entrepreneur, sewing, teenage
Comments: 208 • Responses: 91 • Date: 2012-12-29 06:45:59 UTCsource
karategirl9787 karma2012-12-29 10:39:44 UTC
TIL I have accomplished nothing with my life.
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fairisa4letterFword3 karma2012-12-29 19:55:07 UTC
Haha, there is always time to accomplish :) Just go for it!
Gus5429 karma2012-12-29 07:46:18 UTC
I have been a custom dressmaker for 30+ years and recently stopped due to a back injury. I can not stand or sit for longer than a couple of hours without severe (sciatic) pain. I have been trying to find a way to utilize my talent to make a living without having to do fittings and sit for long hours.
After having made a faux sherpa suede blanket w/trimmings for my sister in less than three hours, it was suggested to me that I could sell these on etsy. I had never heard of etsy, but checked it out last week. However, I know little about social media and put the idea on the back burner.
Now today, I come across your post and can't help but think that maybe I shouldn't have discarded the idea so quickly.
Do you have any advice for an old lay with a great deal of creative energy, decades of experience, but no knowledge of how etsy works?
Do you think it is possible for me to be successful on etsy?
fairisa4letterFword29 karma2012-12-29 07:51:21 UTC
I won't lie: Etsy is hard work. There is alot of networking involved if you want to become sucsessful, and you must have a llot of time on your hands to monitor and post products as well as sew and produce. If you are willing to put in the effort, such as joining teams and participating in their community, you will go a lot farther than you would without marketing. I do think etsy would be a good choice for you. My only huge suggestion is spend a good few hours studying the site, and getting an overall feel for it before trying too hard to market :)
Etsy is doable and workale, but you have to be willing to learn ;)
Gus5438 karma2012-12-29 14:47:44 UTC
Please know that you having taken the time to write just a few words has helped me immensely. I have spent the last few years in and out of pain, staring at four sewing machines and wondering if I will ever be productive again. I spent several hours on the etsy website last night, and this morning I feel as though I can be.
It never occurred to me that a young girl on the internet, whose name and face I will never know, would be the one to guide me in the right direction. I suppose that I assumed that it would be an "older" or more "experienced" person that would show me the way.
You should know that your words have had a large and positive impact on my life. Despite my physical limitations, I still sew. However, like so many people of my generation, I am not good at this social media thing. In particular, I do not understand how it can used for commerce. You have provided the encouragement for me to learn.
I do have over three decades of experience as a dressmaker. If you ever have questions send me a message. I will send my personal email address to your through the personal message link.
jasonellis6 karma2012-12-29 16:45:11 UTC
What an inspiring post. Good luck to you.
I would like to add a response to your concern on how social media can be used for commerce. Basically, most commerce is driven by some kind of marketing. Unless you drive by a store and decide to drop by, you will have to hear about it somewhere. TV/radio ad, Internet search, Yellow Pages, or word of mouth are some common ways you hear about a store/seller. Products like crafts are particularly unique in that they tend to rely on friends telling friends about them (word of mouth). That is essentially what social media is.
You list products, people (for example) "like" the products. Their friends see their like on their own Facebook page, and are interested enough to look as well. It spreads like that until a large audience is browsing your wares.
Or, you write a blog about your creative process, and use it to introduce new products. People subscribe to your blog, because they are interested in your product, including the process behind it. You get a decent following, again through word of mouth, and pretty soon when you introduce a new product on your blog, it is quickly purchased by one of your readers.
So, social media is just a slick new way to get a following and spread the word. You can cast a vastly larger net, since your audience is global. The effects can be amazing if you work at it. Hope this helps. Good luck.
Gus544 karma2012-12-29 17:43:07 UTC
When I get my income tax return, I will go to Chicago and pick up the faux fur I need to make the blankets and coats I have designed. When they are completed, I will need to figure out how to sell them on etsy.
My sister suggested that I try to hire somebody from reddit to build me a website and guide me through the social media thing. Do you think their might be somebody on reddit that is willing to work for somebody my age (53)?
isotopepotosi2 karma2012-12-29 18:15:54 UTC
To be honest, maintaining your own website may prove a challenge for you. It's probably best to utilize an existing infrastructure, like Etsy, at least until you become better versed in what commerce on the internet entails. I wish you so much luck. I really identify with your plight, ill health holding you back when your mind is still full of ideas.
