This week Etsy817 has the pleasure of introducing you to one of our dedicated leaders Julie of Coco and Cocoa.
What are your Etsy shop name and link?
Coco and Cocoa (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CocoCocoa)
What do you make and sell in these shops?
Hand knit and crochet accessories
When did you start your business and what inspired you to do so?
I’ve been knitting for almost 10 years, but I started my business 2 years ago. A friend and I took the plunge together. We had heard of Etsy and decided to give it a try.
What has been your biggest obstacle so far and how did you overcome it?
My own shyness. I’m still working on it.
Have your friends and family supported your dream?
My family has been very supportive. They come to my shows and are very encouraging.
Where do you work from?
I work from my couch! I do some knitting in the afternoon while my toddler naps and then I do more in the evenings after I put the kids to bed.
Who are your entrepreneurial role models? What is inspiring about them?
My grandparents. My grandfather was a carpenter and my grandmother sculpted miniatures out of clay. I remember she would travel all over the country doing shows.
How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your business successful and/or how do you continue to grow and learn?
After I had my twins I wanted to learn how to crochet. A friend gave me some basic pointers and then I bought a book to teach myself more. After I had made a couple of items I decided that I also wanted to learn how to knit. My husband went out and bought me a teach yourself to knit book and I sat on our bed with some knitting needles, yarn, and that book until I figured it out. There was a lot of muttering and throwing needles.
What do you like about your work?
I love seeing the colors and textures come together. And it’s very relaxing.
What is your dream project?
So many things! Just today I was thinking I’d like to knit a skirt.
What is your favorite product or service that you offer?
Customization. I love hearing what colors customers want or what custom made items they are interested in.
What is your best-selling item?
My owl hats
What superpower would you want to have and why?
To be able to fly. So that I could travel and see the world.
Name something you love, and why.
The serious answer, my family. They get all my weirdness and they still love me.
The silly answer, my blue jeans. They are comfy and versatile.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
A wide variety. From a utility billing clerk for a city government to the person who made the gelato at a gelateria.