Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: zhenunleathers

Jan 11, 2010

by Mary Andrews

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Jen of zhenunleathers worked for two and a half years answering phones for a major telecommunications company before leaving for greener pastures abroad and venturing into becoming her own boss as a result of her growing sales on Etsy. After stumbling across Etsy, Jen claims the site opened up a new world of possibility to her as she came home from work each night to sew and create. Over time, she saved enough money to make a go of selling on Etsy as her full-time gig. She now enjoys making weekly trips shopping through the leather market in Bangkok and explains how the hardest part about being her own boss is finding the time and balance of letting go and taking a break.

How did you originally get into the business of making things?
My first real attempt at making things occurred over 11 years ago when I lived in Beijing. I was a communications manager for a luxury hotel back then, and always visited the local markets for new corporate gift and giveaway ideas. One of my favorite places for inspiration was the Pearl Market.
I was amazed at all the glorious pearls and semi-precious gemstones that I found there, and just as amazed at the talented vendors stringing up all sorts of goodies for the locals and tourists. I thought that it looked fun and doable and decided to try making my own pieces as well. I had fun making things exactly the way I wanted them. This is when I realized that I had a talent for design and creation! Little did I know that it would lead to handbags and working for myself.

Tell us about your previous working situation.
Oh boy, I hope no one from my previous job ever reads this. I worked for a major telecommunications company for two and a half years. I took the job because I needed to pay off credit cards from my self-funded entrepreneurial dream, and also make money if I ever wanted to continue being self-employed. It was an inbound call center. Minimal breaks, short lunches and an endless stream of cranky customers all wanting something taken off their bills. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that by nighttime and weekends I was a design and creating machine. I guess you could say I had a very lackluster social life back then because I didn’t give much time to friends and going out. I had traded my grandmother’s old Singer sewing machine for leather and sewing lessons from a neighborhood leather shop. I put my poor fat cat Angel in my bedroom and practiced sewing little leather wristlets. In the beginning I used a Wal-Mart run-of-the-mill $99 household sewing machine.

Come Monday, I would drag myself out of bed to drive to my job, which was almost an hour away. A wonderful travel program called Globetrekker would run in the mornings before work, and I would watch that show prior to my daily grind. I knew from day one of my telecommunications job that I wanted to move
abroad, once again, to some place warm and sunny where I could dedicate my life to exploration and creation. I still have nightmares to this day of me being in my old call center frozen and not being able to answer one call.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
I did, but I didn’t realize it would be through Etsy. I found Etsy on Stylehive years ago, and didn’t really know what it was all about. One day I clicked on an item featured on their site and it lead me to this wonderful new world. It didn’t take me long to realize that this site was for independent artists like myself. I decided to give it a try and put all my jewelry and handbag creations that I had worked on for years and never sold. To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations. I guess I was kind of pessimistic because I had even tried selling my work in a major luxury department store and had mild sporadic success.

It didn’t take long before people from various places in the world started to purchase my creations! I was so excited. I started to read the Forums and take the advice that I learned from other Etsy sellers. I noticed a difference when I started to put more effort into my site. After a couple of months of selling, I was able to put more towards my debt and saw a glimmer of hope in being able to pay things off and actually start to save. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t making tons of money by any means, but I did notice the fruits of my labor and saw light at the end of the tunnel. Etsy gave me hope. I could finally see that there were people around the world who appreciated handmade items without big name labels being attached. I realized that I really wouldn’t have to work for “da man” forever.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time? Feel free to give us the nitty gritty business details.
I got my day job with the intention of quitting relatively soon. I knew that if I wanted out fast, I would have to change my lifestyle. I had to say no to a lot of my sushi dinner splurges, expensive makeup binges and just about whatever I found not absolutely necessary. I knew that when I would finally get to quit my job, I would want to move abroad to a place that would feed my creative energy and that in itself, would require me to save a pretty penny. In a nutshell, for the 2.5 years that I worked in the telecommunications industry, I became tunnel visioned in killing debt, saving money and honing my creative design abilities.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
Short term, I have found renewing to be my best marketing tip. Renewing items that have good descriptions and photos, of course. Long term, I have found that approaching high traffic blog sites for write-ups is another good avenue for exposure and possible sales!

