It’s “Do You Know” Tuesday and today I am featuring Lianna from Salem Style. Lianna and I partnered up through Etsy to help each other prepare our shops for the holiday season. For those of you just starting out on Etsy, I highly recommend a buddy to bounce new ideas, review your listings and just get some feedback on your site. Having someone to talk about to our Etsy businesses has been extremely helpful!
Anyway, get to know Salem Style and definitely go check out her very fashionable and fun to wear, crocheted items.
My Style Workshop: Why did you start crocheting your own line, Salem Style? And how long have you been in business?
Salem Style: Salem Style was created during the holiday season. It all started because I wanted to make a hat for my boyfriend for Christmas. I had been crocheting scarves and other basic things for years and wanted to learn how to make other things. I wore one of my own hats that I made as a trial and everyone asked where I could get one and how much they were. That was when I was like, “hey, I could sell these!” Salem Style has been in Business since December 28th 2011, almost hitting one year!
Don’t you want one too?
MSW: What’s the best part of owning your own business?
SS: I turned something I love into something more than I have ever thought it would be. It’s such an accomplishment to have made a brand from a ball of yarn. The best part is being able to share your work with everyone. I was laid off from my day job a few months after I started the brand. I was telling people I was unemployed when a friend said, “You’re not unemployed, you own your own business”. Her pointing that out made me feel amazing.
MSW: What items were you excited to add to your Etsy shop recently?
SS: It’s a tie between boot cuffs and chunky infinity scarves. They’re both just really fun accessories that you just want to cozy up in.
Very cool…and very on trend! Why would you try to stuff your jeans into a sock and then in to a boot?
MSW: Where else can we find Salem Style?
SS: Salem Style is sold in two stores as well as online. two girls shop in Salem MA as well as Plum Consignment in Beverly MA. Both of these shops have a young, urban, eclectic vibe that I am in love with.
MSW: What makes your items so appealing to Salem Style customers?
SS: I think it’s because they are handmade and trendy, yet affordable. So many people think of crochet as “grandma’s hobby” but Salem Style is fun and young. It helps that I am a real person, not a big box brand. I stand behind my work and I want my customers to feel that whatever item they purchase is special, because it is. I take my time making everything to make sure it’s great quality. I also like to stay with the current trends in fashion.
Cozy up in an infinity scarf!
MSW: Are there other designers in needlecraft that you admire?
SS: I like Vickie Howell. Her designs are really fun. I have often made myself items from her designs to teach myself new techniques. I was actually struggling with one design and I made a comment, she actually responded herself to help me, which I thought was great.
MSW: Is there any one item that you love to make the most? Why?
SS: Slouchy hats! There are a ton of fun to make and I love just playing around with the shapes and sizes of them. Maybe it’s just because I love wearing them too 🙂
I agree…sloouchy hats are fun!
MSW: For our other crafters out there trying to get their name out there…how and where do you advertise?
SS: I do most of my own advertising. I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Wanelo, you name it. These ways of advertising require a lot of knowledge though. I often read social media and technology blogs to keep up with the industry. My sister used to do social media for a retail company, so her advice and tips have been incredibly helpful. She had me on Pinterest before it became a household name. I haven’t taken any yet, but it’s something I am going to do after the holidays. Social media and self advertising is a whole element on its own that takes lots of time.
MSW: What tips to you have for other crafters that want to start a business?
SS: Never stop learning and don’t worry if it’s not right at first. It’s also about way more than the item that you craft as well. Your item may be beautiful, but you have to be seen! When I opened my shop, I had terrible pictures and I was like, “Why isn’t anyone looking?” Well these photos were incredibly dark, I had no descriptions, and I wasn’t putting myself out there. I read the Etsy handbooks, but even then that wasn’t enough. I googled photography tips and I sat down with my camera for several hours until I knew what every button on my camera did. I downloaded 3 photo editing apps. And then there is everything I just mentioned about advertising. Understanding the whole picture is important, but it takes a while to get there.
MSW: Ok…it is a style blog so…What fashion trends are you loving this Fall?
SS: Oxblood! I have forever been in love with the color and I like seeing it everywhere. Another trend I am glad to see back are bomber jackets. I have one that I bought a few years ago from Bluefly.com that I am obsessed with. It gives any outfit just a little edge. Pair it with jeans and ankle booties and good to go!
Get in on the big color trend this season…oxblood!
MSW: What’s next for Salem Style?
SS: Children’s hats. There are so many requests for child versions of hats that I already make. I want to make more varieties of everything that I already make. I want to focus more on marketing as well and really put Salem Style out there. I want to focus on my customers and what their wants are. Salem Style will have more faces behind the brand and modeling the hats and scarves.
For more Salem Style: