Hi, I am Johanna Henderson, behind the scenes Digital Designer and Marketing Specialist for my wonderful friend Joy, at Joy2Sew. Because of Joy's inspiration, she encouraged me to start my own Etsy Shop HERE! Before I start with Joy's interview, here is a great incentive in starting your own Etsy Shop for FREE + earn 40 FREE listings!
Each listing you create to sell an item is only 20 cents!
Then, your first 40 items listed will be free!!
First: click on this link HERE http://etsy.me/1r5Psfm .
Second: You receive 40 FREE Listings + Joy2Sew receives 40 FREE listings =
A win for both parties!
With all that Joy has accomplished with her patterns, I know she has inspired others to think about starting their own business from home too. So, I thought I would do some Q&A with Joy to find out why she started her shop and what she is up to @ Joy2Sew Etsy Shop.
Johanna: When did you start your Etsy Shop and why did you decide to start it?
Joy:Hello, Johanna (and all my readers)! I started my Etsy shop in 2010, because I wanted to try to sell some of my hand sewn items and artwork. I sold a few "Joy bags" I called them...basically purses. I also featured some hand painted zoo animal paintings. I had always crafted and sewed for years, but decided to try my hand at sewing to sell. I also liked the Etsy platform because they allowed handmade items to be listed for just 20 cents each, had low fees, and was free to open a shop. Opening my Etsy store was easy for a beginner like me.
Johanna: What did you primarily sell in your shop when you first began?
Joy: Just the Joy bags, and the few paintings. It didn't really start to take off though, until I started selling my first PDF pattern, Sofia the First, Debutant.
Johanna: When did you decide to start making patterns?
Joy: Well, it started with a request from my sisters friend, who lives in the Netherlands. In February 2013 she asked me to make a Sofia dress (I had never heard of Sofia before) for her daughter's upcoming birthday. I thought about it and prayed about it for a few weeks and almost even turned her down, but then decided to give it a go. At that time I had already self designed a few kid clothes items for myself, a bath robe for my mom, and a Dorothy Wizard of Oz costume for my friend's 7 year old. I wasn't really sure if I could do it, or not, but decided to try anyways. And you know what, it worked! When I made my second Sofia dress, I took about 200+ photos of the sewing process and wrote up the directions. My pattern pieces were all hand drawn before you (Johanna) came into my world of better design! I can't thank you enough! You brought the professional to the patterns and I love how perfect of a team we make!
Johanna: Has there been anytime you felt you wanted to throw in the towel?
Joy: Absolutely. When the pattern doesn't quite seem to work, or my whole first draft directions aren't clear enough, or when I need to alter one pattern piece and that trickles down to changing 4 more pattern pieces to accommodate, it gets rough. And quite reasonably when my heart gets overwhelmed, I take on too much stress, and I'm not depending on the Lord to give me His strength for the task, I want to quit. I had a past regret of not finishing college, and that "not finishing" thing in my life really propels me to be a "finisher" now.
Johanna: Why would you encourage someone to open up their own Etsy Shop?
Joy: Because having your own shop is a freedom of sorts. If you craft and create wonderful things "in secret", what good is that? When you post your items in a shop, you not only get to have the opportunity to sell what you make and earn income, but you are also making an online journal of sorts to record your work. So, my Etsy shop is just a natural extension of my blog, Joy2Sew.blogspot.com, where I share about ALL that I do (crafting, gardening, renovating, painting, ....not just sewing).
Johanna: What would a few pieces of advice be that you would give to newbies on Etsy like me or anyone else?
Joy: Be unique. Do NOT try to copy others blogs, or Etsy stores, or Pinterest. Your stuff will sell if your unique and special flare is on your products. Different sells in my opinion. Having a marketable product also helps (example: having awesome, thoroughly tested and easy to sew patterns for a high ranking movie right now helps!). If you don't know where to start, just begin by making what you have a passion for. And if you still don't know, then check out the pop culture listings in google and search out a needed product that you can create. And, if you still don't know, purchase my seller's licenses, and sew items from my patterns to sell in your shop! Hint.Hint.
Johanna: What is your favorite verse? And how does your faith help you doing what you do?
Joy: My favorite verse is John 10:27. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." I have always loved and visualized that relationship between me being the sheep and Jesus being the Shepherd (I even drew an art piece about it). Even though so often I feel that in my flesh I try to walk my own direction, it's His voice and His path that I need to take. His path is the way that works. His path is the only way that will lead you straight (Proverbs 3:6). The constant challenge is remaining quiet and still enough to listen to His voice alone. My faith in the Lord helps lead me in the right direction with my patterns. Having His heart to give helps me offer the best customer service to my customers. And knowing He has made me more than a conqueror helps me persevere through the trials (and there are trials!) of pattern making.
Johanna: What is in the future for the Joy2Sew Shop?
Joy: Well, more patterns, of course! Looking forward to releasing a "summer version" of Elsa and Anna, a sewing pattern for Frozen themed costumes for Barbie, and possibly even Kristoff and Hans on the horizon for this fall! They are all on the drawing board at the same time! And somewhere in there, I am excited to post some free patterns for you from fabric bags to baby clothes... So much to come! I hope you stay along for the ride! All our customers are so wonderful and such a blessing in so many ways! Oh, and I always need new pattern testers!!! With each new pattern, I need faithful and talented sewers who are fresh and excited to sew what I come up with, willing to give me valuable (and frequent) feedback, and certainly tell me what I could do better on! If you have an interest in pattern testing for me, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add you to my list. Thank you!
Thanks again Joy for sharing with us your ups and downs. It definitely gives a person hope that maybe the timing is what matters. Keep pushing forward and don't give up. It's okay to take a break, but don't give up! If God's called you to it, then He will get you through it!
....And remember to check out all of the professional and adorable items that Johanna sells