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
In every promotion I have, whether it be free shipping, or some sort of sale, I haven’t found one that completely flopped. Not every promotion I run comes with many sales, but I haven’t had one promotion where there were zero sales.

Walk us through your typical workday.
Oh dear, this is where I expose a bad habit of mine. I cannot say exactly where my day ends nor begins. You see, I have an iPhone and wireless Internet in my apartment. Often I find myself checking my email several times throughout the night, when it is daytime in the United States to check for Convos or sales. Most of my sales come from the United States, so I try to renew at least once while people on the other side of the planet are awake. I have found that answering Convos while not fully awake is a bad thing.

  • Recently I try to renew before I sleep, and wake up relatively early, so that it is still a decent hour in the Western Hemisphere. Here is a typical day for me…
  • Around 8 a.m. I’ll wake up, waltz over to my computer and cross my fingers for sales. I know this sounds funny, but I always tell my friends that waking up to a sale kind of resembles the feeling that I had waking up on Christmas morning when I was a child. So exciting!
  • Answer any Convos that I may have and check craftcult.org to see if my store was featured anywhere on Etsy.
  • I’ll package any sales and wait until noon to walk to my local post office. In that way, if I sell anything in the meanwhile, I can include it in that day’s shipment.
  • Upon returning home from the post office, I’ll work on finding new blogs to approach for reviews or mentions and check out the latest news on the Etsy blog and Forums.
  • By the afternoon, after I have had a couple of coffees, I’m wide awake and ready to sew or cut leather. I’ll turn on what I call “the beast,” which is my Siruba sewing machine.
  • Once a week, I’ll travel to the leather market in Bangkok where there is a full block of tiny cramped leather stores and leather accessories. I absolutely love doing this. It is really hard for me to say no to any of the colors that I love. I often bring a list of colors that customers have mentioned to see if they are available.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
I love the freedom to be able to pick up and go on a little travel excursion at whim. It helps to give me a break, come up with new ideas, and also meet other people besides my local post office workers, whom I adore, and the leather shop owners. I miss interacting with people face to face sometimes. Although I meet a lot of wonderful people from Etsy, including customers, I spend a lot of time in my apartment working on my bags and don’t get out as much as I’d like.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
I am a one-man-band, as other Etsy sellers are as well. Sometimes it can be hard to be your own cheerleader. I find it really hard to draw a line between work and play and can’t simply “let go” when I know it’s the best thing to do. Relaxation is a pretty big stranger to me for the most part. I am still working on finding a balance.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
Previously in my years of designing and creating, I had never really come up with a solid plan, or at least a short term one. I went by the seat of my pants and whipped out the credit cards to self-finance my endeavors. I should have come up with a budget and a bit more conservative forms of marketing and PR. Although I got some of my designs into major publications in the past, the cost to get them there was much larger than what I could really handle. Unfortunately, back in the day, I didn’t know about Etsy or the power of internet exposure.

I would say to others, what I say to myself now, which is start small but think big! You might not sell that much in the beginning and need a day job, but if you stay focused and be innovative in product creation and marketing, your efforts add up. See what successful people do in your industry and build upon that. Most of all, utilize the Internet and all of the information that is at your fingertips! The information is free and the reach is wide.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?

  • In addition to the local leathers that I use in my creations, I would like to use a little bit of the local fabrics. They are so colorful and intricate. I plan on incorporating just a tad bit for a twist in next year’s creations! I hope they are well received!
  • I would also like to increase my sales. Just being honest. Steady and sturdy sales would be awesome! It would allow me to try out more of the pretty leather colors that I see, and travel to find more awesome materials to work with.
  • I would love to get more mentions/articles/reviews in major publications whether online or on hard copy! I understand that media folks get bombarded by requests, but it sure would be nice to get spotted by the publications first! Pretty please!


Is there anything else you’d like to share?

