Wednesday Interview – Ep 5 – Sasha de Witt

As part of an ongoing series, we will ask all of our team members to answer 10 questions about themselves and their shops. This way, we’ll get to know one another a little bit better and perhaps pick up a great tip or two! I will personally aim to post these out every Wednesday around noon, so look out for some questions in your inbox and the posts to appear here. For those amongst you who are shy – don’t worry. It’s not compulsory to take part, nor do you have to send in any pictures if you don’t want to.

[If you are on Team Etsy Cambridge and want to be part of this series, just fill out the questions – and perhaps add an image or two – and send them over to me on Etsy (Y. Bessels / 1000crows) or on Facebook (Yvette Bessels). I’ll add them to the scheduled waiting list.]

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1. What’s your name?

Sasha DeWitt

2. What’s your shop name?

Sasha DeWitt Studios

3. How did you choose your shop name?

It’s my name. Is that a bit lazy?

4. What do you sell?

Hand pulled prints. Embroidery. Anything I make. I can’t keep it all!

5. How did you decide to do this?

A decade ago I couldn’t draw at all. Then I had a series of health problems and I wanted some way to express what was happening so I started drawing. I immediately saw the limitations to my work and wanted to improve as quickly as possible so I went to art school. I got a BA in Illustration. Once I graduated I wanted to make a go as a full-time artist, so I set up shop.

6. What do you love most about your products?

Creating them. I love having an idea and then figuring out how to make it. It’s also what’s most frustrating.

7. Which of your products are bestselling or most popular? 

My giraffes are usually the most popular, but that might be because for one whole year that’s all I drew and sold.

8. What were your biggest challenges in opening / running an online shop?

I knew nothing about business. I didn’t even know what the difference between wholesale and retail prices were. I didn’t know how to price my own products. Nothing. So I’ve had to learn a lot about that side of things. I still struggle with it. I’d rather just be making. In my fantasy world I earn enough money so I can hire someone to take care of that side of things.

9. What are your wishes for your shop – are there products you’d like to add or any favourite shops whose success you’d like to achieve?

I’d like to make my own fabrics to sell to people who like to sew. I’ve done some of that for myself, but I need to work out systems to make it more efficient.

10. What would be your golden tip for opening and running an Etsy Shop? And you cannot say having great pictures 😉

Just keep at it. I don’t think success comes overnight. Try many different ways to engage customers, but most of all believe in yourself.

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yvettebessels

Hi - my name's Yvette! Originally from the Netherlands, I am a kind, lively and laid-back person with a can-do attitude. Together with my husband Sean, we have moved from the Netherlands to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK), Leamington Spa (UK), Sheffield (UK), Sydney (Australia), back to the Netherlands, to Dusseldorf (Germany), Cambridge (UK), Frankfurt (Germany and now Toronto (Canada) in the last 9 years. And no, I don't think this is our final stop either! I have learned most of my photographic craft whilst at Art college (quite a few years back), from the two portrait studio jobs I held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and from assisting fine art dealer Linus Carr in Warwick. Even though I still own and use my digital camera, I mainly shoot on medium format Black and White film, using a Rolleiflex TLR. As I become more and more fascinated with old photography techniques, I started shooting wet plates in 2013. You can see some of my work on www.yvettebessels.com As anyone who has visited my shop 1000crows.com or '1000crowsVintage' on Etsy may attest to, I am a big fan of carboots / charity shops as well as vintage fairs, garage sales, auctions ..... you get the idea - and my house is slowly filling up with beautiful random things - some of which I sell online, and some of which I will hoard for a while. x

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