The best part of Flower Tree Botanicals is that Layla donate a healthy portion of every sale to charity. The charity of her choice is It's Meow or Never Animal Rescue & Sanctuary. You can visit them online at www.itsmeowornever.org
In awe of all the wonderful scents, I decided to ask Layla a few questions. This is what she said.
1. How would you describe your shop?
My shop sells herbs, spices, dried flowers and raw ingredients for many of the crafting needs of artisans and crafters. I also make many items myself using those same, high quality ingredients. It's an honor to provide goods to such talented individuals and a real treat to see how they use the items from my shop!
2. How long has your shop been around for?
I actively started Flowering Tree Botanicals in March of 2008 on Etsy and it's grown like wildfire!
3. How did you get into this line of work/hobby?
Interestingly enough, I'm in the IT industry and I was looking for a way to make a little "pocket money" but wanted to do it in a different way for some much needed work/life balance. I purchased a particular type of lavender buds for a craft project and fell in love with it's intoxicating scent and it became my first product. I now have over 430 and counting!
4. Do you do this full time?
I work full-time during the day and do this business nights and weekends. It's a dream to do this full-time and that's what keeps me pushing forward when it's midnight and I'm still packing orders!
5. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why?
I'm sentimentally very fond of my bulk lavender because it's my first product. A newer product I'm really excited about is the "Kylie Bomb" - a set of two big citrusy orange bath bombs I'm selling as a fundraiser for a wonderful little boy with cancer.
6. What are some of your favorite Etsy shops or items?
Lizzie Jane - My mom's shop
Creations by David - My Uncle's shop
Outrageous Shortbread Seriously, beyond delicious and really, really sweet husband/wife team
Blue Between - A local artist that makes the most fabulous beads in her home studio
7. You currently have 857 sales. How do you attract people to your shop? Where/how do you promote your shop?
I do blog just about daily and try to share tips and project ideas for using my products. I'm also pretty active on Facebook, join groups and talk about projects there. I also approach local businesses to carry my products. With today's economy, you'd be surprised at how many shops need new products in small quantities - they can no longer afford to place big orders from their normal suppliers. Seize this opportunity!
8. What advice can you offer other Etsy sellers to boost their sales?
The myth of "build a store and you'll make money" is just that - it takes work and LOTS of marketing - tell *everyone* you encounter about your products! And above all, be flexible but also be smart about your business. Try new things and try them daily. Don't get discouraged when you think you have a great idea and it doesn't pan out. Change it. Scrap it. But whatever you do, don't stop trying! I once tried to make a blend of bath salts and they turned out terribly. I dumped them into an old food processor and voila - one of the most wonderfully scented carpet powder/room deodorizers I have ever experienced! I sold every single bag at a craft fair and took orders for more.
9. Are your items available anywhere other than etsy?
I sell on Etsy, eBay, Artfire and Silk Fair. I sell everywhere I can find that makes good business sense. My favorite place to sell is at local craft fairs - I love having that face to face connection with my customers.
10. Do you have a blog? If so, please tell us a little bit about it.
I do! My blog started out as the blog for my freelance web design business but has morphed into a place where I share project ideas, recipes, fun tips, tricks and things I find in my internet travels. My favorite thing to do is feature someone who has used something from my shop to make something fantastic. If you fall into that category, let me know so I can feature you too!
Flowering Tree Botanicals (Etsy username is Layla)