  • Sometimes it is hard to time things right, but I really do LOVE LOVE LOVE doing photography in natural lighting! I found that anytime from 4-6 is great, weather permitting. It really does help to capture the true color of your work.
  • Read the Etsy Forums often because there is always some tasty advice in there!
  • Inspiration doesn’t come when you want it to, unfortunately. Pay attention to your surroundings and take a notebook with you as often as you can. Jot down the shapes and colors that you see that turn you on, because you might forget about them when actually trying to create.

Thanks to Jen for sharing her story. You can see some of Jen‘s beautiful work in the Related Items. Check out previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.

171 comments

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 10 years ago

    I love the photos in this post. Congratulations on your success and super-cute shop - and thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us!

  • BlueKimonoStudio

    BlueKimonoStudio said 10 years ago

    Thank you Jen for sharing your story with us! I'm always so encouraged to read these QYDJ. You remind us of the importance of having a product people really want, of doing the slow hard work required for any business. I don't have illusions that every one of us can quit our day jobs. I love your reminders though to start small and dream big. That's good advice for any life venture. Your work is just beautiful.

  • dreamyvintage

    dreamyvintage said 10 years ago

    nice article.. very cute photos! congrats :)

  • michon

    michon said 10 years ago

    congratulations - love the big green purse pictured in the article!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 10 years ago

    Great tips, great items thanks.

  • FabFindsVintage

    FabFindsVintage said 10 years ago

    You have obviously worked very hard to get where you are at! I'm proud of you and you should be very proud of yourself! Your story inspires me to work harder and sacrifice more so I can one day be where I want to be, too. Thanks and all the best to you!! :)

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 10 years ago

    super interesting article, thank you! loved the photos showing how and where you work, including your supplies.

  • craftscafe

    craftscafe said 10 years ago

    Jen, those are such gorgeous creations!

  • alectonyx

    alectonyx said 10 years ago

    lovely! if i could live of my etsy store my whole life I would too. it's hard work but you get to enjoy every part of it when you are creative. loved the pics!

  • Tumus

    Tumus said 10 years ago

    You must really be fortunate to have such awesome markets so close!

  • eyeful

    eyeful said 10 years ago

    Loved this interview! And very cute bags! :)

  • SquidInkKollective

    SquidInkKollective said 10 years ago

    That's right, screw da man! Great story!

  • kitschcafe

    kitschcafe said 10 years ago

    wow, she is super cute! i'm totally jealous she gets to live in an amazing location full of color and energy!

  • KOALACaddie

    KOALACaddie said 10 years ago

    As usual, "this quitting your day job" interview is of tremendous help. Jen's work is fabulous! Thank you.

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 10 years ago

    pretty much AMAZING

  • CocoaBeans

    CocoaBeans said 10 years ago

    these are just gorgeous:)

  • petragalvan

    petragalvan said 10 years ago

    Love our story.Maybe one day I will be able to quit my day job.

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 10 years ago

    You have a beautiful shop and you are a lovely person, as well. Congratulations on your endeavors! :)

  • cram

    cram said 10 years ago

    Motivating! Thanks for sharing!

  • titchables

    titchables said 10 years ago

    Great tips!

  • Brandy9684

    Brandy9684 said 10 years ago

    I really love your work, I've added many of your purses to my favorites and plan on making them one of my new obsessions!

  • GeorginaKay

    GeorginaKay said 10 years ago

    Congratulations on quitting your day job - very cute bags. I am still dreaming of the day I can quit my day job, but I have a long way to go yet!

  • CreekBedThreads

    CreekBedThreads said 10 years ago

    Wonderful article - I was so pleased to see you featured, my friend just bought one of your bags for her mother for Christmas. While I didn't get to see it, she was really pleased with it! Congrats on getting featured, I look forward to watching your shop grow and change!

  • koheesion

    koheesion said 10 years ago

    Awesome Jen! Thanks for sharing the real deal with your fellow etsy peeps. Inspiring to hear someone tell their story! And Oh My God, I love the bags. In my favorites. Bam!

  • gisellegonzalez

    gisellegonzalez said 10 years ago

    great tip and beautiful purses!

