I came across Cecil and Co.'s Facebook fan page and based upon, designer Lisa's profile picture, I HAD to visit her Etsy shop. The bags at Cecil and Co. are awesome! Not exaggerating, I don't think there is one I don't like. After marveling at Cecil and Co. for awhile and hearting a bunch of items, I knew I HAD to ask Lisa a few questions:
NM: How would you describe your shop?
L: Stylish handbags that are classic, meshing modern and vintage (which I love).
NM: How long have you been sewing for?
L: Since I was little...about 30 years
NM: How did you get into this line of work/hobby?
L: I started making handbags about two years ago for my retail store because I couldn't find what I was looking for. When I carried one everyday I would get stopped everywhere I went...so I decided to design a whole line and sell them to more than just my store. That has brought me here.
NM: Do you do this full time?
L: I sew full time. I have a drapery workroom and retail store and have been making and designing draperies for about 20 years. I design and make draperies by day, and handbags whenever I can. I am hoping to turn that into handbags by day!
NM: What is your favorite item in your shop? Why?
L: My favorite would be The Designer Tote. It is the most versatile for me. I use it to and from work and when I travel and for knitting and the list goes on. Although I carry the Shopper everyday as well, my favorite one to date is in my new fall line, coming soon.
NM: What are some of your favorite handmade shops or items online?
L: I have so many! I usually look for things I can't or won't make myself. I will start with Graciewear. She was my very first purchase. She has amazing fiber art clothing and accessories, something of which I haven't tried yet. Second would be TheFeltElf. She has really awesome elf-like scarves. For vintage, It goes to CatBooks1940s. I love everything about this shop from the way it is set up to what is for sale. Another very talented artist is KaysK9s. She creates an unbelievable sculpture of your dog! There are so many amazing artists on Etsy.
NM: How do you attract people to your shop? Where/how do you promote your shop?
L: I tell everyone who comes into my store about Etsy. I just recently started online with facebook, twitter, flickr and I have a blog. Trying all to see which ones fit best and I also network in a lot of the Etsy forums.
NM: What advice can you offer other handmade sellers to boost their sales?
L: Patience, and promote outside of Etsy! I do not have a lot of sales to date but I am definately getting much more exposure now that I have started networking off Etsy.
NM: Are your items available anywhere other than Etsy?
L: Our retail store which is located in Batavia, IL. We are currently working on our web site, a very time consuming process.
NM: Do you have a blog? If so, please tell us a little bit about it.
L: My blog is cecilandco.blogspot.com. It's in its infant stages. I would like to not only provide updates of our progress and our products, but to promote what we like and what we believe in, like the 3/50 project, and maybe even provide inspiration to others. That is what I would like to do.
NM: Tell us something interesting about yourself.
L: I love fabric and have a passion for the creative process.
NM: Lisa, thank you SO much for sharing some information with us. I hope everyone else appreciates and loves your shop as much as I do. Readers, share your thoughts on Cecil and Co.
Business/Shop Name: Cecil and Company, USA
Location: Batavia, Illinois
Website URL: www.cecilandco.com (currently under construction!)
Etsy URL: cecilandco.etsy.com
Blog URL: cecilandco.blogspot.com
Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/pages/Batavia-IL/Cecil-and-Company-USA/135957095672?ref=ts