Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Featured Crafter: Country Treasures By Lisa

Meet Lisa of Country Treasures

Please share a little about yourself with our readers Lisa.
I'm Lisa Marie Burton of Country Treasures. I have been selling my crafts at shows for 13 years now and have just opened up a website
http://www.countrytreasuresbylisa.com/
I have been married to Christopher for 19 years (on June 3rd) and have a daughter, Brittany, who will soon be 17 and a son, Nathan, that will soon be 13. We live out in the country in Sterling, CT. I love to craft, bake, dance and do sudoku puzzles.

How long have you been crafting?
Goodness..for as far back as I can remember! I got my love of sewing back in 9th grade in Home Economics. I had never used a sewing machine before..and I loved it!! I made clothes and such with it back then. Now I love to sew my items like prim dresses, sheep and my favorite item is ornies!!

What or who inspires you?
What inspires me??....I would say..others..other crafters keep me going..and my customers..they are always letting me know how wonderful my work is and that keeps me wanting to do more. I love to get ideas from seeing what others make and then making it my own. I always seem to change things even if I'm using someones pattern as an idea.

When did you decide to sell online?
Just this year. I finally decided that I was going to try out a website. I guess before I always thought it would be too hard or too time consuming. So I opted for an EzShoppe..and it was pretty simple. Any questions I had were answered..or I just had to go to Prim Mart and ask and the wonderful ladies there answered them for me!!

Do you sell in other venues?
I mostly sell at Fall/Winter juried craft shows in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. I am in 4 shops at this time...and possibly getting into more!! I sell consignment and wholesale to them. I haven't gotten into home shows at this time, but one of the shops that I'm in, the owner started out selling my items at home shows that she did.
Here are a list of brick & mortar stores where Lisa's crafts are sold:
Country Bits 'n Pieces LLC
Village Commons on Rt. 12
Plainfield, CT 06374
860-564-4992

Simply Country
752 Broad Street Extension
Waterford, CT 06385
860-444-9422

Darlene's Garden of Design
22 Railroad Avenue
Plainfield, CT 06374
860-564-2254

Josie's General Store
189 Butts Bridge Road
Canterbury, CT 06331
860-546-6089
These are craft shows where Lisa will be selling this year:
1st weekend in November
Saturday and Sunday
Anna Maria College
Paxton, Mass

2nd Saturday in November
St. Bernard High School
Uncasville, CT

Saturday before Thanksgiving
Moosup Amvets
Plainfield Town Hall
Plainfield, CT

Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving
Home Craft Show with the American Girl Doll Clothes Co.
(a friend's business)
Woodstock, CT

1st Saturday in December
Coventry High School
Coventry, CT

1st Thursday in December
Windham Hospital
Willimantic, CT
If you would like more information on her shows or products you may email Lisa at countrytreasures@snet.net

What seems to be your best sellers?
Right now..it is a toss up..one of the shops that I'm in does wonderful and I could just do that..but I love doing the craft shows (even with all the work of making sure you have everything, all the lugging and setting up and all) to meet my customers!!! So I really don't want to put all my eggs in one basket as they say..so I keep doing both.

My best selling items are my homespun and muslin dresses, cinnamon stick angels and my sheep.

Are all of your products handcrafted?
Yes..(and proud of it!) In fact, if they weren't, I wouldn't be able to get into the juried craft shows that I do!!!

What methods of advertising do you use to promote your shoppe?
Right now I'm new at all of this, but I have gotten listed into some search engines, some top lists, exchanged links with some crafters and even been on some blogs!!!

When sales are slow do you do anything special to try to bring customers in to your shop?
I don't really have an on-line customer base as of yet, but I do advertise specials sometimes on Prim Mart to see if anyone is interested in a special that I will run.

Do you have any advice for crafters who might be thinking about purchasing an online shoppe?
Go for it!! You never know until you try!! That's all. I just think it is another way to reach out to customers that might not get to shows or the shops that I'm in.

Do you have any advice for crafters on what NOT to do?
Not yet. The only thing that I think would be bad..is correspondence. If you get an order or a question..respond as soon as possible and try to work with the customer. I think that is a big plus...customer service!!

How many hours per day or week would you say you spend crafting?
I would say about 20 hours per week. Since I don't have a craft room or any where designated for my crafts..I work off of my dining room table and have to move things so that we can eat and do homework and such. So I work when I can 'fit'. That is one reason why I love to make ornies..because if there is handwork to be done..I don't take up much room and can do that while I help my kids do their homework.

Do you have any future plans for expanding your online shoppe?
I would love to expand my online shoppe..but I will take it one step at a time. In time, who knows!! As for a brick & mortar store..I don't have a wish to do that at this point. I'm happy with the shops that I'm in and I've heard that once you open up a store..you have so many other responsibilities that you don't always get to do what you like to do the best..craft!! So I want to keep it a pleasure and have fun doing what I do best...crafting!!

Here is a slide show of a few of Lisa's handcrafted items

















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To visit Lisa's site just click on her banner

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