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:59:33 UTC
^ I agree, get a feel for a site like Etsy first before spreading to a a personal webpage. If you have any questions on Etsy feel free to email me at [email protected] :) I'd be more than happy to help out
Gus542 karma2012-12-29 20:46:02 UTC
You are about as perfect a person as I have spoken with.
My sister and I have decided to travel to Chicago in January and New York in February. I will then decide on the details. Once the income tax refund is in my hands I will purchase the materials I need and make some blankets and coats. Then I will be looking at developing a presence on etsy.
Your email address is in my contacts. I'm thinking by May or June I should have enough coats and blankets made to get this going.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:53:03 UTC
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:56:59 UTC
That would be great, thank you so much. I wish you the best of luck. It can be overwhelming, but I defiantly encourage going for it ! :)
hrtachetosing27 karma2012-12-29 06:57:24 UTC
Can you give us an example of your target clients and the types of sewing tasks you do?
How has your family supported you throughout this?
Are your profitable so far, and do you plan on expanding and if so how?
Thanks for the AMA
fairisa4letterFword41 karma2012-12-29 07:02:46 UTC
My target clients are primarily teenagers and Etsy users. I sew dolls, aprons, hand bags, scarfs, and other cloth objects that are not form-fitting clothing. If given an order I try my hardest to complete it, even if it isnt something i haven't done before.
My family is VERY supportive. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was five, and my parents are very supportive of the entrepreneurship.
I am profitable :) I will be expanding once I get my license. I will be joining a few fairs/festivals/etc as a vendor :) I have done this twice before locally, but I live in a small town so both times it was a bit difficult to make a profit, but I have a low overhead so when I have a greater audience poor it will be much easier :)
Thanks for the first questions!
darthjammer2242 karma2012-12-29 17:08:56 UTC
Do you sell your merchandise through your home?
How do you go about shipping? Fedex. Ups. Usps?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:17:57 UTC
I do sell through my home. I ship with USPS, although I haven't quite got the postal system down yet. Everytime I go there I have done something wrong xD
ZOMBIE_N_JUNK2 karma2012-12-29 17:55:08 UTC
This is how i started my business and im now 27 and do it full time.keep thinking of ways to get better
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:27:58 UTC
dinnerdewinner16 karma2012-12-29 06:58:13 UTC
Any pictures of projects?
fairisa4letterFword16 karma2012-12-29 07:05:00 UTC
This is my etsy store. I would post individual pictures, but I am not sure how to as a comment xD
CrazyBoxLady4 karma2012-12-29 16:01:31 UTC
Those dolls are super awesome. My nieces birthday is in February.
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:07:51 UTC
Haha, If you are interested in some I should have some new ones up in the next few weeks :)
CrazyBoxLady2 karma2012-12-29 20:16:06 UTC
Would you consider doing something customized? I know you said you use whatever fabrics are available to you.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:24:48 UTC
I get customized orders all the time :) I love them! At this point, I have enough supplies I can do most orders. This is where I use Joann's , because if there is something I can't find anywhere else for an order, I will buy it from there.
gerend2-31 karma2012-12-29 08:26:38 UTC
that doll is really really creepy
fairisa4letterFword20 karma2012-12-29 08:29:32 UTC
Thanks for the imput
A_P0tat07 karma2012-12-29 07:01:57 UTC
What's the easiest thing to make?
fairisa4letterFword22 karma2012-12-29 07:03:33 UTC
Pillow cases :)
ExultantSandwich28 karma2012-12-29 09:22:24 UTC
Funny Story, in 3rd Grade I learned how to sew. I really wanted to make my mom a big luxurious dress, I saved up my money and got some fabric. I dig into the project and hell no. I can sew, but not stuff like this!
