news from effie's studio
the only thing I really remember about the 2011 Canada Post lockout is how stressful it was - orders kept coming in, but I had no way to ship them out and no idea how long the lockout would last.
Not this time! Whether the current labour dispute gets resolved tomorrow or drags on for weeks, it’s business as usual here in the studio.
I’ve been using an alternative carrier to ship all US & International orders since last fall, and now they’ll be handling my Canadian packages as well if Canada Post's service is interrupted.
Time flies when you're having fun! I still can hardly believe it, but today marks 8 years that I've been in business! 8 years since I put my first listing up on Etsy, and 8 years since I sold and shipped that very first item off into the world (it was a pair of earrings, if you're wondering. Things have evolved since then!)
I feel so lucky to be able to do something I love every day. Working in my home studio surrounded by color and pattern, making things with my hands, and especially getting to send them off to you all over the world, is just the best!
Thank you so much for your support!
Last week I took a few days off to tour Nova Scotia with friends who'd never been here before (highlights: a traditional salmon planking on the South Shore, and a drive around the famed Cabot Trail). But this week it's back to reality (aka my studio), and full steam ahead!
In addition to working on a couple of wholesale orders, I'm gearing up for the Etsy: Made in Canada market later this month. This year Etsy:MIC is happening in over 30 Canadian cities, and I'll be at the Halifax event at the Citadel Hill Garrison Grounds on Sept. 26th from 10am - 7pm. Last year's show was terrific, and if the RSVPs are any indication, this year will be twice as big - I can't wait!
If you're in Halifax on September 26th, I hope to see you there - come find me in the big tent and say hello!
I have fantastic customers. Over the past couple months they’ve been sending me some particularly terrific feedback and photos, so I just wanted to take a minute to gush a little bit! :)
Here's Jasmin in Singapore looking awesome with her custom yoga bag:
and Stephanie from NY showed off her new effie yoga bag on Instagram:
Lots of other customers post their lovely feedback on Etsy, like Cassie in NJ:
OK, just a few more...
- “Quality design, fabric and stitching; and arrived beautifully wrapped with a lovely little note- this is why I love buying handmade!” – C.A., Australia
- “The jewelry roll was amazing! So cute and the perfect size. My bridesmaids loved them. Thank you so much!” – S.T., NY, USA
- “Color: fabulous. Durability and design: fabulous. Walking into yoga class with this bag strapped to my back: priceless.” – F.C., NY USA
- “Love, love love, love them!” – E.C., Edmonton AB
Receiving reviews like these makes my day, and acts as great motivation when I'm working alone in my studio. A big thank you to all of my fabulous customers who take the time to come back and let me know how much they love their purchases!
If you have an effie handmade item that you'd like to show off in its natural habitat, make sure you tag me (I'm @effiehandmade just about everywhere!) - I'd love to see it!
Sometimes bigger really IS better. When it comes to the drawstring cord in effie’s yoga mat bags, I was beyond tired of having to buy it in teeny tiny packages. Finally. after months (years?) of searching, this bad boy moved into my studio the other day:
From 30ft packages to a 3000ft roll is an upgrade that was long-overdue! I’m probably a little TOO excited about it, but as I continue to add new stockists for these yoga mat bags all the time, I'm glad to finally have lots on hand! :)
Is your yoga bag due for an upgrade? Check out the selection of effie yoga mat bags available in my shop. And if size matters for you (or your mat happens to be on the large size), talk to me about a creating one in a custom size!
One of my favourite things about selling handmade goodies online is that the items I’ve made are regularly shipped all over the world. And the world is a big place, so I like to keep track of all the places I’ve sent things to :)
I recently added a few more countries to my ‘collection’, so I've updated my map:
What it doesn’t show is I also added a couple last states and a final Canadian province to that ‘collection’ – hello to Newfoundland, Arkansas, and West Virginia! (I feel like a kid collecting trading cards and I finally completed the whole set!)
Current totals: 29 Countries, 50 US states & 10 Canadian provinces (none of the Canadian territories yet!)
I love working at home, but it's easier some days than others. Snowing and -25°C? definitely easier. But a gorgeous sunny Spring day? now that's a bit more of a challenge…
There was no one else around but this little guy, so it was a lovely midday break before heading back in to finish sewing some yoga mat bags!
Some businesses are begun very purposefully, by a person (or people) with a master plan. effie is not one of those businesses.
Flashback, Spring 2008: I was 7 years into my full-time office job. For fun, I’d been making jewelry and selling it locally for a few months – mostly to friends or co-workers. But when I was invited to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday at a swanky downtown restaurant, I needed a suitably swanky purse to accompany me to the party. I created a sweet little silver number, and it was tucked under my arm that night when it caught the eye of another friend and she came over to have a closer look. As we chatted she asked the question that ultimately started me along the path I'm on today: ‘Have you heard about Etsy?’. It sounded crazy at the time - people like me were selling things they'd made – on the internet! – to people all over the world?!
the silver clutch!
I was definitely intrigued, but let the idea percolate for a bit. Then a few days later, I read a blog post that linked to an Etsy shop, and when I followed that link, I was like Alice down the rabbit hole…
I started making my Etsy shop that day, initially listing several pairs of the earrings I’d been selling locally. It took most of the night to get it set up (I'm a night owl, what can I say?), and at about 5am I'd finished and was just about to shut things down and go to bed, exhausted, when I noticed I’d received a new email. Barely 15 minutes after ushering my shop into the world, I had my first sale! I couldn’t believe it - a pair of my earrings were headed to a new home on the other side of the continent!
#tbt: embarrassingly awful listing photo of the first effie earrings sold online. Sadly, this pic
and many more like it are permanently on full display in my sold items pages on Etsy...
That modest $10 sale was the start of something, though. Ya gotta start somewhere, right?!
Fast forward to 2014: Over 6 years later, I’ve shipped effie items all over the world since then (current count: 28 countries, 50 US States, 9 Canadian Provinces).
There's never really been a master plan, but things have naturally evolved as I went along. Sewing has taken the place of the jewelry-making I started with. This is now what I do full-time (24/7!), not just as a part-time hobby. And while I still love Etsy for being a wonderful place to get my start in business, I’m pretty excited to see what lies in store for this next chapter in my new shop!