Tell us about yourself and what you offer in your shop:
My name is Jennie and I am the face behind Duryea Place Designs. I am 29 (and holding) and live in the suburbs of Chicago with my husband, Kyle, and our adorable Boston Terrier, Zoey. I work in corporate HR by day, but creating is my passion! My shop offers unique wedding details such as ring bearers pillows, card boxes, cake toppers and paper products. I also love everything vintage and offer vintage items that can be used for weddings such as hankies, gloves, brooches or any other goodies I come across in my trips to estate sales and flea markets.
How did you come up with your shop name?
I met my now husband when I was in my last year of college. The street Kyle lived on was Duryea Place and from the first time I heard it I just loved it for some reason. And, since it's the place I fell in love with my hunny, it has a sentimental meaning to me to. Too sappy?! Sorry! :)
How did you get started?
When Kyle and I got engaged I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted our wedding to look like. It wasn't until we started looking for invitations, that I realized there wasn't much out there in the style that we were hoping to achieve. I've always been creative, so it didn't take long for me to decide to take on the projects and make everything I had been looking for. Before I knew it, I had made the invitations, programs and other paper products as well as the ring bearer pillow, place card displays and pretty much every other detail for our big day! There were a couple times during the planning process that I took projects with to the bridal shop to show my bridesmaids and I had everyone in the shop checking out my items. I received so much positive feedback that I just had to give it a shot. After our wedding, I opened my Etsy shop and have been busy ever since!
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I love vintage fabrics, wallpaper, jewelry, glasswear... pretty much anything vintage! I definitely get a lot of my inspiration spending time at antique stores and estate sales. I'm also a blog junkie! I spend a lot of time looking at wedding inspiration blogs, wedding photographers, and other artists sites.
Describe your style in as few words as possible:
Vintage, feminine, romantic and unique!
What do you do when your not on Etsy or creating?
Lately most of my free time has been spent working on my office/studio. When I started this business I was working on projects at our dining room table, but it has grown so quickly that I need my own space. We've painted the second bedroom of our house and right now I'm working on refinishing a old desk that I recently picked up at an estate sale. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll be all set up in there and have my dining room back to normal!
What is the greatest challenges and greatest rewards to running your own business?
For me the greatest challenge so far has been just not having enough time in a day! I'm gone from 7:30a.m. until about 6:30p.m. for my "day job" and then come home to orders, new projects, packaging and shipping, etc. along with the daily chores of life; laundry, cooking, cleaning. The other big part of lack of time is having so many great ideas for projects, but just not enough time to get them all into reality. I've started carrying around a notebook so that I can make quick notes and at least have the idea to come back to. I struggled for awhile to keep up with everything, but I think I have finally found a good approach that works for me.
The greatest reward is hearing from a bride after they have received their order. I love seeing how excited they are to get my products and how they are looking forward to using it on their big day. It's pretty amazing to be a part of a couple's wedding!
What is your favorite feature on Etsy? Why?
There are so many things I love about Etsy. I adore so many of the products and shop for myself and family constantly. I like knowing that with each purchase I make I'm helping to support an artist like myself. I also absolutely love treasuries!! I enjoy creating them and could spend hours just perusing through the treasury pages created by other sellers. I've joined some teams whose main purpose it to feature and promote each other in treasuries and to network. I have made some great connections with other Etsy sellers and really love seeing how creative people can get with this feature.
What is your best/most successful marketing strategy?
Great photos make a huge difference! I had a few items listed that didn't have particularly great photos and they weren't getting many views. I took the time to re-photograph them a few weeks ago with better lighting and within 24 hours one of the items had sold. Since adding better photos, the other items have had a lot more views. I also try to list a new item each day to keep my shop at the top of searches. The more frequently I list the more traffic my shop sees.
Do you have any advice for newbie sellers?
Have fun! I know it sounds cliche, but if it's not fun, then why bother? I do this because I truly enjoy it and it's a great outlet for me to be creative. The only other suggestion I have is to be as active as possible; create and comment on treasuries, join teams, and network as much as possible. The more active you are on Etsy, the more your shop will succeed!
I'm so glad Jennie was able to share about herself and her blooming business this week! I will be featuring more Etsy sellers in the near future so be on the look out! Until then, let me know how you like this idea, and show some love to Jennie by visiting her shop and FB page.
An Etsy seller, PickSomeFlowers, features three items every week from other Etsy sellers who have fewer then 50 sales. This week she chose me! Please check out the post and take a gander at the beautiful pieces I was included with, and leave a note to say how much you like them! [and don't forget to look at the beautiful items Dara makes and sells in her shop!]
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
PS - Spoiler-Alert! Be on the look out for a new kind of post here on my blog.... :suspense fills the air:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
I just read a fun, do-it-yourself, blog post that was featured on the Etsy home page. There is a link you can follow below to get all the info on how to create your very own, one-of-a-kind, handy-dandy note book. [sorry for the Blues Clues reference... I couldn't help it]. The post includes all the information you will need like supplies, and step-by-step instructions to create a unique note pad.
I'd love to hear what you think of this idea, and if you decide to make your own; you should share pictures the experience in pictures. I have a basket full of wooden spools from thread that I've been saving for something... Now I may have found out what that something is! I'll post pictures if/when I try this. I am always looking for a scrap of something to write on, so this would be perfect for me!
Easter is coming and as we look for more ways to keep natural, here are some recipes I found from BetterHomesandGardens to dye eggs without using those synthetic dyes from the store. I have not yet tried it, so let me know how it goes if you have the time to test it out! :^)
All-Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes
Use these all-natural dye recipes made from household ingredients to create Easter eggs in beautifully subdued shades. Leave eggs soaking in the dye in the refrigerator overnight for the richest colors.
1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar Lavender
1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar Brown
1 cup strong coffee and 1 tablespoon vinegar Blue
Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks. Add cabbage to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove cabbage with a slotted spoon. Bluish-Gray
Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water. Bring to room temperature. Remove blueberries. Dark Pink
Cut 1 medium beet into chunks. Add beet to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove beets. Yellow
Remove the peel from 1 orange. Add peel to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove orange peel.
I am now offering a sale coupon!! Are you excited? Would you like to save 35% on all Winter Merchindise? You can now! To recieve this great discount, simply use the coupon code SPRING11SALE during check out when you purchase any selected winter item. This sale will end come May, so stock up for next winter! :^)