OrangeTwig featured seller: Doug Hill

OrangeTwig featured seller: Doug Hill

OrangeTwig featured seller: Doug Hill from EdgewaterWW.

What do you make?  
– Custom handcrafted wooden Shaving Razor Handles and Shaving Kits.

When did you join Etsy?
– October 2012 as a test. The grand opening of shop was July 2013.

Do you sell anywhere else?
– In local stores that sell Made in Colorado items. Also in Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs.

Full time / part time / hobbyist?
– Part time.

Your favorite item in your shop right now? 
– My Denver Broncos Shaving Set.

Denver broncos shaving setOther than your own, your favorite shop on Etsy?
– KarenHoglund. I love dogs and her photos are funny.

What would a book about you be called?
– The Geek with a Splinter (The Tale of a Computer Geek Woodturner)

 

ABOUT YOU

How did you get started?
– I saw a late night infomercial about making pens on a lathe and said to myself – “I’m making handmade Christmas Gifts this year”. Within a week I had all that I needed to start making Pens and Bottle Stoppers.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
– Live Local Bands and being the Youth Mentor for my turning Club.

youth-mentorSomething we’d be surprised to know about you?
– I use to be a Band Manager, while also working full time as a Senior Systems Engineer.

 

YOUR SHOP

Tell us about your first sale.
– The girl next door was my first buyer.  She needed a gift for a house warming party and purchased a Wine Bottle Stopper from me. She also introduced me to Etsy. We were both doing yard work when I showed her a few of my new wood turnings. She said “Your things are great! You should sell online”. Two hours later I had a Etsy store.

 

wine bottle stopper on Etsy

What are your goals for your shop?
– The competition for pens, bottle stoppers etc is high, so I’d like to convert my shop to a Men’s Shaving store specializing in high-end Shaving Kits, 4 piece Razor Sets, Shaving Brushes, and Stand and Bowl Sets with Soaps from a local Etsy Partner.

 

Bethlehem Olive Wood set

YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A SELLER

What is your biggest challenge as a seller?
– Finding the time to work in my wood shop. Woodturning is not a craft that you can do while sitting in the house and watching TV.

In summer it’s too hot in the woodshop to work during the day, so I can only work at night. In winter, I have to wait for the heater to warm up the shop as you can’t work with a jacket on. So the weather really affects productivity.

handcrafting wood

What inspires you?
– I’m inspired to make creative gifts that are functional and that people will love to use. I want them to last a lifetime.

I dream that one day my Custom Razors will be handed down from Father to Son as family heirlooms, like the Razors that I have from my Father and Grandfather.

Who inspires you? 
– All the members of my Woodturning Club and the kids that I mentor in Woodturning. They are so happy and excited to make things!

 

Great photos help sell online

What is your creative process?
– My creative process is not the same as say someone who paints since I make the same item over and over again. I do hand pick each piece of wood for the best grain (patterns) and then work the wood to show that off. I make sure that the best part of the wood is the first thing you see when you pick up the item so that you’re in awe of the beauty of the wood.

If you pick-up one of my Custom Razors and say “look at this wood” and not “look at this razor” then I have succeeded.

 

TIPS FOR NEW SELLERS

Tip for new sellers

Any tips on pricing your products?
– Pricing – that’s a hard one. My philosophy is to check the competition and price my item in the middle of the price range. Pricing too low may make my products look cheap, and my shop is not yet well known enough for me to price on the higher side.

Any tips on photography?
– Ideally, use daylight. Studio lights are okay if you have to, but never use a flash.

I try to light my item with natural sunlight, center the product in the frame and take multiple photos from different angles with a crisp white background.

Learn your camera inside and out – setting the camera up right means you don’t have to spend time editing your photo later.

 

MARKETING

How do you market your shop?
– I have a Facebook page with the OrangeTwig app. By posting new items to Facebook and OrangeTwig, I get customers to my Etsy Store. I’m also active on Twitter, Pinterest and I’m working on my blog.

What are your thoughts about / experience with the OrangeTwig app?
– I applied OrangeTwig over a year ago and have had no problems. It has an easy setup and a great layout that shows off my Etsy items. I recommend it on the Etsy forums and I get many thank you replies from happy new Etsians.

OrangeTwig featured seller: Doug Hill from EdgewaterWW.