Interview with
Mei, Etchythings
You can't please everyone and no matter how clear your photos or description seem to be, some can still be disappointed in your work.
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Who?

Mei is a creative designer and entrepreneur who sells beautiful things on Etsy. She's a long-term yoga-practitioner, a life hacker and — together with Frank — the force behind Etchythings.

Quick stats
What does your typical day look like?

Check emails,
attend to social media,
queue my orders,
planning, planning and more planning.

Mason Jar stamp © Etchythings.
Custom stamps from Mei. © Etchythings.
How do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. In people, nature, myself, and even in the negativity we receive from the world.

Even in the negativity we receive? How?

For the most part I convey my passion in a positive light. We can always look at something with a "cup half empty" mentality but instead I try to steer my focus towards positivity rather than the other way around.

Things can go side-ways very quickly when you allow distractions to overcome you.

What's the best thing a customer has said to you?

Not really a thing they said but the way they made me feel. You'll know you've done great when you have to jerk your tears back. :)

One of my customers said:

I've heard it said that "Your life is your message" and yours is a beautiful one! And kindness has a ripple effect that has no end. I know that you've touched my life from so far away and I can't even imagine how many others! It matters! Thank you for being you!

That made me tear up.

There are a lot of great artists out there. I think the best ones are those who really make and sell what they love. People who sell because they are popular get boring and unauthentic very quickly.
How long does it take to make a product?

Some of my best products take no time at all... while others take days, months or even years. Creativity is just like that. You can't control the time it takes. It would be wrong to.

What are the hardest lessons you've learnt?

You can't please everyone and no matter how clear your photos or description seem to be, some of them can still be disappointed in your work.

Temporary tattoos © Etchythings.
Do you celebrate milestones?

Yes, I have and I'm hitting a milestone soon. I usually give my fans and customers a discount on my products or happy mail and of course post it all over my wall.

What kind of a camera setup do you use for your product photography?

Just a light box and my iPhone. I have an HP Sprout that I've used but I'm not as pleased with it and it's not as practical as I thought it would be.

What online tools do you use to help your handmade business?

Facebook and Instagram.

To be perfectly honest, if I was able to stick to a plan then my business will become stagnant and uninteresting. I have guidelines but plans are never written in stone. They can't be.
What's the toughest thing about promoting your shop?

Finding the right balance between promoting and making. About driving content and creating content.

How do you manage to find that right balance?

I am the maker and the promoter and things around here change very quickly. I spend a lot of time planning so in a normal workflow, I would spend an equal amount of time making and promoting.. though in reality, making is roughly 20% and promoting is almost 60-70%. NO WONDER I'M GOING NUTS!

Do you have a weekly plan or something?

I have an ideal weekly plan but to be perfectly honest, if I was able to stick to a plan then my business will become stagnant and uninteresting. I have guidelines but plans are never written in stone. They can't be.

If you were to start another shop, how will you get the word out?

I'm always trying new things. I do have another shop and it only sells wedding items. I haven't done much to it but I should be letting all the wedding forums know. Can't do everything all at once so patience is key.

Veerabhadrasana © Etchythings.
© Etchythings.
What's on your plate right now?

I'm planning a local craft fair with Etsy. It will take place in September and we have over 45 registered vendors that will be showcasing their work. I'm doing all the marketing and social media so it's quite a big plate. I also need to get my holiday gift items out. And not to mention a new line of products I've collaborated with a local artist with. It's going to be so great! I'm loving it already and wear it everyday!

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