber jealous, and would love to quit my day job and stay at home with my little peanut, Annabel. You two are an inspiration!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 10 years ago

    That is so good what a cute couple and congrats on your future wedding and marriage this fall and please share your wedding pictures with us. Debra

  • paperandstitch

    paperandstitch said 9 years ago

    Torrey - It was great to meet you today at the Winooski Farmer's Market. Thanks for my awesome shirt! So glad you and Tessa have had such success! Best of luck with the wedding. Go Vermont handmade! :-)

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