As part of an ongoing series, we will ask all of our team members to answer 10 questions about themselves and their shops. This way, we’ll get to know one another a little bit better and perhaps pick up a great tip or two! I will personally aim to post these out every Wednesday around noon, so look out for some questions in your inbox and the posts to appear here. For those amongst you who are shy – don’t worry. It’s not compulsory to take part, nor do you have to send in any pictures if you don’t want to.
To kick us off, I asked our lovely Team Captain Louise to answer our questions first.
1. What’s your name?
2. What’s your shop name?
3. How did you choose your shop name?
I was living in London at the time of opening my shop, and I thought to myself how much the London Eye looked like a spinning wheel every time I went past it on the train! I used to take my fold up wheel back and forwards across London as I commuted to my Textile Degree course at Chelsea College of Art and Design – it felt like a Spin City to me!
4. What do you sell?
I sell handspun yarns, luxury fibres for Spinning and Felting, unique resin drop spindles and kits for spinning and dyeing.
5. How did you decide to do this?
It was a natural progression for me after studying Textiles at University. At Chelsea, they really encouraged you to experiment and research ancient techniques and make them relevant and exciting for today. I specialized in knitwear and I really wanted a specific kind of chunky wool yarn, which I couldn’t afford on my student budget, so I decided to spin my own! I was given a fleece from the local city farm which I dyed in my bath, carded and spun. Eventually I was spinning more than I could knit so Spin City was born!
6. What do you love most about your products?
I love how you can turn piles of sparkly fluff into gorgeous squishable balls of yarn! It’s like magic!
7. Which of your products are bestselling or most popular?
People love my Learn To Spin kits. I think there are a lot of knitters out there who are interested in how a yarn is made- and just imagine how satisfying it is to spin your own yarn, and then knit it!
8. What were your biggest challenges in opening / running an online shop?
It’s been a real journey and I have learnt a lot. I think time management has been my biggest challenge as I do everything myself- from visiting the farms, washing, carding, dyeing and blending the fibres, pouring resin, taking photographs, writing descriptions and replying to emails. That’s a lot of different processes and you almost need several different heads to be able to manage them all!
9. What are your wishes for your shop – are there products you’d like to add or any favourite shops whose success you’d like to achieve?
For ages now I’ve been thinking about adding a new twist on my drop spindle kits where you can have Resin spindles and themed fibres.
10. What would be your golden tip for opening and running an Etsy Shop? And you cannot say having great pictures!
I think the online market is expanding rapidly and you have to be able to stand out from the crowd. Taking the time to learn about online marketing strategies like SEO (search engine optimization) has really helped me. Essentially- you need to be able to market your product in the way a customer might search for it. For example, I always used to name my fibre blends with these imaginative names like “Buttercup Martini” but people who want to buy wool for spinning aren’t necessarily going to be searching for that! What they want is an item named “Spinning fibre!” It sounds obvious but being very clear about what you are selling is the first step in getting your item seen.