I recall seeing Tina’s shop tinahdee come on the Etsy scene in 2008. Her shop caught my eye and I remember featuring one of her rings. Fast forward to present day and you will notice her creative business has grown! Her Etsy shop is thriving with 8750 sales and her website and Facebook fan page are taking off.
I recently messaged Tina and asked her a few questions about her amazing creative business. Be sure to read about her creative journey and check out her amazing metal work.
Tell us about your creative business and the story of how you started making and selling.
My name is Tina Gasperson and I am the owner and founder of tinahdee beautiful jewelry. “tinahdee” is my old login name back before the World Wide Web when you had to have an eight character login for local bulletin board systems. That was a long time ago! I kept the nickname over the years so it was only natural to use it as my business name.
I began making jewelry in 2008 when I was a full-time freelance blogger, journalist, and editor. I stumbled into jewelry making when I was the leader of a women’s retreat and it fell to me to procure 50 or so tiaras. I decided, stupidly, to make them. I’d had no experience in anything like that but I really enjoyed the laborious process of getting them created. After the retreat, I decided I would keep on making jewelry – more practical things like earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. I opened an Etsy store and had my first sale to a friend all the way out in Hawaii within ten minutes of opening. (I tweeted out an announcement about my store opening.)
Then I discovered ring making and after that, it was all I really wanted to do. I don’t know why I love making rings so much, but I feel like that’s just what I am supposed to do. I enjoy making unique rings and unique wedding rings, there’s just something so special about being able to do it. It feels like magic to me somehow.
3 tips for sellers who are just starting out selling on Etsy.
Tips for sellers: promote your shop! I know everyone knows this already but it bears repeating.
Have a lot of listings. The more listings you have, the easier it is to find you. Each listing has it’s own URL, so the more URLs you have, the more real estate you take up on Etsy and on the Internet.
Make your photographs stand out. Make them delicious, so that people want to click on them when they see them. Don’t misrepresent your product either by making it look better than it is, or by taking such a horrendous photo that you make it look worse.
What is your largest source of traffic for your shop?
My largest source of traffic right now is Facebook. It changes, things are always very fluid. But yes, right now it is Facebook. I do a lot of promoting there to drive traffic to my Etsy store and to my standalone site at uniquehandmadeweddingrings.com
List 4 of your favorite items and tell us why you LOVE to make them!
- I love making these duck band wedding rings. They are so personal and the people who order them are crazy about them.
- I love making these little diamond/moissanite rings. They are so feminine and pretty and magical.
- I call this my Braveheart ring. Every ring comes out unique and different and so medieval and ancient looking.
- I love making these little white gold wedding bands. The hammering is unique and different on each set and I love that I can provide one of a kind handmade wedding rings at such an affordable price.
How has your success selling on Etsy changed your life?
I can’t adequately express how much my life has changed since I started selling jewelry on Etsy and now on my own site. Obviously, I went from being a full-time writer to being a full-time silversmith, and that’s a big change. But so much happened within all that. It was a healing change for me because I was completely burned out on writing about things I really didn’t care about. It was so soul-nourishing to create things that I thought were beautiful and then to have that creativity validated by people actually paying me money for them! I’ve learned how to start a business from the ground up; how to navigate financial matters; how to make jewelry; how to provide world class customer service; how to ship expensive products around the world; how to do product photography; how to build a website; how to market and advertise; how to use social media – I think I have learned enough to earn an MBA, all while getting paid. In addition to all that, I have been able to support my entire family and give my husband the freedom to pursue his own interests in starting a business that he loves. So it has been a very rewarding 7 years.