Today we would like to introduce you to
Etsy shop kappamakidesign
kappamakidesign has been selling on Etsy since early 2014, they sell beautiful handmade felt applique designs for babies and toddlers! Today they are going to give us a little peak behind the scenes of their Etsy shop.
What motivated you to start your shop?
I have been creating felt appliqué designs for the little people in my circle of family and friends for years as gifts. Over the years, people had encouraged me to produce more and try to sell them but I had no desire to create a whole bunch of stock and try to sell them at shows.
In 2011, my sister-in-law announced she was expecting and I decided to create a series of monthly milestone onesies for the new baby. At the same time I was doing more and more shopping on Etsy and began thinking... why couldn't I sell my stuff on Etsy? It would give me a creative outlet while appealing to my self-employed mentality. This was 2011... I didn't ACTUALLY get my shop open until almost 3 years later well after my own child was born.
What is the story behind your shop name?
One of my signature styles when creating my monthly milestone shirts for my niece and my best friend's new baby was a maki sushi roll. I love sushi, which is what inspired me to create the design in the first place, plus it translate really well to the medium of felt.
When I decided to open my etsy shop I wanted to find a name that I would still like after a year or two, could lend to a simple but effective logo and had the possibility of being more than just a kid's clothing shop (I do have some designs on invitations, etc in the future).
I also wanted something that didn't exist on the internet (at least not when you did a simple Google search). I went through a lot of possibilities and finally settled on Kappamaki Design (which I am still very happy with).
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
How much I would want it to be "perfect", meaning when I originally set it up I was of the mind, "this is my creative outlet - if I don't have any sales that's fine, let's just get my listings up and see what happens".
That evolved quite quickly to trying to find ways to improve my photos, my listing write-ups and most importantly my tags (I had really poor tags at the start). Then I decided to start joining some teams that could help me get out there more and meet other like-minded artists.
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
My First Birthday Shirt. It has been my most popular item but also the most fun to do since every time it's different and very personal. I really enjoy working with my customers to make the design really reflect their little one.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
I run a video production business with two partners (one of whom is my husband). That is technically my "day job" although it can spill out into my evenings and weekends depending on work load. We also have a 2 year old who isn't in any kind of formal daycare (just nursery school 2 mornings a week) who needs to be looked after... so the most challenging thing is finding dedicated time to work on my shop (and my orders when I get them).
Some people might ask, "why on Earth would you start an Etsy business if you already have your own business, plus a kid?" but to me my Etsy business is a creative outlet that I might not make time for otherwise. I love making my designs and it's nice to have someone to make them for and share them with.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
With each product I make I put in as much love and attention to detail as if it was made for my own daughter.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I love spending the day out with my daughter and husband, if time allows (and their isn't any pressing house maintenance to do!) Sometimes just walking down to the park by the beach and having a coffee at our local coffee shop together is just the ticket.
I've also recently started doing Yoga again and it's been wonderful to have a couple of hours to myself every once and a while. Hopefully, I can keep it up!