How to Be a Branding Super Star, With Angie Davis of Byrd and Belle – CBP054

CBP054-angie-davis-byrd-and-belleSometime after Christmas, 2013, I was tooling around on Etsy, looking for a nice cover for my newly acquired Kindle Reader. Now, there’s a whole lot of crap on Etsy. I’m sure a lot of love goes into the hundreds of what I equate as the tea-cozy of device covers (this is what I’m talking about), but it’s obviously not my style. Luckily, I found Byrd & Belle on Etsy, and boy did that change my life.

The effort that went into making the Etsy shop look nice was by far one of the best displays I’d seen on that site ever. So impressed, I ordered the cover right away, and when it arrived, I was glad I made the purchase. From top to bottom, every single aspect of what Angie Davis of Byrd & Belle does is well thought out and perfectly orchestrated. From the product, to the photography and concise, thorough descriptions, to the branding, and all the packaging effort—Byrd & Belle knows how to make a customer love everything B&B does.

With all of Byrd & Belle’s perfection, it was a no-brainer for me to get Angie on the show, and so I did. Originally I was going to talk mostly about her experience with Etsy, but through the conversation, she told me about how Etsy is just one small portion of what B&B is about, and she shares all that wisdom with us in this interview.

Prerollin’

Up front, besides gushing about all things Byrd & Belle, I also talk extensively about pricing and how it’s probably time for you to raise yours.

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Comments

  1. Really great interview Dave. I have really wondered how (or even IF it was possible) to be successful long-term as a handmade business without outsourcing production. Hearing how Angie does it has given me lots to think about in terms of design and processes. Thanks!

    • At some point, Connie, any ‘handmade’ biz that’s successful is going to have to make a choice to step up to the next level, and going solo in that effort, you’ll end up hitting your critical mass. Angie has learned to maximize her efforts while still keeping a very hands on aspect to her business. Another shop that has seen success in this area, one of which I’m trying to get on the show, is Paloma’s Nest (www.palomasnest.com). They hit that critical mass point where they were spending every waking moment working on the business, and the sleeping moments were few and far between. There’s a lot of cache in being a handmade artist or artisan, but eventually you’re going to need to make a decision: are you a hobbyist, or are you a business owner. Neither is good or bad, but they have much different paths.

  2. LOVED this interview, thanks so much for sharing Angie and Dave! I’ve come away with some really great tips.

  3. Very interesting & timely interview. Though the most recent Etsy test removes any sign of Branding from the shop (aside from the avatar), I’m glad to hear you and Angie confirm how important Branding is for a shop. That and recent conversations with Etsy marketing are helping me understand that their goals for promoting fine art and photography (little interest) are not the same as mine (major interest) and that I need to explore my own website and other outlets. Thanks, this was very helpful.

    • One thing to remember, Elizabeth, is your branding goes way beyond just your logo. With Angie’s work, the effort she puts into her image, the quality of her work, and the service she gives are all part of her branding experience. In truth, her logo is only a small part of that equation. However, to fight the changes that Etsy is making with the banners, I would say that she, and others, could put their logo within their images somehow. It’s not ideal, but it’s one answer to the problem.

      • True. I print my photos on a high quality watercolor paper and only recently did it occurred to me to emphasize that in all of my listings, on my Etsy About page, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Learning, slowly.

        Angie has such a sleek, clean, architectural look to all of her photos — it would be easy for her to add a small banner/logo/watermark to each image. Though I hear they are easy as pie to remove, I use watermarks to deter theft and as a form of branding as well. Wherever my images end up, I want someone to know where they can be found.

  4. Donstell Noel says:

    Great interview. i love B&B etsy displayed, its unique.

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