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This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with John Birdsong of Recycled State. John resides in the beautiful state of Florida with his lovely wife and 10 year old son. His time on Etsy began back in 2007 when he signed up as an online buyer.
A few years later, John and his family went on vacation to Georgia. While there, he and his wife discovered beautifully handcrafted pieces of art that he learned were made out of recycled materials.
However, this fine art carried a pretty hefty price tag. Nonetheless, John was inspired by these items to become an artisan, creating his own works of art to sell, and that’s when his Etsy shop was born.
He sold his first product in Recycled State back in July 2010 within the first week of listing the item. it was a wooden shark and he attributes that first sale to luck since soon after he listed it Etsy featured his shop on their front page – thanks to Shark Week being in full effect during that time.
Today, his Etsy shop is filled with beautifully handcrafted decorative wooden crafts like sharks, whales, and turtles made from recycled materials such as old, discarded fence wood. All of his pieces feature a coastal theme, and he has sold over 2,000 items to date.
A few years ago, John and his wife realized that a major craft store began selling items remarkably similar to his own hand-crafted products. About a year later, they noticed another store doing the same thing and he began pondering how to tackle this newfound problem.
In this episode, he shares the story of how he began the process of reaching out to these retail stores to notify them of the issue. He also talks about what he is doing now to help others who are experiencing the same issues and how they can follow in his footsteps to put an end to the big chain stores infringing on their intellectual property rights through the power of social media.
John also explains how he prepares and manages his time during his busy selling season, how he juggles working a full-time job while running his shop, as well as his approach to social media marketing and SEO strategy to boost his sales.
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RECYCLED STATE – TOPICS DISCUSSED
- John’s realistic ideas and concerns about quitting his full-time job to run his Etsy business and the pros and cons associated with each
- How John found success on Etsy after selling his first item in less than a week
- Being featured on the back of a popular DIY Magazine in 2012
- How outsourcing specific tasks can help Etsy shop owners scale their businesses
- Why John chose to stop selling internationally
- Changing Etsy shop names
- And lots more!
John’s Etsy Shop ShoutOuts
- His brother, Jeff’s Etsy shop – ReTurnedUp, featuring beautifully crafted furniture made of wood and steel.
- MadLoveShop – Etsy shop owner Angel D’Amico-Bauer was John’s first Etsy fan and friend and she sells one-of-a-kind screenprinted clothing for women.
Recycled State – Resources Mentioned
- The Etsy Jam Podcast, hosted by the amazing owners of Marmalead, Richie and Gordon.
Best Ways To Reach John
- Recycled State Etsy Convo
- Recycled State Facebook Page
- Recycled State on Instagram
- John’s Personal Instagram
- Defense Against Design Piracy Facebook Group
Connect With Me:
- Twitter: Follow @ConvoMePodcast
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- Email: Use the Contact Form OR interview [at] convome [dot] com
For more help growing your Etsy-based business, check out these resources: