Monday, February 21, 2011

New Designer Breakout: Rebecca Allen Designs

I love meeting and learning about other new designers and their experiences breaking into the marketplace. I frequent the online community on Etsy to connect with other sellers and share ideas and I have to say when I first started as a seller, it really got me going and taught me so much. I learned how to write better descriptions, take better photos of my products, etc... I actually posted in the forums about blog sponsorships and I was so happy Rebecca from Rebecca Allen Designs reached out to me. I asked her a few questions about getting her business of the ground:

  where do you get your inspiration from?

a.       A lot of our designs come from my super girly personality.  Since we are a two person team we love scourging through bead shops and vintage stores to help us feel inspired.  We’ve learned after having my shop open for two years that you really need to create what you enjoy and love.  Making things because that’s the trend or what other people like isn’t a successful business.  If you just follow your heart people will see that and will love your items as much as you do.

what are your favorite items to design and/or sell?

a.       I actually love creating lace jewelry.  It’s not one of our big sellers, but it’s one of my favorite things to create.  Being able to find that perfect piece of lace, cutting it into a design, dying and stringing beads and chain on it is the best part of my job!

what has been the most rewarding factor in owning your own business?

a.       I think the best part of the business is hearing customers tell you how much they love your pieces.  Having someone purchase your item and then getting an email or convo back stating how much they or the one they gifted the item to loved the design is the most rewarding aspect of having your own business.

 what has been the biggest challenge?

a.        When we first started out we designed a lot of my pieces by what style or design was the new hot trend, not necessarily sticking to our gut and what we loved.  Having the courage to finally create a piece of jewelry that was entirely us and seeing it be a success was the biggest learning experience and challenge to work through. 

 how do you see your business growing in the next few years?

a.       Well we’re growing more rapidly than we ever expected.  We would love to be able to grow our wholesale area of the business, we have been participating in trade shows for 2 years now and are steadily growing with sales reps. We would also love to connect with our customers, it’s great to sell items online but there is something even more rewarding when you get to have one on one contact with the people that love your items.  We participate in several fairs and cash and carry show a year, recently the Chicago Gift Show, but would love to visit and attend several more!

what is your big time goal?

a.       Well there are a few crazy goals that I would love to fulfill {that's the spirit!!!} one day, like sell on QVC (which would be crazy since there are only two of us making jewelry and handbags).  But a realistic goal is to increase the amount of products we sell, sign up with a PR company and meet more of our customers!

some of my favorite Rebecca Allen pieces:

 Thank you, Rebecca, and do take a visit to her shop!

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