Behind a wall of colorful jars in a small candy shop in Minneapolis is a crafting studio just as sweet. Tracy Holy, owner of Dioramatist, an embroidery shop for all skill levels, has honed the art of craft and online selling. Always keeping the customer in mind, Tracy considers details that are often overlooked in the selling process. Inspired by life’s smallest moments, she succeeds by creating her products with an outer sense of calm and insight.
What got you started? Where did you begin?
I learned the art of embroidery from my wonderfully creative mother when I was a young girl growing up in a small town in Minnesota. It is extremely nostalgic for me, and comforting to be immersed in stitching. It reminds me of a simpler time, before technology saturated all of our time and thoughts. My embroidery kits and samplers featured in my shop are an expression of that simpler time, and a reminder that hand-made, is well made, and when you take the time to create something yourself, it fills you with a certain satisfaction and warmth that everyone should experience.
What do you hope people will receive from your products?
I really want people who purchase my kits to learn the fun and exciting art of embroidery, and am in high hopes that it becomes a hobby for them. Many of my customers have never embroidered before, and send me notes upon completing their first project with such enthusiasm for the medium, and new requests for more kits. With a little patience and desire, it is really a simple craft to learn, and I think most people are surprised at how well their first project turns out. The wonderful thing about embroidery being, you can keep it simple or advance your skills immensely. It is up to you!
What inspired you?
In the simplest of terms, I am a maker. There is no other way to express it. Joy, to me, is to create in any and all ways throughout any and all days. I draw inspiration from life’s smallest moments. A heavy cloud cover, reading someone else’s words on a postcard dated fifty years ago, peppermint tea accompanied by buttered toast, and the very idea that in every moment lies the distinct possibility to be swept off one’s feet. And all we really have are countless moments…
What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?
Since a lot of my shop is embroidery kits, I like to consider skill levels of my customers. It is import to me to have fun, and sweet designs coupled with basic and more advanced stitches, so my customers are enjoying the kit and advancing their skills simultaneously.
As far as my finished sampler pieces I offer, I just like to think of original, sometimes quirky images, that would make someone smile. People should smile more:)
What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?
Online selling is so easy and fun! It reaches so many people, from all around the world that normally would never come in contact with your items. First, make sure you have enough items ready to sell to make up a shop page. Even if you just start with 10, that is fine. But shops with 1 or 2 items look empty. Secondly, do your research! Know going in how much shipping will be, and if your item it easily shippable and what packaging you will need to accommodate. All this should go into your shipping costs, and knowing is better that guessing. Shipping costs can really sneak in and bite you 🙂 Lastly, I think the most important thing with online selling is to have clear, descriptive, well taken images of your items. After all, the picture is what is really going to make them want it. A great photo coupled with a well written description of the item, and clear information regarding item size, what is included in the listing, and shipping information, all will help a potential customer feel good about the purchase.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?
There a few things that really stick out when I think about the joys of a personal craft business. Thinking up a new design, sketching it out, then stitching it up and it becomes a tangible item — that is a wonderful feeling. So many of my ideas ride a Ferris wheel of change and indecision, that when a workable design finally emerges, that’s everything! Then, when I list the new item in my shop and the first customer orders one, well…that brightens my whole day.
Also, the people you meet in an online business really took me by surprise. I sell all over the world, from China to Australia, England to Canada. I adore the idea of my products traveling all those miles, and when I get emails from these customers with embroidery questions or product testimonials it is a real joy!
What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?
CraftLaunch was the best option for me to have a personal website linked to my Etsy shop. The template was easy to navigate and quite modern, and I love how simple it is to upload new content and add new features when desired. The very best thing about CraftLaunch is when I list a new item in my Etsy store, it immediately (and magically, if I do say) appears on my CraftLaunch site. Now, I call that easy!