Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview with Debra AKA beachwalker

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

Debra Everyone on Zazzle knows me as Beachwalker. I was living on the beach in Florida when I picked that name. Since then, I also spent time in Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, South Dakota and Texas! The travel and my large family are major influencers of my photography and design.

I create WordPress websites as my other work. I just love designing more!

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

Debra In the spring of 2008, I was sitting at a table in my rented dining room in St. Augustine Beach looking out at the Atlantic ocean with the waves just rolling in and the pelicans gliding above the balcony. I was wishing I could find a way never to go back to the cubicle life. I had had a small store at "the other place" and my Mom sent me an article about Zazzle. I wanted to diversify and increase my income and design reach, so I tried it out. I liked the fact that one image could fit on a multitude of products at Zazzle and that I could open as many stores as I could handle - for free!

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

Debra Um, yes. I had to make myself a list because I couldn't keep track anymore! I had three stores almost from Day 1, now I'm over a dozen with more ideas than time. . .

Beachwalker is my first and main store. Of course, it features beach cards and gifts - many with images from my time in Florida.

Woodswalker leans more towards nature and travel photography.

Family Treed offers family reunion invitations and family history binders and recipe books.

Debra Schmidt is wall decor - mostly canvases with photography and digital art designs. I like to make my canvases as big as Zazzle will build them! (No, not many people want five foot art!)

Echoes of Dad is a niche store started in response to a 2009 Zazzle campaign for "dadisms" and I had plenty from my family!

Lake Christmas is a newer holiday store that's going to get some serious attention real soon!

AustinLED is a niche store just for mobile phone cases and computer sleeves and the like. I add designs from all my stores there.

Another niche store is Snowmana. Of course, it's all snow and snowmen!

I just opened my Wedding Whimsies store because all three of my nieces were married within a two year period and I finally was inspired to start something! Prior to that, my wedding cards and gifts were scattered among other stores. The girls then started having babies. . . and Sweet Baby Carrots was born!

The ProSeller Corner What has been you best selling product?

Debra People really like one of my early beach products - this Beach Love postage stamp:
Love on the beach postage stamp
A Paris-inspired bridal shower invitation is my most popular item in my Woodswalker store:

Postcards from Paris II Bridal Shower Invitation 
The High Country design is most popular in my FamilyTreed store, especially on keychains:
High Country Save the Date Key Chains
This design apparently resonates the most amongst the nostalgic customers visiting Echoes of Dad:
You don't need stitches mug
(Yes, my dad and uncles really did say that to us!)

This photo from a ranch in New Mexico is really popular in AustinLED:
Horseshoe Vintage Sepia Photograph iPhone 5 Cases
The ProSeller Corner What do you enjoy doing when you're not working on your store?
Debra Being outside with a camera and some scenery to shoot!
The ProSeller Corner How do you balance your time between Zazzle and life?
Debra LOL - not well! I shoot photos and design with Zazzle in mind; I participate in several off-site Zazzle discussion groups and talk about it in my WordPress meetups as well. It's hard to get away from Zazzle and I enjoy chatting with fellow Zazzlers. I also help my newbie friends learn how to use it, so I really don't escape much! :) 
The ProSeller Corner How long had you been with Zazzle before you reached a ProSeller status?
Debra Well, it was under the old system, which was quite different. I was not speedy - it took about a year for me.

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?

Debra Keep your potential customers in mind every step of the process: consider who they are and what they would like and how they could find your store and your products. Make everything geared towards making things easy and fun for them!


Jasmine said...

I knew you had a couple stores, but didn't realize how many you had! Such awesome stuff Debra, keep up the great work. :)

Lake Effects said...

Thank you, Jasmine! And thanks for the opportunity to be on your site. Great design choice, BTW!

Jasmine said...

Thanks Debra. :)

ArtformTheHeart* said...

Great interview! It's lways nice to read a bit more about the folks you "talk" to.

Debbie said...

Oh beach walker, I envy you your travels. I love to do the same with my camera. Great interview!

Ricaso said...

Always loved the Beachwalker store .. now I'm going to have to travel around the rest .. great interview :D

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