Today, I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine. Her name is Courtney, she is a blogger, crafter, and loving mom. She has an adorable Etsy shop that I would like to share with you.
Courtney and I met through a mutual friend at a recent Creative Connections meet up in Orange County. Creative Connections is a wonderful group of creative women who meet monthly for inspiration and socializing. The talents you will find at a typical meet-up are bloggers and writers, designers, photographers, crafters/online shop owners, event planners, marketers and social media gurus, fashionistas, chefs and bakers, actors… Basically any way you can be creative, you’re more than welcome!
Courtney and I met and instantly clicked. It’s amazing the people that God can put in your life when you least expect it!
I interviewed Courtney recently for this blog post, that helps explain her blogging, her craft, her store, her day-to-day life, as well as a special discount she generously is giving to all of my readers!
Please take a minute to read, and if you would like to connect with her further, I urge you to Tweet her or post on her Facebook Page.
- Describe yourself in one sentence:
I am a down to earth mom and wife who Loves Jesus, Dr. Pepper, Shoes, Accessories and is pursuing my dream by living LIFE!
- Why did you start blogging and how did you start?
I started blogging years ago to keep my family in other states up to date with my kids growth and pictures. I am so bad at picking up the phone or emailing frequently so it was my way of being able to update everyone at once. I literally went onto blogger one day, sat down and started. There really was no method to the madness at all.
Would you say your blog is based on a specific theme of posts? What is your favorite topic to write about?
The theme is family…specifically my family. I love to share pics from activities with the kids,but I am starting to venture into other topics. I love to write about Life because some days are good and some days are bad. I have realized that no matter what you write about, there is always someone that can relate and offer a piece of advice.
- Why did you choose to get started with Etsy? When did you open your shop?
I chose to get started with etsy because I have been going to that site for years buying things. Why not start a shop where you buy, right?!? I opened my shop Dec 2010 when I was on maternity leave with my son.
- How did you start your craft? Did anyone inspire you?
I have always been a crafty person and I LOVE felt, so in all honesty I just played around with different ideas and projects for myself. My Grandma passed away Oct 11, 2011 and it was the memories of the handmade stockings that really lit the fire under my butt to pursue what i love doing. And of course, wanting my kids to know that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind into it – they are my constant inspiration.
- What does your shop name mean?
Noodle Bug is my daughter’s nickname around the house, amongst other things. Somehow it went from lil Monkey, to Monkey Noodle and landed at Noodle Bug. Since my daughter is one of my main inspirations, I thought it was fitting to name the shop after her 🙂
- Is this a hobby, part-time job, or full time job?
This currently is a hobby, but hoping it turns into a part-time or full-time pursuit. I love meeting new people, I love creating things and putting a smile on others faces. I think this is what I am meant to do!
- Are you a one woman show?
I am a one woman show. Sometimes it gets tough to balance everything, but in the end I am hoping it pays off.
- What do you love the most about having an Etsy shop?
I love knowing that people anywhere can connect with me and put their trust in me to make something they will love. I love the friendships I am building and meeting new people daily.
- What do you find is your biggest challenge owning an online store?
My biggest challenge is finding time not only to create new items, but the posting process too. Who needs sleep these days anyway?!?
- Where do you create your products? Do you have a specific place that gets your creative juices flowing?
I usually create at night after the kids have gone to bed. I set up shop in the living room and turn the tv on for background noise and start crafting.
- What is your top-selling item? Why do you think it’s so popular?
My wreaths are definitely my top selling item. I think they are popular because there is really no other shop that has similar ones on etsy, so they standout and obviously because they are to die for cute!!!
- Do you provide custom ordering for your customers?
Yes, I LOVE custom orders and actually encourage them. Some people may not like the flowers or colors on my wreaths or may be looking for a different color/style of accessory, so I really like it when people ask for specific one of a kind items.
- Have your customers given you any product ideas? If yes, what were they?
I haven’t had any customers give product ideas, but a couple of my good friends have brainstormed new ideas. The one that will be coming to my shop soon is a “Build your own Wreath” option where you can buy a solid color ruffle wreath and add as many flowers/accessories you want and pin it to the wreath yourself. I LOVE this idea because it allows me to continue being creative, but it also allows the customer the ability to use their creative juices and make it how they LOVE it.
- Are there items in the works
you’d like to eventually add to your shop?
Well as mentioned above a Build your own Wreath section will be debuting soon 🙂 and a hint….flowers won’t be the only accessory to buy.
- Have you had previous photography experience? Do you find it a challenge showing off your products to their full potential through photography?
I have not had any previous photography experience. I would the LOVE the chance to be better educated because I love looking at photography sites and admiring their work. I do find it challenging only because of my lack of knowledge. I don’t know the best lighting, the best angle, the best height, etc… I think this is something I defintely need to look in to.
- What strategies, if any, have you found made your shop more successful? (Twitter & Facebook marketing, newsletters, blogging, ect)I have found that Facebook and twitter have made a HUGE impact on the amount of traffic to my shop. I am learning that it is all about connections and having people do features!!!! (YAY! Thanks Taylor!)
- Do you have any advice for other Etsy shop owners?
Stick with it. There are days when I feel like throwing in the towel, but just know there will be good days and bad days and sells will fluctuate, but just keep doing what you are doing. Put yourself out in the world and they will love you.
- Is there anything else you would like for us to know?
At the end of the day I am just a wife, a mom, and a person wanting to live the dream while pursuing my dreams. Oh and I am obsessed with Dr. Pepper!
- How can we connect with you through social media?
Lil Noodle Bug Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LilNoodleBug
Lil Noodle Bug Blog: http://www.lilnoodlebug.com/
“Like” on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lil-Noodle-Bug-Boutique/144219972297764
Tweet with Lil Noodle Bug on Twitter: @LilNoodleBug
Courtney has created a discount code for all of the TMinspired blog readers to use in her shop. Don’t let this chance pass you by! You can use discount code “BLOGGIVEAWAY” for 10% off anything in the Lil Noodle Bug Etsy shop!
Thank you, Courtney, for taking the time for thoughtfully writing out these answers. I enjoyed interviewing you and I hope to do so again in the future! And thank you, readers, for taking the time for getting know my new friend. 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend!
Are you an Etsy shop owner and would like to be featured?
Leave a comment below with your email and Etsy shop link!