Stella Melgrati doesn’t know everything about promoting her Etsy shop, but she does know her customers and lets enthusiasm and love for handmade speak for itself. Find out how, even without marketing know-how, The Yarn Kitchen brought Stella a taste of popularity…
Please tell us about your business and how it all started.
It is quite incredible, four years ago after what felt like a zillion years away from crafting I took a felt class with a friend. The very same day I found myself browsing the internet and buying a huge amount of wool. It ended up looking like I’d brought in a flock of sheep right in the middle of the living room. The next step was opening up a shop on Etsy to justify my wool shopping! At the beginning I was an absolute newbie: no marketing notions, no photography skills, no social media accounts – only a strong love for wool and for people. At the end everything was a matter of relation with my customers and the mission to bring a little colourful smile in their homes.
Which blog or book would you say was your most useful resource when starting your business?
As I said I’m not so good at promoting my shop, luckily some people, who are way more skilled than me (and generous) found me and help me to promote my shop.
I found that both magazines, websites and blogs are wonderful. The more incredible result come to me with a post on Bored Panda. They were wonderful, took my post and tweaked it in a fantastic way and it got lot of views and interest. Was reblogged for days. It was really incredible and gave me the taste of what popularity is!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
I’m the kind of person that works well under pressure. When I have 100 things to do is also my best creative moment. The hard thing is to stay organised! The work in the shop is pretty unpredictable and my stock is little because I make everything with my own hands so sometimes it’s really difficult for me not to lose bits and pieces. Luckily my husband helps me with the whole shipping process.
Any advice for start-ups?
Every shop is really unique but maybe my best advice is to try and work around your product. While handmade is lovely, when it comes to selling, you need a beautiful and well-curated product. So take your time to take the best pictures possible.
What’s the most effective way to get your shop noticed?
That’s the Holy Grail for online sellers. I’m still searching for it, but being myself, interacting with people, being honest and really loving my product and my customers helps a lot. I try to do my best and it probably shines through my little creations and helps The Yarn Kitchen find its little spot in the online world.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Stella has kindly offered our readers 20% off all The Yarn Kitchen products until 30 June 2015. Use the code FORMOLLIEMAKES for felted planters, jewellery and homewares.
Make the crochet felted and macramé planters (below) in Mollie Makes 54. Available from all good newsagents, supermarkets and our official online store. Sold out? Download it from Zinio, Google Play or Apple Newsstand.