The next shop feature for the month of October hails from Lehigh Acres, Florida. Let's give Natalee Wright from Black Willow Soaps a virtual round of applause for taking the time to share her story. As always, check for links below and shower us with comments!
When did you know you wanted to create and sell handmade items?
My mother and her friend, Kurt, had been talking about selling handcrafted items at craft shows in our area. They asked me to join them and bring my soaps and candles. So, I made a bunch of soaps to go to the craft fair. Unfortunately, it never panned out and I was left with all of these soaps. Christmas had just passed, so I couldn’t really gift the items. I had sold on Etsy before with just original artwork and really couldn’t get it to work out. But, I figured why not try it again with my new products. So far, it has been a wonderful journey.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I gain inspiration from everything. Most of the time, you can tell what I have been looking at with my new products! The beach themed tealight candle holder came from a trip to the beach with my husband. The rose candle holder came from the memory of the beautiful roses that my mother had in our yard when we lived in Indiana. My friends and family are a big inspiration and usually the last word on whether or not one of my products will be listed. Chances are if they like it, someone else will enjoy it as well.
What’s the most memorable custom item you’ve created?
My Aunt Amy told me that she couldn't use certain soaps because they caused her to get a rash. I created the Lavender Oatmeal Shea Butter Soap just for her. It didn't cause her to get a rash and she loved it.
Besides creating things, what do you do?
During normal business hours, I am a case manager for senior citizens. I help provide services to senior citizens that allow them to stay in their home instead of going to a nursing home. If I am not at work, I am usually working on my shop. My hobbies kind of surround my shop. I like to paint, create, and grow herbs to put in my soaps. I spend time with my family whenever I can. Most of my family outings even seem to encompass my shop, like the beach, thrift stores, and the flea market. In a sense, I am always working…at least in my mind. My brain never stops thinking about what I could be creating or doing for my shop.
What is the most important advice anyone has given you?
It will all work out. In fact, my husband says it repeatedly.
What is the most important advice you'd like to give to other etsy sellers?
Dive in! You never know what will happen until you try. I firmly believe that dreams never die, they just change a little over the years. So, I would say to anyone who wants to create their own business or exclusively work in the products that I work in, that they should go for it and see what is waiting at the other end. Life’s journey begins with a single step, right?
Show Natalee some virtual love! Her back story is truly inspiring, don't forget to stay positive out there!