Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feature blog on AliBeanBaby

Hi Everyone,
Today's Feature blog is on AliBeanBaby another Fellow Etsykids member that makes gorgeous Clothing.

1)How did you first hear about Etsy?:
I first heard about Etsy a few years ago when we were living out of the country from a friend who was a regular buyer. She repeatedly told me I should try selling on Etsy, but I wasn't at all interested.

2)Tell us about a little about yourself and your favorite craft/art!:
When my husband and I moved back to the States 1 1/2 years ago I was needing to find some kind of job. One of our daughters-in-law kept telling me that I should make little girl clothes and sell them on Etsy. I wasn't at all interested, until we spent a week with them and I made a couple of pillowcase dresses for our 1st granddaughter, who was then 7 months old. I was hooked immediately!!

3)How did you get started as a designer?
I started designing clothes for my dolls when I was very little - kind of a cut-and-paste method! I didn't like using patterns and following directions like my Mom did so I did my own thing. Over the years I made/designed some of my own clothes and then also for our 5 sons when they were little. None of them wanted anything I came up with when they were old enough to know better! That developed into designing and making work-out clothes for the gym that were flattering for different body shapes (while they were trying to get into shape rather than after they were in shape!), which I did with my sister-in-law for a few years. After that my husband and had a business designing and making flags, banners and dance garments. I did all my own patterning, learning how to fit different shapes that wore the same sizes.

4)What inspires you to create?:
When I first started AliBeanBaby I relied on my daughter-in-law's input for dress designs and fabric ideas. Little girl dresses was a very unknown area to me! Thankfully that has changed and I am much more confident now and we both have input. I get inspired both by looking at fabrics and also looking at clothing. I'm not an original creative person - but have ideas sparked from something that I see, with the ideas sometimes similar and sometimes nothing like what I saw originally.

5)How do you get the word out about your shop and Etsy?:
I count on customers who are wearing AliBeanBaby to bring new customers in, and I love relating to repeat customers. I'm not a social chat-er, so using Facebook and Twitter have been a slow learning process for me but participating in a couple different teams has helped with that. I have done some blog/give-away and photo trading also.

6)Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?:
When I started AliBeanBaby I didn't have a business plan, or really any kind of plan or goals or vision. I just had 2 dresses and was loving the idea of making more and possibly being able to stay home and make an income doing it. I know that probably isn't a good way to start a business, but not having all of the business aspects in place gave me the freedom to let it grow and develop slowly until I could see the "personality" it was beginning to take on. For someone just starting out I would say to go with who they are personally, whether that means having a detailed business plan and knowing all the steps to take ahead of time, or just having an idea and letting it develop.

Check out her shop for more amazing items:

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