TL;DR My mom got a pillowcase for Christmas
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:01:12 UTC
xD Around the same age, I made my mom a pillow that I wanted to embroider "Mom" on. Long story short, I wrote it in sharpie xD
ExultantSandwich1 karma2012-12-30 23:38:23 UTC
Are we the same person?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-31 01:30:40 UTC
Lol, is your name lauren? mine is xD xD xD
TheBagman076 karma2012-12-29 09:38:46 UTC
How hard is it to do maintenance on a sewing machine? Can you accidently sew your fingers into whatever your making, or is it impossible with the new machines? How do you sew patches on sleeves when you can't get the sleeve over the end of the machine?
fairisa4letterFword7 karma2012-12-29 09:50:27 UTC
Lol, I have 5 machines right now, ranging from the 50's to the present day. 2 of which are working. I am not the best maintenance person, although the better kept machines are much easier to fix then those which have sat in closets for thirty plus years. None of my machines will allow me to sew my fingers, so that isn't a problem. I have almost blinded myself , though. The needle broke and flew, hitting me about 7 mm from the corner of my eye. I would hand-sew the patch :)
TheBagman077 karma2012-12-29 09:55:16 UTC
I would hand-sew the patch :)
I would hand-sew the patch :)
If i were to attempt to sew a pocket on the inside of my jacket, would it be easier to seperate the liner from the shell and use a machine, or do it by hand?
fairisa4letterFword4 karma2012-12-29 10:03:29 UTC
personally, I would make a tiny pillow case- shaped pocket ( with a back) and hand sew it. Sometimes when I try to remove linings and such, I end up making things more difficult than they need to be. I would highly suggest the back though, so that the bottom of the pocket doesnt get a hole from wide stitches :)
brainslugs4all3 karma2012-12-29 16:31:22 UTC
I work in a family business that sells and rebuilds sewing machinery. Mainly for shoe repair and alteration work but we do sell replacement parts for some of the Singers and Adlers. Let me know what you have and I might be able to get your other machines running again. http://shoesystemsplus.com/rebuilt-patch-industrial.html
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:09:13 UTC
Thankyou :) I'll check up on that
rusrslythatdumb72 karma2012-12-29 16:43:33 UTC
I've almost blinded myself, too sewing a zipper. It jammed and I turned the side job in the wrong direction and SNAP! scared the crap out of me.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:12:21 UTC
Lol, sounds familiar. My grandpa passed, everyone was in the main room ( about 8 of us) and in the midst of my sewing I popped back in the seat. Everyone started freaking out xD
rusrslythatdumb72 karma2012-12-29 19:18:17 UTC
Yeah my boyfriend questioned whether I shouldn't wear safety glasses too lol. Normally it's not a high-risk hobby!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:51:32 UTC
I am heavily debating using a clear face mask while using that particular machine from now one xD
rusrslythatdumb72 karma2012-12-29 20:00:32 UTC
Yeah mine hit my cheekbone just below my eye. It's a newer machine, luckily it was just a user error haha.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:25:00 UTC
Lol yep :)
Spider_Pie6 karma2012-12-29 11:16:05 UTC
I don't have a question, but I just want to say I admire what you've done. I had ideas of doing something similar at your age but just didn't have the confidence to get through rejection of my ideas. I think you've achieved something incredible. Well done :)
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:06:14 UTC
Thank you :)
The_Sweet_Life5 karma2012-12-29 12:26:57 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:07:21 UTC
Kilts. Kilts are cool. xD
l23r5 karma2012-12-29 07:37:12 UTC
do you make the dolls like sock monkeys? they look cute :)
how do you calculate creation time into the cost of the item? (this is something i have a problem with!)
fairisa4letterFword4 karma2012-12-29 07:46:19 UTC
The dolls were a personal creation, but if you mean materials then I make the dolls out of any woven material xD
I tend to undermine myself labor wise. I sell my dolls only for 20.00 . Out of that 20 , I can count of getting about 18.50 in my account ( 1.50 in dues to Etsy and Pay Pal) . Each doll costs between 1.50 and 4.50 overhead, so I claim about $15-17 dollars per doll, which totals to around 6.50 an hour of work, when all is said and done.
A good policy is never let your hourly labor dip below 5 dollars. I know alot of people who have insane markups for labor, just to bring it down later in 'sales' or to attract the high end buyers ( Etsy is primarily mid class-high end) , because these people are the most common for using a minimum $$$ search , rather than leaving the amount at 0 - whatever .
fiftiethcow5 karma2012-12-29 07:53:03 UTC
If you don't mind...how much money do you make?
fairisa4letterFword10 karma2012-12-29 07:59:50 UTC
I don't mind. I have made somewhere around 500 since I started in March. I do slow/ stop production while I am doing shows, so I have only worked around 3 full months. Unfortunatly, school work and chores come before sewing so I dont have as much time as I would like dedicated to sew and make profit xD
fiftiethcow10 karma2012-12-29 08:03:53 UTC
Nice! Whats the projected amount if you were to take it up full time? Enough to support yourself?
