tgif FEATURE and GIVEAWAY :: MustardSeed by.carollai

since the idea of a TGIF feature and giveaway popped up into my mind late last night, the first feature and giveaway will be from my very own etsy shop. :)

Q. Who are you?
A. long answer short, i'm carol. 30. born in taipei. grown in new york. Christian. studied graphic design and psychology in undergrad at Umich (go blue!!!). worked a few years as a graphic designer and creative coordinator for an ad agency. trained for and ran the san diego rock 'n' roll marathon with the leukemia and lymphoma society's TNT in summer '04. went to grad school at NYU in fall '04 and studied art therapy. married in june '07 and thankful for the unconditional love and support my hubby gives.

Q. When did you open up shop and how did you come up with your shop name?
A. i created an account with etsy on 01.01.09 (one of my new year's resolutions was to open up a shop!) and listed my first item on 01.22.09. my shop name is MustardSeed by.carollai because Jesus says, "i tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’ and it will move. nothing will be impossible for you." matthew 17:20. faith is huge in my life. God has grown my faith greatly through the experiences and struggles in my life and through it all, His faith has given me hope and strength.

an additional meaning behind the shop name mustard seed is found in matthew 13:31-32. the parable of the mustard seed. "the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."

Q. What do you create and sell?
A. i create delicate and unique earrings and necklaces... and hopefully in the future, will branch out to prints/cards, sewn objects, knitted goods, and other handmade creations as my mind and fingers take me.

Q. What is your favorite item in your shop?
A. it's hard to say a favorite because i really do try to love each item in my shop. i figure if i don't love it, then why am i selling it? one of my loves is this pair of earrings. sweet grace earrings. they're uber feminine, simple and sweet. it is also the first item with the curl accent i hand-created.

Q. Do you have any advice for newbie Etsy sellers?
A. since i'm still a newbie and learning so much myself, i don't have too much advice. however, i've found it helpful to inform all my family and friends of my new shop and asked them to pass along the info to their family and friends. hopefully as each person passes the info along, more and more people will become interested in my designs.

Q. Lastly, what is your giveaway this fine TGIF!
(one giveaway winner will be selected at random the following Wednesday at 11.59pm EST. to enter, please comment below with one or more marketing suggestions for MustardSeed by.carollai. 'follow' me on blogger and you'll receive an automatic second entry. :) please remember to leave an email address because if you are the lucky winner, you will want to be contacted!)

A. i absolutely adore these earrings and think the winner will enjoy as well! that's why i chose to give away my musing moon earrings.


winning is a wonderful thing! ::

on sunday, i won my first giveaway from The Etsians! :) They featured
artlife and gave away her 'lovebirds' notecard pictured below. i really love this card and am so excited to receive it! thank you artlife!


addicted ::

it's so easy to get addicted to the etsy site and all its wonderful resources. i'm busy trying to get my name out there and looking through everyone elses wonderful sites. flipping through the promotions, the treasury and 'pounce'.

but in the meanwhile, forgetting the important things... like making the jewelry! :) thus, going back to the basics. putting away the computer for this moment and sitting down with the wires and pliers and stones and crystals. hoping to add more items soon! keep an eye out. :)


in other news::
reading philippians 4 yesterday God reminded me of 2 things.
1. rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again. rejoice!
2. be content in whatever the circumstances.

these two really go hand in hand and it wasn't something i really considered or pondered til yesterday with the Bible in one hand and my journal in the other. i'm thankful He has motivated my heart again to search Him deeper. it's hard to fully rejoice (to have joy) and to fully be content. this society doesn't breed us in that direction and i am easily torn away from the light Jesus shines in my direction. the world is too 'beautiful' and my heart wants more of it. i guess that's why it's good to have things like His Word to bring us back.


a bike resting against a lovely wrought iron gate in the west village, nyc.


finagling ::

the process of starting your own company is an arduous task. thank God for Etsy as they provided me a community of all things handmade and allowed my foot into the big heavy door of entrepreneurship. the brand image and business card were next up and in the midst of it all, i also thought it'd be fun to have a blogspot sharing my new creations, thoughts, and anything else that is applicable.

i'm extremely thankful that at the one month mark of my launch, i have had 20 etsy sales and numerous offline sales. thankful for friends who have supported my new venture by purchasing my handmade items. the first sale was the most exciting! i think the next level of excitement will come when someone i don't know purchases an item.

how does one continue to market their etsy store after the initial? that is what i'm trying to figure out now. :) any suggestions are greatly appreciated!