Senior Maddie Dana has developed an Etsy shop over the past few months, where she sells handmade jewelry. She mainly makes necklaces with crystals, that have different healing properties.
The Knox Student: What made you want to start an Etsy shop?
Maddie Dana: Last summer I started making necklaces just for myself, and I started getting a lot of compliments on them from random people. I actually have a really good friend who also has an Etsy shop and she was pretty successful, so she inspired me to do the same; that’s what I did, and it’s worked out.
TKS: Has your shop been really successful?
MD: Yeah, it took a little while to get started, and last summer I didn’t really make any sales Ñ and then I went abroad and wasn’t selling, and I started back up once I got back. It’s slowly progressed, and I’ve made a lot more sales. Social-media-based marketing has completely revolutionized Etsy shops and artisan websites where people sell their stuff. I really utilized Instagram, Tumblr, and all praise the “hashtag” because that’s how people usually find me.
TKS: Do a lot of Knox students buy from your shop?
MD: Yeah, mainly just my friends; I don’t know if a lot of people know other than my friends. My friends are very supportive.
TKS: How much time do you have to put into it?
MD: It really depends. When I’m making new necklaces or styles I photograph them, which takes a while to get the perfect shot. Making them doesn’t take too long Ñ it’s mainly the organization, listing them, taking photos, making up descriptions for them. It’s more of the paperwork-shoving that takes a while rather than the actual jewelry-making.
TKS: Does this fit in with what you want to do in the future?
MD: Well I don’t really know what I want to do, but I could definitely see it progressing into something substantial. It’d be really cool if I could do this as a career, but that’s a very large dream. But if I could get there, that would be awesome.
TKS: What is the biggest roadblock you’ve hit?
MD: It’s definitely the money investment, because the materials are expensive. I recently got a loan from my dad, and we’re going to give it the summer to see how it goes. I really just need more supplies in order to make more, and then once you have more listed you become more visible on Etsy, so I think this will be really beneficial and could spark something. It remains to be seen, but we’ll see.
TKS: What is your favorite part of doing this?
MD: Just making the jewelry; it’s very calming for me. I feel like I’m fully Maddie when I’m making jewelry. Very in the moment.
TKS: Do you see yourself branching out within the Etsy shop?
MD: Yeah, I make dreamcatchers also; home goods is definitely a direction I could go. I have a very bohemian-esque shop, so that would definitely fit. And a lot of sellers that are similar to me have branched into that category, so I could definitely see myself going into that. I work a lot with crystals, and I’ve been learning a lot about the metaphysical properties and healing properties, which is very interesting, so I like to incorporate that into my listings and it’s become my target audience.