fairisa4letterFword14 karma2012-12-29 08:05:34 UTC
If I dropped out tomorrow and ditched everything, I could easily support myself and my mother full time :)
the_littlest_owl7 karma2012-12-29 18:10:09 UTC
No disrespect, but I'm confused about this. You said you made about 500 working for about 3 full months - that's a little more than 166 per month. But then you just said that if you dropped out of school and did this full time, you could support yourself and also your mother. Even if you did so and were able to triple your income, you'd still only be making about 500 per month. As someone who has considered supplementing my income off Etsy, the idea of running my whole household off of product orders seems like a lofty one. If you took this project on full time, what kind of increase in productivity would you expect? That is, are you turning away or not posting products/orders because you don't have time to fill them? How would you handle a transition to full time?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:42:37 UTC
I should elaborate: during those 3 months I still attended school 7 hours a day. I also spent a good chunk of time in my day doing house chores and such. If I dropped school and was able to work full time at my machine I would be able to expand to the extent that I could support both of us.
If I took on the project full time, I could sew about 20-40 things a week, depending on what they were. I would make around 500 dollars from these items, and that is just my work alone. I do employ " temporary workers" (aka, bored teenagers looking to make a couple bucks, or get food) which would greatly raise the productivity. I estimate, if I ran producing what I am now, I could make around 2000-2200 a month, which is liveable. If I turned to dressmaking and other clothing, I might be able to raise that to 3000 a month.
Overall I have only turned down about 3 orders because I was in the midst of a show. Generally, I work in waves. Although I do have pre-made things that can be sold and shipped any time of the year, it all depends on my shows to whether I have an hour a week to commit to sewing or 20. Again, if these disappeared with school, I would be able to strengthen greatly.
I think it would have to be a semi slow process. You HAVE to have the customers already, by serving them part time, until you switch. It all depends on how much work you are willing to put in. If you are truly dedicated to the site as well as your products,and have customers dedicated to you, the transition would be pretty smooth. If you haven't build a large, strong customer relationship, then don't quit your day job ;)
the_littlest_owl2 karma2012-12-29 21:14:15 UTC
This is great, thanks for clarifying. Also, you seem way on top of your shit. Thanks for the advice! Fortunately my day job is secure, as it's my partner's business, but I'm really interested in how these things get started. Best of luck to you!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 21:17:42 UTC
Thank you :) and good luck to you !
heyjude3215 karma2012-12-29 07:35:06 UTC
Do you seriously plan on pursuing this in the future? Or are you going to do something else?
fairisa4letterFword8 karma2012-12-29 07:40:17 UTC
My dream is to move to New York City and study musical theater: ultimately to perform as a career. It Dollz(and MORE) is my main funding, because of state laws I can not get a 'real job'. I live with my single mother, so money gets tight. The busi. will be sticking around until I can support myself by performing. :)
khriys9 karma2012-12-29 08:09:17 UTC
Your small business is more real a job than anything mediocre people whinging about 'real jobs' ever have or ever could have.
You're creating and making sales. Keep it up.
fairisa4letterFword4 karma2012-12-29 08:10:10 UTC
Thank you <3 I love support :D
heyjude3216 karma2012-12-29 07:41:46 UTC
Ever get discouraged when people tell you that what you want to pursue is, "not a real job?"
btw, I don't mean to seem harsh. People told me this when I told them I was going into arts. Never looked back.
fairisa4letterFword5 karma2012-12-29 07:56:35 UTC
All.The.Time. I even had an performing arts teacher, who I adored, tell me straight in my face 'Well,Lauen I don't see you going anywhere in the buisness, so it's pretty useless for you to even try"
It bummed me out for months, but I finally just said screw it and went on with my life.
