Etsy gives new and established indie designers an unparalleled opportunity to market and promote their wares. Etsy was the first handmade marketplace of its kind, it offers a real community for lone indie crafters and has made it possible for thousands of artists to make a living doing what they love. What's not to like? And just because an artist's needs to grow her business doesn't mean she has to leave Etsy. Not at all.
Jeanne Connolly of Vintage Renewal loves Etsy -- in fact, she is a featured seller -- but she also loves having her own website on IndieMade -vs- other services like Big Cartel or CraftLaunch.
I caught up with Jeanne on the topic of IndieMade and how she uses multiple platforms to fully engage her audience.
IM: What made you give IndieMade's website platform a try?
JC: It had so many more interesting features that the previous platform that I was using and everything was so flexible and user-friendly right from the start.
IM: How does it compare to other services you have tried, like Craft Launch or Big Cartel?
JC: The price was the best and the features were the most advanced. It was a win-win for me! I had been trying to include a mailing list, a blog, a store and a sold gallery on previous sites, but there was always something missing. Indiemade.com has it all and if they don't have it, they are so progressive, they will try if you bring it to their attention!
IM: Why did you expand off of Etsy?
I had my url before I began my etsy site in 2007. It was just very frustrating that I could never be proud of the results on www.vintagerenwal.com until I switched over to Indiemade.com. I had hired a web designer and it was awful. I need to be able to do it all myself. My business changes to frequently for me to wait for someone else to post pictures and update content. That's so outdated!
IM: What could you do with IndieMade that you couldn't do on Etsy or other services?
JC: I love Etsy, but I would always suggest having your own URL for your business if you are going to take it seriously and to the next level. There are so many more features that I would like to showcase on my site aside from just my store. People want to know your story and see pictures of your past work and know about the services that you offer and where to find you at events. I love the calendar option on my vintagerenewal.com site. It allows people to follow what I'm up too and where to shop from me in person during my Pop+Up.
IM: Have you done anything "extra" with your site?
JC: Yes, of course! I have used many other features that I've found online and easily implemented them into my webpage like forms from Wufoo. I love it and allows me to customize my site for my clients needs and my own.
IM: What is your favorite feature IndieMade offers?
JC: Indiemade offers so many features that I love, it's hard to say. I just love the independence I have with being able to customize my site on a dime with Indiemade. If I have questions, they are so gracious and service oriented, it's been fantastic!
IM: How are you promoting your business online? How are you using social media?
JC: Indiemade allows me to add twitter and facebook features on my homepage so that people can follow me on social networking sites I use most. There are also sharing features on each of my products so that people can share the product that they love most. It's got stats that I can look at to see where people are going and what people bought on the back end. I have all the information that I need at my finger tips!
IM: I see you have a lot of very cool stuff coming up. Can you elaborate?
JC: Vintage Renewal has had a very exciting year. I am so thrilled about an upcoming feature on one of the sites we have been talking about, but I can't announce it until it airs. One of my redesigns will also be shown at the Denver Art Museum on March 30th during the Yves St. Laurent Exhibition. It's so flattering to be a part of the Haute Untitled Art Event that evening. It's going to be high-style all through the night with 9 project runway designers putting on a live fashion show at the Museum. I also have a big sale with Fab.com coming up on April 12th which is going to be rockin my little shop!
IM: Anything else you'd like to add?
JC: I am so hooked on this website and I've never been more proud to give out my web address! It's so important to have a professional online presence as an artist and designer where people can find you anywhere in the world. I just got featured on an Australian design inspiration page and they found me online. You never know who is going to be on the other end of that keyboard typing in important search words to find your business!
Please check out Jeanne's Featured Seller article on Etsy.