Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interview with Donna AKA maggie02

The ProSeller Corner Tell the world a little bit about yourself.

Donna I am recently divorced and live with my little Chi Chi doggie, Maggie.  Before you ask, yes, that's where I got my Username [maggie02] for my Zazzle Store. I figured she'd be good luck for me, since she's gotten me through some tough times. In a toxic marriage a friend pulls you through and since I was living far away from my family, my little Maggie was my best friend. She's my little angel.
I just got a job which I start in September, which will take some of the pressure off of bad Zazzle months.  Now I'm hoping to put a little aside in the bank when I get some really good months during the holidays.  
I also hope I can make Silver [ProSeller] by the end of the year with all the holiday sales. Good luck to me!

The ProSeller Corner When did you start designing at Zazzle and what made you choose them?

Donna I found Zazzle through the Kroger website when they were having a "create a tote contest."  Zazzle happened to have had an ad on their site and I followed it.  The rest is history.  I believe my first Store was opened about April of 2008. Since then I've opened 4 more stores. I did try a few other POD sites, but found them to be very user un-friendly.  Now I'm glad I stuck with Zazzle and pretty much never went back to those other sites.

The ProSeller Corner Do you have any other stores at Zazzle?

Donna Yes, I have four other Zazzle Stores.
  • Christmas Toys: Not much guesswork here. Christmas theme store. I really don't get to it as much as I like, but will try soon as Christmas will be here before we know it, right?
  • Mouse Pad Shop: This is a shop I opened just for me. I know it will probably take a long time to get sales since I'm not sure how many people are really shopping for mouse pads. But I just love creating them. To me, they're like little "mini canvases." I just love doing them for some reason. I like the fact that I can do one, and then move on and do a completely different design. I don't have to go and put the same design on every singe product Zazzle makes, because the store is "just mouse pads!"  I love that. When I get burnt out on my other stores I go here and just have fun!  It helps me to unwind and by the time I get back to my other stores I feel refreshed and ready to start again.
  • Party Thyme:  My second store and still a work in progress. It is pretty much party invites, themes and such.  The name about explains it really.
  • Scary Things:  A Halloween type based store. I really try and create there as much as I can, but it seems to be going slower than I like. I have it divided into themes such as Pirates, Skulls, Trick or Treat, Mummies, etc. It pretty much explains itself also.
The ProSeller Corner What has been your best selling product?

Donna Believe it or not one of my best selling products is my "monkey mug."
Office Humor mug It's under my "office humor" section and for some reason people just love it.  It's simple with absolutely no design at all, just text.  But the first week in December I sold like 12 of these things!  Guess that tells you how people feel about sitting at their desks all day, huh?  I keep saying I'm going to start making more "office humor" stuff, but I keep getting side-tracked.  But I do sort of sprinkle little funny products in here and there, so if you look real hard you'll find them.
I think the world needs more humor and that we all just need to laugh a lot more.

The ProSeller Corner What do you enjoy doing when you're not working on your store?

Donna I spend my spare time with my twin sister and my favorite Aunt and cousins. We just hang out, go shopping, out to eat, spend hours talking, laughing and having just plain fun. My aunt is my adopted mom now that my mom is gone.  And my cousins are like my sisters. My only immediate family left is my twin.
Mom, Dad and my Older Sis are all gone. So I've learned just how precious life really is and how short.
I've started learning to eat dessert first!  LOL!

The ProSeller Corner How do you balance your time between Zazzle and life?

Donna I Zazzle like a mad woman and then I take breaks. When I get on a creative roll I take advantage big time! Getting on a creative jive doesn't happen all the time and if you don't take advantage of it you'll miss so much precious time creating beautiful things. So my advice would be to do it while the juices are flowing and when they aren't so much, or you get burnt out, play! Enjoy life! It's way too short not to, trust me.

The ProSeller Corner How long had you been with Zazzle before you reached a ProSeller status?

Donna I started my first store with Zazzle in April of 2008.  I didn't really take it all that serous because I was working at the time and was in a toxic marriage which distracted me a lot. Then around Spring of that year a friend of mine joined and started creating very quickly. Well now! I wasn't about to have her pass me up! LOL!  So I really got to creating and before I knew it I had more products than I ever thought I would.
I think my first check was in January of 2009 for like $15 and some odd cents. I only got that because it took me that long to make that much. So by the end of 2009 my sales really started to pick up and I made the first level (Bronze) Pro Seller by the holidays of 2009 I think.  My goal is to become Silver by this Holiday Season of 2010. 

The ProSeller Corner Getting noticed and becoming a ProSeller takes a lot of hard work and time. What advice would you give to those aspiring to become a ProSeller?

Donna Be prepared to put a LOT OF HOURS into this! The more time you spend, the more products you get out there, the better chance of sales. But please, don't mistake quantity over quality.  Don't put products out there just to be getting them out there. Make sure you put "quality" products out there.
This will ensure less cancelations, and more sales. 
I would also advise you to go to the forums. Had I not gone to the forums I have no clue if I'd even be ProSeller now. I learned so much from everyone there. All the people at Zazzle are so kind and willing to help you in any way they can. Listen to what they have to say. Some things they learned they learned the hard way and they are giving you their best advice so you won't have to.


Jasmine said...

I think I know that design contest on Kroger you're talking about.
That monkey mug is great. I always find my best sellers to be something so simple as that sometimes.

Serge Averbukh said...

Hey, Donna, go silver!!! Best of luck!

Laura said...

It's been a year since this interview so I hope you've achieved your goals with moving up the ProSeller ranks!

I'm just starting out, but my goal is to make 5 products per day. It will take longer right now because I'm using GIMP software tutorials. However, on days that I'm feeling very creative, I'll go all out.

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