Monday, December 9, 2013

25 Days Of Christmas Celebration # 14 - Interview with Elle J of Creative Designs by Elle J

For the 14th Day of our 25 Days Of Christmas Celebration, please give a big round of applause for today's featured shop owner as she fully deserves a standing ovation! Elle of "Creative Designs by Elle J" is not only an awesome jeweler, but you'll find that she is also an amazing person, a wonderful mother and a strict strategist and planner. The SPS Team is really grateful to have her as a member and as a leader.


"our jewelry line speaks about family, friends and awareness"
There are a lot of things to learn from her answers, so without further ado, get ready to be amazed and continue reading!

1. Please share a little something about yourself!

I am a mother to two wonderful boys, ages 9 and 10, name Jeffrey and Jordan. I am an advocate and also a committee member for Autism Speaks. I am an avid volunteer for our church, Saint Vincent De Paul, Saint Mary’s Food Bank and UMOM. And yes, I do also work full-time and attend after my children’s extracurricular activities. Being a single mom, I rely on working out and eating healthy to keep up with my jobs and responsibilities.

2. Tell us about your shop – what made you open your shop and when did it happen? Also, what items do you sell?

My shop is very unique. It’s because I have my children to help me make creative jewelry every weekend. Therefore, every jewelry line we sell is made with love and joy.

I started our business because of my youngest son. Every year we walk for Autism Speaks, we have to raise funds to meet our goal. It’s very hard to ask people for donations, not only because of our bad economy, but also certain people didn’t think much about our cause.

My best friend introduced me to jewelry making. I thought it would be a great idea to make jewelry and use the profit to donate for our causes. It took me about a year to master jewelry making, especially hand stamping. When I did, we opened our first online store through Etsy of March 2013.

We sell pretty much everything. From wedding jewelry, to Glass lockets and charms, Hand stamped jewelry, Breast cancer and Autism Awareness, to Keychain and Accessories.

3. What’s the story behind your creations? What got you to create the items you’re making?

We want to make our jewelry line meaningful; therefore every jewelry piece we sell speaks for itself. When you visit our store, most of our jewelry line speaks about family, friends and awareness. This was acquired from raising my children about the importance of friends, family and lending a helping hand to others.

4. Please pick one of your items that you feel is most representative for your shop and tell us what makes it the most special?
"It's important that you can handle honesty."

Autism jewelry actually represents our store. It’s because our store was opened based upon our love and support for Autism awareness.

5. Please share a little wisdom on time management! How do you organize your time? How does a typical day selling on Etsy look like – time spent on orders, on teams, promoting on social media etc?

Having a son with Autism, we have to have everything scheduled. With our jewelry business, we have to make time to process our orders. We prioritize every Saturday afternoon to make and or process our orders. This is the reason it takes our customer’s orders to ship within 3 to 5 business days on any orders that are not personalized. It’s important for us to have a set schedule because it makes our daily life easier. It also gives you time to inspect your merchandise before shipment.

As far as promoting goes, I pretty much do it during lunch time during weekdays except during the month of October due to holiday planning for our causes and committee planning for our Autism walk. I have Pinterest, Wanelo, Facebook and Twitter. I belong to 10 different teams to help me get my business exposed in Etsy.

I order my supplies pretty much every two months, unless I have an important request from a customer.

Etsy, in my opinion, is very competitive. It’s hard to sell unless you have plans to further expose your shop outside your Etsy realm. You just have to be realistic that there’s a lot of competition through Etsy. But to be successful, you have to make your merchandise more appealing and be unique from others. There’s always a good day and bad day, but don’t let this put you down. Assess the “what and why” questions. Why my sales are low this month, and what am I doing wrong?

Always get a feedback from other Etsians. It's important that you can handle honesty. When you ask for their opinion, they will really speak their mind about it.

6. What’s the best advice you received when you first began selling? Also, what advice would you give to new sellers – whether it’s about promoting items, shipping, photography, communicating with clients or whatever else you feel that new sellers should be aware of?

To be honest, I learned everything on my own. I made my own mistakes on prices and shipping by under charging my customers. With this, I did my own research through Etsy, and had asked questions from fellow Etsians who had been in business longer than I have.

With my experience, whether starting a new business anywhere including Etsy, is to do a research first. Always ask around for any questions you might have. Always make your merchandise appealing, and your banner. Make things sweet, simple and catchy. Make a good statement about your store, this will usually catch a customer’s eye to visit your store and check out your merchandise. Shipping process, you need to figure out what kind of merchandise you’ll be selling. Try to weigh it before pricing your S&H. Usually, USPS will have a scale for you to use. Or better yet, ask a postman. As for me, I don’t charge shipping because the items I sell do not weigh more than 3 oz. Communicate with your customers by sending them a message. I send a thank you notes plus a discount for their future purchases. I also follow up with them for any promotions I will be having in my store. The most important thing is, “DON”T FORGET TO PAY YOURSELF”. Always be smart and honest to your customers. This is how you’ll gain them back plus more.

7. What are your goals regarding your shop for the near future?

My goals are to gain more customers inside and outside Etsy, and have more jewelry line in my store. With this goal, we would have more income to donate for our causes and possibly help more causes other than what we are currently supporting.



We wish you the best of luck, Elle and we're really thankful you accepted to share your stories and advice with us! The SPS Team is lucky to have such a wonderful leader!

Visit Elle's shop for more beautiful and meaningful items:


I'm Andreea and along with my husband we create "paper miracles". We make cardstock boxes of various shapes and sizes, but also other paper goodies such as die cuts, envelopes, table numbers, gift tags, coasters and more! We truly hope that you will enjoy them just as much as we enjoy making them!


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