Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet Dustin from ArmadilloDreams

I love wooden handmade toys, don't you? That why I think you'll love these magical creations from ArmadilloDreams

Gardening Play Set - Handmade Wooden Toy --- Made to Order
Buy it here

As a dietitian, I just love healthy play food! Teaching kids about growing vegetables is a great way to get them to eat them!

This next one is a throw back, I think it's the reason I stumbled across this shop! 

Gamebaby - Natural Wooden Teething/Clutch Toy --- Made to Order
Buy it here

ArmadilloDreams also makes beautiful hand painted pieces, like this carnival play set:

Carnival Play Set - Painted Handmade Wooden Toy - Ready to Ship
Buy it here

Armadillo Dreams is a husband/wife shop run by Dustin and Amanda Cowell. They make everything from start to finish! They live in beautiful Central Oregon with their daughter Luciana (born March 2007), son Lincoln (born August 2010), two dogs and backyard chickens.

Amanda also runs Violet since 2005 and Little Vintage Violet since 2008. In the summer of 2009 Dustin discovered a passion for woodworking. They combined their love for their children, natural materials, woodworking and Armadillo Dreams was born! Together they make an awesome team and love to work together as a family. 

Let's see what Dustin had to say:

Q: What is the most popular item in your shop?
A: Our post popular items seem to change with the seasons. Right now our most popular item is our painted camping set and our weather

Q: You've only been open a short period of time and had a significant amount of sales. What do you think is the secret to your success?
A: I would say it’s our unique designs and our wide selection of items. My wife Amanda draws all of the patterns for our items and a lot of people seem to really like her style. We also try to carry a lot of items for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to appeal to a wide market.

Q: What do you do when sales are slow?
A: This is when we work on new items. Putting new items in the shop always seems to help jump start sales again. Also, we do like to take a breather every now and then. We have two children of our own that we love to spend time with and we love to have family activities.

Q: Do you have a vice? Please share :)
A: We are both super big caffeine addicts. We drink black coffee at home and we also enjoy frequent visits to the local espresso shops. I have been in the process of attempting to break my caffeine habit by replacing it with juicing and increased water consumption. I have found that I have more energy throughout the day when juicing without the ups and downs from coffee, however after about a week or so of no coffee I get to missing it a lot and will often start up again. Hoping to one day completely remove it from my diet.

Q: Do you have any advice for new sellers?
Taking good photos is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give. You have 5 photo spots for each item listed and you should use all 5, all the time. Take photos from lots of different angles. Try to make them eye catching and really “pop”. Don’t use busy backgrounds. It just takes attention away from what you want the customers to be looking at, your item. Don’t let your photos look armature and take them on carpet or your couch, spend a little money or go out in the woods and collect some nice backdrops. Good lighting is HUGE. Dark photos make it hard to see what you are looking at. Direct sunlight can also be a problem though. Take your photos in the shade outside on a sunny day.

Q: Just for fun, what's your favorite Etsy shop?
A: Well, I would have to say our shop, but that probably doesn’t count. Gosh, it’s hard to really say, there are so many great shops that I call my favorites. There is one particular shop that I have been admiring lately called leuckit. It’s a shop of “kitchen robots”, basically really neat pieces made out of recycled kitchen items. I am HUGE on recycling and I am fairly nerdy so this shop really appeals to me.

We're glad your a nerd Dustin, because nerds make rad stuff :)

Thanks for going us, and for offering a big exclusive coupon code, too! That's right friends, 20% off by using "moderntypography" at checkout!

Good luck with your future endeavors, hope to have you (or perhaps Amanda) back again soon :)


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring us! It was a lot of fun answering your questions and we would be glad to be on your blog again anytime! :)

    Armadillo Dreams