I know what I want to do with my life, and someone else's opinion isn't going to change that. Truthfully, I can't see myself doing anything else full time. Even with my sewing, I take breaks and work in waves rather than steady. I get too antsy and it messes with my pysch xD Acting and performing are the only things that I can do 365 days a year and never feel trapped or anything less than living the dream :)
LadyVox3 karma2012-12-29 12:42:20 UTC
I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing...Also, if acting/performing is what you want to do in the end, having something you can do on the side is excellent. I'm getting my Masters in Costume Technology and Shop Management (I graduate this coming May) and one thing my professors have always stressed to all our Actors/Actresses is to have something else in theatre that you can do on the side. We have people that learn to work in the scene shop on the side or in the costume shop. So you might think of later on getting some costume shop or wardrobe experience as a money earner for those times where you can't find performing jobs :) We have people come in to volunteer to work all the time from other departments and we are happy to teach them.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:04:57 UTC
I have stuck my foot in the door and do minor repairs for our schools theater. Hopefully soon I'll be able to expend into form-fitting clothing
heyjude3212 karma2012-12-29 07:58:10 UTC
I have a video you should watch. I'll PM you, tell me what you think.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 08:00:05 UTC
Gravy-Leg__3 karma2012-12-29 14:05:10 UTC
Just so you know, you should be proud of your accomplishments. If the volume of orders increases to where you can't meet demand, how will you deal with this?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 20:12:08 UTC
I have a few back up sew-ers up my sleeve, but if it gets to that point where I am overwhelmed then I wold have to slow down the pace. School work comes first
usefull_battery3 karma2012-12-29 08:01:13 UTC
How did you start getting costumers
fairisa4letterFword16 karma2012-12-29 08:09:42 UTC
Truthfully, I shoved my product in numerous friends, family, shop owners, and buisness people's faces and said" look at me, this is what I can do and produce. Will you help me? " I got told no alot. More than I can count, but I got a few "yes"s , and those are what matter. I have had the dolls previously sold in 3 seperate boutiques, and sold over 50 total. I got alot of " Those are ugly, who would want that? Why would you endorse voodoo dolls" and other unkind statements, but at the end of the day if you have something you believe in, there is at least 1 person who believes in it as well. :)
wthshark8 karma2012-12-29 12:56:21 UTC
your responses dont sound like a 15 year old. you are definitely more mature than your average 15 year old and i applaud your ability to continue on despite criticism and push forth with your passion. bravo
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:05:30 UTC
whenitistime4 karma2012-12-29 13:37:02 UTC
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 20:05:54 UTC
this_is_suburbia2 karma2012-12-29 16:52:42 UTC
Keep pushing! You never know who people know. My brother makes wallets and through one of my cousins sold one to Tom Izzo. (Michigan State basketball coach)
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:15:09 UTC
eurephys3 karma2012-12-29 18:36:06 UTC
I know this would be a pointless question since you learned from your grandparents, but can you suggest ways of getting into sewing?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:49:10 UTC
Classes and practice. My grandma taught me the basics,but I did alot of self teaching through experience. You have to have practice and be willing to make mistakes. That's the only real way to learn to do anything, really xD
Puck7593 karma2012-12-29 14:32:11 UTC
Do you make plushies at all?
My wife started making League of Legends plushies but doesn't really have the time to put into doing it properly.
I really want a Malazahar plushie though...
Can you do it?
Banokles2 karma2012-12-29 17:44:24 UTC
I want LoL plushies! Name your price :)
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:13:43 UTC
Send a pic and we'll talk :)
Puck7592 karma2012-12-29 21:43:54 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 22:27:51 UTC
I'm not sure that could be made into a plushy. Let me look around for a few more pics before I get a solid answer, ok? :) If there are any you would like to share that would be great
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 22:33:41 UTC
Alright, after looking at a few others I can do it, sort of :p. The proportions of Malazahar are ones that I am not entirely sure I can pull of at this moment, but I can design an It DollZ to look and be dressed like him, if that makes sense. Since it is a more complicated order I could do it for about $40 with shipping included
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:13:17 UTC
Send me a pic and I'll see :) I love doing stuffys
travelingforce3 karma2012-12-29 14:34:23 UTC
How much time would you say (in hours if you can) you spent trying to get your first customer and how much time do you spend trying to get each new one? Do you get a lot of repeat business or referrals? Wonderful stuff by the way, I really enjoyed this AMA.
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 20:16:49 UTC
my first customer was about 5 minutes into the business life, but she was the one who convinced me to sell them, so I'm not sure if that counts xD
I get a lot of repeat business, and a few referrals.
I used to spend about 45 minutes a day on Etsy alone to build a couple
more audience members a day.
