Karrita Renzelmann | Episode 306
Karrita Renzelmann of Queen Bee Pottery fell in love with clay when her husband surprised her with a pottery wheel for her birthday in 2006. She began with introductory classes at the local college and couldn’t get enough of the intrinsic feeling of delight, focus, and comfort that came with placing her hands in clay and creating. It was in the garden that the love of nature and creativity were planted in her heart. This love of unifying the beauty of nature with the creation of functional and decorative pottery is the inspiration for Queen Bee Pottery. The ongoing growth of her relationship with clay is nurtured with excitement and curiosity about how the journey will evolve and change in her lifetime. Karrita continues to be amazed, inspired, and grateful for the connections that her pottery creates with customers worldwide.
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People have said that using Etsy exclusively is a mistake. Why would you disagree with that?
Etsy has been a platform that has put my pottery out in the world. I have sold over two thousand pieces now through Etsy. I think it is great if you don’t have a freestanding website or you don’t have the ability to take payments on your website. It is just providing a platform that your customers are coming to.
Why is photography such a pillar for the success on Etsy?
That is your customers first step into your business.
What is the most important part or element of good photography for sales?
Lighting. Lighting for sure.
How important is the description for your sales on Etsy?
That’s a tricky question because most of us find that customers don’t really read the description. Although they say it is very important. I like to put the dimensions of pieces and the food safety aspect of the pieces. It is a little bit challenging to write a description that is going to catch someone. Your title, your description, and your tags all need to coincide with each other. Those are the most important things to be found as far as search engines go. Once the customers are in your shop, photographs are the most important part, in my opinion.
Does it concern you that Etsy sometimes shuts people down?
The possibility of that is something to be concerned with. I have not had any situations where that has been an issue for me. I see the value of one having their own freestanding website.
What are some safeguards from keeping your Etsy account from being shut down?
Integrity. Running your shop on the up and up. Good reviews. Not having customer service issues. Which falls back to providing excellent customer service.
You are building a business. Etsy doesn’t allow you to collect email addresses. How do you with good conscience build a relationship with your customers that buy through Etsy?
I used to save all the email addresses and I would send a newsletter out once or twice a year. I stopped doing that because I did have an issue with someone on that regarding Etsy’s rules. You can have a link within your about page where they can sign up for your newsletter, which could help. I used to include a little message that goes to they buyers when they buy something that said, if you would like to keep up with what’s being made and be notified about upcoming sales and discounts, please sign up for our newsletter.
What is your favorite tool in the studio?
I actually have a new favorite tool. Last year I bought a Strong Arm. It is a contraption that helps with centering large amounts of clay. Since I bought the strong arm I now have the ability to throw much larger than I ever have.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
Well the first thing that popped into my mind is seeing the Northern Lights. I am not sure where, but I would like to be somewhere and experience that.