Meet Lauren Soponis, artisan and Etsy shop owner of Black Cat Craft. Lauren is giving us a peek into her crafting world so grab your favorite beverage and settle into your favorite chair and read on!
I was raised on Cape Cod, MA. by artistic parents – my mother, a painter (and all around DIY goddess) and step-father, a cabinet maker. I grew up drawing, sketching, painting, sculpting, pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I’ve always been “crafty” and enjoy turning every day things into things of beauty and/or interest. My earliest claim to fame was being featured in an art show in 7th grade for a mosaic. Today that mosaic hangs in my bathroom. I currently live and work just outside Wilmington, North Carolina with my filmmaker husband and our two furry children, John Adams (the dog) and Ziggy (the black cat).
I sell handmade jewelry and accessories. My work is inspired by vintage jewelry and classic style as well as nature. I use mostly brass to achieve a more “antique” look. I also hand age a lot of pieces so they look even older. I just started a second shop on Etsy where I sell these hand aged pieces to other jewelry artists.
Do you have a day job? I had a day job for five years, working at a Pharmaceutical Development Company. Recently I was able to quit this job and pursue being a jewelry designer and writer. I am the Assistant Editor for Handmade Spark (handmadespark.com) and a writer for the Handmade Gift Guide .
How did you choose your shop name? I get asked this A LOT. My shop name is Black Cat Crafts. To find it I looked at my life and what inspires me. It sounds silly to some but I got a black rescue cat (George) at age 19 and had him for 14 years. He was my child and my rock through many, many trying times. I also just love black cats. They get a really bad rap but they are the most gentle, wonderful beings. My brand is homage to George and reminds me every day of all the things I’ve been through to get where I am. It keeps me going!
In your opinion what is the most important factor of running a successful on-line shop or business? Persistence and patience. You cannot just make a few things, list them on Etsy and be successful overnight. There are a lot of times where you will sell nothing for days or weeks at a time. Keep making what you love, find your niche and keep at it. I honestly believe that if you make a good, quality product and put your heart in to it, it will show in your work and your customers will love you for it.
How do you promote your business? I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I have a Twitter, a Facebook page, a blog and belong to an Etsy team. I tell everyone about what I do, I wear my jewelry and I’m in two retail locations which really helps with word of mouth sales. I’ve advertised on a few craft sites but figured out it’s wasting money to advertise to other jewelry artists. My main marketing is really word of mouth and I find Facebook does help with that a lot. Now I concentrate on keeping my shop full, blogging and spreading the word on Facebook. One of the best things I can recommend is taking care of your customers. I package all my jewelry in recycled boxes tied up with a bow. I include my card with every order and I mail things within 24 hours if possible. I have a few very, very loyal customers because of it!
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years? Eventually I would love to expand into designing my own line of jewelry supplies and having a brick and mortar shop of my own. I would love to be in the position of helping other artists get noticed and promote local, quality, handmade products. I think there has been a real movement established with handmade – people are tired of buying cheap stuff made outside the US. I really love this “revolution” and would love to be a bigger part of it.
What is your favorite color? Blue. This is very apparent if you look at my Etsy shop…blues and greens tend to seep into my work without me really even noticing it.
Thank you Lauren for sharing. Congratulations on being able to pursue your dreams and quit your ‘day’ job and do what you really enjoy! I wish you all the best and look forward to checking in on your shop often to see what you’ve added.
Be sure to look at the slide show to see some of Lauren’s creations and then join her at the following sites:
Her Etsy shop Black Cat Crafts, and her Blog The Crafty Black Cat . Then don’t forget to check out the links that she provided earlier in this article.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below if for no other reason than to just say hello to Lauren and support the articles.
Subscribe to get an e-mail notice only when I publish an article (you will never be spammed by the glowbass.com).
Until next time I wish you a good day today and every day!
Remember to always “Pay IT Forward” because one good deed deserves another and we all know that the world needs more of us doing good for each other more than ever before. Publishing these Artisan’s interviews is my way of supporting local Artisan communities. You can’t go wrong buying beautifully crafted, handmade pieces from these great Artisan’s
Cheers my ♥’s
All Things Wood