Hi Amanda! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Manda Ciza and I own The Feltery. I am currently in Upstate New York with my 3 cats Bijou, Charlie, and Rascal. The Feltery specializes in handmade/handsewn plushes.
Can you tell us 3 fun facts about yourself?Three fun and interesting facts about myself would be.... I'm a lefty. I love bacon. I love gaming!
When and how did you get started in your small business?I originally started sewing as a hobby after I became sick for about a year in 2010 and didn't start selling until Feb of 2011. Around that time I was sewing very basic things that didn't have as much detail and my plushies do today.
Do you have a day job on top of your business? How do you juggle both?This is my job, and its a tough one. Trying to keep any small business a float is very, VERY time consuming and you have to put yourself 100% into it.
What was the hardest thing about starting your business?The hardest part would have to be getting your name out there. If your not building some kind of audience it will be very hard to keep your business going.
What's the best thing about being a small business owner?The best thing about having your own business would be the fact that you can let your imagination go wild. Especially being a plushie maker there is endless possibilities.
What is a typical day like for you?A typical day for me would be waking up and looking at my list of work (I write down a list of my orders and update it every few days) and work down from there of what needs to get done till I go to sleep.
Do you have any help or are you the only person that works your business?I do every aspect of my business from the cutting and sewing to the promoting.
What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?I would love to start seeing a steady flow of orders come in weekly. I would also like to constantly build a stock of inventory so my customers can have items ready at hand.
Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?This year I was published in Stuffed Magazine which was a huge thing for me!
What are three tools or pieces of equipment in your workspace that you could not absolutely live without?Scissors, a needle, and thread.
Have you ever experienced a small business/craft disaster? What happened?A disaster I had once was with mailing a order. It was to someone locally and the post office kept sending my package back to me so much so I took it to the main post office in my area and got tracking on it and the customer and I watched the package go all around the town for 5 whole days. Worst experience ever!
How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?Facebook is where I do must of my stuff at. http://www.facebook.com/thefeltery
What marketing / advertising method(s) have worked well for you and which have not?What works for me is asking my fans and customers what they want and tailoring my store to their needs! I haven't really determined what doesn't work yet.
What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?My best seller would be Barnibus or Morty, both of which are favorites of mine.
My favorite items is the Tardis Nebula print by Papyrusaurus.
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