For this week’s Feature Friday we meet Monica from ‘Handmade by Monica‘ who makes a selection of cute, quirky and colourful celebratory bunting….
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
Hi I’m Monica and I love making bunting that brings joy and happiness! My little shop is full of colourful and glittery garlands and I am always on the lookout for fun fabrics and new ways to personalise bunting for special occasions. If I create something that brings a bit of colour or sparkle to someone’s life then I know I’ve done a good job!
Do you sell on any other platforms and if so could you tell us about those?
I have my own website which runs on the Squarespace platform (very easy to set-up and maintain!). I also sell on Handmade at Amazon but have found it a bit slow-going as the products were only being marketed in the US and I imagine potential customers have been put off by higher postage charges. The platform is about to be extended to the UK and some other European markets, so I’m hoping business will improve on there soon! I also very recently started up a Depop shop (a shopping app aimed at Millennials) and have had some sales and am also investigating a new venture called Look Lane (yet to be launched). I like to have my hands in all the pies, as you can probably tell!
Tell us a little bit about how and where you work?
My work space is actually the spare room which I share with my husband (he’s an artist) but despite having a desk and a dedicated space I can often be found spilling out onto the kitchen table with piles of fabric! I have a super cute yellow sewing machine that I make all my bunting on and my desk is covered with piles of colourful washi tapes and sharpies (I’m addicted).
What inspires your work?
I always find this question a bit tricky! It sounds a bit cheesy, but I honestly think that the element of making people happy with my makes is what drives me to create. Hearing lovely feedback and seeing pictures of my bunting hung at weddings really fills me with joy.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently going through a bit of a re-focussing of my shop and am putting more effort into occasion bunting – I’ve got a lovely collection of engagement bunting on its way soon! I’m also a bit obsessed with glittery iron on letters and hearts and have been experimenting with those on bunting too ❤
How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
I’ve really enjoyed my Etsy journey so far, particularly the communal elements! I joined Etsy Resolution this year (a special programme Etsy runs once a year to walk new sellers through opening their shop – advice and tips provided by top sellers) and had some great support via the associated Facebook group. I am also part of the Etsy London Local team which hosts regular meet-ups and special events for London-based Etsy sellers. It’s really comforting to know there are other makers out there who share the same struggles and joys as you!
Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
I would say this it’s really worth persevering with your product photography – I am literally the world’s worst photographer so I’ve had to put a lot of effort into getting my photos to a state that I would consider average! I recently went on a product photography day workshop for makers at Makelight which was incredibly helpful (highly recommended) and I’ve since seen an improvement in my photos (and sales).
Your favourite make so far?
My favourite make has to be my doughnut bunting! I can’t help but smile when I look at all the pretty colours 🙂 Who knew that there was a trend for doughnut parties?!
Your best seller?
My most popular item is my Alice in Wonderland bunting – I have been making it to order for quite a few months now! I think there is still a trend for Alice-themed weddings and tea parties – I just love the original drawings printed on this fabric 🙂
My personal faves are your beach wedding bouquet, which I absolutely love, your flamingo bunting and pineapple bunting and your hessian wedding bunting… so many lovely makes! What’s next for your shop?
As I mentioned, I’m currently doing a bit of re-focusing, so I’ll be putting lots of effort into building out my occasion bunting collections and there will be plenty more party bunting in bright colours too – watch this space!
Your Etsy crush?
I am a self-confessed cat lady and I have a serious crush on the ilikecatsshop on Etsy – our flat is full of little purchases from this shop and I’m pretty sure the owner, Toby, thinks I’m stalking him on Instagram 😉
Your favourite Etsy purchase?
This has to be the hardest question! I went back to look at all my Etsy purchases and there are nine pages of them – choosing just one item is near impossible!
I’ll list a few of my favourites here:
- Crazy unicorn lady mug – everyone needs one of these! (by Lazylinepainterbelle)
- Crochet fish in a glass jar – really unique idea and always makes me smile to look at (by Eden Reborn)
- Vintage swan scissors – great photo props! (by Ideatura)
- Owl wedding cake toppers – we had these on our wedding cake, so they have special meaning 🙂 (by The Haute Box Boutique)
Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?
Facebook – http://facebook.com/handmadebymonicauk
Twitter – http://twitter.com/handmademonica
Instagram – http://instagram.com/handmadebymonica
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/handmademonica
Etsy shop: http://handmadebymonicauk.etsy.com
Thank you so much to Monica for sharing her story and introducing us to some lovely shops and makes! Please pop over to Handmade by Monica and take a look or go and say ‘hi’ on social media to keep up to date with Monica’s latest ranges and offers.