How long have you been doing your craft? 5 1/2 years. I officially began in the fall of 2010
How did you get started? Shortly after our oldest was born in Sept 2010 I was desperately ( new mommy hormones!) seeking decor for her nursery. We had a small budget and found anything on the market that both went with her room and could be personalized was way out of our price range and still didn't quite match the vision I had in mind. I've always been a creative but generally expressed it through gardening, writing and interior design and occasional wood working. I assembled the meger craft supplies I had on hand, purchased a few sheets of scrapbook paper and created a personalized block set for her along with a matching painted sign on canvas.
I soon had friends and family asking for their own block sets and realized this was the means to stay home and raise my daughter that had been on my heart, but that I hadn't been able to put into words yet. Over the course of our daughters first year I made nearly 100 wooden block sets. I knew that God had given me this creative outlet in order to both contribute to our income and to stay home with our daughter for as long as I was able.
My business name came to me then, I quickly put together business cards and a Facebook page and got busy. It wasn't long before customers began asking after wooden signs to match their block sets. ( I had taken odd jobs over the years when sales were slow including custom planting in our local greenhouse, carpenters helper and assistant in our town office) Then our 'honey bee' came along in 2013 and it was around that time that I made the switch to selling signs exclusively and gave up my side jobs to take a leap of faith and pursue my dream full time.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on Facebook - Sweet Peas & Honey Bees Boutique
On Etsy - SPandHB
And on Instagram - user name - @sweetpeashoneybees
What do you like about selling on Etsy? The broad reach Etsy allows me that I certainly couldn't find on Facebook. Much like the Instagram maker community, the Handmade community on Etsy is so supportive, I adore shop talk and love discovering new to me Saskatchewan/ Canadian shops. It's so beautiful to see makers helping makers, women encouraging and building each other up all while balancing that thin line between business and family.
What brought you to Etsy? Oh my gosh, I discovered Etsy nearly a decade ago and have always been a supporter of handmade. I come from a long line of strong hard working people with entrepreneurial spirits and have always found so much joy in the gift of handmade. It was a natural transition to open my Etsy shop. I will admit that it took me nearly a year to build the confidence to go ahead and open up shop, the what if's are so hard to ignore aren't they? What if nobody likes my work, Shipping is terrifying! What if I don't make any sales? etc. But I took that leap and encourage any of you who are on the fence to do it too! ( Plus, that first Cha-Ching! When you sell an item is heaven 😉 )
What's been your best Etsy experience? There have been so many, from watching in awe as my sales grew, new customers turned friends, 'meeting' people all over the world and truly connecting with them over a piece of my work, and gaining the support of my local shop friends. And honestly, learning! There is so much to learn in this business. Through trial and error
I've tweaked and streamlined production over the years and found a formula that works best for me and my daily life.
Discovering the Etsy Saskatchewan team has been an amazing way to not only introduce myself but also my followers to other local talent. ( We have a lot of it!) Taking part in my first Etsy Made In Canada pop up market in Saskatoon last fall was an amazing experience, I was astounded at the amount of people through the doors and they were genuinely there to meet us and talk handmade. That was a new experience for me and has absolutely changed the way I incorporate craft markets into my yearly lineup. And if I'm lucky, there will be more amazing Etsy experiences to come!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? Sign making is both my passion and my 'day job'. This business is not just a hobby, it sustains our family. I'm just lucky enough to also truly adore what I do. I work countless hours each week tweaking my original d signs and painting words on wood. Words that are decided upon and lovingly hung in YOUR nests, I never take that for granted.
I am the wood worker, designer, painter, framer, packaging/shipping department, marketing and PR. I am my business. But I am a momma first. This business is all for my girls. I pray it teaches them that big dreams do come true if you work your tail off for them, and thst it instils in them a love and appreciation of handmade pieces in a throw away society.
The fact that my customers choose to spend their hard earned money on our family rather than big box stores or Pinterest d.i.y's is appreciated more than we could ever express. Behind every Etsy shop is a REAL family, working hard to sustain themselves and your support means that we can keep going.