I am glad it has turned out so popular!!!!
theDUNGwalker3 karma2012-12-29 10:18:40 UTC
Those dolls are great. How long does it take you to make one? How many have you sold?
fairisa4letterFword8 karma2012-12-29 10:20:18 UTC
It takes 45 minutes when I am in a good mood, 3 hours when I am not. I have sold around 50 :)
TruemanG563 karma2012-12-29 13:50:02 UTC
I see you're in Britain. I'm taking GCSE Business Studies at school and if you'd ever need any help expanding, I'd be happy to help free of charge. Helps with coursework, y'know?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:06:49 UTC
Actually I am in california, but thank you xD where do you see Britain?
TruemanG561 karma2012-12-30 06:56:23 UTC
On your Etsy account the prices were GBP not Dollars, I thought it was linked haha
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-30 08:06:50 UTC
They should be dollars, not sure xD
Muffinzz1 karma2012-12-29 17:03:04 UTC
I'm going to upvote you, but I think this is cute.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:06:59 UTC
jookato3 karma2012-12-29 13:26:43 UTC
That's pretty cool! I wish you good luck!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:07:32 UTC
iaintjesus2 karma2012-12-29 18:16:30 UTC
I just don't understand why he wouldn't have posted it in his comment. I guarantee you he's a perv.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:21:05 UTC
iaintjesus2 karma2012-12-29 21:17:50 UTC
Nothing towards you young lady. I love your work and think it's awesome how hard you're working. Keep up the good work with all your art.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 21:21:46 UTC
Lol, I knew it wasn't toward me because I am not a he xD just confused on what provoked the perv comment, lol. Thank you :D
iaintjesus2 karma2012-12-29 21:27:46 UTC
Just the way he came across. Apparently I'm not the only one who got the impression. And I saw the comment about your doll looking "creepy" but creepy seems to have worked for Tim Burton quite well. Love your stuff. Good luck.
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 21:34:36 UTC
Lol thank you :) yeah, I get " creepy" all the time xD
ministryofsound2 karma2012-12-29 18:18:25 UTC
Have you ever considered buying advertisements online or in local publications?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:45:56 UTC
I have advertised with facebook (GREAT) by doing one of the side-bar "sponsored stories". I am not really interested in local advertising, because my town is still recovering from the recession, and is still moving slowly back to spending, if that makes sense
CountryBoy062602 karma2012-12-29 18:29:06 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:47:42 UTC
I use Etsy because I don't have the time to establish anything larger :( Hopefully this summer, that will change fingers crosses. Although I do like Etsy's setup, I would much rather have a personal site and operate primarily from there.
BongHitta2 karma2012-12-29 18:44:58 UTC
As an 34 year old successful entrepreneur, I was also sure at a very early age I was going to be a entrepreneur. I created several small businesses in school, and my advice to you is to keep building!
The best piece of advice I ever received was sometimes your best move is to move on in a business. Maybe it won't work, but identifying that early, minimizing losses, and moving on is exactly what you want to strive to identify. With this ability you can stay into areas that are successful, but avoid the all to common pitfalls of allowing ego to cloud your judgement.
Then when you hit it, you'll already have a feeling of how a success business goes. Good employees, constant huge things happening within the company, and a huge excitement outside of it as well are the makings of a successfull business! GL to you, you're so much further than everyone else now.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:50:27 UTC
Thank you :)
BodieJaker2 karma2012-12-29 12:06:59 UTC
Do you ever consider making your products more marketable by going for the currently popular Cath-Kidston-esque style of cute, retro and pretty? Obviously your current items express your own unique tastes, which is great, but isn't making money more important if you want to fund theatre school from profits?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:09:20 UTC
I go with different waves. Alot of what is up now is from when my grandpa passed and I needed to work on brighter projects. In the near future there will defiantly be some differently styled products :)
Chawstain2 karma2012-12-29 14:55:17 UTC
Get this girl on Oprah!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:20:18 UTC
LeRoyyMcCoyy2 karma2012-12-29 07:46:49 UTC
Is Johnny Bravo your older brother.?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 07:51:32 UTC
Lol, no xD
GossipGirlGift2 karma2012-12-29 13:58:05 UTC
What would you say is the best way to "network" and "market" an Etsy store online? I am debating whether to start one or not, and I know I can't/don't want to sell in store locally. How do you get your name out there?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:11:04 UTC
Etsy has certain teams where you can share your products and gain attention, which is what I used to do. I would also suggest Facebook advertising. I only put in 5 worth of advertising, and I gained a lot of new interest considering how much I paid.
