The ducky in this shop is lovely. I am considering to buy the Santa Claus duck as Christmas gift for my husband ^^
1. What is your shop name ?
My official business name is Sweet Lollipop Shop, however I have 4 stores currently on etsy, DuckySoaps, SweetLollipopShop, BodyBeautiful and Kinky.
2. Can you introduce a little bit about yourself and what you make ?
Well, my name is Louise although I am nicknamed by most people that know me 'Louissa'. I was born in the United Kingdom and have lived here in the United States now for 5 years. I'm married to a fantastic guy who is awesome at making anything out of wood which is very handy when you have as many hobbies as I do and need storage, and I have 4 great kids aged between 9 and 18, my oldest two both being in the military here and in the UK. I began making candy approximately 4 years ago and then began making soaps seriously about a year later. I love creating for children most of all and seeing the reactions on their faces when they see what I create for them, there's something really special about watching a childs face just totally light up with a smile. Having 3 daughters, the younger two also being very artistic we love to make things together and they are definately my drive and my inspiration and both love to help out.
3. What is your shop URL ?
We have a few:
http://sweetlollipopshop.etsy.com (crystal barley candy lollipops and jewels)
http://duckysoaps.etsy.com (ducky and animal soaps)
http://bodybeautiful.etsy.com (a little bit of everything)
4. When did you start selling handmade ?
I officially opened Sweet Lollipop Shop in November 2006
5. How did you start selling handmade ?
My husband and I purchased our first home together in 2005 with the intention of us both working full time, however shortly after I was diagnosed with a chronic health issue that made it impossible to work outside the home, so we decided to sell the house the following year and move somewhere a little smaller and more affordable until my health improved which unfortunately didn't happen. I still really wanted to feel that I could contribute financially as I've always been stubbornly independent. A close friend suggested I should be making the candy I made at holidays for get togethers and selling them at craft shows and online because she thought they were so unique and that other people would actually buy them and enjoy them. I did my research and once I realised how popular handmade had become and then I found etsy, my creative juices were totally sparked and I began going off in all different directions, taking every hobby I'd ever enjoyed or been tempted to try and went a little crazy with it.
6. Why do you like crafting ?
I love to create and I get bored very easily so enjoy doing multiple different crafts especially ones that I can do with my children, sometimes I think I have the mind of a 5 year old but maybe that's just the kid in me! Being able to make something and see the positive reactions of others when they eat it or use it has to be one of the most rewarding experiences and just makes you want to keep on creating more and more. Also being lucky enough to work from home, be my own boss, set my own hours and do something that the whole family can enjoy together is amazingly fun. I honestly wish I could just do nothing but simply create 24/7 and the magic listing and packaging fairy would do all the administrative and cleaning up after me, who knows maybe one day when I'm rich and famous!
7. What is your favorite product in your shop ?
Oh my gosh, I don't think I have an absolute favorite but I do think my elephant ducky soap is the most adorable of my ducky soaps. I couldn't think of a color scheme I was happy with for so long and I felt that grey would look dull and icky as a soap color, so was pleasantly surprised when I tried it as the base color with the pink and clear and now I totally love it. My favorite candy currently is the peppermint flavored crystal candy jewels, they're perfectly bite sized and have just the right amount of delicate minty flavor and no nasty preservatives!
8. Do you sell offline ? If yes, where ?
For the last 2 years the whole family has taken part in local craft shows including NH Made Try It and Buy It Expo, and we also now have our products in a couple of stores, the most recent being Freetown Yankee Market in Raymond, NH.
9. Do you buy handmade ? What are your favorite stores ?
I love to buy handmade, I have purchased so many things for my girls in particular including jewelry, cupcakes in a jar, unique cuddly bears and I love doing trades, especially around the holidays. I have tons of favorite stores, a few of them include britishcreamtea, pandys, Boodlebub and my favorite jewelry creator BonnyJewelry whom I just purchased a gorgeous triple heart necklace for my daughter for Christmas from.
10. Any interesting things about your shop you would like to share ?
I currently have over 160 animal & ducky soaps listed in my ducky soaps store and I still have at least that many I haven't even managed to get listed yet! I also was lucky enough to become part of The Little Black Boxes (http://www.thelittleblackboxes.com), which are a great way for indie artists to get their creations out there and let the world see they exist whilst providing a great box of goodies every month on sale for everyone that loves to buy handmade!