Meet the Maker with Taralah of YokieB

Here on the blog today, I have very first interview with a maker. You may know her from Instagram and love her as much as I do - the sweet Taralah from YokieB.  She's such a sweet soul and I love following her and seeing her inspirational work on Instagram.

Taralah designs beautiful crochet patterns & crochet items to sell, jewelry, and accessories.  She runs an Etsy shop where she sells her unique items and has a gorgeous instagram feed that you need to follow.

You can find Taralah's instagram here and her creations on her Etsy shop here. Check them out - you won't be disappointed!

I was thrilled when she agreed to do a small interview with me where she talks about her small business and also gives encouraging words to others aspiring to become makers!

Read on for Taralah's interview.

How did you come up with the name of your shop? 

I originally wanted to name the shop “Coco Bean” after our two kitties.  Of course, that wasn’t the best option for having your shop pop up first in online search results. ;) My husband suggested we use their nicknames instead, (we love a good nickname) and boom, yokieB was born!  I thought that using just one uppercase letter was visually appealing, so that’s the reason for that! :)

What inspired you to open a shop on Etsy and sell your handmade items?

I worked in visual merchandising for over 10 years.  Although it was a great creative outlet, there was a whole lot of corporate not-so-fun aspects as well.  Every time I would go on Etsy and view other artist’s amazing work, the desire to create my own handmade items to sell grew stronger and stronger.  In 2012 my husband and I took a huge leap of faith, I quit my full-time job, and I started my Etsy shop!

Is selling your handmade items your main gig or is it a side hustle? 

Being a wife and mommy is my main gig, and I love being able to have a creative business on the side.

How do you make time to manage your small business?

It can definitely be hard to manage my time with a toddler.  I used to be one of those people that just liked to plow through and not stop till things were done, but I’ve learned to do tasks a little bit at a time now.  It can still be hard to follow that routine, but I find that it works best for me in this season.  I do most of my making during nap time and after my daughter has gone to bed.

What is your favorite thing about being a maker?

I love designing new things the most!  It’s so much fun to see something that’s in your head come to life through yarn and hook!

What is your greatest challenge in running a handmade business?

I think pricing can be a big challenge.  You want to make sure you are taking every little thing into consideration when coming up with the right price, and that you are paying yourself fairly, but you also don’t want to turn people away with prices that are too high…It’s a delicate balance.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about selling their handmade items? Do you have any tips or do's & don'ts? 

I would say that’s awesome! :) Also, don’t rush it.  Take the time to do research and think about what you want your business to look like.

I was so eager to get something listed in the shop when I first started, and I didn’t take enough time to think about the overall look and feel of the shop.  I have made a lot of changes since opening the shop 5 years ago.  Some things will change with time, and you will continuously want to tweak details to make them better as you learn new strategies, but it is such a great feeling when you are confident in the product you are selling and the way that it’s presented.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get advice from other makers.  One of the many things I love about this maker community is the incredible support and kindness they show!

And lastly, I would say not to get discouraged if it takes a little bit of time for your first sale (if you are opening an online shop).  It took me about 3 months to get my first sale on Etsy that was not from a family member or friend ;).  Those sales, of course count too and are awesome, but it's really neat and rewarding to have a sale from someone you don't even know! ;)