Interview with the Artist of Beyond Quilts
The craftsman behind Beyond Quilts is Carolyn Pavlovic. Carolyn opened her shop in 2007 and has had nearly 1000 sales. When she sent me a sample for review, I could immediately tell that her sewing is professional quality. Whenever I come across a talented artist, I am curious about their process and their inspiration. She has kindly answered some of my questions. For any of you who sell handmade or would like to in the future, I'm sure you'll find her interview informative and inspiring.
1. How did you get started selling handmade?I have been making things with my hands since elementary school and got started about 10 years ago selling handmade items to friends when they began asking for me to make gifts for their friends. Then other friends and my daughters said "You should have your own shop online." I had no idea how to do it, so my web-savvy daughters set it up for me. I forced myself to learn how to upload pictures in May of 2010 and haven't looked back since. My sales are almost three times what they were a year ago for the entire year. Yippee!!
2. What sets your product apart from your competitors?I try to keep my asking price reasonable and strive to have a wide variety of fabrics to choose from. One of my daughters worked at a car dealership and I recall one of the salesmen saying they should have 100 different cars for people to choose from. So that made me set a goal of having 100 different adult bibs. The cup sleeves are just so much fun to make, I keep seeing more fabric in my stash that I want to have time to use, but orders keep coming in (how sad - not!)
3. What inspires your creations?My creations are mostly inspired by what people have asked me to make for them and then I take it further. Again, my daughters have needed gifts for friends. What do you get the one-year-old boy that one of my daughters was a nanny for who lived in a 3.5 million dollar home? I went through my stash and created the first I-Spy quilt, knowing no one else would have something like it. My oldest daughter was a supervisor in a cafe, has helped me at several craft shows and mentioned the cup sleeve idea. I thanked her again for making that suggestion a few weeks ago! (I've sold over 300 of them this month alone)
4. What advice would you give to someone starting out on Etsy?Try to list something new at least once a week, more frequently if possible. Patience, persistence and prayer! Honestly, I do pray about what I should work on next when there is a lull, which hasn't happened lately! I just strive to do the best job I can.
5. Where do you see your business in 10 years?This is a tough one. I will continue to listen to what customers are asking for, continue learning as I go! I plan on looking for an embroidery machine so that I can do embellishments on my products. At present I have a friend who does them for me. I may need to open a separate shop on Etsy for more creations!!
If you haven't gotten an order in at Beyond Quilts by December 17th, you can pay an extra fee for rushed shipping so your gift will arrive in time for Christmas. Click here to shop.