  • nancesnostalgia

    nancesnostalgia said 10 years ago

    hang in there and be consistent! Great items that you have! It is fun to watch everyone GROW and GROW!!! Keep up the good work! nancesnostalgia

  • maijutzeler

    maijutzeler said 10 years ago

    Great story! thanks for sharing ^_^ and love the shop!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 10 years ago

    Beautiful items and very inspiring story! Congrats!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 10 years ago

    Beautiful items and very inspiring story!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 10 years ago

    Congrats!! Lovely shop and bags.

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 10 years ago

    Congrats on the success! Great shop!

  • CindyEllison

    CindyEllison said 10 years ago

    Beautiful work! Thanks for your honestly and for sharing a wealth of information, it will be helpful. May you have continued success with etsy!

  • pocketcarnival

    pocketcarnival said 10 years ago

    Wow, beautiful bags! So great that you can live in beautiful Bangkok and run your own business, hooray!

  • tasifashion

    tasifashion said 10 years ago

    Jen, you have a beautiful store!!!

  • EtsySlaps

    EtsySlaps said 10 years ago

    Inspiring interview...thanks for sharing! I loved the tidbit about "crossing your fingers" for sales every morning.

  • bluelala

    bluelala said 10 years ago

    Too cute! Love your photos to help illustrate your story. Congrats!

  • LadyLuLus

    LadyLuLus said 10 years ago

    -------- v e r y inspiring! -----------------

  • tiemee

    tiemee said 10 years ago

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

  • LatheratiSoap

    LatheratiSoap said 10 years ago

    Great story! Love the colors and design of her bags!

  • soule

    soule said 10 years ago

    Congrats! The photos are great with your story, thanks so much for sharing!

  • bklynstitch

    bklynstitch said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! Your bags are amazing!

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine said 10 years ago

    Beautiful vibrant work! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Sigmosaics

    Sigmosaics said 10 years ago

    ahhh! BIG congratulations for your success .. well deserved, your bags really are amazing!

  • Karramandi

    Karramandi said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story with us all :)

  • ThePrintStudio

    ThePrintStudio said 10 years ago

    Wow, this article makes me want to get out my sewing machine! Inspiring and I love the photos!

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign said 10 years ago

    I love her bags!! Shopping for leather looks like it is so much fun! :)

  • bearsofbath

    bearsofbath said 10 years ago

    What an inspirational story, thanks for sharing it with us all. Love the bags you make.

  • BlueFernJewelry

    BlueFernJewelry said 10 years ago

    Such an inspiring and uplifting story for someone who is new to Etsy like myself! Thank you for sharing.

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 10 years ago

    wonderful! It's always so inspiring to read these articles and hope your dreams will also come true one day :) Thanks so much for sharing

  • brazenhussies

    brazenhussies said 10 years ago

    Gorgeous bags! Great interview, fab tips and definitely adding some of these finds to the favourites!

  • heatherfuture

    heatherfuture said 10 years ago

    Haha, I scrolled down to look at the pictures first, and immediately fell in love with her bag (like, jaw dropped, heart palpitations kind of love), not even realizing that's what she makes. They are STUNNING. Wonderful story, too!

  • lealerjcreates

    lealerjcreates said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I love your bags!

  • lealerjcreates

    lealerjcreates said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I love your bags! Beautiful.

  • mietteLove

    mietteLove said 10 years ago

    Those bags are amazing. There is so much beauty in simplicity.

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo said 10 years ago

    well done, i'm vegetarian though so I try and skip leather products.

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 10 years ago

    Beautiful items and very inspiring story! Congratulations!

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 10 years ago

    Congrats on paying off your debt!!! That's so important!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 10 years ago

    great story-beautiful bags!

  • econica

    econica said 10 years ago

    this has to be one of my favorite Quit your day job articles! I love the pictures. Beautiful shop!

  • contempojewels

    contempojewels said 10 years ago

    LOVE the bags... thanks for sharing!

  • Resurgence

    Resurgence said 10 years ago

    You sound sweet AND smart. Congratulations on your success!

  • DowntownGirlDesigns

    DowntownGirlDesigns said 10 years ago

    Congratulations!!

