I have a compulsion to pronounce names, I can't just read 5erg without trying to say it - so let's meet Surge (sorry!) of 5erg.etsy.com. According to her profile she's Silja, but she'll always be Surge to me ;-) The shop's tagline is "If it makes you smile, it's worth it", which probably tells us how this interview is going to turn out...
Cats or dogs?
Black cats! And brooms, while I am at it.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
What? I thought it was the same thing :D
*philistine* (spits nifty)
Fruit or chocolate?
Chocolate with caramel. And whipped cream with chocolate. And pizza with meat and cheese. And then some oranges please.
I like color combinations. Lilac and black. Claret and moss. Purple and lime. Gray and yellow. Gray and any bright color.
Smashed potatoes with pickled cucumbers and sour cream.
Blood sausage with cowberry jam.
As you see, I am totally useless when I have to choose only one thing.
City break or weekend in the country?
Weekend in the country. But in a very very modern house. And no wasp hives in the toilet. That would be the best.
Soaps or documentaries?
MP3 player with some great rock music.
Bath or shower?
Depends how rusty or how full of chlorine the water is. If it is very rusty, then definitely bath - you get a nice fake tan. And Chlorine water gives you great chemical factory scent, which can be put on with both bath and shower. So, it is all good.
What brought you to Etsy? Tell us about your shop. Do you sell anywhere else?
I have many different things is my shop. Needle felted mermaids for example and other felt items. Little oil paintings in ACEO format. I also list some bead jewelry. Currently I have some greeting cards and fridge magnets with my paintings printed on them too.
I like to look around in tiny handicraft shops and find different items, so I thought I might do a shop that felt a little like that. Maybe one day I will stick with one or two type of things only.
Of all the online selling venues, Etsy looked simplest. And it loaded faster. I don't have any other shops, only this one http://5erg.etsy.com. I also keep a blog at www.5erg.com. I post photos of crafts, nature and people in Estonia and sometimes write about random topics.
What’s the favourite item you’ve made so far?
This mermaid: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22712979
She has attitude!
What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far?
White background listings are chosen for treasuries way less times than images with regular backgrounds. At least it is this way with my stuff. Also, freebies are kind of useless. Some people enjoy them, but as it appears really most of people just throw free gifts away. But I still sometimes pack something along with some orders, but not regularly.
If you could start again, is there anything you’d do differently?
Sometimes I have thought about making a new account with more regular name. Like just 'Mermaids" for example. Or "OilACEO". But I think 5erg is just fine too. I think it started like it had to, you have to do some mistakes to understand why and what you should do differently in the future.
How do you see your store developing?
At some point I though I will try to keep my listings number the same as my sales number. But I was busy with school for a while and couldn't keep up.
What I am doing always is trying to take better photos. I haven't built a light box yet, so I just try to wait for a sunny day or gather all my lamps in one place.
I don't see my shop being any different in the future, I think the size is OK now. I only have to work on details.
What have you been doing today that I’ve interrupted?
This is not the norm, but I was I was cleaning and re-organizing my room. In between I was reading about Argentina. And that is all :D
What’s your top marketing tip for today?
If you have come to conclusion about something and you keep doing the same thing you think is the best but have forgotten why you are doing it, then think it over.
Thanks "Surge" ;-)