Flying Star Toys

Etsy Shop Name: Flying Star Toys

What you sell: designer made soft toys

Tell us about your featured item: Star Boomer – Kangaroo of the Sky. I have always loved the Australian Christmas song "Six White Boomers" and had long thought of the idea of the mythical kangaroos of the sky that came to help Santa on his hot Southern run. They became the inspiration for this toy. Ever since my close encounter with the gray Kangaroos on Mount Ainslie in Canberra when on one of my poetry pilgrimages, I have had a great fondness for the kangaroo. I wanted to bring into being a toy that captured this special feeling, to give them an appropriate mythical linkage. I hope that next time you look up into the night sky you might imagine a mob of Star Boomers traversing the heavens, bounding over the Milky Way in search of green starry pastures. The Star Boomer toy is a set, including both the mother Kangaroo and her Joey. The hand embroidered stars on the front of each come together to form the Southern Cross constellation, which you can find on the Australian Flag. The current fabrics for Star Boomers are a silver flecked wool suiting with a backing of cream wide-waled corduroy. An interesting detail is the eyelashes of the mother Boomer, which are made using the selvage of the suiting fabric. Dimensions: Mother Star Boomer - 35.5 cm (14 inches) high, 37 cm (14 1/2 inch) wide. Joey Star Boomer - 16.5 cm (6 1/2 inches) high, 15cm (6 inches)wide.

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

No, I don't think there is. People who shop through the Etsy gateway may like your product but it may not fall into the price bracket of the typical Etsy market segment – which in my opinion is $50 or less. Most of my work is above that price range . However, I never set about using Etsy as my main market place. For me it is firstly a convenient shopping cart which I'm using until I develop one on my website . Also, Etsy is way of being found by stores and media. My toys are high quality and of original design because of that my toys regularly appear on the front page and in treasuries and I frequently receive email inquiries regarding wholesale because they found via Etsy. The number of heart s is good for indicating how far your store has worked its way into the system . It is by being in the system that one is found. So while I do believe the number of heart is not directly proportional to sales I think that over time the hearts (or rather the people who have booked marked you with in the system) aggregate attention and interest that ends up working by itself without additional effort on your part.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

Since I began my work as a designer toy maker within the craft arts gallery world I have always considered what I do seriously. I know that I have to be able to make my work at a wholesale price that is high enough to make it worth my while and be attractive enough for retailers. After a while I developed price brackets. So that , for instance, one type of toy will be put into a bracket based on a number of factors not just time which is of course the biggest cost. Other factors for me apart from pure material costs and labor include: size; amount of hand embroidering verse machine work; the amount of pieces and the amount of fabric to fabric waste a design requires... to name some off the top of my head.

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