Monday, October 27, 2008

DancingElfDesigns - Unplugged!!!

Oh my gosh, you guys are gonna love this weeks interview!!! It is with an awesome lady who owns Dancing Elf Designs, And the best part - She designs and makes tutus!!!! How adorable is that? And they really are just gorgeous - if you have never seen a handmade tutu, you are in for a real treat. So be sure to check out her lovely shop and her beautiful tutus.

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

The best part of my work is the end product. I'm never more excited then when I've just finished a tutu creation! I always have to go straight upstairs and show it to my husband, he's a great sport about telling me how much he likes it!

The hardest part is finding the time to get a full set made up without feeling guilty about the time away from my daughter and husband. I wish I could speed up my process, but that would mean losing quality and I just can't have that!

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration usually comes from the color combinations that I will see anywhere and everywhere. I especially love to look at silk flower colors. 9 times out of 10, I'll find a flower(s) that I like and then I'll build the tutu colors around the colors in the flowers.

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

My most favorite purchase on etsy...that is REALLY tough! I think my utmost favorite purchase was with AmberSky, ...a pair of GORGEOUS earrings that I have worn everyday since I bought them!

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

I would LOVE to sell "The Vineyard" from my shop! Its full of plums, cranberry, and glimmery purple, not to mention beautiful flowers all over it! It has TONS of views, and I've had lots of people tell me it's their favorite, but the right person hasn't come along to purchase it yet :(
5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

I LOVE this skirt...I have no idea where I would wear it, but it has been a favorite from day one on etsy! Its the colors I love and it's just different enough for me to dream of!

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

Hmmmm, the best advice was "promote, promote, promote!" When I was a little discouraged and hopped on the forums for advice this is what I heard and so I put a little extra effort and time into promoting and it has worked out really well for me!

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

If you want to sell, you need to have a product that people really want. I was selling for at least 6 mo. in my hometown before I even thought seriously about etsy. I wanted to be sure people were happy with my creations and were willing to help promote me by telling friends and family about my business. When business picked up, this told me that I was then ready for Etsy. I didn't enter into having an online shop lightly, I want to sell something that customers are going to love and appreciate! Just like anytime you are selling, make sure you have a product people WANT and if the people you know are keeping you busy with purchases, then you're ready for Etsy!

8.How do you promote your work?

Purchasing is a big helper! Of course I'm a shopaholic anyway, but when you purchase something from someone else, they of course look at your shop. You never know if they may be a potential buyer! I of course purchase a couple of showcase spots a month and that helps a lot. But one of my biggest promoters is taking my tutu work with me wherever I go! I gave away 5 business cards just yesterday at Emma's dance class because people saw that I was making something and then wanted to know more! (sneaky, sneaky) I will also dress Emma up in a tutu occasionally to go to church, weddings, birthday parties, etc. :)

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I'm a 5th grade teacher in East Tennessee. I have been a teacher for 6 years now...3 years full-time. School keeps me really busy, like I said before, I have a hard time juggling the full-time job and part-time job of tutu-making! I'm also a Mother and wife and we all know what kind of job that is!

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I kept hearing this hummm around the crafty circles of the place online called Etsy. I got on and was hooked right off the bat! Etsy is my favorite website and not just because I have a shop on it, but because I love the handmade items and the community!

11.How would you describe your shop?

Fairy-like of course! I love the antique prints of flower I tend to go for those types of names when naming my tutus. I also like to use colors that aren't the typical ones you would find when you think "tutu". That makes my tutus more likely to be worn by fairies!

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

I was recently accepted to be a vendor on!! I'm really excited about it and therefore I have been creating a dessert/candy line of tutus. I am testing out one on my etsy shop right now called "Strawberries N' Cream". I have a ton of ideas like, cotton candy, brownie delight, cherry pie, key lime pie...and if I say anymore I might make you hungry! :)

On a personal note - This is my darling 3 year old in her Dancing Elf Designs tutu. She is very excited to be a fairy for Halloween so a big thank you to for making her little dreams come true!!!
*Picture of tutu courtesy of The Abbey
**Picture of designer courtesy of Dancing Elf Designs*

***A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

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