What is your Etsy shop name?
Ink of Me

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Where are you located?
Salt Lake City, Utah

Summary of what your shop offers:
We offer customizable art prints. Word Maps, Typography Posters, and Stencil Art Prints. These unique and customizable posters and prints are great for Wedding, Anniversary or Birthday gifts or as Home Decor. They allow anyone to create a piece of art that is really unique and personal.

How long have you been practicing your craft?
Although I have been making custom posters for family and friends for several years, I opened my shop in Feb. 2012.

Have you had any formal training in it? Where did you learn your skills?
I learned how to use Photoshop and other image editing software while I was in architecture school, as a presentation and rendering tool. Also as prerequisites for architecture school I was required to take a variety of design and art classes. I have always liked to draw and design and was fortunate to be in school when a lot of those things were becoming available digitally.

What made you decide to start an Etsy shop?
In early 2012 I had made a World Word Map and a USA Word Map for my geography loving son’s bedroom to help him learn where the states and different countries were located. I posted the finished product online and got an overwhelming response that I needed to sell them. I have a family member who also operates an Etsy shop and she convinced me that Etsy was well suited to get an online business up and running.

What makes your Etsy shop stand out from all the others out there?
I focus a lot of time and detail into each of my prints. Every letter of every word in my word maps are manipulated individually. My world word map alone has over 2,000 letter manipulations. Most of my prints are customizable. I have 40 different standard color options to choose from, but can also do custom colors. My goal in creating my shop was to be able to offer truly unique and personalized prints at an affordable price. I have developed a process of production to accomplish that.

What do you find to be the most fun and rewarding about having your own shop?
Because of the custom nature of my prints, I get to have ongoing discussion with many of my customers. I love it when they really feel like they are part of the design process and can take some ownership of the finished product.

What does customer service mean to you?
When operating an online business you can’t underestimate the value of customer service. Therefore, I fully guarantee the quality and satisfaction of all my prints. I understand the difficulties of communicating through email and having to, at some point, turn over the prints to someone else to deliver them. Sometimes problems arise during this process, but I have always tried to make it up when those problems arise.

Where do you find your motivation and inspiration when sales are slow?
I use the time when sales are slow to work on new designs. Having my shop has allowed me to keep my creative juices flowing. I am constantly looking for inspiration for new design ideas. For all the designs currently in my shop I have at least one more new idea that I haven’t finished yet.

What helps to inspire you when creating?
My kids are a big inspiration to me. I have a 10 year old son, and a 5 year old daughter. Many of my designs are catered to children and are born from things my kids are currently into. That helps me keep designing prints that are current and relatable as well. I draw a lot of design inspiration from my personal life.

Where do you see your Etsy shop in a year? Or where would you like to see it?
In the 3 years I have had my shop open, I have consistently grown beyond what I could have ever imagined. I have designed prints for an HGTV show designer. I have had prints used as set designs for a TV show on Comedy Central. I have a print hanging in a former NBA basketball player’s house, and I have also had prints featured on several websites and blogs. In a year from now, my only hope is that I can continue to come up with designs that Etsy customers respond to. I have branched out a little bit into wholesale and digital products and would like to see those areas grow as well.

What words of wisdom do you have for readers who are considering opening a shop on Etsy to sell their own handmade creations?
I would encourage anyone considering opening an Etsy shop to go for it. Get involved in the forums and teams and do your homework. Learn what it takes to have good photos, tags, listings. Also be prepared to be patient and diligent. Etsy sales can be very cyclical, and it is important to keep up on what the trends and cycles are. I would say that at least half the time you put into your shop should go to marketing and research.

Which item in your shop is your favorite?
I would have to say that my favorite item is my Word Map of the World. It is by far the most time-consuming print to create and it really is one of the two prints that started this whole thing for me. That print, and the other adaptations of it, have been my most consistent sellers as well.

Some other favorites are:
Home is Where the Heart Is – USA Word Map
Date & Place with Coordinates Wedding or Anniversary Gift
Adventure Is Out There – World Word Map
Albus Dumbledore ‘Choices’ Quote – Harry Potter
Wedding or Anniversary Typography Poster
Custom Stencil Sketch Poster – 8×10

Do you have a current promotion you would like to share?
I would like to offer a 20% OFF discount to any iCraftopia readers. Just use the coupon code 20OFFMYINK when ordering.

I am also running a buy 2 get 1 free deal for everything in my shop, just use one of the listings found here.


Visit Ink of Me Etsy Shop here:

Crystal Ayres, MBA
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