Little Pancakes jewelry has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Melissa is the fab lady behind the fun line that’s given me such joys as a necklace with a little harmonica attached (boy did that annoy the hell out of everyone on karaoke night) and my new favorite, a little “A” pendant (more on this later!). I’m talking with Melissa about her success and what other Etsy sellers and buyers can learn from her. ALSO, A COUPON CODE FOR 20% OFF ANYTHING IN HER SHOP (not including shipping)! WOW! Code is APOCALYPSTICK and it’s good until SATURDAY (10/140). Simply type in APOCALYPSTICK at checkout! Now onto the interview.
Tell me a little about Little Pancakes. You’ve been going since 2009, correct? How long does it take you to make each piece? Why the name Little Pancakes? Why Etsy?
Yes, in 2009 Little Pancakes was just a hobby to distract myself from a stressful day job. My friends liked what I made and people encouraged me to sell on Etsy because it was gaining popularity. Last year I started running Little Pancakes full time. It was kinda scary taking the plunge but it’s been great making my own schedule, being my own boss, and of course doing what I love.
It varies, but the stamped triangle necklaces take me the most time because i’m so much of a perfectionist. I sometimes have to re-do it a few times to get it right! It drives me crazy but people love them.
As for the name Little Pancakes, I just like pancakes! I never intended for it to be my business name but it ended up sticking and it’s a great attention getter.
Do you have any advice for an Etsy seller on how to grow their brand/business?
For those that are already on Etsy, my advice would be to grow your brand off the site, to not put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Do craft shows and try and get local shops to carry your stuff. You might get turned down on the first try, (I’ve gotten used to the rejections over the years but they still sting a bit) but eventually something will happen if you stick with it. It helps to have great packaging and business cards — and a good brand image in general so you’re recognizable. If you’re just getting started, I think it’s just best to take some photos, write really clear and enticing descriptions, and dive right in. Put up what you have and see what sells! There is some great advice on the Etsy forums about titles, tags, and photos. You just have to dig through the posts.
What about advice for Etsy buyers? How do they find the best stuff out there?
One thing I look for on Etsy is if something is too great of a deal, it may not be handmade. Sometimes it’s just a seller who hasn’t quite figured out their pricing but other times it’s mass produced. It can be hard to tell sometimes but look at their about page and sold items and use your best judgement — most handmade sellers can’t make 100 bracelets a day at $3 a pop. There is so much good handmade on Etsy that it’s worth sorting through everything! I find good stuff on the Etsy blog pretty often. I do buy frequently on Etsy but I love buying from my fellow artists at shows. The in-person connection is really special.
What (or who) inspires your designs?
I love the symmetry and repetitiveness of Art Deco. Lately i’ve been into moons and more curvy shapes. I get my best ideas from just playing around and making stuff I want to wear. Then I wear a sample around to test drive, to see how it hangs and what kind of responses I get.
What’s your favorite piece in your store?
My favorite piece lately is my moon earrings, I wear them all the time.
I love turning a sheet of metal into something beautiful, it’s really exciting!
What/who are some of your favorite Etsy stores/sellers?
My friend Silke makes great cosmetic pouches/bags. I have a few for storing makeup and whatnot. The quality is great and they’re super reasonably priced! The fusion salts from Gneiss Spice are amazing, I put the habanero one on everything. I have a couple of glitter banners from Unicorn Parade that I use for my craft show display and I always get tons of compliments.
Thanks, Melissa! As I mentioned above, my current favorite of yours is the “A” pendant necklace:
Now everyone go crazy and do all your holiday shopping at Little Pancakes, using the coupon code APOCALYPSTICK for 20% off anything (shipping not included) till Saturday (10/14)!
~~lighten up it’s just faaaaaashion~~