Etsy Shop Name: WaKuWaKu

What you sell: I sell items made from or inspired by things Japanese. I most often use vintage and antique kimonos that are no longer in wearable condition, but have parts that can be salvaged for smaller items. Wakuwaku is a Japanese word that means “to excite,” and that’s how I feel when I work with the gorgeous silk kimonos.

Tell us about your featured item: These hand-sewn plum blossom bobbies are fun for females of all ages. Although I enjoy sewing on my sewing machine, I love hand sewing most. And since some of the kimonos I take apart have many tiny holes from age and wear that I have to work around, making the little blossoms is the perfect answer. The five-petal plum blossom is a traditional design in Japanese art, so I have used it with this bobbies and on a few other items in my shop.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners consider the business side of their shop the most challenging?

Many shop owners are like me—in a kind of a loop. They love what they do, but can’t afford to do it full-time. To do it full time they need to market their work more, to market their work they need more time and money. To get that money they need to work outside of Etsy, and that means less time to create. Doesn’t this sound familiar? In addition to this, I think many of us love the creating aspect, but don’t like or have marketing or business experience. I sometimes try things that may not be best choice for marketing my product because it seems like it will give me more time to create.

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

I have taken two college level accounting classes in the past which were helpful. Classes I would love to take would be ones on small business start-up, marketing or a class on internet selling.

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