  • maxandolivia

    maxandolivia said 10 years ago

    Inspiring story :) Thank you for sharing.

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 10 years ago

    Congratulations & thank you for sharing your story! It's wonderful to read about successful sellers from a part of the globe many of us may never have a chance to visit. Lovely work.

  • pixiepaper

    pixiepaper said 10 years ago

    Great story, congrats. Your bags are beautiful.

  • SandBagsDesigns

    SandBagsDesigns said 10 years ago

    Like everyone else has written.... inspiring; love the pics of her shopping etc. Thanks for keeping us little dreamers motivated!

  • SandBagsDesigns

    SandBagsDesigns said 10 years ago

    Beautiful product. Thanks for keeping us little dreamers inspired & motivated!

  • teeniebirdie

    teeniebirdie said 10 years ago

    This is a great story. Thank you :)

  • ssweetcheeks

    ssweetcheeks said 10 years ago

    Congratulations!! I simply love your creations!

  • cosmicsurflove

    cosmicsurflove said 10 years ago

    very inspiring and i love the vientianne bag!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 10 years ago

    This article is so inspiring. I love the bags and thanks for the advice.

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 10 years ago

    Great article. Thanks!

  • itsmolly

    itsmolly said 10 years ago

    The bags are gorgeous! Loved reading the story, thanks for sharing, Jen! And the photos in this article are perfect!!! Your 'sales with every promotion' record is inspiring!

  • JarrettP

    JarrettP said 10 years ago

    Great tips. Thanks so much.

  • pulpandpaisley

    pulpandpaisley said 10 years ago

    Gorgeous bags! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • polkadotrabbitdotcom

    polkadotrabbitdotcom said 10 years ago

    Love the photos and your honesty, I really enjoyed reading this article

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 10 years ago

    it is always so inspiring to hear how you have made it out of the coroprate world!

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 10 years ago

    Nice diversity on the handbags. Congrats! (I worked 5 years for a company answering a phone like you did. It was the best thing ever to leave! :-)

  • stoopher

    stoopher said 10 years ago

    great article hats off to you for making the plunge - as someone who has recently left the corporate world to pursue this dream too I can appreciate what this has taken you best of luck!

  • CreativeButterflyXOX

    CreativeButterflyXOX said 10 years ago

    Such beautiful work, and a wonderful inspiring article.

  • AnnBernadette

    AnnBernadette said 10 years ago

    not only am I inspired to quit my day job, but I have found a new favorite shop!! Congratulations on making what you love what you do, thank you for the article!

  • CuriousSparrow

    CuriousSparrow said 10 years ago

    Good read! Thanks for your tips!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 10 years ago

    Nice to read your story Jen, congrats on leaving your job to pursue your love of creating leather handbags.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    Awesome story and really wonderful pictures to go along with it! Love your items, Jen! Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success as a designer!

  • StudioZen

    StudioZen said 10 years ago

    Fantastic story and well deserved success! Bravo!

  • MonikaDesign

    MonikaDesign said 10 years ago

    Love this article!...very beautiful work, Jen!

  • jeanbean1909Company

    jeanbean1909Company said 10 years ago

    Beautiful purses! I love your shop!

  • jeanbean1909Company

    jeanbean1909Company said 10 years ago

    I love your shop! Great Work!

  • theboutiquestudio

    theboutiquestudio said 10 years ago

    Love the photos, congratulations Jen!

  • sweetirie

    sweetirie said 10 years ago

    Wow! I love these articles...her work is extraordinary!

  • kristimcmurry

    kristimcmurry said 10 years ago

    "Inspiration doesn't come when you want it to, unfortunately. Pay attention to your surroundings and take a notebook with you as often as you can. Jot down the shapes and colors that you see that turn you on, because you might forget about them when actually trying to create." So so so true! I have written many ideas down on napkins...I suppose I should carry a notebook :) Thanks for all the great advice, Jen!

