Recap on my much anticipated debut of my pillow (my work) on HGTV. So finally after three months of waiting, from overly excited, to nonchalant, to overly excited again, the HGTV episode aired! That day I prepared for my big moment - I cleaned my house, put my babies to bed, made some snacks, lit some candles and sat down to watch it. I found I was a little more stressed than giddy (as I thought I would be) while watching it, because of course, I was ended up just watching for my pillow, which proved to be weird. I'd get too distracted and flustered by brains lack of ability to do anything else but search the screen, so I'd pause my TV, then try to sit down and watch it again and "enjoy it" of course. I'd see the tip of it, a corner of it...I sat through 26 minutes,it was almost over, and realized I hadn't allowed big expectations to form about this, but I never considered my pillow being tucked away from the view of the camera the entire episode. But then finally in the 11th hour, there it was! At that point, of course, I had to pause my TV again to take some pictures. Then they showed it again and again! It really only got about 5 or 6 seconds of airtime (which, by the way, you do not notice how darn fidgety those cameras are zooming in and out all over the place until you are looking for your pillow!) but those 5 or 6 seconds were good ones, which included a few stellar close ups. They didn't "talk" about it on air and initially I was a little sad about this. But once the episode was over and I re-watched the last few minutes again, I was super excited and very satisfied.
I didn't care whether they talked about it, or not or whether it got 5 seconds or ten second of air time in the end. I was really grateful for the experience because it was a great one; one that came at such a surprise and such a good time in my life to happen. The owners of the home that Emily designed for even contacted me - once here on my blog in my blog post about the upcoming episode and a couple times after it aired to my facebook page, where they sent me a couple of these photos of my pillow from the episode (also known as their "home"). From the craziness of Emily being my second Etsy customer, to the owners being so kind as to get in touch with me, I realized that was what really was so meaningful and exciting. I mean those 5 seconds on TV were pretty awesome, but the rest outshone that by a mile. And of course just the way it all has pushed me to take myself and what I do seriously. One of the best gifts ever.
Emily Henderson with the owners Louis and Jenny (from Louisiana)
So what happens when your Etsy item makes it to network television on a beloved design show? Well, that's what I had been wondering for 3 months. I should say I knew in that 3 months that while Emily purchased my pillow for this design there was a chance it wouldn't make it into the final look, so I didn't spend a lot of time actively wondering about this, though it was in the back of my mind. So, what happened? I wish I could share more about the brass tacks "outcome" of it but I don't know, exactly. I know partially, I suppose, but I couldn't give an exact breakdown. That night I did get a few orders for the pillow, which was great! It was a sort of validation that I wasn't crazy and making all of this up ; ) But I wasn't flooded with orders right away either. The reason I am not exactly sure how this affected my shop and sales is because a few days after this episode Etsy also featured one of my pillows in their daily "Etsy Finds" emails titled "Hot This Month." A sort of buying guide of September trends.
So, last Wedneday morning I woke up and sat down with my coffee to check my Etsy shop and check my stats, something I compulsively do anyway, but was way more excited about after this HGTV thing. So I look and I had above average views, then I looked 20 minutes later and I had 700 views! I thought, what the heck is that all about?! So I assumed maybe Emily had posted on her blog about the episode but upon fact checking, she didn't, (and I wasn't convinced it would bring me that much traffic anyway!). (You can read the blog she ended up posting later that day here, which got me even more views and sales!) Anyway, then I started getting emails about my pillows and orders! Every time I checked my stats I had 200 more views, 20 more hearts on my Home is Where The Heart is pillow. So I had no idea. I thought the only person who could be behind this was Emily but why would she promote a different pillow? Well, that just didn't make any sense. Finally I asked a customer who was emailing me about pillows (thanks amy!) who let me know I was in an Etsy email. OH!? Okay. Apparently they do this sort of thing without warning (warning would be nice btw) but I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth!
I ended up with outrageous amount of views and hearts and even orders. It's been an amazing couple weeks! I am still getting orders from both these strokes of luck for me and my shop : )
Again, all this has just been an amazing experience. I would really have to attribute much of it to luck. And I tend not to take too much credit for it because, as I have said in previous posts about my pillow venture, the idea just kind of came to me, and I didn't even think it was that great of an idea. I feel like in sharing this I should have some advice for others like "what to expect if...," but it's just been more of a personal success which I think has allowed me to translate that to the beginnings of business success. So with that, if I have any advice to offer for other sellers out there it would be pretty cliche, do what you truly love to do and listen to your gut. I am generally not a "put yourself out there" kind of person, but I found myself at a time where I truly decided I would rather try and fail than have not tried. And while I am still new at this and failure can come at anytime, I want to keep trying. And if you do put yourself out there, you really are doing just that and you never know what kind of attention it could bring. So if you open an Etsy business or any business, be ready to do business : )
So thank you to Emily for giving me a jump start on confidence and 5 or 6 seconds of personal stardom, and to Louis and Jenny for being so kind and making this whole thing so much more meaningful!
All of the professional looking photos were taken by the owner Louis : )