Tell us about yourself...
My name is Thomas, and I am the owner/designer of Thomas Saylor Designs. I make an assortment of home decor items and fashion accessories, including pillow covers, iPhone sleeves, coasters, car trash bags and place mats. I love custom orders, so if there is anything you need sewn/customized/monogrammed/embroidered I would love to hear from you!
What inspires you the most?
To me, the most inspiring and motivating place in the world is the fabric store. I love taking items that you already have, and sprucing them up with a cover or sleeve made out of a fantastic shade or print. I believe that fabric touches are the key elements of decorating that are often overlooked, and a little splash of color goes a long way.
What other talents do you have?
Well, I consider myself to be a decent writer, and I like to joke about my misfortunes on my blog. Outside of the studio, though, I play the piano (although not very well, to tell you the truth) and I'm really, really good at ordering take-out.
What promotional tools have been the most effective for you?
I'm a social media junkie, so I have all the online basics; website , Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, discount mailing list, etc. But for me, the most successful promotional tool has been word-of-mouth. I always encourage my customers to talk to their friends about my work, and I've seen a lot of referrals come my way because of it. Really, though, anytime you can put your name out their for free is a smart marketing tactic (unless, of course, you've made the evening news for streaking in your neighborhood park or something. In that situation, the best thing to do is hope your products can outweigh your, um, packaging.)
As a handmade seller, what lesson did you learn the hard way?
Almost everything I've ever learned has been learned the hard way, but I guess the most important lesson as a handmade seller has been to not underprice your work. Listen, no matter what you do, there is going to be somewhere out there that is doing it cheaper. But if your work is good, and you believe in your product, eventually your customers will, too. And it doesn't matter how many sales you make if you aren't making enough profit to run successful. Save yourself some headaches and keep your prices fair, both to yourself and your clientele.
What's your best selling item?
Pillow covers are my very favorite thing to make, and that shows in my pillow cover sales. I feel like pillows are the easiest thing to change about a room, but they make such a dramatic difference. Decorating on a budget? Start with with the pillows.
I hope you've enjoyed discovering Thomas Saylor Designs! Connect with Thomas at all the links below.
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