  • TamaraHoy

    TamaraHoy said 10 years ago

    Love your photos and your work. I really want to work with leather one day but I'm so nervous to cut into something so beautiful so I stick with vinyl right now. I would love to live somewhere with a leather district like you. It's so hard for me to find great material. Keep up the good work and I wish you many successes in the New Year

  • ShimmeringSky

    ShimmeringSky said 10 years ago

    Beautiful bags and a fun article to read! It's so nice to see a fellow Etsians' life goals coming true with hard work and determination. Bangkok looks like such a beautiful city judging by your wonderful photos - looks like I'll have to put that on my 'to do' list. Congratulations!

  • SpringColors

    SpringColors said 10 years ago

    beautiful shop. good luck

  • SlimHands

    SlimHands said 10 years ago

    Gorgeous I love them so much!

  • FloweryDeer

    FloweryDeer said 10 years ago

    Great article! Start small and Dream big! Thanks for the tips! Love the bags! *Flower jewelry at www.flowerydeer.etsy.com

  • shesbattydesigns

    shesbattydesigns said 10 years ago

    What a great article! Congrats to Jen! And what a wonderful place to move to! I would love to pack up and move somewhere warm too :)

  • leatherprince

    leatherprince said 10 years ago

    Congratulations Jen! We love your work!!

  • floria

    floria said 10 years ago

    Extraordinary story! Congratulations and good luck!

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 10 years ago

    Great article and love those purses!

  • stradballyjewellery

    stradballyjewellery said 10 years ago

    Your article has given us great optimism! My huband and i both dream of giving up our day jobs and consentrating on our jewellery business full time. Nice to see it happens to people. Congrats, good luck Your shop is beautiful!

  • onewintrynight

    onewintrynight said 10 years ago

    What a great article! Congratulations!

  • SaltwaterDesigns

    SaltwaterDesigns said 10 years ago

    I love the bags with the Hmong Tribe fabric on them! I was in Thailand for a month and it's such an inspiration there! Congrats on your "new day job", i hope i can get there too someday!

  • grayday

    grayday said 10 years ago

    so, great thanks for sharing!

  • JoyfulSoulCreations

    JoyfulSoulCreations said 10 years ago

    Wow! Ver nice product and a great story with good tips. Good photography which is very elusive for me!

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 10 years ago

    Congrats Jen, you are living the dream!

  • Gallery360

    Gallery360 said 10 years ago

    Beautiful Bags!

  • petalandpink

    petalandpink said 10 years ago

    Great a story. I am loving this new (to me) shop find!

  • taylorceramics

    taylorceramics said 10 years ago

    Great interview, thanks.

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 10 years ago

    Jen thank you for your honest and sound advice its good to hear the pitfals and successes Best of luck to you in 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • buttonandboo

    buttonandboo said 10 years ago

    Wow! congratulations! Very inspiring store and great advice! I love your products too! I will be adding them to my wish list!

  • bojosmom

    bojosmom said 10 years ago

    beautiful bags:) and great article!

  • theLittleGreenButton

    theLittleGreenButton said 10 years ago

    Great Story! It feels so good to be passionate about what you do! Thanks for sharing.

  • cobcob808

    cobcob808 said 10 years ago

    great story! i don't usually read through entire articles, but i surely did with this article. well written and inspirational. i wish you continued success!

  • LeslieGallery

    LeslieGallery said 10 years ago

    i love reading these "quit your day job" stories. this was really struck me in that i do data entry and it's not my intended field but it pays the bills and i too spend more nights and weekends creating. Congrats on the success and this year brings you many more great sale!!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 10 years ago

    thanks for including photos of your shopping trips for material. love the article and great tips.

  • 6catsart

    6catsart said 10 years ago

    Wow. Love you story and your lovely items. Reading has given me tons of ideas on how to market my items this year, made notes in my to do journal. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • boutiqueseragun

    boutiqueseragun said 10 years ago

    Beatiful bags

  • uniquelyvashti

    uniquelyvashti said 10 years ago

    Great story and congrats on your success. This information will help me build my new Etsy shop.

  • uniquelyvashti

    uniquelyvashti said 10 years ago

    Great story...love your bags. Thanks for the information, this will help me build my new Etsy shop.

  • blackbird72

    blackbird72 said 10 years ago

    as always fabulous and inspirational!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 10 years ago

    Your an inspiration. Cool bags too.

