What’s your name and shop?
I’m Rachel Anderson and I sell my original kawaii designs printed onto fun items such as notebooks, postcards, badges and even pencil cases!
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I first set up an Etsy shop not long after my 18th birthday (I’m 21 now).
At the time I really enjoying sewing and had gathered quite a collection of things I had sewn ‘just because’ and was starting to run out of space to store things! I decided an Etsy shop would be a good way to sell my wares and give me a bit of extra pocket money.
I did that for almost two years then last September I began a degree in BA Textiles.
I found sewing to be too much of a time consuming activity and I had become much more interested in doodling – and my current shop was born from there! I closed my sewing shop in early April this year and opened Peach Panda Studio in May.
What’s been the biggest hurdle for you to overcome?
Running my business alongside studying for a full time degree has its challenges. I decided not to get a maintenance loan as I’m studying locally so I can stay at home and save pennies. That being said, an art-based course can be quite an expensive experience so every sale from my shop really does matter!
My shop is literally my only income as I gave up my part-time job just before Christmas 2016, partly because it was your typical student job; soul destroying and on minimum wage, and partly because I just couldn’t fit everything in!
Describe a typical day?
On a day when I’m at uni, it goes something like this; get up and ready, in the car for 8am to brave the traffic and arrive at uni at around 8.40. Sometimes I’ll fit in a lunchtime trip to the post office if I’ve been organised the night before! Leave uni at three-ish, get home and pack any orders that need doing, reply to emails, go to the post office if I didn’t at lunch etc.
I then spend the rest of the evening doing any miscellaneous tasks, such as working on new designs, stocking things up, planning my Instagram and Facebook posts and maybe taking part in various twitter chats.
If it’s a weekend, I get up (about half past eight), be ready for half nine and crack on with packing any orders that came in through the night.
Generally I spend the mornings doing admin and then the afternoon will likely consist of a post office trip, working on new products, new designs, or photographing items ready for new listings.
Where would you like to be a year from now?
I’d just love to be busy enough to not worry about my finances to be honest! As long as I’m a student I’ll probably always worry about that, but I’m hoping to get some regular wholesale clients in the next six months or so, which will definitely help!
I’d also like to keep on designing bigger and better products, I’ve been thinking lately about designing my own colouring book!
I’m hoping to start working on building my own website too although that’ll probably come in the new year now after all the Christmas madness has surpassed!
This is one of 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.