I am a big fan of the “shabby chic” styling, and this week I am happy to interview Gina, the owner of The Shabby Chic Cottage on Etsy. Let’s get to know how she got started in the business and managed to be a success.
What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
I love cottage style, and my blog began before my shop, and it was the name that I chose for my blog.
How old is your shop?
nearly 9 months old. It seems like just yesterday I opened – it’s a whirlwind!
What inspired you to start your own home business?
My blog readers. I started my blog to share the adventures of remodeling my childhood home on a shoestring budget. My readers kept asking if I was going to open a shop. Three months after opening, I was able to quit my day job. It’s been a complete blessing!
Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?
First I scour thrift shops, vintage shops, wholesale sources and everywhere possible to find materials that I love for the very best price. I don’t always know what I’m going to do with them, but I buy things I love and that inspire me. I let them sit and basically tell me what to do. I might be inspired by a pretty fabric or color – but I just let it flow.
What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?
Finding my niche. I blogged for 2 years on a different blog before moving to where I am now. I found that my favorite things to post about was home decorating. Once that was all sorted, the shop is just full of things I love to decorate with. If I don’t adore it, then it’s not in my shop.
How did you get over it?
Time. Lots of time 🙂
the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop . . .
ummm… I’m never not busy. I work from 5 a.m until 11 p.m. – then get up and do it again. When I take a break, I love watching TV – Dinozzo time (NCIS) cures everything!
stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without. . .
my cell phone, wallet & Clinique lip gloss
your favorite shops . . .
I adore so many shops! Sadie Olive has a gorgeous collection – but I also love tactile, usable things like the aprons from Make Mine Beautiful
your top 3 favorite picks from your shop. . .
My new starfish garland is my latest crush, but I love the beadboard birds & French Script curtains (that’s what I have in my own kitchen).
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
If you don’t love it, don’t do it. I live, breathe, eat & sleep work. If you get to the level where you can quit your day job then you probably will, too. Also, to paraphrase my favorite quote “This above all to thine own self be true.” Willie was always a smart fellow! Know yourself – know what you love – if you love it and believe in it, then it will be a joy!
Any message to your customers and the people who support you?
I love my customers & my readers (many of which are both). You seriously rock my world! My family is constantly helping me, and without them I’d be crying in a corner somewhere from being overwhelmed. There are way too many wonderful folks to thank, but if you know me, you know that I’m one big ball of sunshiny love!
Thanks very much Gina!