Tell us about yourself:
Name: Jaimee McClellan.
Location: Philadelphia Area.
Etsy Teams: POE Team (Photographers of Etsy), Etsy Moms
Personal Info: 30-something Stay-at-Home-Mom to my 5 yr old son
Other than creating things for etsy, what do you do?
Other than Etsy, I have my “official” online shop http://www.modernclassicskids.com/.It’s still in “Launch Mode”…It’s only been a few month since opening and things are really starting to pick up. It’s always been a dream of mine to sell my work & I’m having a blast!
What first made you want to become an artist?
I’m not exactly sure. I suppose it’s just in my genes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t have pen & paper in hand. My parents are both gifted artists in their own right…my father a photographer and my mother blessed with the ability to draw just about anything with the greatest of ease.I grew up being filled with inspiration and support. I continued my art studies in college – originally going in with a focus in Sculpture but after exploring all the venues, settled down withmy BFA in Textiles. I love all mediums and even worked for a short time at a Historic Village astheir Potter & Weaver…but photography and illustration are my favorites.
Describe your creative process and the materials you use.
In regards to my illustrations & stationery…I work mainly in pen and ink then scan the images into my computer and color them digitally. Being a Mommy, I’ve got to find ways to utilize my free time wisely and using my laptop gives me the freedom of instantly resizing & changing colors at will.
What handmade possession to you prize the most?
While I love all my little illustrated friends, I truly covet my photography. It’s an extension of me…where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, the mood I was in. Photographs are just magical in that sense.
Top 5 websites you visit besides etsy?
Let’s see, I’ve got quite a few saved up in my favorites…to pick just 5, hmmmm that’s tough.1. http://www.papernstitch.com/ 2. http://www.decor8.com/ 3. http://www.overnightprints.com/ 4. http://www.shuttersister.com/ 5. http://www.juniorsociety.com/ They’re all a great source for inspiration!
Any advice you have for new Etsy users
Focus, persistence and patience are the key. I started my first Etsy shop two years ago. Things progress and I got a bit overzellous and wound up with four shops at one point. I just wanted to create everything. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed. Once I began to focus on what I really enjoyed making, things began to fall into place and the sales began coming in. I’ve now narrowed it down to my two shops ModernClassicsKids.etsy.com & ModernClassicsPaper.etsy.com. I began to save up my profits and used my income to promote, advertise & expand my services which now include my official online shop http://www.modernclassicskids.com/
What Etsy features do you like, and what changes would you like to see?
I love the whole idea of Etsy…a place chock full of Crafters & Artists all within a clicks distance from one another. I’ve met so many wonderful artists via Etsy not to mention some very valuable business connections. I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without Etsy. I’d strongly advise all those new to Etsy to just take the time to view some of the other fantastic work done by other Etsians. If you find something that really moves you, let the artist know. A few kind words go a long way and everyone could use the support. You’re bound to receive a few kind words yourself.
How do you promote your shop/work?
I started out slow, just frequenting the forums when I had the free time. Now, I’m on a “somewhat” networking/marketing schedule of sorts. Mornings are used for checking emails,“Nursery School Time” (when my son is at school) is used for work & filling orders. Once my son is in bed, the network/advertising begins. I’ve had a lot of success simply reading blogs and meeting new people…word of mouth is the best advertising there is. I blog about my work, others that inspire me & my every day life. If people are interested, they’ll stop by. Other promoting sites that work well are ProjectWonderful.com where you can place bids on Ad Space. You can even have others bid on Ad Space on your Blog. The money I bring in from bids, I use to place my own bids. It’s as simple as that! Also, having a Google Account & a Vista Print Account scored me a voucher for $100 free of advertising on Google AdWords which gave me a boost. Google Analytics is another great way to keep track of the visitors to your site and how they were directed there. A couple of other great sites to check out would be Pingg.com & ConstantContact.com for custom emailings.
In ten years, where would you like to be?
I would LOVE to own my own small shop in town. Now that’s a dream I’m determined to make come true. We shall see :)