Crafty Mom Finds Etsy Success
Mary Cattapan, a mom of three and a marketing expert who teaches online courses from home, is passionate about crafts. So much so that two years ago she started her own Etsy store, Studio66. At the beginning, she just planned on making some money on the side by putting together jewelry kits and other jewelry-making materials.
Now, Mary has started developing her own original jewelry findings and materials. Her first product is a bail, a piece used for attaching pendants to necklaces, stamped with her I Luv U logo -- an 'I' and a 'U' wrapped around a heart. The design was inspired by the love designers put into each of their pieces. She also has a Be Happy bail with a smiley face on it, and she still sells other crafting products like chains, glass pieces and jewelry kits.
Funding her business with her Etsy sales, Mary plans to continue expanding her product line, which she's selling in bulk as well as in smaller quantities. She’s already sold a few thousand items on Etsy. Mary shares how she got started and her advice for other mom entrepreneurs.
Mom Invented®: What were your initial goals?
Mary Cattapan: Originally I was trying to make some extra money by finding good materials, putting them together in kits and reselling them on Etsy. I sold things like Scrabble tile pendants and glass pendants. My goals have evolved and I am now marketing my own line of jewelry findings and materials for moms and crafters to make their own one-of-a-kind items.
What is your background and how does it relate to your company?
I am a mom to three beautiful little boys, Robert, 6, Zachary, 2, and Gavin, 6 months. I have worked in marketing for 20 years, and currently teach online marketing classes so I have the opportunity to work from home. The Etsy business is also something I can do from home and would like to expand on.
How did you go about creating your product?
I did research online regarding other types of bails that were out in the market and looked at how well they were selling. Then I used alibaba, asked people and did extensive online research to find a company that specialized in doing prototypes. The company I found was great -- they would do a prototype essentially for free if I purchased a minimum order quantity.
Were there any setbacks in product development that had to be overcome?
The most difficult was dealing with language barriers and not being able to clearly articulate what I wanted. This meant that I required several iterations to get my product right.
What was the biggest learning curve in creating your product?
Understanding how to communicate what you want, you have to be very concise. Otherwise you may not get the type of product you requested.
What secrets have you learned in terms of publicity and marketing your product?
It’s important to use Twitter, Facebook and blogs. And I always include information on my outgoing e-mails to promote my message in every outgoing e-mail and transaction.
How did you finance your business?
The business is self-funded via my Etsy sales, and I have invested about $10,000 so far.
How have you managed to juggle the roles of business owner and mom?
I’ve hired house cleaners once a month and work after the kids go to bed.
What has been your biggest source of inspiration?
My love for this hobby and drive to own a business that I created from the ground up. I love being my own boss and determining my own destiny.
What advice would you offer other moms developing their ideas?
Research extensively. Ask around. Find relevant blogs. And always follow your passion.
Thank you for sharing your story, Mary! You can learn more about Studio66's products at Etsy.com/shop/Studio66, and you can connect with Mary in the Mom Invented Community. Do you have a great story about your product or business? If so, we'd love to hear it!
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