Last week we set out on a road trip to Brooklyn, NY and Westport, CT. The schedule was packed leaving little downtime but we managed to squeeze in a few amazing food spots - Laduree and Reynard. I highly recommend both if you have the chance to indulge.
Earlier in the week when I was scheduling the destinations it hadn't occurred to me that this trip would reflect the steps of my business from beginning to present. As we arrived in Dumbo and circled the blocks trying to find parking the adrenaline and excitement started to kick in. Heck yeah, I was very excited to finally take a tour of the Etsy Headquarters.
What has always intrigued me about Etsy is the personal interaction and community it has created. The interaction between me and my clients, other shop owners and all the people behind the scenes that make up Etsy - those are all real people! Etsy gave me the tools and resources I needed to get my business started and as my business has grown and evolved it has continued to play an integral role. When you purchase a pillow from my shop, it is made by real people. In fact, every product from Jillian Rene Decor is designed and hand crafted in our Richmond, VA studio. We source raw materials and from there everything including our tags and inserts are made in-house.
That chick in the picture up there… that's Jillian. She designs, photographs and packages every pillow. She also handles all of the advertising and marketing, and production is shared between Jillian and her production assistant. Additional part-time help is brought on as needed during busy seasons. It's reasonable to say that Jillian doesn't sleep much, but she's quick to tell you how much it's all worth it because she's living her dream!
We, my assistant Michael and I, were welcomed with friendly smiles, open arms and lots of questions. Lots of questions that I really haven't been asked before specifically pertaining to Etsy and beyond. (I'll be doing a follow up post in the coming weeks for a question and answer series. Do you have questions for me? Leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them in the next post.)
Speaking of dreams… the last leg of our trip was to Westport, CT. It was definitely a surreal moment to see my pillows displayed in the Lou & Grey flagship store! If you're in the area, stop by and check it out.
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