Donna Gardner Striar | Episode 654
Donna Gardner Stiar fell in love with pottery at age 57 when she signed up for a wheel throwing class. Seven years later, Donna now handbuilds and hand paints fun, happy, and whimsical pieces that focus on making people smile!
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I want to talk to you about the idea that Instagram as a storefront. You mentioned that you had your notifications on your device for when there is activity on there. Do you have that on for comments or likes?
Yes, for everything.
Do you see those notifications as a bit of a door chime. If someone were to walk in the door and you were in the back of the store, it lets you know someone is out there?
Absolutely. Absolutely and I think when people comment on a post, I think it’s important to reply to them saying thank you not a day later but to acknowledge their kindness for taking the time to leave a comment. I think it’s important to acknowledge that as quickly as possible.
Is it important then to make sure your aesthetics, the feel, the brand, is being represented properly so that the panels are all telling a similar story to want ti attract them to stay longer?
Absolutely. I was just having this conversation with someone the other day and they said, Why are all of your backgrounds white? Why don’t you use different colored backgrounds? And I said, I used to do that but I think it is important to have a consistent looking page. It’s just like when they would walk into your booth at an art show, you know, it has to have a consistent look to it.
Does knowing the demographics of your audience or knowing who is coming in and out, does that help you to understand what kind of person is buying from you?
You know I have had all different demographics buy from me. From younger people to grandmothers, very few men, because it’s not a very manly thing that I do. But it is also the same thing at show, I don’t get many men come into my booth unless they are being dragged in there. And until I had posted a picture of myself on Instagram, people thought that I was a lot younger than I am. I guess because of the work that I do, it’s young looking work, they were surprised to find out I was a sixty-something year old woman.
You said it’s important not to wait a day to respond on Instagram. Do you feel like it’s important to carry on conversations, to speak to people, to respond to people and even ask questions?
I do. Absolutely. You need to engage and you know, that’s true with life. You never know what connections you’re going to make and when you say hello or ask someone how their family is or something like that, you know, that’s a connection that you are starting to form with somebody, whether it be in a purchase or a friendship, it’s very important to have that personal connection.
Do you ask directly for sales or do you let it be more of a subtle thing and let people make their own choice?
I don’t ask directly. No. I think you kind of have to hint at it though about what’s available in your Etsy store and let it be known that it’s now in your Etsy store ready for you to go buy.
In your bio you have a link to your Etsy store. Do you think you could get the same impact by just sending them to a website?
So I want to do my own website. I need to do more research on it because I don’t understand a lot of things that go along with it. Mainly, collecting sales tax, sales taxes rates and who you pay it to. Etsy does make it easy in that they will collect the sales tax and pay it for you to those states except the one that you live in. So that is a very easy thing about Etsy. I think it’s important to have your own website and I do have a son-in-law who is a graphic designer that can help me with it. So I really have no excuses except I really need to sit down and talk with somebody who does have their own website and figure out all the little important things like that.