Randi: I love the name for your shop, My Little Sunshine. Is there a story behind it?
Rachel: this will be a very special blog post when i reach 1000 sales as well. i grew up living with my grandma, and this is what she called me. i also have a mascot for it. it's a stuffed sunshine that plays the tune 'my little sunshine'. i have had him since i was one year old, he is overly loved, and now lanna my 4 year old sleeps with it every night. he has one eye and is completely matted. and he is still cute!
Randi: What is your working process like? How do you work, and where do you get your ideas?
Rachel: my working process comes in whenever i have the time. even if it's just 20 mn and i can get some lip balm base made or just a pair of earrings done, i will do it. my idea's come from various sources. for the lip balm, it's generally something i want or a scent that a friend suggests. the jewelry can be completely on a whim. i sit down and pile all of my bead containers in front of me and just go with it. I also might see something that i like on a website or in a store, and then turn it into something that i love.i have a very small house, so all of my jewelry supplies are in one corner of the living room. i cant tell you how much i love earrings.
Randi: Tell us some of your favorite materials to work with.
Rachel: hands down brass. its so beautiful, natural and what does it not go with?
i love glass. and it can't really get any better than vintage glass.
Randi: I am a huge fan of your lip balms (seriously, they work great!). How did these come about, and why did you choose vegan?
Rachel: well, thank you. my lip balms love you too. i guess vegan chose me! i am not vegan or even vegetarian, but i can appreciate a great item with no animal products.
i do often think of the vegan population and really how hard it is to find various products. i really wish it was easier. so i am trying to do a very small part. i started off using beeswax and then later discovered that unrefined cocoa butter was hearty and would hold shape wonderfully with just a bit of candelilla wax. with the two combined i was able to eliminate the beeswax and add so much more healing properties and keep a creamy texture. (whipped butters are coming soon!)
Randi: When you're not crafting, what can you be found doing?
Rachel: besides having a wonderful husband and a hoot of a 4 year old, i have a full time job. i work at holy family hospital monday-friday. i am gone from 7am-5pm. it really is great there, but i would love to do this full time. my dream is to be featured in an ETSY aritcle 'quit your day job'.
Randi: What is the favorite item you have listed in your shop?
Rachel: that's hard and it can change daily. i like whatever is new. right now, i am in LOVE with the spring sprout earrings. they are my january giveaway at the moment.
Randi: Congratulations on almost reaching 1000 sales. Any advice you have for other Etsy folk?
Rachel: thank you! i reached it today!!!!
be active, list, re-list, refresh. an idle shop will remain idle. make sure your photos are bright, clear and appealing.
advertise! get yourself an add on facebook, follow lots of blogs, add your etsy shop & blog to the bottom of your emails. get a google adwords account. i have found that to be very helpful with getting the name out. do monthly giveaways, people love free stuff that that's what will keep them coming back for more. and...they will bring their friends back.
Randi: What are 5 blogs you're following right now?
Rachel: this is hard to narrow to 5. but i can only religiously read so many...
Randi: Wow, I'm seriously flattered to be on this list. Thanks for keeping up with my little corner of cyberspace.
Randi: Name your top 5 favorite Etsy shops.
Rachel: i have so many, i hate to leave people out, but i do actually shop these.
sweet petula : http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5540049 sidney ann designs: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=40356
spirit girl: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=59741&order=§ion_id=&page=2
bead supplies: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5089950
patina queen: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5601913
And now, some of my favorites from Rachel's Shop. Also, be sure to check out her blog Always Sunny.
Raspberry Lemonade Vegan Lipbalm
The Sage. Necklace in silver