Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interview with Ilene AKA starstreamdesign

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



My name is Ilene and though I won't give away my exact age, I will tell you that I have memories of watching the first moon landing (so that can give you a hint). I live in Central New Jersey with my husband and 6.5 yo daughter. No pets but we're working on that as my daughter (and I) really want a dog(s) (just have to convince the hubby).

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

Ilene I really was clueless about Zazzle and any PODs until early 2009. I had been an art director and graphic designer in corporate communications, advertising and production for nearly 20 years and was a freelance designer/art director for many of those years. After I had my daughter, I left my big-shot art director position and stayed home with her. While on FB one day, I saw a status update by a friend (who I was friends with in high school and hadn't spoken to in 25 years... ahh, gotta love FB!). She had written that she had just received a $39 check from Zazzle for the sale of some postage stamps that she had made from a photograph of her ballerina daughter. I was intrigued so I checked it out. This woman is definitely NOT a designer and I thought with my background I should be able to pull it off. This was March of 2009 but I really
didn't get my store together until May of that year when I started posting products & made my first sale.

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

  • Star Stream Design is my main store & is an all-around one-stop shop. My focus is just to do great designs with the utmost care to typography. (I'm a little OCD about typography)
  • Star Stream Business - With my experience in the business/marketing world it was just natural for me to open a shop just for business design. One of my favorite things to design on Zazzle are business cards and just about everything to do with corporate identity and branding.

I also have another shop in its infancy which is more of an apparel/fun stuff store. Its in its infancy so I will let you know when I get it together!!!

The ProSeller Corner What has been you best selling product?

Ilene Star Stream Design:  My most popular designs is this bridal shower invitation and this Golden (50th) Anniversary invitation

BTW, the FPO pic on the anniv. invitation is that of my fabulous parents who get a kick out of seeing themselves on there.

As for my business store (Star Stream Business) this business card for a massage therapist is very popular. It's funny because the logo on here is one I created over a decade ago for a massage therapist friend. She ended up not liking it and wanted to use a ballerina (??what?!) for her logo. I thought I'd resurrect it for Zazzle and I'm very pleased with the results (not to mention the sales!)

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

Ilene I have a 6 yo daughter so much of my time is playing activities director for her. (She starts 1st grade full-time in the fall so I'm excited that I finally will get the time to finally work on Zazzle all day.) We do typical 6yo girl things together: playdates, PTA stuff, parks, shopping(!!). In the extremely limited free time I have I like to hit the gym 4 times/week. I'm huge on reading. If I have time I like to spend it creatively: drawing, painting, etc. I used to design jewelry but Zazzle took over the time I spent on that. I also do hand calligraphy (for weddings, etc.) but that has slowed down due to the economy & brides being pretty tech-savvy themselves (eg: printing their own computer-addressed calligraphy). I just like spending time with my family & we're always trying to find something fun to do or places to go.

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

Ilene Balancing life w/ Zazzling is a struggle everyday. I'm usually exhausted by 9:30pm as my daughter gets everyone in the house up at the crack of dawn and I'm running around morning to night. I don't get much of a break b/c my husband works full-time & sometimes weekends. I just try to fit in work whenever I get a spare moment, whether its at 5:30am before my daughter is up for the day or after she goes to bed, or even when she's on the other computer playing Build-A-Bear workshop. :-)

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

Ilene It took me exactly a year to reach ProSeller status after I joined up. I wasn't too serious about getting products in until about 6 months in and then it just took off after I discovered better ways to promote myself.

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?

Ilene I felt very fortunate to become a ProSeller. All I can say, its no easy road & definitely no get rich quick scheme. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to get there. Tag and describe your products well. Network & promote like crazy (but don't get too obnoxious about it). Read the forums and get involved. And I can't say enough about quality control. Make great products to which you would be proud to
sign your name.


Jasmine said...

I wish I knew about tagging right when I began. If everyone got a good understanding about it going in it would be a lot easier for them. Make sure you leave a comment here when your new store is ready.

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