Extending Family Traditions: Etsy Profile on Lizzy’s Biz
Cross-generational stories can be hard to come by today, particularly in the digital space. This makes coming across such a story on Etsy a unique treat. One of the beautiful advantages of Etsy stems from the ability to paint the beautiful details into of each store’s story.
One small apron shop paints an incredible three-generational history into their store profile.
Elizabeth, or “Lizzy” for short, was an amazing German cook always adorned in an apron. Her six beautiful daughters could easily tell the difference between her aprons as she had her good ones she wore for company and her everyday ones. After losing her husband, Lizzy took to sewing clothes for her girls.
One of the girls, Diane remembers playing underneath Lizzy’s a quilting frame while growing up.
Years later Diane followed in her mother’s footsteps developing an incredible passion for sewing. She passed the art down to her daughter, Missy. When Diane’s grandchildren arrived, she did what any good grandma would; she spoiled them with vibrant handcrafted clothing, quilts, aprons, PJ’s and much more.
Family friends took notice, eagerly requesting orders. Missy encouraged Diane to open a store. Celebrating their rich family history in the craft, this mother and daughter team named their store after the family matron. Lizzy’s Biz launched on Etsy.
That was in 2008. Since then this adorable Etsy store has been delighting raving fans around the world with their handcrafted aprons, pillow, and towels.
I connected with Diane to hear more about her success and dig into the secret behind this thriving store.
My revenue varies drastically month to month. Orders are consistent, which typically results in over $1,0000 a month. There’s really not a slow time of year.
Last month was $2,000 where as this month I am nearing $6,000. That’s quite exciting as I was closed for six weeks for our yearly Hawaii trip.
How Many Hours Do you Put into Your Store a Week?
Starting out, I would sew approximately 30 hours a week. Today it varies by how many orders I have. I always try to build my inventory, but it is a rarity that I don’t have orders on my table.
The busy season, Christmas and Mother’s Day, can bring 10-12 hour workdays, sometimes as many as 7 days a week. The past two years I have had to close my shop around Thanksgiving due to the high volume of orders. There’s always that “rush” purchase I want to ensure I get out on time.
What Makes Your Products Stand Out
I am a perfectionist sewer. I treat every apron, pillow, towel or product that I create like it is my first. I give it the precise sewing it deserves. I have a very high bar for quality of workmanship.
I pair this attentive handcrafting with quality fabrics in fun prints. If a customer is unsure of what they want, I make sure to work with them. Add in quick shipping and the entire shopping experience is a good one. I have many repeat customers.
It’s all about customer service!
Comments come back hailing my “attention to detail.” Knowing that someone is appreciating my work makes it all worthwhile.
My daughter (Missy) is the one who thought we should open a shop and sell aprons. We did!
She is a very creative person and great at putting together what is trendy and looks good. I am the perfectionist sewer. Since we started, I narrowed our product line down to four designs and have continued in that direction. Adding personalization has become very popular.
Etsy was the only available site available at that time we started. It has treated me well.
I do have a Lizzy’s Biz Facebook page. Between that page and word of mouth, I get a lot of local orders. Referrals are big as well. Friends and family of my customers are directed to my store or to me directly.
I never had a challenge getting orders. They have pretty much been continuous since the beginning. Sometimes they come in larger batches, which keeps me busy!
I had one purchase of 90 aprons for a sorority in Tennessee. They’ve been on Cupcake Wars, and I’m working on a second order for the show. One order of 30 headed off to Saudi Arabia. One author purchased aprons for all of her helpers on a book she wrote for housewives.
To be honest, I’m surprised at the number of international orders. They’ve gone everywhere from Canada to Australia, to Guam, to Hong Kong, to Japan and more. I’ve almost hit every state in the United States as well.
Note: Diane was one of the early adopters on Etsy. Many newer stores describe working much more diligently to start gaining similar momentum. Check out Matt and Alyssa’s story for a success story from a more recently opened Etsy store.
Marketing Your Store
I don’t do anything special. The photos are taken from my camera. I make sure the descriptions are accurate. I focus on providing great customer service.
When I hear the cha-ching, I send the new customer a thank you message almost immediately. If they want it personalized, I reiterate the name. Here I outline when they can expect their package. When my package is ready to ship, I wrap it in a polka dot tissue paper, add a handwritten note thanking them and ask if they would leave feedback when their package arrives.