Thank you very much Jay for taking the time to answer a few questions about your Hand Crafted Woodworks business. I am very happy and honored to feature your products! Please visit the following links to see more of Jay's beautiful works:
Q. How did you hear about Etsy?
A. friend of mine was selling some of his woodworking products at Etsy and he kept talking about it. Finally I decided to give it a shot. I sold a couple of items within the first few weeks and I was hooked.
Q. What made you decide to sell on Etsy?
A. My friend kept telling my how easy it was to set up a shop, 20 cents per listing, etc. So I figured the only real expense would be the shipping, and only if I made a sale, so I really had nothing to lose. About the time I set up my shop my friend closed his. I still don't know why he did that.
Q. How did you originally get into Hand Crafted Woodworking?
A. I was a graphic artist for several years. I did freelance work for lots of clients in and around Fort Worth, Texas. I had lots of business for a long time, but the market started showing some distressing signs in the early part of this decade, signs that indicated clients were buying and using software that allowed them to do their own design work and bypass my services. The fact that the results of this were less than satisfactory didn't seem to bother most clients and I saw my business drying up, so I closed shop about four years ago.
I've spent most of my adult life as a working artist, I had developed an interest in woodworking, so I put the two together and began producing artistic items for use around the house or office. I really enjoy the work and people seem to like the items I produce.
Q. Why are you primarily interested in creating functional (useful) items?
A. Unless it's hanging on your wall, most "art" sits around gathering dust in people's homes. I don't make a lot of things that hang on walls, and I don't want my stuff to collect dust, so I want to make things people can use in their day-to-day lives. Candle holders, bookends, bookcases, entertainment centers... these things are useful. I can make them very pretty and very functional. I love using beautiful wood to produce an object people can use every day of their lives.
Q. What motivates and inspires you to create?
A. Mostly I'm inspired by my family. The feedback I get from them keeps me going, keeps me on track. One of my biggest fans has been my grandmother. She loved seeing whatever I was working on at the time. She passed away a few days ago and we're all recovering from that loss. She was like a force of nature, and at 98 she was still a vital part of our family.
My wife and son offer sound advice when I need it. Debra can see the pros and cons of any design I might come up with, and Trevor understands much of the processes associated with the production side of what I do and he sometimes offers advice on how to streamline the operation.
Q. What is your best advice for new Etsy sellers?
A. Never be afraid to price your work appropriately. If you ask too little you won't stay in business, and your potential clients will assume your work is cheap. You must make a profit to keep doing what you love to do.
And that's another point: If you don't love to do what you're doing, stop doing it. Etsy is a wonderful place for artists who love their jobs. Love yours, or find another job you do love. If you just go through the paces it will show in your work.
Thank you very much, Jay.