Friday, May 11, 2012

Featured Artist of the Week: Nikki from ThisNThatbyNikki

I would like you to meet Nikki and her Etsy shop: ThisNThatbyNikki. Her shop is, as she likes to call it, “Eclectic.” She offers a variety of items from handmade jewelry to crochet and cross stitch. If you love to shop for unique handmade items, then you should definitely stop by and check out her ThisNThatbyNikki shop.

Nikki recently opened her shop and wanted to offer all my readers a coupon for 15% Off her entire store! Simply make sure you continue reading!

1. What would you like us to know about you?
 I am a serial crafter/do-it-yourself-er. I love to find new ideas and projects to work on. I then work on them obsessively until something else crosses my path, and then continue on. Interests outside the crafting world include gardening, camping, playing with my dog Watson, oh and my day job-- archaeology.
I have an inexplicable love for berry beads and this was my first attempt to make something fun and simple from them. It also happens to be the most favorite thing in my shop

2.When did you discover Etsy?
I have heard rumors of etsy for several years, but it wasn't until talking to my cousin (who just opened her shop CaribouClassics *not so subtle plug*) over the holidays that I really went and checked it out. So I guess my first exposure was January 2012.

3.What prompted you to open an Etsy Shop?
Like I said above, I love crafting, generally making gifts for family and friends. But after talking to my cousin, I thought if she can do it so can I. I then made a couple things and posted them, and promptly ignored the site for about a month, naively thinking that someone would magically see my items, think they were brilliant, and snap them right up. Once I realized this wasn't how it worked, I got serious.

4.What do you sell?
As my name suggests, I sell a little bit of this and that. Right now my store is stocked with jewelry and some crocheted items. I like reusing, 'upcycling,' vintage beads in my jewelry and right now some of my favorite items are in the berry bead collection. After experiencing how very swamped the jewelry market is however, I am planning to focus on other types of handcrafts including my crocheted purses. New items (coming soon) will include made to order crocheted lace and cross-stitch embellishments.

5.How did you come up with your shop name?
My shop name is based on my blog name, of course I only posted on my blog once, so that is neither here nor there. But essentially I was searching for something that wouldn't tie me down to any one product. I wanted room to experiment and an excuse to have an eclectic shop.

6.How would you describe your shop? Eclectic.

I made my first knitted/crocheted purse over 12 years ago for a friend and brought that back for my crocheted purse section. This one is one of my favorites

7.What inspires / motivates you?
I am generally inspired by nature. I love being outside and being in my garden. Inspiration for my items in my shop comes from just living life. I like to see beautiful things and I try to recreate that beauty in my creations. If I see something in a magazine or on pinterest I think, 'hmm, how would I make that,' and I go from there.

8.How has Etsy changed your life?
Etsy has given me a reality check. I knew there were a lot of talented people out there, but I realized that the competition is real. There are some seriously talented people on etsy. Not only in what they create, but their ability to photograph, market, and network astounds me. It certainly is a lot more than making some cool stuff, taking pictures, and making money. The main thing I have learned is that while there is competition, there are awesome people out there and almost everyone on etsy is willing to help their fellow crafters out.

9.Where else can we find you?  
You can also find me at:
and if I get my act together and actually use my blog:

Tiger Eyes!

10. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Crafting and etsy should be fun and it certainly can be. Do what you love and love what you do.

11. Tips:
If you want to sell on etsy, make sure you know your local laws and ordinances on business licenses and such. It can be a reality check if you find out after you open your cute shop, that you also have to do the real business side of things.

Research what you want to make, pay attention to trends, keep your shop stocked, join some teams, and don't forget to take a break.

12. When you get a new idea, how long does it take you to execute and list it?
I probably spend 15-20 hours a week on my shop. Either creating, photographing or marketing.

13. How do you promote your shop?
I primarily promote through teams, other peoples blogs, and facebook. I just met up with people from my local etsy team and everyone had business cards so I ordered some of those too. I plan on doing a craft fair or two to build up a customer base and use etsy to stay in touch.

14. How important is social media for your shop?
Social media is important, because currently my shop only exists online. I get several views a day from sites outside of etsy. If people are following your shop back from another site, then you are more likely to make a sale.

Any coupon code, and or sales going on in your shop that you would like to share? I will offer a 15% off coupon for your blog followers under BlogFeature15.

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