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As I have not yet mastered the revered selfie, I embellished mine with a little something extra. My skin can’t actually be that color. What the heck? I used to be better at this stuff. Honest.

I was asked by a local newspaper to answer a few questions for a story about area residents who have Etsy shops. While I’ve been pretty busy NOT promoting myself, I thought I’d contribute anyway. It never hurts to “know a guy” in the newspaper biz. And since I actually took some time out of my busy day of NOT promoting myself to answer some questions, I thought I’d share the answers with anyone who might actually be a bit interested (although I’m most likely doing it for the proof that someone actually asked me about my little corner of the Etsy world).

Our email interview (sort of) went a little like this:

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for considering my little shop for your feature. I’m not very active with it at the moment as my focus is currently on matters of a more personal nature. But, I will answer your questions in hopes that I can help exemplify how diverse the sellers on the etsy marketplace are. Use the info however you see fit.

1. What is the name of your Etsy shop?
My Etsy shop is LemonStreetPA.etsy.com and my shop name is Lemon Street Handmade.

2. When did you open your Etsy shop?
I’ve been shopping on Etsy since 2009; opened a shop on Etsy in 2012 to sell some items; and resurrected my Etsy shop in October of 2014 to test out and sell some designs I had for hardware-free crochet bags and pouches.

3. What do you sell?
I sell mostly natural-fiber (100% cotton or wool) crochet accessories, but also upcycled trinkets and paper products. Currently I only have cotton accessories listed in my online shop.

4. Is this a full-time job for you? If not, what else do you do? If yes, have you done anything else before this?
This is not a full-time job for me right now. I’m a wife, a mom, and a semi-retired graphic designer. For 25 years I had a career in design and art direction, and I ran my own design firm—specializing in educational publishing and professional journals—from 2001-2012.

5. Why did you want to open an Etsy shop?
For me, Etsy is a great place to reach customers and try things out with minimal investment. Selling things that you make with your hands is very rewarding. People respond beautifully to knowing where—and by whom—their stuff is made.

6. Do you have any employees besides you? If so, how many?
I am a one-woman shop.

7. Do you run the business out of your home? If so, which town are you located in? If not, where do you operate the business?
All aspects of the shop are run from my home in East Petersburg.

8. What advice would you have for someone looking to set up shop on Etsy?
Setting up a shop is easy, but if you want to be “found” you need to make sure you have good photography and product descriptions; get involved by supporting other Etsy sellers by joining Etsy Teams, keeping an active list in your Favorites section, and by following other users’ Favorites; study what successful Etsy sellers are doing; and Social Network like crazy. (Disclaimer: I have yet to take all of my own advice.)

9. Is there anything else about Etsy or your business that I didn’t ask you?
You did not ask me WHY I make what I make. While I have a lot of reasons for wanting to make things (least of all a constant need to create), there is a singular principal that I try to stick with when choosing the types of things to make and the materials I use to make them: Don’t Make Landfill. I’m a consumer first and foremost and I’m trying with all my being NOT to contribute to the constant flow of disposable products piling up and poisoning our world. I am very conscious that everything I make will eventually be discarded, so I do everything I can to use biodegradable fibers (like cotton and wool yarns rather than acrylics) or upcycled fabrics or recycled goods. I try to use the fewest possible new, non-biodegradable components in my designs.

10. Please list your first and last name and title (store owner?)
Debbie Iverson, Maker, Lemon Street Handmade

Thanks for you ear Cathy!
Debbie