Take 5 – This Old Hen House

I found fabulous Etsy store, This Old Hen House, through her PIF (pay it forward) listing for some beautiful gift tags. I loved Amanda’s idea which only charged the listing fee and shipping for the product and encouraged the buyer to, well, pay it forward! I just knew that I had to interview her for a Take 5.

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I started my business in October of 2007 fueled by a love of writing and some previous freelance poetry and self-essay work.  Every time I sat down to write I was feeling less than inspired when I began to scribble in my ordinary journal and sought out to fix that problem.  I’ve been scrapbooking since the birth of my 5 year old son and creating altered books and other sorts of paper goodies just came naturally to me.  And more importantly, its fun and uplifting, as though somehow my journals are also sparking the creativity of the great minds of the world.

I’ve also been collecting beads ever since I could remember. Much like my cat, I’m attracted to pretty, shiny things.   That love hatched my sister shop, TwistThis22501. There, and at my This Old Hen House Etsy shop, I sell affordable, stylish artisan jewelry.  Being chic and unique shouldn’t cost a fortune, and with my jewelry I hope that everyone can find their girlie sides and flaunt it!

This Old Hen House 2

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

Within a year I’d really love to build myself a larger clientele and advertise more.  Mainly, though, I want to get myself a bit more organized when it comes to building my businesses and raising 2 rowdy little boys.  Twenty-four hours in one day just are not enough!  Just as long as the wheels keep turning and I keep on creating new things I’m happy.  In five years….wow, its hard to think about what’s going on five days from now, let alone years.  I just want to keep on being happy and enjoying what I’m doing.

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in starting your business, what would it be?

I think maybe I would have re-thought my name a bit and took the time to talk to talk to other Etsy sellers about the do’s and don’t’s of sucessful selling.  It was a lot of trial and error in the beginning.  But I think I’m in a nice niche now.

This Old Hen House 1

What is a typical day in the office like for you?

It involves a zillion interruptions by a sweet, but needy 1 year old, a bright, but demanding 5 year old, a little white fuzz ball kitty!  It’s very seldom quiet here!  I’m a stay at home mom, with a trillion personal interests and finding the time to devote to all of them gets hard.  My workspace is wonderful, and filled with tons of inspirational pictures, quotes, and art.  It’s a hodgepodge of papers and beads and its a bright and a fun space, perfect for creating.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

Trial and error is your best friend.  You’ll never know how well something will be received unless you try it.  Let your creativity flow and don’t ever be afraid to try something new. 

There is a very fine line between having patience while trying to start a successful business and being an agressive seller and you have to find it and maintain your sanity and sense of self-worth.  Its very easy to get discouraged by the number of sales you are making or not making, but as long as you are staying true to what you love and enjoying your time doing it, then you are sucessful. And most importantly, have fun!

For more information on This Old Hen House, check out the shop and the blog!

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One Response

  1. Great interview! I love This Old Hen House and read her blog frequently, and it was nice seeing some more behind the scenes! Awesome jewelry, too!

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