Monday, February 2, 2009

Featured Diva Interview ~ with Lynae Straw from Panopoly Creations

Introducing Our Featured Diva: Lynae Straw from Panopoly Creations. Hope you will enjoy our interview...

Tell us a little about yourself:

I'm 23 years old and hail from San Francisco, CA. I love to cook, draw, decorate my apartment, explore abandoned places and wilderness areas, and go thrift shopping--that is, when I'm not making new things, researching, vending at local events, updating my website, marketing, or shipping out orders!

Give us a description of your business and the items that you offer:

I create a variety of stoneware ceramic items such as jewelry, housewares, and crafting supplies. My work is united by a common palette of delicious colors and a strong naturalistic aesthetic. I like to stamp little words and phrases on my items, and construct things using unconventional methods.

What are your bestsellers? Your specialty? Most popular items?

My most popular items right now would have to be my Poem Drop Pendants--little ceramic droplets stamped with snippets of classic poetry.

Are your items targeted toward a specific age group?

I think that people of all ages can enjoy the whimsy and simple beauty of my work, but I tend to market toward my own ages group (people in their 20's and 30's) because it's the market I know best.

What inspired you to start your own indie business?

I think my dad had to be my biggest inspiration. He started his own company when I was 4, out of frustration with the many mismanaged companies he'd worked for. He instilled me with an independent spirit and a passion for doing what I love.

As an independent business woman, what keeps you motivated?

I have a strong, unfailing drive to work on my own terms. Whenever I'm having a hard day, feeling either overworked or like I'm underachieving (I vacillate between the two) I just think about how much happier I am working for myself rather than for someone else who doesn't care about my own goals or aspirations.

What has been your biggest challenge as a business woman?

My biggest challenge has to be the fact that I started from scratch. Although I was experienced with my materials and am a quick learner, when I started my business I knew next to nothing about accounting, recordkeeping, proper organization, or for that matter, how to use the kiln I had just bought! I have been learning as I go, and I'm just grateful that the internet is such a neverending resource for small business owners!

What do you believe makes a business successful?

I think it's important to be passionate about your product and about making your customers happy. A successful business is always trying to improve on itself, to find something that it can make better--even if it's something small.

Do you have any specific goals/plans for the future?

My current goal is to be completely supporting myself with my work.

Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for women out there who may be considering starting their own business on Etsy?

Etsy's not going to make you instantly successful and you're not going to get discovered by the masses unless you work for it. The key is to make people notice you. Make lots of contacts and friends. Take advantage of every opportunity to get your name out there, especially if it doesn't cost you anything besides time. You never know when it will pay off!

Tell us the best way to relax after a busy day of work.

I love to curl up under a blanket and watch an episode or two of Star Trek while munching on some fresh popcorn!

While growing up, who was your role model? Who impressed and inspired you most?

My grandmother was a big inspiration to me. She raised seven children and then, when the youngest was in high school, went back into the working world and became an organic chemistry professor. I always admired how she managed to balance all her different commitments so (seemingly) effortlessly.

Give us three words that best describe YOU:

eclectic, lighthearted, passionate

Give us one word that best describes your business:


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