Greetings, ladies! Today I have the pleasure of sharing a very special interview with you all! Today I will be interviewing Miss Samantha, whom some of you probably know from Emarie Creations Etsy Shop, Sunshine Blog as well as Simple Delights Blog! I've had the pleasure of "meeting" Miss Samantha through blogger and etsy and today she will be sharing on the topic of home businesses. So please enjoy and a special thanks to Miss Samantha for allowing Reflections of Grace to interview her! ~ Blessings, Bethany
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: Hello! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
MISS SAMANTHA :: My name is Samantha, and I am a recent home school graduate. I am a born again Christian who is striving to honor God in all that I do. I still have a long way to come, but am thankful for a loving and patient God who doesn't give up on me!
I have a great many interests that include music, reading, cooking and baking, watching movies with my family, being with friends and blogging. I greatly enjoy historical fashion and would love to someday have a closet full of pretty historical and vintage outfits.
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: What is your salvation testimony?
MISS SAMANTHA :: I received Jesus as my Saviour as a little girl, though I don't think I truly was able to understand what it was all about until I was older. Being a Christian is so much more than saying a little prayer and receiving Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Being a Christian involves putting away your sinfulness and striving to live a godly, Christ-centered life, even when it isn't easy. I fail so much, yet am so thankful to have a God who loves me and cares about me. His love for me never fails, not matter how many times I mess up, and He is quick to offer me His forgiveness every time I ask.
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: As some of us know, you have an Etsy shop, Emariecreations. Could you tell us a bit about how it got started and under what inspiration?
MISS SAMANTHA :: My sister first introduced me to Etsy in early 2009, so that is how I knew about the website. Both my sister and I enjoyed crafting, so we decided to open up a shop and sell some of our creations. My sister no longer sells her items, but I had so much fun with the venture that I have kept up the shop.
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: Is there anything you have learned through having your own business from home?
MISS SAMANTHA :: I have learned that your shop will only be as successful as you make it. If you don't want to spend the time and effort that is needed, you probably won't get very far. You have to enjoy what you are doing, not just do it for the money. If you only do it for the money it will be a drudgery to you!
Many times I find myself basing the success of my shop on how much I made in a month or how many sales I have. When I do this I have to stop and reevaluate my purpose for selling online. If you are going to have a business you should put yourself into it and make your items as beautiful and unique as possible and not just churn out items hoping to sell them. Forget about the money and strive to put your personal touch on your items.
Think of how special it is to get a handmade, hand wrapped gift from a friend. Apply that concept to your shop and you will find yourself getting repeat customers and referrals. Treat your customers with respect, love and kindness and put an effort into your items and packaging. It makes all the difference!
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: What advice would you give to girls looking into possibly starting their own business?
MISS SAMANTHA :: Don't give up when things aren't going well! Even though I have been blessed with a wonderful amount of sales in my shop, I still have times when nothing seems to sell. It is easy to get discouraged and disheartened with this happens! I try to take that time to either work on new items for my shop, re-take pictures or even spend time off of the computer. Maybe that is God's way of telling me that my focus is off of Him and on my business too much.
It is also important to ask advice whenever needed. I have learned so much about selling handmade/online just by reading articles others have written or asking questions.
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: Do you have any favorite memories of being a shop owner, maybe through making your items, selling them, etc?
MISS SAMANTHA :: One happy memory I have was when I had only been open for one month. I had only had one sale, and was feeling pretty down about my shop. All of the sudden, I got a sale, then another, then ANOTHER! A wonderful group of Etsians (that's what we Etsy people call ourselves) where having a "Sneak Attack" on my shop! I had read about these "attacks" before, but never guessed that it would happen to me! A Sneak Attack is basically a group of shoppers who are looking to support shops that have low sales or that are new. At an appointed time they all "attack" this one shop and buy items from the shop.
It was an amazing experience, and I am SO grateful to those ladies who brightened my day!
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: What are the benefits of having a business at the convenience of your own home?
MISS SAMANTHA :: First off, I really enjoy working from home and would probably choose to do that over going to an out-of-the-house job (I've had both). Working at home means that you can set the time of when you work, how long you will work and who you will work with (if your shop includes more than one person). Having a business at home is a wonderful thing for young ladies, as it gives them something to do with their hands, it provides some income for them and it also keeps them under the protection and guidance of their parents. And anyone can have a business when it is from home. When you go to an out-of-the-house job you have to be a certain age, whereas if you are doing things from home even a 10 year old can be selling something or helping with the business!
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: In what ways do you strive to be a godly shop seller and point others to Christ through your shop?
MISS SAMANTHA :: This is something I am striving to improve, as I am not quite sure how to go about it yet. The ways I have done this so far are by only listing items in my shop that are appropriate for everyone, stating that I am a Christian in my shop profile, and trying to always be kind and polite when dealing with others, even if they are difficult to work with.
REFLECTIONS OF GRACE :: Do you have anything you'd like to share in closing?
MISS SAMANTHA :: I would like to thank Miss Bethany for asking me to participate on her blog. This blog is such an encouragement to me and I am so thankful for a place for young ladies to go and read articles written by other young ladies who love the Lord.
I enjoy a great many things, so instead of taking up any more room here I invite you to check out my blog, Simple Delights, to learn more about me.