OrangeTwig featured seller: Alexandra Nicole Newton
Today’s featured seller: Alexandra Nicole Newton from ArtbyAlexandraNicole.
What do you make?
Nature inspired paintings, giclee prints, and notecards.
Best compliment you ever received?
Someone told me they could see my personality in my artwork: colorful, whimsical, and fun!
One tip you’d like to give a new seller?
Good quality, well-staged pictures are incredibly important for a professional look!
Your favorite item in your shop right now?
My elephant zentangle prints.
When did you join Etsy?
Do you sell anywhere else?
Full time / part time / hobbyist?
Part time painter, full time wildlife biologist.
Other than your own, your favorite shop on Etsy?
I love Dean Crouser’s shop, his watercolors are so inspiring.
What would a book about you be called?
Nature Girl (There was a time in elementary school when I would only answer to this name.)
How did you get started?
When I entered 2nd grade, I started taking weekly art lessons with a local artist, Dorothy McClain. I was never athletically inclined; I was the kid picking flowers in the field instead of catching the baseball. So art became my “sport”, something I looked forward to every week. I would have gone every day if my parents let me!
Later I graduated with a degree from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (University of Georgia), double majoring in Wildlife Biology and Fisheries Science. But I never let go of my art.
A year ago my mother decided to make a Facebook group to post my paintings, just to share with friends and family. At first I was embarrassed and then I was surprised when it began to generate interest and I actually made a few sales! I can hardly believe it but less than a year later we are a real deal business!!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Any kind of outdoor activities, I try to take advantage of living 5 minutes from the beach!
My favorite time to be on the beach is around sunrise or sunset when I can jog, ride my bike, or do yoga. I absolutely love fishing and will take any chance to spend time on the water either in a boat or a kayak. I also enjoy hiking and scuba diving.
Something we’d be surprised to know about you?
I frequently work out at a boxing and MMA gym. There’s nothing like hitting on the heavy bag to get motivated for the day!
Tell us about your first sale.
My first sale was a box of my blue crab, linen note cards. I was so excited I was dancing around the kitchen! My Georgia blue crab continues to be a top seller both online and at shows.
What are your goals for your shop?
We’ve been takings things slow and there’s a lot to learn about managing a shop, from shipping difficulties to search engine optimization!
I’m really proud of where we are at the moment, but I think averaging 3 orders a week would be a great milestone for my shop. I also hope in the future to offer more original art on Etsy as well as some of my driftwood sculptures.
YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A SELLER
What is your biggest challenge as a seller?
I think the biggest challenge for anyone new to the online market place is just trying to get noticed. Etsy is a huge market place and it can be intimidating to try and stand out.
Learning about social media marketing has definitely been a game changer for my shop.
What is the best thing you did for your Etsy shop?
The best thing we did and are still doing is constantly reorganizing and using new tags on items in our shop. This helps us learn what does and doesn’t work.
How do you market your shop?
Social media is key. I post things at least once a day on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. The more eyes you get on your product the better! It only takes one person to share your link and BOOM you are in front of a whole new network of people.
TIP: With every order we also send a sample pack of two of my coastal notecards and a hand written thank you note!
What are your thoughts about / experience with the OrangeTwig app?
It has provided a beautiful storefront available to all my followers on my Facebook page. OrangeTwig makes it easy to run a sale and make announcements; we are very impressed with how user friendly it is.
We would highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to find a way to smoothly link Facebook and Etsy.
What inspires you?
My hometown, St. Simons Island, is where I spent my childhood surrounded by rivers, marshlands, and beaches. Naturally I draw inspiration from these places and the wildlife that inhabit there: sea turtles, starfish, crabs, etc.
Besides the outward beauty of these places, I am equally impressed by the beauty of the ecosystem, by the role that each and every animal or plant fulfills without even knowing it. With my background as a wildlife biologist I feel like I can fully appreciate even the things others might consider mundane such as the flounder and the fiddler crab.
Who inspires you?
My Mom. I couldn’t do it without her; she is my full time sidekick and partner in crime (I call her my “mom”ager).
I was so skeptical at first, “Like what? People really want to buy my art?” But she has always believed in me and I definitely wouldn’t be here without her cheering me on.
What is your creative process?
I try not to make much of a process about anything, my paintings start out as a vague idea or emotion with at most a basic sketch. The more I try to plan out and set up a painting, the harder it can be to start.
Staring at a blank canvas can be intimidating so my policy is just to jump in, start painting, and see where the colors take me.