Here is a interview with Kevin from Bug Under Glass on Etsy.
1. Tell us about your creative business and the story of how you started making and selling.
My business started as a hobby when I was pursuing a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology that focused on insects. As a grad assistant working at a major natural history museum pinning insects, I thought scientific specimens would make cool and educational gifts for friends and family when framed.
While in grad school I found about and researched butterfly farming, which is a conservation tool that combines economic development with conservation in tropical habitats. Upon learning I could source specimens in an eco-friendly way while helping undeserved communities and helping enhance biological diversity – Bug Under Glass (B.U.G.) was born.
In the last 14 years, I have built my business from a small hobby to a full time job that I love getting up to do every day. I take great pride in making the highest quality product available.
2.3 tips for sellers who are just starting out selling on Etsy.
Be passionate about what you do and do it better than anyone else.
Provide excellent customer service. Ship your items and respond to customers quickly.
Have a diverse variety of products which brings a bigger audience into your shop.
3. What is your largest source of traffic for your shop?
ETSY and google.
4. list 4 of your favorite items and tell us why you LOVE to make them!
This is one of my favorite butterflies because of the story behind it. This butterfly was observed by Alfred Wallace, who came up with a similar theory of evolution to Darwin but does not get much credit. He watched these butterflies and the subtle differences they have on the islands of Indonesia.
I always loved playing with miniatures and wanted to articulate real specimens with human characteristics as a way to introduce the biological world to people who didn’t have a connection. It took me over a year to figure out how to do this and absolutely love the outcome!
I love old scientific prints and manuscripts with their details and interesting handwriting. Pairing a real specimen with these old pieces of history brings them to life again.
I love traveling and old maps. I thought a good way to give specimens a sense of home was to display them on a map of where they are from.
5. How has your success selling on Etsy changed your life?
ETSY has changed my life by providing a venue to sell my art that provides a big portion of my income. This allows me to do what I love, work from home, be around my family, and get in touch with thousands of people around the world with similar interests. My business would not be the same without ETSY.