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Madeline Stage runs the Etsy shop Green Graves and she has an intense passion for “giving a second life to abandoned materials and inspiring others to do the same.”
Madeline originally opened her shop in April 2014 and sells vintage products as well as a wide variety of handmade decor items, headbands, handbags, clothing, and digital, downloadable sewing patterns. She joins me on the podcast this week to share her story about how she began her business, the tools she has found to be most helpful to integrate different processes within her business, and how she is finding the time to run her Etsy shop while working in an office 4 days per week.
Madeline has always had a passion for vintage and repurposed items and materials. She says that most of the products she creates and sells in her shop are from materials she has collected over the years because she didn’t have the heart to throw them away.
In our convo this week, Madeline shares her story about why she decided to start selling her crafts on Etsy and what goals she has in mind for the future of her shop. She explains why, although her shop opened in April 2015 and had products available for purchase, she kept that news a secret until October. Tune in to find out why… 😉
We talk about the baby steps she took early on to officially launch her business, such as registering as an LLC and getting her taxes in order. We talk about what type of marketing and social media platforms she uses to get her name and her products “out there” – to be seen by her potential customers.
We also talk about the various tools and programs Madeline uses to streamline different processes in her business which allow her enough time to not only create and grow her business, but also work outside of the home. She explains why she feels that even if her business reached a point where it was profitable enough for her to quit her job, she feels she would probably still either work or volunteer her time somewhere in order to connect and build relationships with others. …I love that she has such a practical view of the future!
Madeline shares the journey of how she began selling her products in other places as well, such as in a local consignment shop. Then we get into a discussion about her website, blog, and newsletter and how she is using her blog and newsletter to stay in touch with her customers, and why we believe that every online seller should grow their mailing list.
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Green Graves – Topics Discussed
- Business promotion – Madeline shares what she is doing to promote her business and products offline, such as through sewing classes
- Fashion designer vs. creative business owner
- Discovering Etsy during college, but putting off starting business until several years later
- Future aspirations and scaling the business
- Developing a pricing strategy
- Recommendations of resources and tools available and ones Madeline has incorporated into her business model
- The inside scoop on what Madeline’s typical day is like and how she schedules and manages her time
- The importance of networking, using social media, blogging, and mailing lists to connect with followers and customers
- Starting a local Etsy Team/Meetup group and how doing so has helped her grow her business
GreenGraves – Resources Mentioned
- IFTT app
- Renae Christine’s IFTT Video – this was an email course Renae offered sometime last year but unfortunately I was unable to locate and share the video… 🙁
- MailChimp Newsletter Service
- MadMimi Newsletter Service
- Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business (book) by Jason Malinak
- Thrive membership group – by Jason Malinak
Madeline’s Etsy Shop Shout Outs
- Lusicovi Creative – owned by Madeline’s friend and “business bestie,” Elisa who sells photography, fine art, and book cover designs
- ReFind Originals – owned by Madeline’s friend and former employer, Anita who sells repurposed leather goods.
Best Ways to Reach Madeline
- Etsy shop convo: Green Graves
- Website: Goheen Designs
- Social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
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For more help growing your Etsy-based business, check out these resources: