What motivated you to start your shop?
I love to craft and it gives me great joy when others enjoy receiving something I’ve made. I work full time at a law office as an appellate assistant and crafting is a great way for me to unwind and do something I really enjoy and feel fulfilled doing. For many years I participated in the craft show circuit. And, while I loved speaking with customers and being with other crafters, I felt I just couldn’t reach enough of my target customer to make this type of venue worth the expenditure of the limited amount of time I had outside my full time job, family, church and other activities. Many friends and family suggested I sell on Etsy, but I was afraid of the commitment and the unknown about following such a venture. Then one day a woman in my office told me she was an Etsy seller. Aha, finally someone I can talk to about this scary thing called Etsy – someone who could answer questions! Someone who had already been through the process. After a few conversations, I decided to jump in and give it a try. So here I am, working on my second year as an Etsy seller!
What is the story behind your shop name?
Oh, I am so proud of my shop name – XANDERDOO STITCHES! I love it. It wasn’t the original name I wanted for my shop, but after searching Etsy to see if the name I wanted was available, I learned it wasn’t, and any combination of that name I could think of was taken as well. I decided it was too common, was not distinguishable and just simply would not work. So I began racking my brain and then it hit me. My youngest grandson’s name is “Xander”. Its not a common name and I thought perhaps I could work with it to come up with something unusual, catchy and memorable. It is an unusual name with a strong meaning: “Defender of the People”. While I know my shop will never defend anyone, I still hope it will live up to being strong and successful. And so was born XANDERDOO STITCHES!
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
Hmm, good question. My main selling items are embroidered baby bibs. However, I have created my own tote bag pattern which is available as a digital download in my shop as well as on Craftsy. It was also available for a limited time as a featured product at San Francisco Stitch Company with one of their applique designs.
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
Definitely the amount of work that goes into having a real business of your own and convincing others that this IS a real business and not just a hobby.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
There is a lot to learn when you first start selling on Etsy. So much to read and fumble through to get on the right track. But I think overall, figuring out key words, search engines, and social media to locate and entice target customers is the most challenging for me. I think the second most challenging thing for me about being an Etsy seller is the inventory and bookkeeping aspects of owning my own business. Right behind the bookkeeping would be photography. I tell everyone I know that I am no photographer.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I have been sewing and crafting for more than 30 years and my family and friends have been the happy recipients of many of those projects. Because I value my customers, I am commitment to creating each item I sell with the same love and care I would as if those items were for my own family and friends. I use high quality blanks, fabrics and supplies to ensure a product that is beautiful and can proudly be used for many years to come.
What do you do when you aren't working?
When I’m not working at my full time law office job or in my sewing studio, I enjoy spending time with my family, attending and participating in church activities, and walks and bike rides with my husband and Lexie, my Siberian Husky, at metro parks and nature trails with a few trips to the dog park thrown in for good measure.
Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Many of my projects have been shown in the galleries of a number of online embroidery shops, and a few of my projects and tips have appeared in Sew News, Designs in Machine Embroidery and Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine over the last few years. I have also written and am currently working on self-publishing my first children’s book which I hope to sell at Xanderdoo Stitches and on Amazon.com.
For more information on my sewing and embroidery inspiration and story(a/k/a "The Story of the Lime Green Pants"), please read my About Page at: www.etsy.com/shop/xanderdoostitches/about and follow me on Facebook at www.facebook/com/xanderdoostitches.
I'm a proud member of the EtsyKids Team!!!
Xanderdoostitches will offer a 10% discount code for Etsy kids followers. Just use the code ETSYKIDS10 which expires 12/31/16.