Meet handmade designer and artist extraordinaire, Heidi McQuigg of "So Simply Quaint", where she makes custom hand stamped jewelry. Why not let Heidi create a custom piece for you now? Click here to check out her shop!
*Visit So Simply Quaint on Etsy to view more amazing handmade product*
1.) How did So Simply Quaint become a reality for you?
Jewelry making was a hobby of mine in the beginning. I was wanting my own unique and special pieces to wear. I would often get compliments from friends and inquiries as to where I purchased my pieces and my answer would always be – I made it myself! At first it didn’t even cross my mind that there would be such an interest in the jewelry pieces that I was making, and that I would be able to turn my love for making such simple pieces into a business.
After growing my own personal collection, as well as making a few pieces at the request of friends, word began to spread and I had regular locals who would order custom pieces to give as gifts for special occasions. After quite a few requests, I decided to test and see if there was really a market out there for these types of pieces. I was still thinking of my handcrafted pieces as a hobby.
I started off by selling my pieces in a local vendor shop, where I had lots of fun coming up with new creative pieces. This processing of playing with new ideas helped give me insight as to what pieces would sell and which would sit on the shelf. This was definitely a creative process for me, as I hadn’t quite nailed down the “style” that I have today. As sales increased, I also started doing local handmade markets. This is when I started taking this more serious as a business, rather than just a hobby. I began working on branding and continued to narrow down my style. Since things were going well, I decided to go even bigger, so in 2013 I opened an Etsy shop. It was time to share with the world my handcrafted pieces!
Yes, jewelry is a HIGHLY saturated market so I didn’t have high hopes in the beginning, but each sale that I did get brought a smile to my face and an even bigger one as I would get feedback from customers as to how they “loved my pieces” and they were “just perfect!”. Since opening my Etsy shop, I’ve had a steady increase in sales…which fits perfectly with my motto – slow and steady wins the race. I have also recently opened up my own standalone website.
2.) How do you combat creative block?
Plain and simple – stop forcing it! Nothing stops up creativity more than trying to force out ideas. Clear your mind, get out of the house, listen to music, read a book….ideas will come to you when you least expect it.
3.) What is your best piece of advice for someone that wants to start their own handmade business?
Starting your own business requires dedication. You will not grow big overnight. Be open to change – not everything you create will be a huge hit. Some of my favorite pieces have the lowest sales! Most of all, believe in yourself (or find someone who does until you get there). A lot of the process will be trial and error, but don’t give up! You will eventually get there, or will change it up to make it happen.
4.) How has Flourish helped or inspired you?
At the recommendation of a friend, I joined Flourish mid-year in 2015 to help my business grow. Flourish not only taught me how to wrap my head around this thing known as e-commerce, but also how to turn my crafting hobby into a real business. The other great thing about Flourish, is the members! There is nothing like being in a group of fellow handcrafters who are also trying to make their business work. Their upbeat attitudes and support, knowing we are each striving to attain a common goal, is amazing.
Want to learn MORE about Flourish? Click here*
5.) What does the future look like for So Simply Quaint?
I would say that the future so far looks "Simply Quaint!" I generally try to take things one day at a time, but having experienced a rather exciting year over year growth since our beginning, I am looking forward to seeing where the future takes me!
Overall, I have really enjoyed what So Simply Quaint has been able to do for myself and my family and I'm looking forward to growing as a brand.
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