I choose a digital shop to feature this month after a personal experience, of mine, opened up a whole new world. If you haven't tried digital, do it!
Here is my interview with her.
Etsy Paper: Tell us a little about yourself.
Emma: Hello! My name is Emma and I am the designer behind hanaflowerdesigns. I was born in England but moved to Canada when I was eight years old with my parents and younger sibling. I have always had a passion for the arts as when I was younger I would always be doing crafts with my mom. Here I am today with my Etsy shop selling digital papers and scrapbook embellishments, a bit different from the cut and paste crafts when I was younger but I still love doing what I do all the same. When I'm not designing for my shop I am a University student pursuing a degree in Classics and Art History with which I would love to work in a museum and continue with crafting at the same time.
Etsy Paper: When did you open your shop on Etsy?
Emma: I opened my shop on Etsy at the start of June this year. Before that though I had spent a good year designing my character Hana which means flower in Japanese. Thus Hana the flower girl was created and a year later I started designing my own goods on Etsy. I started with handmade cards but later changed to digital scrapbooking towards the end of July as I found that this was much more enjoyable for me.
Etsy Paper: Tell us about your shop.
Emma: My shop began with me scoring and folding cards with my scoring board but later evolved into me with my computer in front of me and a drawing tablet at my side designing all these colourful patterns. ^_^ Hanaflowerdesigns is a shop where digital papers and embellishments can be used for so much more than scrapbooking. People can use them for invitations, gift tags or maybe even the blog you were thinking about creating. I love to see what people are inspired to create with my goods.
|Autumn Clip Art|
Etsy Paper: How much time do you spend daily/weekly working on your craft?
Emma: This depends on the time of year for me. During my four month summer holiday(I know, it's very long), sometimes I design 4 days a week and 3-4 hours daily. When I go back to school I plan to design at least twice a week so that I can continue to offer more of a variety of items in my shop.
Etsy Paper: How much planning do you do before you create?
Emma: I wouldn't say that I really "plan" my work but rather create something on the spur of the moment saying to myself "You know what would look great?" It is always wonderful when you just have an idea pop into your head, another reason why I always carry a notebook with me at all times. My planning is mainly little notes in my notebook about general themes and colour schemes I like. I go through my notebook every week and pick out a few that I like and then begin designing straight away with my notebook at my side.
|Bumble Bee Digital Paper Pack|
Etsy Paper: How has being part of the Etsy community changed your craft?
Emma: The people I have met on Etsy are lovely and have given me a lot of inspiration for my shop. There is always someone in the community who will give you positive comments on the threads and will give you honest feedback on your shop which has allowed me to grow. Being part of the Etsy community gives everyone the chance to show others what you love to create and make great friends that have helped me significantly. I can't tell you how much it means to me when someone features my item in a treasury or sends me a lovely little message about my shop, thank you!
Etsy Paper: Do you have a favorite quote to share?
Emma: I have a lot of quotes that have given me inspiration over the years but I would have to say that one of my favourites is from my favourite childhood novel: Alice in Wonderland.
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Each day we grow on Etsy and we learn something new that we didn't know the day before. I always push myself that one step further so that I can reflect on what I did before and always improve a little bit each and every day.
|Laurel Wreath Digital Frame|
Etsy Paper: What was your biggest mistake you made when starting out on Etsy? How did you fix it?Emma: What I really struggled with on Etsy at first was SEO. All the threads and blogs I read on SEO were enough to keep my mind whizzing for hours! I simply didn't realize that how you tag an item and what you put in the title could matter all that much. Well I was definitely wrong. I guess when I first started on Etsy it was more like I'm going to put this item on and automatically get sales rather than I need to work on my tags a bit more. Then I realized, through joining teams and forum threads, that it is very important if you want to be found on Etsy. So I started to tag my items with multiple words in one tag and expanding on my titles a little bit more. Slowly but surely I found myself rising on the search engine when I changed them. All this came with practice and not giving up when I didn't get a sale in the first month. I still have a long way to go with my Etsy shop but I'm getting there with the help of the teams that I have joined and fellow Etsians.
Etsy Paper: When you look at some of the first projects you made, do you want to:
a. tear them up and start over?
b. get out your new product and add some new stuff to your old project?
c. sit down with a cup of tea and look at it lovingly for a while?
d. wonder where the time has gone?
Emma: c) Sit down with a cup of tea and look at it lovingly for a while. It seems a bit silly but I love looking at old creations, not to mention having a cup of tea. It is always nice to just sit down every once in a while and think about how much you have progressed with a cup of tea in hand and your project in the other.
I appreciate how creative and whimsy Emma has made her shop. The designs and patterns are so fun to look at. I have definitely saved her shop, www.etsy.com/shop/hanaflowerdesigns, to my personal favorites and will come back to shop when I need something new.
Until next time,
Etsy Paper Team