Friday, June 24, 2011

Ismoyo's Etsy Reslling Tips: And Going From Blog to Published Book

Ismoyo has the cutest blog and etsy shop of vintage treasures, Ismoyo's Vintage Playground. She's a successful reseller living the dream; she had a publisher approach her to turn her crafts into a book! She took some time out of her schedule to answer some questions and give us tips for success!

Tell the readers a little bit about yourself, Ismoyo!

I'm Ismoyo Green, recently turned 35. Born and raised in Amsterdam, currently happily living in New York. 
Married to my Love who lets me bring in way too much cute and pretty vintage items!

Your Etsy Shop, "Ismoyo's Vintage Playground" is filled with cute vintage treasures. Where do you find them all?

I love discovering undiscovered thrift shops, but also scour yard sales and flea markets. New York has a lot of churches and a lot of them hold rummage sales once or twice a year.

What is your system for keeping your "Vintage Playground" stock organized?

With my stock growing, keeping it all organized can be a struggle. I dream of a super duper organized space, a separate stock room full of shelves and numbered boxes. But in NY space is scarce, so there are a bunch of large plastic containers in a corner of the living room next to my desk and our kitchen doubles as shipping center.

You released 100 Appliqué Motifs in 2008, and owe your blog to be discovered. Can you briefly tell us the story of your book? 

(Also, it's one of my favorite craft books. I checked it out of the library the maximum amount of times like a crazy person (I'm a big sucker for the kawaii aesthetic!)

{Thank you, so glad you like it!} I was fortunate that the publisher approached me. My blog is to thank for that mostly. Before my focus was on vintage, it was mainly a crafting blog. The editor of my book liked what I did there and contacted me. They had a couple of ideas for books that they thought I would be good at. For them it was a big plus that I did a broad range of crafts. After a couple of brainstorming sessions and looking at what was already out on the market, we ended up with the idea for the appliqué book.

 What was the process of creating your craft book like?

When I started working on the book, I had recently moved to NY. And instead of designing our new apartment, I started designing appliqué motifs! It was a huge undertaking, but a lot of fun also. Every evening my hubby came home finding me in surrounded by sketches and fabric swatches. One of our walls was turned into my project layout wall, covered in pictures of all finished projects. Temporary crafty art as you will.
Any tips for would-be craft book writers?

Do it because you love it. Be true to yourself, be determined and prepared to work hard. Spend time in the bookstore, read the books in the craft isle, know what is already out there before you pitch your idea to a publisher.

In addition to running your Etsy shop, are you constantly crafting and coming up with appliqué motifs and other craft bits?

With my vintage shop getting more successful, my crafting hours are getting more and more limited. I do still have a little notebook on my desk to jot down ideas and every now and then i do make time to work on craft projects. Lately my crafts of choice are needle felting and embroidery. I got some cute wall art that i'm working on and might put up in the shop soon.

How do you stay motivated and inspired to keep going with your shop and with crafting?

I stay motivated because it is what I like to do most. I think that's the 'secret' of running your own business, being passionate about what you do. Give me a day off and I will be most likely on a treasure hunt or creating something craft-wise. My work is also my hobby.

[Van's Note: So in love with the vintage chick mirror. Love!]

What about tips for consistently making sales on Etsy?

There's the practical, like keep adding new items to keep your items close to the top of the search results on Etsy. And there is the personal touch. In your customer service and the curating of your shop. I try to pick and list items that i truly also love myself. This way my shop gives loyal customers something new to look at every time they come back. Plus they know what to expect. If they love my style, they love my shop.

You're a long-time thrifter, what are your top 3 tips for finding groovy vintage treasure at thrift stores and yard sales?

1. If you like something, buy it! It probably won't be there next time and a missed treasure can haunt you for ages.

2. Don't be afraid to get a little dirty. Sometimes you have to get under that table and dig through that dusty box to find the best treasures.

3. And be friendly to the sales persons, they can be a wealth of information!

I love Ismoyo's advice. Follow your heart, craft, resell, and do it because you love it. When you're passionate about your hobby and turn it into your work, you can be successful! Ismoyo let her voice and style shine and devoted followers (and a publisher!) embraced it. Don't stop creating and selling, incorporate it into your everyday life and keep reaching for your dreams!

By the way, Ismoyo's Vintage Playground is offering has a 10% off discount for Thrift Core readers until August 31, 2011. Use THRIFTCORE10 at checkout! (1 per customer)

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  1. What lovely finds! Thanks for sharing this interview. This is my first time to hear about Ismoyo - a new favorite!

  2. Issey has the cutest vintage shop on Etsy, make sure you check out her book, too. I love her applique work!

  3. This is really inspirational - thank you for sharing. I'm off to explore Issey's blog now.

  4. What a great interview. It sounded like a friendly conversation and you asked so many things I needed to know.

    I love the wall of Vintage artwork, even tho many are familiar from my own childhood.

  5. Dogsmom: We hope it helps you!

  6. thanks for introducing me to ismoyo... great interview. also, i love the advice, especially this: Do it because you love it.

  7. Ana: Yep! Simple advise like this reminds me to incorporate doing what I love into my daily schedule. You'll never do it full time...unless you DO IT.


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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