Interview with Grace Phanthipa of ThaiGraceDesigns on Etsy
I was a Human Resources Manager for an international company in Bangkok but it was getting in the way of my dream; I wanted to make things and show my creative side which was being held back. I left my job and started making pretty sparkly gifts for friends and family. It felt great. They started to plant the seed of confidence in me and encouraged me to sell them so I set up a little craft stall which is going quite well! Here I am up to this point of setting up my online craft store. I love to make things and I hope you enjoy them too; I will sell them cheaply as I only need to make a little profit and will not be greedy.
Etsy Shop: ThaiGraceDesigns
I love animals but I’m a cat person. My friends always mention that my character is similar to cat.
I used to have 2 cats, back there 5 years ago my first homeless kitty named “Brownie” Sadly, My neighbor hit him by a car and just last 6 months ago my 2nd homeless kitty named “Chen Long” She was missing somewhere. Now I have another homeless kitty name “Jam Roll” I have always loved cats, I have always been an animal lover.
Please describe your creative process.
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Some of my work has its special purpose and others pieces are for decoration. Lots of different styles and media. Sometimes an idea for something will just pop into my head and I have to create it.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
I have found incredible items on Etsy and was browsing for a little while but then people on here gave me a thought that I can show my creative side of me. I have considered other ways to expand even more.
Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
Not at this time but I hope to some day.
Have you been successful at selling your products on Etsy? Have you always been
successful, or did you end up getting a lot more traffic after being featured on a specific blog?
When I first start I didn’t expect too much how it will go, I have to waited for 2 months for my first customer and then my little shop keep getting better and busy. I may not be the biggest seller on Etsy but I love it every time I find that someone has added one of my items to their favorites list or emails me, and even more so if they buy it.
Every time when I photograph my products, I put an effort more and more because I believe if I want to buy something I want to see all details of products before I purchase. I have been very lucky on ETSY and I am so grateful. Thanks to my lucky charm.
Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
Yes they are, some customers gave me a thought to make my products more cute and adorable, and of course I’m always open to suggestions.
Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
I would love to! If I can I will. They are beautiful.
Are you a one woman show?
Yes and No. I have my lovely mother and little brother to assist me to post my products when I go on holidays. Also my BF helped me setup my shop on Etsy when I started and always helpful to check on Etsy every morning when I have new orders.
Do you have a blog?
Unfortunately I don’t but I would love to have my personal blog someday.
Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
Yes I will do any custom, any special requests, colors, size, material, etc! I can provide a made to order service. And of course each item is inspected before photographing and then again before shipping. I will accept a return only if a piece is defective in some way. I am happy to resolve any problems that might exist with a piece! I cannot replace pieces that have been damaged through improper use, or care.
Can you share a story with us behind any of your products that you especially enjoyed working on? Maybe because of the story behind the kitty?
I always have an inspiration by Cats, I love everything about cats and every time I see any products about cats, I couldn’t stop thinking how to make it for new items and kitty always fill me in with new ideas.