Few people understand the whole online selling thing the way #ahasmember Danielle Maveal does. She spent almost five years at Etsy helping makers grow their businesses as their Seller Education Director. Yeah, so she knows a thing or two. Since Etsy she's put her maker-supporting energies into building a network of dedicated handmade business owners. Oh, and she also recently did an Expert Hangout with us for members-- so if you're a new member or an old member who missed it, go find it in the forum Expert Hangout Archives!
We're also thrilled to have Danielle as one of our instructors for our One Day for the Holidays event at the end of the month. She'll be sharing all about how to make your product line shine this holiday season. You won't want to miss it!
Q: Tell us about yourself and how you help makers.
A: Some know me as 'Daniellexo', that was my handle over at Etsy when I was the Seller Education Director. Now, I'm the leader of Creative Little Beasts – my crew of creative entrepreneurs. I'm dedicated to helping crafty solo-preneurs make their lives easier, and optimize their online sales with small changes and simple hacks.
Q: Why and how did you get started doing what you do?
A: I started with my own small business, making and selling jewelry in Detroit. From there I grew to know this new start-up, Etsy.com, and the people behind it. I would travel to Brooklyn to teach workshops at Etsy on the weekend and eventually they hired me to work with sellers full-time. I did this for 4.5 years and it was the most rewarding experience of my life. I learned so much about teaching, motivating, organizing and the start-up life.
Q: What changes have you seen in how makers do business since you first started doing this?
A: Creative small business owners are now flourishing online. When I first started there was a big learning curve, and now, I see makers accepting and excelling at the challenge of selling and marketing online. There are also more and more tools to help small businesses and there are more online shoppers. People trust shopping online, buying from a stranger. It's easy to take that for granted, but at one point this was a very hard sell!
Q: Why do you think makers get so overwhelmed by the holidays?
A: A lot of makers run their business in a day-to-day fashion. A few days without sales can really cause you to crash & start questioning everything. When times are good, we want to hang on to that for dear life, afraid it may never happen again. A big part of my work with online sellers is helping them put the numbers into perspective. The holidays are definitely a great time to grab new buyers, but if they burn you out, and leave you lifeless for the next three months, what good was all that work!
Q: What do you think is the biggest thing makers overlook in their shops?
A: I hate to say it but... their product. They love it, their friends love it, they think they've found the right product and take it personally when it doesn't strike a chord with online shoppers. Some products just do not translate online (or you haven't figured out how to make that online presentation work for you). Some products are too niche, some aren't niche enough. You really need to make sure your product line is on point before you even start thinking about the other stuff (product photography, SEO, social media, etc).
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A: I have a pre-holiday boot camp coming up for online sellers (Etsy, Shopify, BigCartel, etc.) – would love to see more Creative Little Beasts daily during this 30 day online class!