Something’s stopping you? This Etsy seller with 13k+ sales has no room for excuses!

There’s no shortcut to success. Some might have it easier than the others but we all have to put in the required work sooner or later. Your passion shows when you’re willing to go to any lengths to see your dream turn into reality. And then, no barriers stand a chance. That’s when you know you’re dreaming without fear.

For our next conversation with a small business owner, meet Marina from My Cro Wonders, who’s aiming for the stars and won’t let the language barrier get in between her passion. We’re absolutely in awe and so inspired to find out that she’s come such a long way. Read on to know what we’re talking about.

My Cro Wonders shop on Etsy
Wow! What a huge number of sales! Congratulations. So, how did you come up with your shop idea?

Everything begins, when in 2011, I crocheted a couple of tiny toys for my year-old son. I was very delighted with my first toys, the creation of each of them was like a miracle for me. I remember the feeling, when I took up the idea of creating the toys by my own hands. I began almost immediately creating my own toys, at the same time I tried to give each of them their own character, making them interesting.
Of course, I was looking for inspiration on the Internet – I spent hours looking at the pictures of crocheted toys. I made my own blog to share my creative works and began publishing the photos and patterns of all my toys there. I was very pleased that not only my friends, but also strangers were interested in my works. The first subscribers and admirers appeared. At that time, I had no idea how to sell anything. I just wanted to give-to give-to give. The willingness to sell my own crochet patterns appeared 3 years later. In 2014 I registered on the Russian site – The masters fair, and added in my store several crochet patterns.

At that time, I already knew about Etsy, as I made purchases there several times. In the summer of 2015 before my trip to the sea, I spontaneously decided to create my shop on Etsy. At that time my English skills were at the Elementary level, I translated a pattern about crocheting a doll on my own and added it to my shop. For no particular reason but just to try. I went to have some rest for two weeks and even forgot about it. To my great surprise, on my arrival home in my shop there were 5 sales. And there was no doubt – I went in the right direction. Now a professional translator translates my crochet patterns. I trust her completely, as she herself crochets toys and knows the specificity of the crocheted terms and symbols. I relate the opening of my shop on Etsy to those actions, the success of which is not certain. As a step into the uncertainty. But you still do it, as you feel like you need it. I didn’t have a purpose to become a seller. I was just doing my favorite work – I was creating my toys.

Marina with her Crocheted toys
When you started off, did it go smooth or not as easy?

There were different moments. Not everything resulted immediately. But perhaps the main difficulty is the language barrier. Needlewomen from different countries have their own characteristics, customs, culture, holidays. We were brought up in different tales, watched different cartoons. To explain to a foreigner how to crochet one or another element is not the same as asking what time is it now or how to go to the museum. You are not taught about it in school and a google-translator will not help here. It is necessary to know the specificity here.
For example, crocheting hooks, their metric system in the different countries is different. I usually use the hook of the same size – No. 2, its diameter is 2.00 mm.
In the USA, for example, there is no such size of the hook, there is a similar size – 2.25 mm, it is called B/1. And in Great Britain, the hook 2.00 mm is known under the size 14. And in such a specific world as crocheting, there are many such examples.
But there is always a solution. It is necessary to communicate with people, ask them, and learn with them. When you get some experience, the communication with the foreign customers will be easier. The right words and examples come by their own.
I also choose one more important direction for my development – I began to improve my English language. Learning a language gives me no less pleasure than crocheting. And it’s great!

Tell us about some roadblocks you faced in your journey. How did you overcome them?

Working with Etsy is very nice. The site is developing. If there are any questions, the technical support quickly helps. But there are a couple of moments which sometimes cause my disappointment. For example, my customers can pay me only via PayPal. There are dozens of ways to pay for your purchases in the world, but I unfortunately can accept the payments only via PayPal. But we come to an arrangement with each customer. The other example is the language barrier, again. Now my crochet patterns are in Russian and in English. I have been reached out several times and asked to translate my crochet patterns into French, Italian, Dutch or Portuguese. I want to do it, I want my crochet patterns to be in the other languages, too. But now I do not have enough knowledge and the time for it. I hope, I find a solution in this year. Maybe somebody among the readers will agree to help me in this matter? I appreciate it very much. I will be very grateful.

Marina in her workshop
How was your childhood like? Did it shape you in a way that resulted in your shop?

My childhood was happy. I grew up in the village. I spent my free time with the other children on our street. We ourselves made up the games and played them ourselves. My mother is a teacher in a school, and my brother and I often helped her to prepare for the lessons on holidays. We painted posters, decorated stands, played in the performances and so on. I remember one day we were pirates at the children’s party. It was very funny. Beside this, I attended many different hobby groups in needlework and creativity, theater clubs. If a new club was opened, I always attended it. By the way, exactly at one of such clubs I learned to crochet. One of my customers left such a review: “the toys of Marina smell of the desperate childish mischief”. I like this wording very much. It is exactly so. The atmosphere of my childhood had an influence on my development. My happy childhood continues to show in my toys. I’m still very curious, I’m not afraid to try something new and offer my ideas. These are very necessary qualities in the creative work.

