Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marvelous Mom Monday - Marsha - This n That Handmade Accessories

It's amazing what an abundance of talent mixed with a little encouragement can do! This week's Marvelous Mom, Marsha, is a wonderful example of the success that can happen when opportunity and preparedness meet. With such a passion for her work and the dedication to carving out time to build her business, there is no place to go but up! Let's find out how Marsha balances home life with running her Etsy Shop, This n' That Handmade Accessories.

Tell Us More About You!

I am originally from Jamaica, I am married to my wonderful husband AJ, and mother to 2 boys (Julian, 4 and Nigel, 2). I am also an Occupational Therapist and I work full time. We live in Lithonia, Georgia - southeast of Atlanta. Where do I find the time to crochet or make jewelry? I don't know but I find time because it's very soothing and enjoyable to me. Lately, I crochet more than I make jewelry because it's easier to crochet around the kids - there's no beads for them to get into!

What makes you unique as a woman?

That's a good question...I'm not sure what makes me unique as a woman, but I do know that I am a genuine person with a big heart, who loves to laugh and make others laugh. I like to surround myself with positive and uplifting people.

What do you love about Kids?

Children are so honest and funn
y! I also love how they imitate their parents in the different things that they do and say. You have to be very careful what you teach children directly and indirectly. What I love most is to hear a child's hearty tickles me and makes me laugh just as much.

What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?

Hmm...let's, dinner, laundry, homework, cleaning! LOL

What is the address for your Etsy shop?

What do you offer in your Etsy shop?

I offer quality hand-crocheted fashion accessories such as hats, scarves, and neckwarmers. I am also going to be adding kitchen and bath accessories soon so I'm excited about that! I also offer handmade jewelry in my shop.

Flower Beanie with button - Brown and Beige, $15

Where do you create?

Mostly on my couch while I watch or listen to TV alone or with the kids. I also crochet as I wind-down for the day in my bed at night. I love to crochet in the car on road trips too while my husband drives. I get a lot done! When making jewelry, I'm usually a the the kitchen table long after the kids have gone to sleep.

Striped Ripple Scarf - Orange and White, $20

How did you get started in your line of business?

Ever since I can remember, I've loved crafts. When I was little, an aunt taught me how to crochet and I thought it was the coolest thing! So for years after that I crocheted basic granny squares, then I got into weaving on a loom and cross stitch. When I was a teenager, I got into making beaded jewelry. When it became a huge fashion trend, I decided that I wouldn't buy anything that I could make myself! So, I then deviated away from needle crafts and got into jewelry making for quite a while. I even sold some items to friends and co-workers for the holidays to make extra pocket money. Late last year, I joined a social network where I met some other women who crochet and would post pictures of their projects. That inspired me to go back to crocheting, learning and re-learning techniques. I started making things and posting them on that site, people started placing custom orders, and then began to encourage me to open my own "store" online! That was the greatest compliment to me. Any artisan at some point wonders if people will like their work as much as they do. And they did! So, there began jcurlsthisnthat...from the encouragement and support of the ladies on that forum as well as my friends and family. My shop is called "This n That" because I make/sell different items vs. just hats or just jewelry.

Grey Newsboy Cap, $12

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from fashion trends that I see as well as colour combinations that strike me. I love taking pictures of people and scenery as well, so colours that are found naturally in the environment also prompt me to create. My inspiration for some items also comes from the desire to be different and not look quite like everybody else, but still stand out in a good way.

How do you promote your business?

I promote my business by wearing items that I've made for myself, and I promote on Twitter and Facebook. I now have a Facebook fanpage that includes a store front so that people can purchase items there as well. My husband, AJ, also tells people about my business which I appreciate very much.

What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?

Patience, patience, patience! We all would prefer for our items to sell like hotcakes right away! But it just doesn't work that way. Focus on promoting, taking good pictures and the buyers will come. I've also learned not to celebrate a sale until PayPal says the payment is complete! LOL.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

I would tell a new seller that having an online shop requires a lot of work if you are serious about wanting to sell. This is where your hobby truly becomes a business. There's a lot that goes into it, in order to get a lot out of it. Many of us have busy lives but you must set aside some time each day to focus on your business whether it is to create, take photos, or promote...or all of the above! Also, I've learned that pricing is important. Pricing your items too low can really hurt your bottom line and some buyers may equate low price with low quality. Remember that your items are handmade, not mass produced in a factory so take your cost and time into consideration when setting your prices.

What are some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?

I also like,,,,, just to name a few!

What are your other sites (i.e. Blogger, Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter)? Twitter:

My facebook fanpage is

Twitter: @Marshy_Marsh

On as MarshyMarsh

And I am frequently on these social sites about naturally curly hair as 'jamaicacurl': and

Be sure to visit Marsha's Etsy shop and leave a comment here letting her know how much you enjoy her work!