ETSY SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW # 18 with William and Sally
Many thanks to Sarah, the generous Etsy shop owner ofwilliam & sally, for participating in an exclusive little interview for us!
How did you come up with your business/shop name…
►William & Sally comes from my husband’s name, William, and my first daughter’s name, Sally. Now I have another baby girl, so I hope she doesn’t feel left out! I will have to name some of our products after her.
Can you share a little background about your logo…
►I designed it. I wanted something simple and modern, and something that would go perfectly with our brand. All of our labels, tags, stickers, and packaging are made on brown recycled Kraft paper, with the same black font. I originally wanted a little black hippo underneath the “William & Sally” logo, but it was not something that panned out at the time.
Please tell us about your shop and the items you sell…
►We are a 100% non-profit shop that started out selling children’s clothes and accessories. Our style is simple, comfortable, and classic with a modern twist. Comfort, quality, attention to detail, and great color combinations are our focus. This is how our shop started: For years my sister-in-law wanted children. When she found out she would receive the ultimate blessing of a child via adoption, she was incredibly excited but also overwhelmed by the financial setback of adoption. My sister-in-law was always serving others and found herself in need; hence, the birth of William & Sally. 100% of the profit from William & Sally products are donated to help orphans find stable, loving homes. You can read more on our “About” page. Now that I stay at home with 2 babies under 1 ½ years, I have temporarily changed the shop to a “PDF Pattern Only” shop until the children grow older and I have more time to keep up with our handmade orders. All of the products we sold as a ready-made product are now available in pdf form. They are instantly downloadable, complete with Step by step instructions and pictures. I do allow people to sell their finished headbands on a small scale (no more than 10 listings at a time), but ask for credit to William & Sally when doing so. I ask that a tag to be attached that says “A Pattern by William & Sally” with reference to my shop page: www.etsy.com/shop/williamandsally. However, I do ask that under no circumstances the pattern be shared or sold (with respect to our intellectual property, as they are original William & Sally designs).
Do you have a “top seller” or personal favorite item?
► Our hand-dyed, hand-painted boys’ tee shirts were also a huge success, but now that we are a pattern shop, we do not sell those anymore. One of my favorite items is our “Three Roses Headband”. The flowers look like a little crown on a little girl’s head, and I personally love it on my own little girl. I think it is such a cute item for little flower girls in weddings! I also love our girls’ tee shirt headbands, which are very popular (I think because they are so comfortable for children and babies)! Another one of my favorites will always be our fabric bow headband/clip —it is very bubbly and something that will never go out of style.
►We are based in Atlanta, GA. However, I have volunteers all over the country—Anna, Jenn, Karen, Sarah D., Sarah W., Staci, and Rose. There is no way William & Sally could have continued to exist if it had not been for the amazing group of ladies who selflessly dedicated their time, efforts, and hearts to our cause. They have spent countless volunteer hours making items for William & Sally because they are dedicated to helping orphans and the adoption cause. You can read more about them on our “About” page (www.etsy.com/shop/williamandsally/about ). None of us get a penny for our work, but we all love what we do!
Where do you get your inspiration? ►For my girls’ items, I wanted to design items that were modern and classic at the same time. I draw inspiration by looking at some of my old dresses that my mom gave me when I was a little girl, and think about what would go well with them. When I put one of my own vintage dresses on my own baby girls, and the accessories I have designed go well with it, they are successful in my eyes. For the boys (since I don’t have any), I am inspired by what fabrics and designs will look adorable and very boyish on my best friend’s little boy, Charlie. He has this amazing, old fashioned look with wild blond, curly hair, huge blue eyes, and a smile that will light up any room. I aim to design comfortable clothing and accessories that will never go out of style—I think that is achieved by shying away from trends, sticking with classics, and putting a modern spin on them. I think there is a reason why Chevron stripes are a huge craze right now (they are very cute), but I wanted to keep things like Chevron out of the shop because I know we will see things with Chevron in a few years and immediately think of 2012-2014—something that will be out of style in a few years.
►Some time outdoors each day and…Coffee! Whether pregnant, nursing, or “normal,” I usually drink 2-3 cups a day (yikes!). Also, for an old-fashioned type gal, I am a little too dependent on my iPhone. Maybe it’s because I am so bad at directions.
You’re not a fan of…
►Sitting still (unless it’s a rainy day).
We wouldn’t guess that…
►I always thought I would be a medical doctor (MD). Instead I am currently a stay-at-home-mom making homemade finger paint with my daughter and loving it!
One day, you hope to…
►Open a brick-and-mortar shop with all of our original William & Sally designs, in addition to other great brands. I have tons of designs for baby’s, children’s, and women’s clothes just waiting to be unleashed. Everything is designed with comfort, ease, and modesty in mind—I will use sweatshirt and tee shirt materials with dainty, classic details like peplum, ruffles, comfortable lace, flowers, and bows for the females, and lots of boyish designs like helicopters, trucks, airplanes, and dinosaurs for the males. Once my husband and I are finally settled down in one place and we have all of the travel wanderlust out of our systems, I think we will make it happen.
Do you have advice for other Etsy shop owners? ►Go with your instincts—I thought making a 100% nonprofit shop was a huge risk, but people love our cause, and I think our mission has made us much more successful than it would have been if we had made it a for-profit shop. I thought my designs might not be trendy enough, either—but it I think people will always be looking for comfortable, cool, quality classics with a creative spin.