Tuesday , 25 June 2019
Wendy has been selling on Etsy since January of 2006, making her a 5-year Etsy veteran. I couldn't wait to unearth her expertise and wisdom. Enjoy the interview!

Expertise and Wisdom From a 5-year Etsy Veteran – Fruit Fly Pie

Welcome to Wendy’s world! It’s as colorful, bright, and cheery as her Etsy shop, Fruitfly Pie. Wendy has been selling on Etsy since January of 2006, making her a 5-year Etsy veteran. I couldn’t wait to unearth her expertise and wisdom. Enjoy the interview!

Fruit Fly Pie

I love your colorful shop! I have to know: is your own home as colorful and filled to the brim with ceramics?

Absolutely, I love and adore color in the home, the brighter the better. Something about the fun colors from the sixties and seventies just makes me happy and having them in my home brings a lot of joy.  We are in the process of finding a new home and I can’t wait to be able to paint and redecorate all over again. I have a large collection of kitschy ceramics and vintage chalk ware.

Describe your “zone.” What’s it like in your studio when you’re creating?

I am young but have an old soul, my perfect zone is when no one is at home and I am alone, so no interruptions. I go through the day pouring molds, cleaning green ware , painting and am in a meditation trance state the entire time. Focusing on nothing but greater things to come and what I like to accomplish. Eight hours can go by and feel like one hour. The feeling of achieving so much although it took all day but feels like one hour is tremendous. I only work when the feeling is good, giving good vibes and love to each piece along the way. To accomplish this I use good movies, good music and good audio programs. It also helps that I have a loving partner Jason and such awesome and loving pets. The days are always best when it’s cool and crisp in the studio, with lots of sunlight and a good movie or music station on or simply listening to the birds chirp.

What is your typical day like?

Every day is a fun ceramic day, when I am not working I am thinking of working or thinking of new products to include to be working on.
The first thing each morning is to check the kilns, I feel like a kid at Christmas, because each kiln load is exciting to open, you never know what you’re going to get, the products can be can be a goody or a disaster. I then put aside all products that need to be packed and the ones that need touch ups to be refired with all the wares to be painted that day. Then it is coffee time, I check email, answer questions, pack orders, and print shipping labels. I write my to do list and set goals of what all needs to be accomplished that day.
It’s a same thing happens every day kind of job, but it does vary each day. In the morning it is a sand all the bisque ware seems outside, that’s the only part I don’t like, it hurts my teeth when I sand them. Then I sponge the dust off and clean them to paint. Then later in the day it is to pour molds and clean green ware.  That’s my favorite because after the molds are poured, then pulled and dried and ready I can work and zone out and think of all the things to be grateful for, meditate, listen to all my business audio programs or watch a fun comedy movie.  I do all this while focusing intensely on each piece, but it is like driving, you can venture your mind somewhere else and also pay attention to fine detail so you don’t wreck.

What was Etsy like when you opened shop in 2006?

It was a blessing, I was in a bad situation, in a town where jobs were sparse to none, we had sold our house and made a long journey to a new state, with all new people who were very different, everything was so alien.  I used to get cool and funky thrift store finds and sell on another major auction site but the thrift stores in the new town were nothing but old castoffs, a lot of garbage. So with the money made selling the house I bought the kiln I had been dreaming of and got to work. I created my own job when none were available. I was so thankful Etsy existed. I listed many times on other auction websites and made but few sales, people were looking for vintage but not handmade. Then Etsy came along and helped me see the light at the beginning of my journey through a long dark tunnel, I would soon find my way out of and smile.

What’s your favorite part about selling on Etsy today?

The conversations with the customers, getting to meet the buyers and creating custom listings for something they have been wanting or need made for a specific occasion. I love the circles too, so much fun to see what your favorite sellers are wishing for. There are so many unique and talented artist on Etsy I am very happy to be apart of such a great community.

Do you have a shop philosophy?

Treat all customers like their family, we all are in one way or another connected.

Always email and tell your customer thank you after you receive a sale, be grateful and acknowledge that your thankful for their business. Keep them aware of what is going on including sending a track number if available and let them know when you ship their order so they know when to expect it to arrive.

What marketing strategy has been most effective for Fruitfly Pie?

Gratitude, I found gratitude to be the best marketing through law of attraction. By being grateful now and even when I had nothing, more always came. Every time I think about how grateful I am for something I have in my life, I notice I have this fun vibe, a happy positive outlook on life , this feeling somehow travels the universe and brings sales which bring joy and more gratitude. I also found visualizing to be a great marketing technique. You create a picture in your mind of the things you may need or want that would make your life and your loved ones lives much better. I tend to think of things needed for the business or of my future garden. You just visualize it, then feel how it would feel if you had it now and this feeling just makes you happy and brings upon that happy vibe again which somehow brings sales. Just be happy and thankful and good things will come, no matter where you are, no matter how bad things get, know a way will be made and all can be created by gratitude backed by belief.

