Cari Scott's jewelry line named Mud and Mint immediately grabbed my attention with its unique simplicity. Her "color pools" earrings combine two vibrant colors in a way that conveys a playful sense of style. And with multiple color variations available, you are sure to find one that pleases your own sense of style.
Scott answered a few questions over email about her work and art.
When did you open your Etsy shop and what do you sell?
Scott: I originally opened my handmade jewelry shop on Etsy in January of 2007 before changing my business name and relaunching with my current site in July of 2007. I design and craft my own jewelry using simple elements with an emphasis on color, size, shape and finish. I enjoy working with a variety of materials including sterling silver, gold fill, brass, stones, freshwater pearls, glass and various vintage components including lucite.
Do you have a day job? Does your shop pay the rent?
I do have a day job because while I love Etsy and having own my shop, part of the joy for me, at least right now, is that I don't have much pressure to meet a quota or drum up business in order to pay my bills. Over the course of the last year, I've made almost enough in profit to pay my rent but not all of my expenses and since sales don't always come in at a steady pace it's hard to be to dependent on that.
Luckily, I have a great day job with a flexible schedule and a boss who really supports my work so it's a good fit for me. Ultimately, my goal is to keep slowly growing my business and see where it takes me; if I can eventually afford to make a living off my craft full time that would be great.
What advice do you have for people interested in starting an online store?
I've learned so much over time but there are four things I think are most important.
First, don't undersell yourself. At the very least, make sure you are charging enough to cover your cost of goods, your time at a livable wage, any additional overhead costs and a small profit.
Secondly, make sure you have good photographs that are clear and show off your product well, especially from various angles or what the item would look like in use. Online, a customer can't see, feel or try an item out so your photos and the description really have to sell the item for you.
Also, try to list new items as frequently as you can so your shop doesn't seem "stale." An active shop is more likely to engage a customer over the long term to check back repeatedly and give them confidence that the owner is reliable.
Lastly, it can take some time to build an online business and most sites start out very slow so have a little patience, try not to get discouraged and don't be afraid to promote yourself actively!
Etsy is an online marketplace whose mission is to "reconnect makers with buyers." These explorations will connect you with the makers in your neighborhood.