Name: Sara Haubrock
Location: Richmond, VA
Etsy Shop: www.RedSnake.etsy.com
FYI Blog readers: There's a coupon code on her Facebook page for 10% off in her shop!
Rachelle: Tell me a little about yourself:
Sara: I lived in northern California until I was almost 12, and in Richmond, VA since then. I'm 28 (29 next month!), still single, and working full-time as an admin assistant in a mortgage company. I've been a big-time animal-lover since I was little (that's my dog, Lizzie in the photo with me), and I got my Bachelor's degree from BYU-Provo in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation in December 2005. I'm also a bit of a tree-hugger, so I try to make my jewelry-making hobby as eco-friendly as possible by avoiding waste and always reusing packaging material. In recent months I've started learning how to do needle-felting, kumihimo braiding, and loom-knitting. At various times throughout my life, I've also dabbled in horseback riding, ballet, modern dance, painting, drawing, and gardening.
Rachelle: How would you describe your work/shop? Who should definitely stop by?
Sara: My jewelry designs currently include a range of styles, from edgy, modern, or a little bit goth to delicate, feminine, and pretty. My inspiration comes from lots of different places, including favorite tv shows (Abby of NCIS provides lots of inspiration!), things I see in a magazine, or favorite finds on Etsy. Because of that variety, I think everyone should definitely stop by! I try to keep my prices affordable, too, and I'm planning on adding a lot more new stuff to the shop over the next few months.
Rachelle: How did you pick your Etsy name?
Sara: Hmm, good question! It's a pretty boring story, actually. When I was first trying to decide on a shop name, I had a pet Beta fish who was a beautiful bright red color. I happened to be watching him swim around his tank while I was thinking about a name, and I came up with idea of naming the shop Red Fish. But I wanted something unique, so I searched Etsy for shops with "redfish" in the name,and it turned out that there were several that already had that name. So then I decided to change it to Red Snake, because I've had a soft spot for snakes ever since I worked as a reptile keeper at BYU's life science museum. I loved that job!
Rachelle: What brought you to Etsy?
Sara: I don't specifically remember how I found Etsy, but I stumbled onto it a couple years ago when I started playing around with jewelry making. I knew very quickly that I had found the perfect way to fund my new jewelry-making addiction - open an Etsy shop and sell my creations! Etsy makes it so easy to do and there's a great sense of support and encouragement from the Etsy community. I'm definitely still learning as I go. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) joining Etsy only created more new addictions for me - shopping on Etsy, creating treasuries on Etsy, and otherwise playing with all that Etsy has to offer! It's proven to be an expensive but fun part of my life! So far, I definitely spend more money than I make on Etsy, but I think it's worth it for the enjoyment I get from it!
Rachelle: What keeps you motivated?
Sara: Truthfully, I think it's mostly the innate human desire to create. I believe that we as human beings and children of God have a deep innate urge to create something that wasn't there before, especially something beautiful or useful. It's part of our divine nature. So that's what drives me a lot. I think I crave that sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing a finished product that I've made. I've also recently joined several Etsy teams, which provide a lot of motivation and encouragement in the form of advice, compliments, and support from teammates.
Rachelle: Any tips for other sellers or things you wish you had known when starting?
Sara: I recommend getting involved and connecting with other Etsy users. For me, that meant joining a few teams, which I didn't start doing until recently, and it's definitely improved my Etsy experience. The key is finding the teams that are right for you. Good choices are ones that you have something in common with, whether it be location, types of products you sell, or religion. It's also important to read the team's rules and browse their discussion threads a bit before joining, to get a feel for what the team is like, what activities they have going on, and to make sure you're comfortable with the level of involvement required by the team.
Other good tips are to always work on improving your product photography (mine still needs a lot of work, but I'm trying!) and use tags well, both on your products and on treasuries you create.
What are your three favorite Etsy shops?
How in the world can you choose just three??? I have dozens of favorite Etsy shops and all of them are amazing! But for the sake of this question, here are the three I've chosen to share:
· Yes and Amen - www.etsy.com/shop/YesandAmen (I kid you not, whenever I'm depressed, I go browse this shop or her blog. All the cute pictures of adorable little lambs inevitably make me smile!)
· Real Butterfly Gifts - www.etsy.com/shop/REALBUTTERFLYGIFTS (the products in this shop offer a gorgeous up-close look at the miracle of nature)
· Ginaminda - www.etsy.com/shop/ginaminda (I have a bit of an addiction to fingerless gloves, and this shop has a great selection)
Rachelle: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sara: Hopefully, in 10 years I'll be happily married with a couple of cute kids, working as a full-time stay-at-home wife and mom, but I would have said the exact same thing if you had asked me this question 10 years ago, and I don't seem to be any closer to achieving that dream now than I was then. So you really never know what life will throw at you. But ideally, that's where I'd want to be, and I'd also love to have some free time to work on arts and crafts and play on Etsy, and while I'm dreaming, I'd also like to have a couple of dogs and a pet snake and a comfortable house with enough land to have a large fruit and vegetable garden and maybe a few alpacas, and the time to take care of it all! But if none of that happens in the next 10 years, then wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, I'd really just like to be able to say that I don't have any major regrets. As long as I can know that I'm living the way Heavenly Father wants me to, then I'll be ok.