You know how you have that one song that sums up your life. Maybe not even a whole song, but even just one line of a song? Well, today’s maker totally knows what that’s about. Kathie’s shops, SongLyricsArt and WineWordsofWisdom capture those words and phrases and pair them with the perfect graphic elements.
Kathie’s passions started early. Her mother instilled in her a love of music, introducing her to seminal bands like the Beatles. And she began honing her graphic arts skills through the twirling motion of spirograph. Join Kathie as she takes us along on a magic carpet ride through her life and art.
Could please start by telling us a little about yourself and your shop.
Me? Just looking to do something fun at this point in time in my life. I have always had an office job, gave 150% to the job, and now I want to give that to something that I built myself. And have fun, stay home with my self-employed husband and establish myself and something unique. My kids always said I was a hippie. I think that is an exaggeration, but I did love the free spiritedness of when I grew up.
Your work combines your passion for music and your passion for graphic design. Did these passions develop together or did they meet up along the way?
I would say they met up along the way. I always wanted to sell online ever since I got into e-Bay back in the late 90s.( I only dabbled for a couple of years.) I didn’t know what, but loved the thrill of the sell.
Last year, I was stuck at an airport by myself for 10 hours with lots of time to think. I knew I wanted to break away from the 9 to 5 routine and I wanted it to have something to do with illustrations, but what? (I went back to school as a mature student and studied Graphic Design).
While I sat there, I remembered another conversation I had with myself often when driving to that 9-5. I love rock and roll. I would turn up the radio and sing myself to work. Luckily I travel alone! I would always tell myself I wasn’t a musician, wasn’t a great singer, but there should be a profession for people who like to listen to music. I love lyrics, a good beat, and many times reference them in conversations. While I sat there, pondering my lot, it dawned on me: sell online + graphic design + the love of those classic tunes. The ones that get covered in movies, on American Idol, you name it. I came home and did some searching on Etsy and realized other people had that same idea and it looked like fun! Mix that altogether? You get Song Lyrics Art.
70s hands down. The 60s is a close second (Beatlemania and the British invasion) but the 70s was when I grew up. I was a teenager through the 70s and all that pain and hurt that we grow through is wrapped into songs like the Eagles, Band on the Run and Dark Side of the Moon, just to name a few. You hear them and they transport you back to a simpler time. The one you built those great memories from.
You credit your Mom for instilling in this love for music? Tell us about her influence.
My mother was one of a kind. She was lame from a childhood disease so she had to do things slowly. She was therefore a perfectionist in everything she did, but she never claimed that. You just knew it. She made THE best cookies. She loved music, and thus I took piano lessons for some 10 odd years. But she was self-trained. She would hear a tune on the radio and by the time I came home from school, she had it worked out. But the Beatles and all that hoopla, had her fascinated. We never missed Ed Sullivan. So we saw their debut on Feb 9, 1964. She bought all of their sheet music. She really didn’t tolerate much country music in the house until Willie Nelson came along. He was just enough “hippie” for her to approve.
You are quite new to etsy. Have you learned any important lessons about starting a shop that you can share with some of newest maker members?
Many yes. This is a bit technical but useful, I think.
Make sure you have good photos, but additionally, is consistency. It creates a brand image. (it evolves, through experimentation) I discovered one day that approx a ratio of 23W X 20H fills the window perfectly without resizing. The key is to make sure they ALL have that ratio.
Another is to make sure you use ALL 13 tags. I think they are only really useful within Etsy (my theory), but searches inside Etsy will often lead from the tags.
The first 140-160 characters in your description is what the Google picks up. Make sure your best writing is in there.
And the first 60 or so characters of your title. You are allowed 140, but it won’t see all of them. Look below the description box and click on the ” Preview listing as a Google search result Show preview. ” Once I discovered these things, I looked at some of my very successful competition and they were maximizing all these things. And test, test your effectiveness in searches.
Watch the drop down when you start typing in keywords in the search bar.
And lastly, don’t get discouraged. It takes time! I started with one to 2 sales a month. I now average 3-5 a week between my 2 shops but I want more….. !
What was the steepest learning curve for you?
SEO hands down. I have written and re-written, tested over and over. Just when I think I have it mastered, I discover something new. Never get complacent with SEO…
I usually like to ask what a Maker what their favorite hand-made treasure is, but in your case, I want to know the first record you had.
OMG… don’t judge. Nancy Sinatra, “These Boots were Made for Walking”. Took me a month of saving when I was 10 to buy that album. Oddly enough she is not yet on my site, but she will be soon.
Can we find your work outside of Etsy?
Yes, I am on eBay and just this week I launched a Shopify shop. I am also a Pin fanatic and dabble in Instagram and Twitter. I have launched a shop on Facebook because of Shopify.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Kathie.