Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spotlight Saturday Double Feature

Okay last week was really crazy for me and I forgot all about my Saturday feature until the end of the week and by then it was too late. So I figured that I'd feature 2 wonderful shops in a Saturday Double Feature. 

The first shop who was supposed to be featured on 3/26 is Babes and Sages- a wonderful little shop that focuses on handmade hair and jewelry accessories. Let's take a moment to get to know the talented creator behind the designs, Sophie.


 Hi everyone :) My name is Sophie and I am the owner and designer of the wonderful Etsy shop Babes and Sages. I am originally from Germany but moved to the Pittsburgh, PA area because of my wonderful American hubby. If you would like to find out more about how we met and our crazy love story, please visit the about page on my blog at The hubby and I live in a home we built ourselves, with our two puppies Penny and Melvin and are also expecting a little baby boy in May. We are beyond excited :) I have always been a creative and hands-on person with a love for art and great design. I have a bachelors degree in Graphic Design and love to do branding, logo design and photography. I am currently focusing most of my creative attention on promoting and growing my handmade accessories business, but am always up for interesting design projects. My shop currently features jewelry and hair accessories but will hopefully expand its range as time goes by. I get inspired by everything around me, colors, nature and of course the fantastic resources the internet provides. I sometimes have a hard time going to sleep at night because there are so many ideas swirling around in my head. I have been creating things since I can remember but my accessory business is still in its infancy. My dream is to one day be able to help support my family by doing what I love and being my own boss at the same time. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband who supports and pushes me to go after my dreams. I love meeting new people, in real life and in the blogosphere so please stop by and drop me a line or two, I would love to hear from you.

-Etsy shop:
-FB profile:

Thank you Sophie for taking time to tell us about yourself. Visit Babes and Sages Etsy shop at and see even more of her beautiful creations. Babes and Sages is also graciously offered blog readers 25% off thier purchases.
Just enter JAZZY25 when you check out.

The second shop in this week's Saturday Spotlight Double Feature is Coquette Bath- an amazing shop that has all your bath time needs. Let's take the time to get to know Cari the amazingly talented creator of the luxury bath products in her Etsy shop!

1. What made you become a crafter/artist?
I used to own a B&M. When I went to Market to find things to sell, I just couldn’t find what I envisioned. I began with candles, moved into soap, along the way segued into jewelry and such, and then more bath & body items. I no longer sell jewelry online, but have more than 300 different products for sale in my home fragrance and bath/body products. I just opened a new shop on Etsy: ArtPOPgifts to sell my graphic designs that I’m currently offering in magnets.

2. Where do you get your inspirations?
I love things. But I require that things not only be beautiful but that they also be usable. So when I’m out shopping, and don’t see what I want to buy, I generally decide to make it for myself! Sometimes, items come into my world because I had a specific need, such as when I was trying to stock my store.

3. How long have you been crafting/drawing?
Ever since I can remember! About age 6, knowing that our family finances were very tight, and wanting some candy, I took notebook paper (with the blue lines) made them into little hats (that probably only fit my little head!) and went door to door selling them. I think I made about .20 before someone called my mom. She was embarrassed, but this was back in the day of penny candy, so I wasn’t.

4. What was the first thing you ever crafted/drew?
Those little paper hats! I also paint, sew, do needlepoint, and make stained glass. But if you mean ‘for sale’, it would be jewelry. I was beading bracelets and selling them in 4th grade! For the store, and onward, it was candles first. And that lead me into everything else.

5. How did you learn about Etsy? When did you open your Etsy shop?
I was on a soap board and heard about this venue. Honestly, if not for that, I probably would never have found it, to this day. No one I know has ever heard of Etsy, except through me.

6. How did you decide on your shop's name?
My original name here at Etsy was GoodScents. I called my biz Good Scents Bath Company™. That was okay in 2001. But within a few years, every search would turn up more and more folks with the name. At the same time, I was trying to get the trademark. The end came when another Texas seller started using a variation on the name. I knew I wouldn’t get the tm (and after spending a ton of me...that was a bitter pill to swallow), so I changed to Coquette Bath & Home™. Coquette means flirt. And my shop is definitely girly and flirty. I added the ‘Home’ to the name to cover my home fragrance products like wax melts (my Nuggets™) and jar candles.

7. What's on your favorite's list? What Etsy shops would you recommend and why?
Oh wow, that’s tough. Since I make ‘stuff’, I generally only buy what I cannot make for myself. I also have friends who also make soap, so swapping keeps me well supplied. But I love jewelry and I’ve bought quite a few big hole beads and other bits and pieces. I recently bought a lovely painting from Etsy artist Eastwitching. I’ve bought quite a few beads from CecileStewartjewelry, too. I really love the incredible diversity on Etsy.

8. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why?
That’s like impossible to say. If I don’t use it, I don’t sell it. Now, certain fragrances aren’t my favorites (Lavender...not a fan) but I use everything. My Kiss™ lip balm (current favorites are Bee My Honey and Jasmine Tea). My sugar cube scrub (LOVE Dream). My rollon perfume (my personal favorite is Mystic). And on and on and on. I love my items. If I didn’t think they were the best, I wouldn’t sell them.

9. Tell us about your first Etsy sale. What was it? How did you feel?
Incredible. It is like that ‘Sally Field’ moment...’you really like me, you really really like me!’ I was over the moon, and still get a rush whenever I see a new sale.