What is your proudest handmade moment?

In our first house I got my first potbellied pig, he was so tiny and cute. He was and still is very inquisitive, he used to open up the cabinets and play with the pots and pans while I cooked dinner. As time went on, he decided to pull them all out and go inside the two door cabinet himself, he would go inside the two door and then come outside the one door beside it, as he continued to grow and grow he continued to do this, until one day when he tried to come out the one door side, he was stuck at his rear end and pulled the whole cabinet front off with him, including the drawers on top. This cabinet was loose and in need of repair before we bought it so it was not something we missed.  I ended up ditching the cabinet front and drawers, bought a shower curtain rod to go across the top and sewed my first pair of curtains with individual panels at the top to fit the rod. It was fun and the outcome was fantastic. I used a cream and red gingham heavy weight cotton fabric I found at the thrift store.

I liked this even better, it was so easy to get to the pots and pans and other things I needed to cook with. As for Sammy, after the new curtains were hung, he was bored with that area and found laying down at the stove was a much better idea while mom was cooking. I sure do miss “those” curtains, since we moved I left them there, I was proud of them and Sam misses being small to go inside “those” cabinets, he is now as long as the sofa and relaxes comfortably while laying down in front of it.

Please give one piece of advice that all of us Etsy newbies should absorb.

Keep with it! Etsy is a great place to sell your handmade wares and there is someone out there who will love what you have to offer.  It is very easy for your listings to get lost in Etsy, so be sure to provide new listings as often as you can, make sure you use all the tags they have available, and take good photos, natural sunlight is best. Most of all be happy, thankful and focus on what you want to happen with your business and it will come.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would change about your life?

I have thought about this before a bunch and I would still do what I’m doing, I absolutely love what I do.  I have an overload of ideas of products that will be included in the future line of Fruit fly pie and I would get started on them all right away today if I could.  I would also help change the lives of others by giving and lending a helping hand to potbellied pig and big pig sanctuaries around the globe, that would make me real happy.

Thank you, Wendy! It’s been positively sunny ♥ Shop Fruitfly Pie for your spring planters, all! Until next time–Lisa

 

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19 comments

  1. It’s great to hear a five-year Etsy veteran talk positive about selling on Etsy. Your colorful ceramics are adorable. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I enjoyed talking with her very much! And thank you, Tim!

  3. Awesome, thank you so much Lisa!

  4. Great! Congratulations!

  5. The ceramics looks super nice. I loved the birds…

  6. I love this interview and your work. I forget the part about visualization.

    Also, I zone and lose track of time when I’m creating or promoting and chatting with my Etsy pals.

  7. Love your philosophy !! Very inspiring interview – this is what I want ! (maybe a cat instead of a pig :-) )

  8. This article was so good and so so so inspiring I’m with you on everything you said I’m marking this article to refer to at any time.

    Thank you so much this has made my day.

    Stay Blessed

  9. Love the comments about having a positive vision and trusting that it will come to you. I find that if I buy into the mass mind that “the economy is bad” or “there is too much jewelry competiton” it manifests out there in sales. Instead, I think is plenty of abundance in the world to go around and everyone loves adornment.

  10. I love your attitude and you are so right…if you keep a mental picture of what you want always, it keeps you in a positive mindset which in turn benefits your creativity and sales!
    Thanks for sharing your story

  11. I love stories like this! Whenever I start to feel discouraged, reading about people like Wendy helps me remember that success takes time, patience and lots of hard work. Best of luck to you, Wendy, on your next 5 years–and beyond! :-)

  12. What a wonderful, positive and uplifting interview. Your ceramics are joyful! I wish we could see a picture of your piggy!

  13. Fabulous interview! I love her attitude and her positive visualization. This is a true Feel Good read. Thank you =)

  14. What a terrific interview! Any and all advice from experienced sellers who make a living and loving from their shops I’m trying to absorb like a sponge these days! Wendy’s story is so inspiring to me, it tells me there is hope and possibility for anyone to make their dreams come true no matter what :-) Thanks for this!

    ~ Jenn ~

  15. Thank you for such an inspiring article. Moral of the story is: The Power is Love, if you love what you do,it will come back to you in so many good ways. Beautiful story. Keep on with your success. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  16. Wonderful interview! & amazing shop <3 loved the questions and enjoyed the answers! :)

  17. Love your story and your figures are so cute! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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