Etsy Shop Name And Address: Primitive Earth Soap Co. – Charlottesville, Virginia.
What you sell: Handmade, natural soaps as well as other natural bath treats and skin products.
Tell us about your featured item: Right now I’m featuring my Frankincense and spice soap, which is a good example of the kind of soaps I tend to make. I often get to mixing soap with no real plan other than the base recipe – typically olive oil or tallow soap. In this recipe, I had some Frankincense tears, which are actually dried “tears” of tree sap that have a lovely perfume. As with most whole ingredients, I ground the tears in my trusty ol’ mortar and pestle, added flax and marshmallow root, which are great for winter skin, and a slew of other goodies. The end result was a hard, foamy soap that lasts a really long time and smells terrific on both men and women. And like almost all of my soaps, it’s a limited edition!
Link to your featured product: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10139459
How do you market your Etsy shop? I’m in the fortunate position that I have many friends, coworkers and family members who are regular customers. I invested in some very nice postcards that I have available at craft shows, leave in shops around my hometown, and put into every order. Leveraging my web design skills, I am currently trying to find time to finish my website, www.primitivesoaps.com, which is a “home base” for my business and a portal to my Etsy shop. From here I plan to have a mailing list, blog, coupons, and freebies like computer desktop wallpapers, Etsy shop banners, and other graphic design goodies that should help drive some return traffic to my site. Web sites are a great way to give your business instant legitimacy, and startup costs can be very affordable. I’m also working on putting together the Blue Ridge Art District, a central Virginia Street Team (www.theartdistrict.org) to network with other artists and try to do some events.
Aside from these plans, I’m taking it slow! I work a full-time job in addition to running my Etsy shop and doing occasional craft shows, so I’m actually cautious of doing too much at once. Focused efforts done well are better than posting all over the place in a fast & sloppy manner, in my opinion!
Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes? I think most people dread taxes in general! Certainly folks fear what they don’t understand, but a little bit of organization and a small investment of time and money can make life much easier. I actually enjoy doing taxes. My personal taxes were done and filed on February 2! It feels good to close the books at the end of the year.