Even as a kid, Krystle Walsh has always been creative. She enjoys doing craft projects, such as beadwork, jewelries, painting and other artistic creations.
However, she never realized that her passion could be turned into a profitable business. It took the prodding and encouragement of her family members for her to realize that her craft products can be saleable.
She turned to Etsy.com, the online auction marketplace for handcrafted items as the place to sell her beadworks, jewelries and other creations. Today, she runs two stores on Etsy.com — DKjewels www.dkjewels.etsy.com for her jewelry products and Ninjabowtique www.Ninjabowtique.etsy.com for her bows and pins.
WomenHomeBusiness.com talked with Ms. Walsh on how she started her handcrafted jewelry business:
You create jewelry, bobby pins and clips. Have you always been creative person?
I don’t think I really knew I was creative. I have always just liked to make things. I can remember when I was about 4 years old stealing my moms sewing kit and trying to make Barbie clothes. I used to make beaded candy canes for family members. I also paint, refurbish old furniture when I can, sew, make soap and anything else I feel like diving into.
What inspired you to create these products? Are you planning to offer additional products?
I have always loved beads. And I love jewelry. I get inspired by Just about everything. From my kids artwork, to nature and fashion.
How do you describe the style of your products?
I have a few styles. I have done from vintage inspired pieces to very modern. It all depends on what I’m feeling when I sit down with my beads.What made you realize that you could turn your creations into a business?
My mil (mother in law). She encouraged me to try and sell my crafts. The jewelry seemed to be the best seller. When I first started on etsy I also had my art, soap and etched glass in my shop.
Why did you choose to sell on Etsy?
The venue is wonderful. Easy to learn if you invest the time. And the following is growing all the time. There is an amazing support system through teams and other sellers.
What do you think are the most important factors to succeed in selling in a marketplace as Etsy’s?
PICTURES! I can not stress this enough. The pictures have to grab the buyers attention. Also, Being very diligent about answering any questions a buyer may have. Be nice. What can it hurt?
Aside from Etsy, where else do you sell your items, both online and offline?
I have an artfire shop but it is more for the cross promotion and My jewelry was recently purchased by a gallery and wine shop Upper North Carolina. And I sell to people around town who hear of me through friends and family.
With two storefronts on Etsy, how has this business changed your life?
I am first and foremost a stay at home mom. I found that as much as I Love my motherly duties I needed something for me, Something that helped me pitch in when things get tight. Something more my kids and husband can be proud of me for. It allows me to be with them and enjoy it more.
What are your plans for your business in the next five years?
Hopefully I will be in more galleries. I would love to learn metal smithing and lampworking. And I just hope to be more successful.
What advice can you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up. It takes time to be found. To build a client base. If you make mistakes, learn and don’t be discouraged. Slowly invest and let it grow. And do something you enjoy! If you hate doing it odds are you won’t do it for the long haul.