In this interview I talked with Teri, owner of Teri James Photography on Etsy.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay a small commission at no cost to you if they’re used to purchase something.
Tell us a little about your shop and who you are.
My shop is Teri James Photography. I sell western décor wall art including Texas Longhorns, Black Angus cattle, American Bison, old barns and windmills.
I also offer artwork personalized with my customer’s cattle brands, ranch names or family names.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I’ve been on Etsy since 2015
What’s the hardest part about selling online?
The hardest part of starting my business was (and still is) convincing myself that just because I love my photography hobby, it IS a business!
I have to be organized and consistent in my operation of it, and I have to price my products fairly to my customers as well as to myself.
Just because it’s fun and I love it – I can’t do it for free.
What’s your daily routine like?
My daily routine really isn’t set in stone!
I have Etsy notifications set up to inform me of any orders or messages, which I deal with as quickly as humanly possible.
I feel very strongly that my quick customer service has greatly improved the success of my shop.
If someone sends me a message, I love to answer immediately, assuming that they are still on their computer/phone and ready to engage with me.
I spend most of my “Etsy Time” on my computer editing photos, but as often as possible, (and depending on the weather!) I load up my camera equipment and go hunting for photo opportunities.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a small “RoadTrek” RV, which will enable me to spend more time on the road, looking for those opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start selling online?
To folks who want to sell online, I say “find a niche” to fill.
My niche is cattle! Born and raised on a wheat and cattle ranch in Oklahoma, my niche actually surrounds my daily life.
I like to “do what I know and love”. I see shops with a hodge-podge of products, and those confuse me as a customer.
I love the country life and American agriculture, and try to confine my products mostly within that bubble, so that my customers know what to expect when they visit my shop.
I also recommend for new Etsy shops to concentrate on the quality of their products.
Compared to the mass-produced canvas art that is available at the “big box” stores, my products are expensive.
But, I am very picky with the products that I send out, I know they are of the highest quality and I guarantee satisfaction with every order.
I also think that has helped my shop to be as successful as it is. As a customer, ordering an expensive piece of wall décor sight unseen, I know I would feel much better knowing that if it didn’t meet my expectations, I had the option of sending it back.
I have had very, very few unsatisfied customers, thankfully, but if I do get a message from a not-so-happy customer, I handle it immediately and do my absolute best to resolve it to the customer’s satisfaction.
I’m an old school seller, and the customer is always right.
Find Teri James Photography online at:
Etsy shop: www.terijames.com
If you've ever shopped for anything online, you've probably seen messages that say "only one left". Does this mean that there really is only one of that thing left? Or is it just a trick to try to...
It doesn't happen very often, but every now and then, you'll buy something on Etsy and then realize that the shop is closed after you've purchased from them. How should you handle this situation?...