If you don’t know Dennis Anderson, you don’t know soap on etsy. Dennis is an etsy success story, having reached over 7,000 sales in just a year and a half – a feat most etsians only dream about. His shop is so successful that soapmaking has become a full-time occupation for Dennis – he left his job at a lawn care company last April and hasn’t looked back since.
As the creator of the Clean up Your Act (CYA) team and a role model for many etsians, Dennis is a natural for the very first member feature on our blog…
The first question is an obvious one: Why a new team? There are teams for soapers already, so how will this one be different?
The vision behind this team was to create a group with a variety of soapmakers, a group that would welcome everyone from the hobbyist to the serious established soapmaker. I wanted a place where a group could talk openly without worry and have fun. I noticed there are not many groups on etsy that are dedicated to soapmakers, and because of this the existing teams are bursting at the seams - and many talented great craftspeople are feeling alone and left out on etsy. A team or group is great for supporting each other and it gives a community feel. I think when you’re part of a group it really helps - especially when starting out on such a large site.
What do you think is the real benefit of being on a team? What benefit(s) have you personally gotten from being on the other teams you're on?
I'm part of a few groups on etsy, and the support within the groups is amazing. It’s easy to step into a thread and chat for a few, and leave feeling at ease and most times much better - usually laughing and taking a different point of view away with me.
Is there a team on etsy that you think models the "ideal" team? What is it you like about them?
Well I would have to say the CCCOE Team (California Crafters Club of Etsy). I am a member of this team as well and the members are truly amazing - always having fun challenges, contests, making treasuries, and they’re an all-around great group. I’ve also heard the MUD team has amazing things going on, but I don't dabble in clay (well other than a little in some soaps).
What would you personally like to learn more about? What would you like to help teach others?
I'm really looking forward to the fun aspect of this group. I love creating treasuries and promoting. I think that would be the funnest part of this team for me.
You are a huge success on etsy. What do you attribute that to? What have you learned in the last year?
For my first 6 months on etsy, I believe I did alright. Last November, my shop exploded. I was starting to retake my pictures and was playing in the forums and started getting noticed by other sellers. I ended up in a few front-page treasuries, I was interviewed for a few blogs - everything started coming together. I have a lot of return customers and they tell friends and family. I feel really lucky.
What is your motto?
“Spoil Yourself!” is the motto I use with my soaps – it’s simple and to the point!
I catch myself sing "Don’t stop, don’t give up" (Yo Gabba Gabba). This one gets my house hopping I have a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old – it’s the best to get them singing and dancing around to this song when we say it :)
What will team members get that everyone else on etsy won't get? In other words, why should people join our team?
I'm hoping people will find this team to be a safe, fun place to have discussions and to be themselves. I'm hoping to get together a private forum-type environment in the future where we can have a more private environment for the serious group things that might bore the public. Also, I think joining a team is a great way to put yourself out there on the Internet. It’s easy to get lost in the massive groups of individuals.