Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Wonderful World of Etsy

    I am no Etsy newbie. If you've never visited their site, I suggest you do. There are so many creative, handmade items at your fingertips in this "Wonderful World of Geniusness". I have to admit, I have spent probably more hours browsing through pages and pages on Etsy than I have on Pinterest and my friends, that means I am on there a lot.

     When I first started out as an Etsy virgin, I had a big dream about becoming one of the big sellers I so frequently ooo-ed and aaa-ed over. But let's face it. I had no idea what I was doing (who says I know what I'm doing now?), or the drive to be a blip on anyone's radar. My first shop was Topsy Turvy Treasures. Cute, but I never loved it. Honestly, I don't even think I posted a single thing while I had this name.  So much for that crazy dream.
     My next try was The Clover and the Bee. The minute I thought of it, I felt inspired! For those of you who are married, it was that "This is the dress!" moment. I was excited and ready to begin coming up with a brand, a catchy slogan, page after page of beautiful items and yet...I never quite made it to that point. I posted a few things here and there, but never gave my shop the attention it deserved to be successful. I didn't do anything to advertise except tell my friends. I had more success creating custom orders for friends and family by word of mouth than I did online. Embarrassingly enough, at one point I had something listed on my shop and completely forgot about it and ended up giving it away as a baby shower gift. A few weeks letter I received a notification that it had sold and I had nothing to send to that poor women! Embarrassed, I refunded her, apologized profusely and made a vow that from there on out, I would put some time and effort in to what makes me the most happy; creating. After that little mishap with an item that didn't exist, I felt I needed a fresh start, a new identity, a new "brand".
     I began the search for a name that embodied the surroundings I loved and the easy lifestyle they represented. My mom, my girl friends and I went around and around for weeks trying to come up with the perfect name.

      After being hit with family troubles, we put the name search on hold. Fast forward a month and half, and I'm sitting at the computer once again jotting down possibilities, my online thesaurus pulling up words, and me, Facebook messaging my mom my suggestions in the other room (yes, pathetic but you've all done it!). Finally, I got frustrated and moved on to another task. A little while later she yells for me and blurts out "Forest and Sea!". 

     I was a little taken aback, mostly because of the simplicity. I had been trying for weeks to come up with something this good and I didn't have the brain power! I rushed back to the computer to see if the name was taken, and unfortunately, it was. I couldn't get the combination out of my head. I knew there had to be some way to make it work. I'm sure I looked like a crazy person as I typed it in not once, not twice, but three times with the hope that the webpage was glitching out, and my name could truly be mine.
     I stared blankly at the screen for a while, and for some reason, I couldn't get the word "creative" out of my head. I wasn't sure what the draw was to this one word. Nothing else had the right ring to it in my mind when combined with Forest and Sea. So I slowly typed it in the box on Etsy, and held my breath. And thus, Forest and Sea Creative was born. I've come to realize that as cliche as it is, creative embodies who I am. It's a word I've had many people use to describe me and what I do, and I've always brushed it off. But it's who I am. I hear it and it makes me smile because I've realized that, you know what? They were right! And it's okay to own that and be proud of that and hey, maybe even flaunt it a little.

     With a lot of hard work, I have managed to pull together a shop that is a still a work in progress, but is getting where I want it to be. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind; whipping up as many items as I can, taking photos in between the massive and uncommon rainstorms we've been experiencing in SoCal, and posting them to my new, shiny shop. I am proud of what I've accomplished so far, and I am still learning the ways of the online market (thank you Etsy seller handbook!), but I know I will get to where I want to be. My dream is to have a brick and mortar shop, but for now I am content with my tiny space in the cyber world. And while that dream may be way down the road, for now I can make the best, the absolute best out of what I have now.

     Now for some bragging. Here are two of my favorite, and also my most popular "word of mouth" items that are currently listed on my shop ( Stop by to see what else I've got going on! I've unintentionally come up with a color scheme for the shop. Can you figure it out?

Light gray infinity scarf
      A friend of mine bought a scarf from me earlier this year. He loved it so much, he traded me a big screen t.v. for scarves for his whole family! Win-win situation there!

Wire wrapped bird nest necklace
     My bird nest jewelry has been my most popular item. I've done rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Last Christmas, a friend of mine bought matching rings and necklaces for her and her sisters. So sweet!

     I would love for you to check out the shop and if you have ideas for a custom order, I am always willing to hear suggestions! Thank you for joining me on this new stage in my life!


  1. I am so, so, sooo happy for you, Tessa! :) I can tell you're happy, and that makes me happier than words can describe. :) I know God is going to bless you and this new venture, because you're right--He created you to be creative! You go ahead and flaunt it, girl, because when you do, your gift(s) gives the Creator glory and make Him smile! :) (Not to mention you're just plain good. You can't flaunt it if you don't got it!)

    I love "The Forest and the Sea Creative" name too, and totally know what you meant by the "this is the one!" feeling. Same thing happened for me with The Mercy Crown. :) And trust me--my blog went through a LOT of changes too. The very first one was called "Poetry in Motion." (Ew, lol.)

    So excited for you, and praying for you as you go on this new adventure! Hope you know that you'll always have a supporter and fan in me. :)

    1. Aww, thanks Lizzie! You've always been such an encouragement and I was thinking of you when I wrote that part about being creative. I was sitting here tossing that word around in my head and I kept thinking "I think Lizzie would like this....". So funny! It's always going to be a work in progress, but that's half the fun I've realized!

  2. I'm SO happy to see you investing time in your gifts, Tessa. I'm really excited to see where the journey of Forest and Sea Creative leads you!