Also, the increased attention to the criticism disturbs very much. Do not be upset, if your work is criticized. First people can have actual objective reasons for their displeasure. And second, if your work is criticized, it means, that your work is noticed, and it is a big plus itself.

You must be following some habits that have helped you be this successful today. Please tell us what they are.

I try to surround myself with beautiful things. It is not necessarily a common beauty or a trendy thing. These are the things where I’ve found some beauty. Sometimes the other people do not see this beauty and even my family does not see it, but I see it. This is the thing, which fascinates me, inspires me. And the opposite situation. I try to get rid of things which irritate me. I just can’t bear them near me. I guess this is my harmony, and my habit is to create and maintain this harmony. After all, in such conditions I’m effective, my results are better.

Do you have a favorite quote? What is it and why?

There is a phrase, which helps me in the moments of doubt and making the important decisions: “Do what you have to do and be what will be”. I think everybody has heard these words at least once in their life. Despite the simplicity of this phrase, it contains the great wisdom and deep meaning. This phrase is universal and it can be used in any situations of your life, especially when you can’t decide to take the first step in something or just afraid to change your life fundamentally.
Perhaps there will come a time, when you should make a difficult choice, and then you can tell yourself  “do what you have to do and be what will be” and you will succeed.

What is the key to a customer’s heart? Please share what you think.

It shouldn’t be your aim to make money out of your customers. You should love them. After all the customers go to us not to give their money to us. The need leads them. If my creative work can give people the thing they are looking for, I will be very happy. And if a person looks for something else, then do not waste your time to sell him something unnecessary. I understand that it can sound banal. Now you can find on the Internet interviews of many successful and rich people. Listen to them. And they often say that they don’t long for making money, and they do what they can do very well. I believe these words. Of course, you shouldn’t forget about money at all and even more to abandon them. But if you all the time think about how to make money on your creative work, when do you create? When do you develop? Share your knowledge, experience, be open for people and constantly learn
something new. This approach bears fruit without fail.

It is necessary to communicate with people, ask them, and learn with them. When you get some experience, the communication with the foreign customers will be easier. The right words and examples come by their own.
I also choose one more important direction for my development – I began to improve my English language. Learning a language gives me no less pleasure than crocheting. And it’s great!

How do you organize your time and what keeps you on schedule?

I work at home. Here there are many temptations and revulsive factors, that it is not always possible to spend as much time for creativity as you want. I can say that I have no timetable. The timetable is free. But every day I try to spend more time for my favorite hobby – crocheting. I don’t crochet when my children are ill. These days I pay all my attention only for my children, I spend all my time near them. And when my house is in quiet and everybody is healthy, the children are in the kindergarten, and my husband is at work, I can close in my study, turn on a series or music and devote my time to create. Perhaps it is the most ideal variant. To create something new I need to protect myself against the outside world, to sink into my own inner world. In fact, crocheting is not the funniest activity. It is a monotonous process, which demands to sit at one and the same place for much time and repeat the same actions. That’s why I do not crochet the clothes at all. I get bored. The other thing – toys. You can crochet a toy for one day or even for a couple of hours. The most fascinating process is the decoration of the toys. I devote my time to the toys only during daylight hours, and in the evenings I communicate on the Internet with my subscribers, I announce on the social networks the publication of a new crochet pattern. It is a good way to discipline yourself, to prepare a pattern faster. But sometimes the deadline makes me unbalanced. I begin to fuss and everything goes wrong. And then I just carry the date of
publishing for a new period or I can cancel the term at all. And such a thing happened.

This one needs special attention. What, according to you, makes people not succeed?

The thoughts about the fact that everything is already invented, studied and showed, disturb very much. Of course, it is not so. Always there are many ways to try new things. You just can’t be lazy and excessively pity yourself. Also, the increased attention to the criticism disturbs very much. Do not be upset, if your work is criticized. First people can have actual objective reasons for their displeasure. And second, if your work is criticized, it means, that your work is noticed, and it is a big plus itself. We all are different. There is no need to try to please everybody. Otherwise, you will do the things which others want, not
you.

Last but certainly not the least, do you have a belief that has helped you get through almost everything?

I have three such beliefs.
If something does not result today, it means that the time has not yet come.
In any situation remain sincere with yourself and with the others.
Believe in the thing you do.

Loved the post? Check out our previous conversation with another successful Etsy seller here. Let us know what you think about this shop in the comments below! We’d love to know your opinions.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

Posted by GemMartUSA | February 11, 2019
Meet this easy-going Etsy seller for some small business inspiration.
For our next conversation with a small business owner, meet Kaja from CertifiedDIYSupply on Etsy. We're absolutely in awe of how I sell certified silicone and premium wooden supplies: silicone...
Posted by GemMartUSA | August 30, 2018
This successful Etsy seller made it through with the help of her family! Know how.
Our next small business owner enlightened us on the power of family and of unity. Their success knows no bounds. Want to know how? Meet Tia from AllThatsRustic on Etsy,...
Posted by GemMartUSA | July 2, 2018
This Etsy shop is all kinds of creative! Meet the seller.
Who said a successful business only needs a big investment and for you to go all in to start off with? It isn't a truth lesser known that while you...