What’s your name and shop?
My name is Rose-Marie Marshall-Jane and my shop is called La Lune Art Studio. I opened my business in 2014 and after my first year I opened up my Etsy shop. I sell a range of handmade products on my shop including original artwork, handmade attire, home decor and custom furniture. My Etsy is www.etsy.com/shop/laluneartstudio and my website address is www.laluneartstudio.com
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
About 2 years now. We’re constantly updating and keeping things fresh in the studio so this also reflects for our online shops too. Our products have changed a lot over the years! We’ve gone from bookends and wall hangings to screen print tees, fine art and custom corsets. I did open up another shop about a year ago but shut it down not long after, I called it WhitePencilGallery and I was going to sell some of what I call ‘leftover’ art, pieces of artwork that just get put in folders and drawers that don’t see the light of day. I thought even if I didn’t like a watercolour painting I did 3 years ago maybe someone else would so why not try to sell it? Sadly I didn’t keep on top of it and decided it was best shut down and just focus on the one. However, I have now opened another shop for a bunch of jewellery I thought was best separated from the artwork and home decor. I’m doing a better job of handling both now, you could say my time management skills improved! My other shop is www.etsy.com/myselenebyrose
My first product? I can’t remember much of the products I was trying to sell when I first opened up, the first sale I had was of a marbled moon wall hanging with a crystal drop. This was sold to a local resident up the road but it was enough to get the ball rolling.
What’s been the biggest hurdle for you to overcome?
Well, there has been a lot of hurdles and plenty of tripping over. I’ve learnt a lot since opening my business, at the age of 18 I opened La Lune Art Studio and was completely inexperienced in everything to do with running a business. Cash flows, business plans, bills and insurance were all nonsense to me, luckily I had my mother by my side and together we opened up and within the first few months the shop was stable enough to keep going. To help with the more admin side I attended a few courses to learn about it all.
One of the biggest hurdles has to be having the confidence in my work. With art and anything creative you are putting your heart and personality out there for people to constantly judge, compare and put down. When I came to realise that people might not like my work a big tonne of doubt also came along with it. Is my stuff good enough? will people want it? shall I even bother? Convincing myself that the products and work I do is good enough for people to love and buy was a huge hurdle. I took me a while to understand you can’t please everybody and if you don’t believe in yourself then why should other people? We all get the people who tell us “I don’t like your stuff”, “I could do that myself” or “I wouldn’t pay that for that” and that’s Okay as their opinion. What you have to do is listen to the criticism, ignore the negativity and adjust as you seem fit.
I was told by a few local people that they didn’t think my studio/shop would last three months, 3 years down the line we are still here and still going strong.
Describe a typical day?
At La Lune Art Studio we never have a typical day! Each day is different from the last, I could be painting a chest of drawers one day and the next day I could be altering a wedding dress. The most consistent part of our week are the art classes we teach and my gran kindly lending a hand with the cleaning on a Tuesday, the rest is usually just plan what we can and hope it all goes Okay. The shop is open from 10am-4pm but these change depending on what work we have on, when I get home that’s usually the time for online work such as updating the Etsy shops, website and social networking.
Where would you like to be a year from now?
This will probably sound strange but I try not to define my aspirations as ‘dreams’, if I class them as dreams then that’s what they will stay. Instead I create timelines and place my goals on there, the goals that I don’t reach by the end of the timeline are either binned because I didn’t deem them important enough or resigned to another timeline.
I’d like to try and trim down some of my product range and focus more on batch production rather than a product here and there. I’d also like to have more commission work, for example a unique piece of handmade furniture or a couture dress, the balance between repeatable and one-off is one that I’d like to achieve. As for short term goals? Well, to get to 100 sales on Etsy would be nice and to generate a few on my website would be great. I also have a set of directors chairs that could do with redoing. Better get on with it…
This is the third in a series of 60-second interviews with Etsy shop owners. If you’d like to be interviewed, please send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and etsy shop link.