Profile with a Southern Etsy Seller

4 12 2010

I’ve bragged before about my dear friend, Kristie. She has been one of those true blue, loyal to the end friends to me, through anything life has brought for the past five years I’ve known her. We’ve had some laughs, perhaps a cry or two, and lots of fun.

I was so proud of her when she started her own Etsy business, selling one of the most original ideas I’d ever heard of — DayJarView message jars. The concept started when yours truly moved to California, and Kristie, true to form, wanted to give me something thoughtful and personal. She knew I was excited, but just might need a little help calming those butterflies in my tummy coming to a new place not knowing a soul. So she gave me a beautiful glass jar, just filled with tiny envelopes containing inspirational quotes, and more than a few of our own personal inside jokes. That jar came with us on our car trip across the country, and more days than not, I needed a little bravery boost, so I reached back and pulled out a thought for the day. When we reached our new home, it recieved a prominent place for months, as I continued to enjoy all her funny little thoughts, little pieces of a friend, and the knowledge I was thought of.

Handmade websites such as Etsy and Big Cartel, as well as artisian craft fairs and markets are really taking off, as so many of us realize there’s a quality and care that goes into a handmade gift that, well, let’s face it, you’re just not gonna find at Wally World.

Well, let’s just let her put it in her own words, shall we? As many of us are crossing items furiously off our shopping list, I thought our Sweet Iced Tea readers might need just a little more help, and handmade gifts are a great way to show your friends and family you love them. DayJarView jars would be a perfect gift for anyone — young or old, new acquaintance or golden friend, grandad or sister. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like to pull a little note out every day and smile, knowing they’re thought of.

So I’ve asked Kristie to share with us a little bit about her business, how she got started, her procedures and such, to give us all a peak behind the scenes of an Etsy seller.

Tell us a little bit about your product and who it might be a good gift for.
My product is a jar filled with quotes, sayings, jokes, and thoughts meant to make someone laugh, think, smile or be inspired.  The pieces in the jar are folded by hand into little envelopes meant to be opened one at a time.  One can open the envelopes either once a day, once a week or whenever needed. 
 
There are a variety of jars for a variety of recipients.  We have a jar for friends, a jar for your mom or sister, a jar for new parents and newlyweds.  We have a funny jar and an inspiration jar as well.  Hopefully the types of jars will grow offering an even bigger variety.  While most jars are for specific people and relationships, the funny and inspiration jar are good for any recipient — such as a coworker, a new graduate, a Christmas gift exchange or secret santa.  Endless!

How did you get the idea for DayJarView?
My best, dear friend moved to California from Florida and I knew I would miss her LOTS and wanted to be sure she knew how much she was loved.  Since this was a big move for her and her husband, I wanted her to have something to remind her of home, friends and family.  I also wanted to encourage her and support her as well and that is when I thought of the jar.  It was perfect.  I was able to personalize it with some inside jokes and it would be around for as long as she needed it, till she pulled the last envelope out.

Where do you sell your jars?
Currently I have a store set up at www.etsy.com.  The friend who inspired this idea, the one in California, actually told me about Etsy so she has been a force behind Day Jar View from the beginning.  I am actually about to do my first arts/crafts fair with the jars, so I hope that is inspiring and educational.    
 
What is your work process for compiling the jars — do you do a little each day, give it your full attention, or pop on a movie while you work? Are you a lone worker, or enlist friends and fam to help out?
The work process so far has been a bit sporadic.  Making a jar, start to finish, takes me about an hour, a little longer.  So far I have made them as needed because they are still a work in progress.  I usually do them while in front of the tv.  I have been able to do the jars mostly myself, but friends have helped cut out the notes. I have warned my friends I may need to enlist their help with production if this takes off and they say they are ready.  I do want to say that my friends have been BIG supporters and that has meant a lot to me.
 
What’s a favorite quote you include in the jars?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I have lots of favorites but here are two:
“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
Laughing is good exercise.  It’s like jogging on the inside.

Finally, just for fun, if you had a theme song on the soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
Ok, no, THIS question is a tough one!  I’m thinking it would be either “When I Hear Music” by Debbie Deb or “Hella Good” by No Doubt or “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. Definitely a song with a good beat that I can dance to.

This is such an unusual and unique product. Not only does everyone love a little gift from time to time, they know they’re thought of every single day for as long as they have a DayJarView.  If you’re an Etsy artist or crafter, or know of someone who is, email us and let us know. We might do a feature on you!

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