10. What do you listen to when you are crafting/drawing?
Silence. Really. I prefer to get into the zone, and since I can tune out any noise, I generally just go into my own headspace and work. I find too much noise distracting.

11. Where's your favorite craft/drawing spot?
I have a space in my home office which works best. Maybe not for the actual production, but definitely to think out ideas and work up labels, etc.

12. What makes your product better than others in your field?
There are a lot of great soapmakers. I would be seriously amiss if I didn’t say that. A lot of them. But what sets my products out front, to me, is my use of scent, color and design. I don’t like bland colors. I don’t get into the ‘basic granola’ mentality. That’s perfectly fine, but for me, I like a vivid fragrance. I want lively color and I want products that will help enhance my personal serenity. And that means happy color! For jar candles, and other home fragrancing products, I’ve used a lot of different products. I still think that my candles offer more fragrance and burn better than anyone else’s. Definitely far superior to anything mass produced! But also head of the class when compared to other handcrafted products, too.

13. What are your favorite materials to work with?
I don’t have a favorite! I generally work with vegetable oils and beeswax. I love beeswax. But I like products that offer a great benefit to the consumer and also are cost effective. In fact, one of my taglines is that you get spa quality without paying a high price. And that’s really true with my line.

14. What is your favorite part of having an online business?
Being a total control freak over my line. No one can tell me ‘no’ regarding anything that I want to do. I do self monitor. And at times, yeah, I do get a bit ahead of myself. For example, right now, I offer like 20 lip balm flavors. I’ve done this before, and had to retreat back to maybe 10-12. But I WANT to offer 20 flavors. So I do.

15. What is your least favorite part of having an online business?
Finding ways to let people know that I exist. I obtained my BS degree in Marketing/management back when the internet was just someone’s idea. Social networking is also a vague thing to me. I do use it, but not to the best, I think.

16. How do you advertise your business?
I do some Project Wonderful ads. I’m on my second campaign of the year. I also changed my ads a month or so ago. Only time will tell if this is working. But my sales are increasing this year. I’m probably double last year...not that there isn’t a lot of room for improvement!

17. What are your goals this year for your shop?
This year my goal is to hit 500 sales on my Etsy shop. Since my sales, dollar volume, on my standalone are about triple Etsy, that will mean a very nice year for me. Show sales are also increasing. So everything is an upward movement, which is really cool!

18. What do you do in your spare time?
Well, I’m a single parent. And that means, even though both kids are teens, a lot of laundry and shopping! But when I have time, I write, read and paint. I love doing something creative.

19. Do you have a job other than crafting/drawing? What is it?
Yes, I’m a planner at a local corporation. Very different from my creative self but I get to use a lot of my skills in organizing and managing data. I’m also very good at figuring out ways to fix issues, which is a skill that helps with my online biz, too, as I do often have to find a very cost effective way to do something.

20. How do you manage your time?
Every day is a new challenge. I’ve finally faced it that I cannot get everything done when I’d like to have it done. There just aren’t ‘enough’ of me! But every day, I do spend at least 2 hours on my biz. Either making new items, designing new labels, photographing, etc. Sometimes this happens late at night so that I can get something accomplished. It is a rare day when I’m not working on the biz!

21. Do you have any discounts, sales, PIFs or specials available in your shop? I’d love to offer everyone reading this a special coupon code. Please use CoquetteRox for 15% off my online store (at or at my Etsy shop!

22. Do you offer custom orders? How does it work?
Bath and body products do have quantity minimums, but sometimes I do find people who want a particular scent, and if that’s you, know that I can, and will, create something special. You just have to purchase the entire quantity made. In soap, that could be as few as 6 bars of soap. But in lip balm or other body products, the quantity can be greater. Each product has minimum manufacturing amounts, but if you love something, chat with me. I do require payment in advance and it generally will take me a few weeks to complete, and ship, your order.

23. What tips do you have for anyone just starting out in the crafting business?
Read. Learn as much as you can. Find a mentor or three. And if you are selling a product that can have liability issues (which are most of them) have some insurance. Please. I always cringe when I meet new soap sellers and find out that they don’t have it.

24. Where can we find you? Post your links to Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.
My facebook is rather messed up at present. But it should be www.facebook/coquettebath is my main shop is my Etsy shop is my Artfire shop is my eCrater shop

My twitter is @coquettebath

I also have shops on a few other venues, but these are the major ones. And if folks want to read my (hopefully humorous) musings, check out my blog at

25. Anything else we should know about you and your shop?
I love making wonderful things. I love shipping my creations off to folks around the world. I feel blessed to be able to do what I love. I do dream, however, of doing this full time. I used to have a B&M store and it was one of the first casualties of the recent economic downturn. I dream of having one again. To do that, reliable online sales is critical. So I hope that customers not only love my products, but also recommend me to their friends and family. I care about each of my customers and I hope they all know how important they are to me and mine. As a single parent, I carry all the loads and my goal is to over deliver on my promises and to make the very best I possibly can. Thanks!

Thank you for allowing us to get to know you better Cari. If you are interested in any of the items pictured in Coquette Bath's interview please check out her Etsy shop at

1 comment:

  1. Just received a cheque for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much money you can earn by taking paid surveys online...

    So I show them a video of myself actually getting paid $500 for filling paid surveys to finally set the record straight.