aregeethree2 karma2012-12-29 14:14:50 UTC
I want an apron!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:12:45 UTC
Half or Full? I have about 7 that I need to finish up and post :)
Antigravity-Kitten2 karma2012-12-29 14:47:25 UTC
Where do you get the fabric to make your products?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 20:18:42 UTC
Donations, thrift stores, small town fabric stores, and very rarely Joann's. I work very hard to keep products beneficial to everyone, rather than pouring my overhead into Wal-Mart :)
MasterAce2 karma2012-12-29 14:53:40 UTC
Hey i just wanted to tell you to keep doing what youre doing. As a 19 year old also working with his hands its a dream of mine to be able to open up my own profitable business. Unfortunately in my line of work the overhead costs of starting a business are significantly more. Its nice to see young people working for themselves and doing well and supporting other local businesses. congratulations!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:19:06 UTC
masagoroll2 karma2012-12-29 15:27:41 UTC
Just curious- do people usually seem to buy your dolls as cute things to display or as toys for kids?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 20:20:11 UTC
Normally displays. If it is a 'child's toy' I take significant measures to make sure its safer ( triple sew buttons, double seam everything, etc etc)
I'd say Ive sold around 18 as toys
masagoroll2 karma2012-12-29 20:35:52 UTC
Cool! I just wondered because while they are very fun just to look at, your soft cloth dolls looked like they might be good for little kids to cuddle as well (like a stuffed animal for naptime, etc).
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:37:26 UTC
Lol, kids love them. I want to make sure they can be safe when loving them xD
FrenchBraidsAndSemen2 karma2012-12-29 15:35:07 UTC
Do you still go to school? and if so do you plan to make this your full-time job after you've completed it?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:06:40 UTC
I do go to school still. My all-time dream is to perform musical theater, but this is defiantly a sturdy back up :)
TheBaconMobile2 karma2012-12-29 16:02:55 UTC
I'm a 16 year old girl who has also started a small business, and I'd just like to say - you rock. It's great to see someone so young making a profit doing something they love. To be honest, I really think the world needs more people like us.
Keep doing what you're doing!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:08:12 UTC
You too!!! Thank you :D
SkullKid1002 karma2012-12-29 16:36:14 UTC
Can you make me a Skull Kid pillow case? Or a Skull Kid plushy
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:10:37 UTC
I truthfully have no idea what that is, but if you send pics I could see
SkullKid1002 karma2012-12-29 19:27:30 UTC
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:54:03 UTC
How large would you want it and be willing to pay? That is a very tricky order, but supplies accounted for, I could do for about $50. I would suggest you look around online to see if anyone specializes in them , though xD
SkullKid1002 karma2012-12-29 19:59:19 UTC
I could do 50, is this the pillow case or plushy? how big can I get it?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:25:49 UTC
I only saw the plushy, I could do somewhere in the ballpark of 20 inches.
Edit I wont be at my machine till the third though, just to let you now. I am out of town at this particular moment
SkullKid1002 karma2012-12-29 20:31:24 UTC
I can wait. 20 in is great!
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:34:14 UTC
Did you want a pillow case as well? I didn't see a link for that one xD And can you pay today? If I get the $$$ going today, I can make a supplies run in a few days when the money hits my account
SkullKid1002 karma2012-12-29 20:42:39 UTC
Well can I pay on friday January 4th? The rent is going to drain everything and I'm only part time where I work. If you can wait til that day then I would be more than happy pay. For now just the plushy.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:43:20 UTC
the fourth is fine :)
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:40:35 UTC
Oh, crap! where do you live? i just thought about shipping
StayFunky2 karma2012-12-29 16:44:13 UTC
I ripped my khakis while riding my bike, can you fix them?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:12:51 UTC
Lol, more than likely no xD
dognose2 karma2012-12-29 16:48:41 UTC
How do you deal with the overwhelming CPSIA regulations? http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/smbus/manufacturers.html
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:14:33 UTC
Is this a trick question? xD
I actually didn't even know it existed. I run everything by "lemonade stand' guidelines
Samazing422 karma2012-12-29 17:14:28 UTC
Proud of you! I'm working on starting my own business now. Hope it goes well for you!
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:18:25 UTC
Thank you! hope everything goes well for you too!!!
