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What is your Etsy Shop Name?
Apothefaery: Organic Herbals and Luxury Fiber Arts

Where are you located?
I live, craft and love life deep in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri.

Summary of what your shop offers:
From Apothefaery’s Organic Herbals I offer a seasonal supply of tinctures, children’s glycerites, home- distilled hydrosols and custom herbal medicines produced in small batches from our gardens and surrounding forest. As a Master Herbalist and Clinical Aromatherapist, I have been handcrafting organic herbs for thirteen years. The fresh, high quality herbals I create here on our organic farm are hard to find and potent healing elixirs. Apothefaery’s Luxury Fiber Arts, that name is no accident! I search out high quality fleeces from organically raised flocks for all my fiber supply. Most of my fleeces are award winning fibers from small family farms. My silks are peace silks, raising the silkworm to maturity before harvesting the silks. I purchase the highest quality Hemp from farmers in Canada, offering up hope for the plant to return to America soon. I even grow my own cotton and flax organically to supply my business from my own land. My French Angora rabbits, raised on an organic diet, bless me with the harvest of their amazingly soft hair. With all of these amazing fibers, I craft the gambit of the fiber world!

My creations range from stunningly textured handspun art yarns to finely crafted modern felts. I bring to life Waldorf inspired soft toys and puppets for children, as well as wet felted playscapes and my very unique Story Aprons, used for puppetry. I believe in teaching wonderment to our children, and so many of my products are intended as imagination fodder for the wee ones. Hand dyed play silks and felted crowns to inspire creative free play. Detailed needle felt Fairytale scenes for decorating the nursery, all this and more you’ll find for families and children in my Etsy shop.

What made you decide to start an Etsy shop?
I started up an Etsy shop for Apothefaery in 2010, however, I was living on an egalitarian (income sharing) farming community at the time, and we decided internet shops were not conducive to our egalitarian ways. Before beginning on Etsy, I had run my business Apothefaery in person since 2001. When I moved onto my own farm this past year, I found the space and time to begin sharing my handmade creations with the online world! Its been really amazing and rewarding to work over the borders of the world, making custom orders that end up in Tasmania and having admirers all the way from New Zealand and Germany. The crafting community on Etsy is unrivaled, and I feel privileged to be a part of the Etsy sellers.

What does customer service mean to you?
Customer Service means the world to me, and many of my handmade felts and story aprons are custom orders. This really means going to extra lengths to please my customers. I’ll send multiple pictures, willingly redo dye jobs or relay felt designs until my customers are perfectly happy. I’ve even handspun dog hair and transformed it into a knit scarf to commemorate the beloved pet! Whoo, a real chore getting that one accomplished to their liking, but I persevered, and my customer went away sooo happy, and that’s what really matters. I’ve never had a really hard time pleasing a customer, but if it ever happens, I think I’ll rise to the occasion!

Where do you find your motivation and inspiration when sales are slow?
My motivation for crafting comes from my everyday life, with all of its wonders, poignancy and joy. I have three children who teach and inspire me, and even when sales on Etsy are practically non-existent, that never slows me down! Having an online venue for my work is lovely, but even if that platform disappeared, I could never stop creating and helping to heal others.

Where do you see your Etsy shop in a year? Or where would you like to see it?
I would like my shop to really take off on Etsy, and I hope to have more of my stock posted this coming year as well. So often, I barely finish up a project and it sells here in the ozarks before even seeing its Etsy listing at all! I would really like for my shop to have at least 80 items and then I think I would make more sales, simply having something for everyone! I feel like this year will be a big one for my online presence, and I’m really looking forward to the attendant challenges and growth.

What words of wisdom do you have for readers who are considering opening a shop on Etsy to sell their own handmade creations?
If anyone asked me about opening a shop on Etsy, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. I do think, however, that all of us crafters should not get discouraged by a slow start. There is a lot of competition for many of the crafts on Etsy, and if you’re making great products, the people will find you, eventually. Just keep crafting!!

Which item in your shop is your favorite?
My favorite item in my shop right now is a yarn called Bootstomp up the Rainbow, She’s a rugged, cabled yarn with a clear, primary colored rainbow and if no one buys it soon, I’m going to end up knitting that beautiful skein right up!

Do you have a current promotion you would like to share?
The current promotion at my shop is the Custom made Story Aprons. I designed these very Unique felted playscape puppet theaters and I’ve been offering them on sale at $89. You get a fully customized hand-felted apron, hand dyed and showing any scene you’d like. I can tell you, the little ones just love it! My seven year old regularly uses our story apron, spinning his own tales and revisiting favorite fairy tales. I have them on sale in the hopes of bringing this magic into many more children’s lives.


Visit Apo the Faery’s Etsy Shop here: http://ApotheFaery.etsy.com


Crystal Ayres, MBA
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