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 10 years ago

    Congratulations. ...Isn't Etsy just so great !...

  • FineThangz

    FineThangz said 10 years ago

    Such gorgeous bags! Congrats to you!!!

  • nailee

    nailee said 10 years ago

    Congrates!!I wish I could quit my job sooner.... Great tips!

  • tangeryne

    tangeryne said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story! Was depressed coz I found I am not too cut up for the 'corporate world' until I found etsy and realised this is what I am meant to do :) Love your bags!

  • getthepartystarted

    getthepartystarted said 10 years ago

    Congrats! I love your stuff :)

  • sankhara

    sankhara said 10 years ago

    I always love to read the "quite your day job section" im so happy to read these.. congrats- beautiful work and beautiful pics in this article!

  • art68

    art68 said 10 years ago

    I love the story,my husband is a chinese artist,he makes art in his whole life,yes, art is his life.He do chinese traditional art such as chinese calligraphy and chinese paintings.But you know as an artist in china,before you getting older,before you getting famouse,you couldn't get so much money.so for last few years I worked very hard to get money surpport him to learn from the most famouse artist in china.Now,he is getting better,and he devote all the time into art.He is 47 now,I am 30 years old,so it is time for us to get a baby.so I quite my day job,work at home ,try to sell his art,after we have a baby,I can look after and still can get some money. So about a month ago I opened the store on etsy,I have been listed 180 items,but just had 33 sales,so I am very worried.But "quite your day job stories"gave me so much hopeful. Thank you very much to share your story .

  • bodysmokewater

    bodysmokewater said 10 years ago

    This article is truly an inspiration.

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 10 years ago

    Wow! Lot of leather! Tons of work. Love this story. Thanks for sharing...

  • emmieloustudios

    emmieloustudios said 10 years ago

    I love these articles, they are so inspiring and always help to give me a 'pick me up' when I'm feeling a bit down or when I havent had a sale for a while - congratulations on your success, your work is wonderful! x

  • streetnoodles

    streetnoodles said 10 years ago

    i usually don't like the big bags shown in mags...yours has a simplier line and OMG i'm totally in love with the pink slouch....beautiful creator & shop...thank you for your inspiring story.

  • emikomary

    emikomary said 10 years ago

    Love your products and really admire your focus and determination to create the life you want. Inspirational. I've been waiting ages for a QYDJ post on someone making leather bags, as I've finally realised it's what I'd like to be doing with my life. So it's really interesting to hear about your journey. peace x

  • florriemitton

    florriemitton said 10 years ago

    fabulous & so inspiring! Gorgeous bags too! x

  • sundarose

    sundarose said 10 years ago

    what a wonderful article! Your colors are so bright and vivid in your photographs and your bag designs are gorgeous. Congratulations!! I feel very inspired.

  • Poshwashsoap

    Poshwashsoap said 10 years ago

    Beautiful work! You are truly an inspiration, and best of luck in the future.

  • aldesigns

    aldesigns said 10 years ago

    Congratulation!!! You have very nice bags :)

  • dolliecs

    dolliecs said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring article. Beautiful products!

  • orangeandyellow

    orangeandyellow said 10 years ago

    congrats on the article, your bags are beautiful

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele said 10 years ago

    great tip and beautiful purses!

  • thedoggiehouse

    thedoggiehouse said 10 years ago

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your Story im very inspired I LoL when you said i call my machine The Beast jajajajaj so funny ! keep the good luck my etsy friend...

  • dazzlinglanna

    dazzlinglanna said 10 years ago

    I love leather too but still have to figure out the source locally since I live in Chiang Mai, would be a bit difficult than living in BKK. Great article..congrats :)

  • Leocardia

    Leocardia said 10 years ago

    What a colorful surrounding you are living in. Wonderful!