DuddlyDoWrong0372 karma2012-12-29 17:47:35 UTC
Hi! I've painted and designed my own t-shirts since I was 12. I was even able to spend a big chunk of my high school hours making t-shirts for grades. I'm 22 now.
I've always wondered what I need to do to sell these shirts. I figured you needed to buy a logo or license or something... I'm really in the dark about it. Any insight?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:24:17 UTC
If you sell on something like Etsy or Goodsmiths , you aren't required to have any specific permit or license. The fact of the matter is, there are others that do the same thing, so there isn't really a way to call the t-shirts yours themselves, but the art behind them. Thats why there can be so many quilters, artists, and types of masons, because rather than licensing a type of product, they simply create their version. If you want to sell online, just go to one of the sites and follow their procedures to building a shop. :)
I would look into vendor laws in your state though, just to be safe :)
Saber_Toof2 karma2012-12-29 18:02:18 UTC
At first I read that as small scale 'brewing' business not small scale 'sewing' business.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:28:15 UTC
panda_wrestler2 karma2012-12-29 17:03:17 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:16:42 UTC
Well.... I was fiddling around on my machine about 9 months ago and came up with the original doll. I brought it to school the next day, just getting a laugh and making it talk and all, and it was a hit. By fifth period I had 3 orders. At the time I was selling them for 5 dollars each
panda_wrestler2 karma2012-12-29 20:24:03 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:27:05 UTC
Around $500 in about 3 full months
panda_wrestler2 karma2012-12-29 21:11:07 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 21:16:44 UTC
Here are a few photos of sold dolls. I do intend to keep it running at least until i graduate :)
panda_wrestler2 karma2012-12-29 23:10:10 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 23:15:37 UTC
No, I also have made aprons, bags, scarves, and hair accessory holders. I will be posting some new products once I get back home and on my machine, including a line of about 7 aprons :)
alpha_fence12 karma2012-12-29 18:12:34 UTC
I want to buy something. What do you make and How much?
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 19:44:00 UTC
I have some pre-made items on sale at
If you order anything, I wont be able to fill it until the 3rd (I am out of town :/ )
alpha_fence12 karma2012-12-29 21:24:04 UTC
I might get the weird doll looking thing and freak my mum out with it :P And it's cool! I'm a patient guy!
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 21:26:35 UTC
Here is a link to a custom made It DollZ :) Thank you
alpha_fence12 karma2012-12-29 21:31:43 UTC
These will do well. My mum gets really freaked out by this stuff for some reason...
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 21:34:45 UTC
Haha, awesome :)
alpha_fence12 karma2012-12-29 21:35:57 UTC
Is that $20 for the lot, or for one though?
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 21:38:33 UTC
For one. All pictured are sold, it is just a stock photo. For a custom It DollZ , you choose the body color, eye color, hair color, clothing colors, and whether or not they wear pants/shirt, shirt/skirt, or a dress
alpha_fence12 karma2012-12-29 21:39:54 UTC
Ah, I see! That's fine then :)
fairisa4letterFword2 karma2012-12-29 21:41:36 UTC
iminurnamez1 karma2012-12-29 13:56:55 UTC
How about hemp rasta dolls that you can store your glass in? With Colorado and Washington ending prohibition, it could be a growing market.
Edit: Good for you on not supporting walmart.
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:22:03 UTC
Haha, possibly in the future :)
CaidoDalgas1 karma2012-12-29 17:51:24 UTC
Picture of you, so i know that youre not just saying that youre a girl
(G.I.R.L=Guy In Real Life)
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 19:27:35 UTC
haha ok, give me one second :)
http://imgur.com/0sEym I swear I am a girl xD This picture is kinda crappy though, its the only photo I have of me and a product. That was the first doll, by the way
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 21:48:36 UTC
Thank you so much for all who have participated :D I had no idea this would be so popular <3
TrollisaurusRex-18 karma2012-12-29 10:17:46 UTC
Will you have illegal sex with me so I can get on To Catch a Predator and hang out with Chris Hansen?
fairisa4letterFword19 karma2012-12-29 10:19:17 UTC
No thank you.
Randomacts10 karma2012-12-29 10:55:17 UTC
fairisa4letterFword1 karma2012-12-29 20:23:17 UTC
I expected it xD wouldnt be reddit without it :) And before anyone asks, yeah bro, i lift.
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