  • naoiyao

    naoiyao said 10 years ago

    2010 new fashion style in http://www.newfashion4biz.com U may try to order from http://www.newfashion4biz.com good quality and best price accept paypal safe and easy shopping!!! Yay!!! sell nike $29-$42 clothing $12-$35,handbags $32,FREE SHIPPING They offer cheap nike shoes,nfl jerseys,brand handbags,cheap jeans and tshirts,paypal accept http://www.newfashion4biz.com

  • naoiyao

    naoiyao said 10 years ago

    2010 new fashion style in http://www.newfashion4biz.com U may try to order from http://www.newfashion4biz.com good quality and best price accept paypal safe and easy shopping!!! Yay!!! sell nike $29-$42 clothing $12-$35,handbags $32,FREE SHIPPING They offer cheap nike shoes,nfl jerseys,brand handbags,cheap jeans and tshirts,paypal accept http://www.newfashion4biz.com

  • KayLynnStudio

    KayLynnStudio said 10 years ago

    Your work is so pretty. I wanted to thank you for being such an inspriration. Thanks for a view into your typical day too!

  • MppkJewelry

    MppkJewelry said 10 years ago

    Nice article. Very inspired story. Congratulations on the bags,they are beautiful!

  • cometdoxie

    cometdoxie said 10 years ago

    Wow! How beautiful! Great job!

  • 1920

    1920 said 10 years ago

    love the article! beautiful bags!

  • BrooklynCraft

    BrooklynCraft said 10 years ago

    bravo! I love you bags!

  • jmunlimited

    jmunlimited said 10 years ago

    Beautiful writing and wonderful items! Inspiration around every corner. Congrats to you

  • HouseOfSparrows

    HouseOfSparrows said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful experience! Thank you Jen and good luck on all your new adventures!

  • coup

    coup said 10 years ago

    Jen, I could relate to a lot of what you said, as my life is quite similar. It's sobering to know that other Etsians share the same trials and triumphs as one-person design studios ;)

  • SepiaSmiles

    SepiaSmiles said 10 years ago

    I really enjoyed this feature full of great tips.I'm glad you got away from your terrible call centre job and I also love Globetrekker! Great seller :)

  • Crochetette

    Crochetette said 10 years ago

    Love your bags Jen!

  • rksmartie

    rksmartie said 10 years ago

    thank you for the inspiration!

  • cutnpast

    cutnpast said 10 years ago

    LUV the article... great bags!! You go.. THANKS

  • natsupplies

    natsupplies said 10 years ago

    Inspiring! Love your works.

  • rlmstudios

    rlmstudios said 10 years ago

    yes very inspiring! i love your designs and always best of luck to you and all of us!

  • whatisit

    whatisit said 10 years ago

    would love to quit my day job.... I am not a talented! Great bags... wishing many sales***

  • chroniclesclothing

    chroniclesclothing said 10 years ago

    It's nice to see that even though selling on etsy is your full time job, you still get excited about the prospect of a sale! I thought you might get used to it after a while!

  • SwoonJewels

    SwoonJewels said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Its so inspiring to hear the journeys of other etsians and draw parallels. My heart skipped a beat when I seen the pic of you at the market checking out new leather, SWOON!

  • urthgypsy

    urthgypsy said 10 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • purpleWHALEdesigns

    purpleWHALEdesigns said 10 years ago

    i thoroughly enjoyed your article it gave me alot of inspiration to move forward in my own shop. Thanks!

  • BlackDaisyDesigns

    BlackDaisyDesigns said 10 years ago

    Great article! I LOVE this shop and Jen is such a sweetheart. I bought a whiskey coloured Ton Sai a few months ago and I'm so in love with the bag it's crazy. Quality - through and through. :)

  • janysde

    janysde said 10 years ago

    you are very talented!

  • OhSewFine

    OhSewFine said 10 years ago

    I enjoyed your article it gave me alot of inspiration.

  • bijubrill

    bijubrill said 8 years ago

    I must say this has been one of the most interesting and inspiring interviews ever! Congrats on your work and am truly sorry you will take a break from creating bags...

  • mariem1437

    Marie Miller from AdoreAFlower said 7 years ago

    Congrats, I enjoyed seeing your designs.

  • magstar19

    Shasta Maggie from ShastaMaggie said 4 years ago

    It seems she makes her items in a factory. Not handcrafted whatsoever.

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