Featured Zibbeter - UnexpectedTreasure
Such a delightful “visit” we had when interviewing Anna Costa in the smallest U.S. state of Rhode Island. In addition to Anna’s main shop Unexpected Treasure she has a photography shop named Unexpected Treasure 2.
Anna also just opened another Premium shop on Zibbet for supplies. At UTSupplies you’ll find lace, trims, beads, rubber stamps, scrapbooking supplies and much more.
Please enjoy the interview, leave Anna a comment, and then use the Share Tools so others can read it, too. Please spread the Zibbet Love!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a native Rhode Islander and have lived here all my life except for a year or two here or there. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I have a wonderful husband, Jeffrey, who supports me in everything I do. He, my daughter and my two sisters have been my biggest champions with regards to selling my products. In fact, my husband recently asked me to teach him how to sew so that he’ll be able to help me increase my inventory. He has basic sewing skills so he should pick it up pretty quickly. I feel blessed that he’s willing to even try to do this for me.
I also have two grown children, both married with families, and five grandchildren ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years old whom I love to use as guinea pigs to “test drive” my products before offering them for sale. In fact, my granddaughter was the very first recipient of my best selling winter item, the crocheted Mohawk hat.
Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
Actually, I think almost everything I do is creative in one form or another. I write a column for The Worship Chronicles, a monthly Christian newsletter. I’m an accomplished photographer and have a shop on Zibbet for my prints and notecards, UnexpectedTreasure2. I sew and recently added children’s clothing to my shop. I enjoy crocheting in my down time and also offer those items in my shop. I’m also about halfway through writing my first book. I recently opened a third shop on Zibbet as well called UT Supplies where I’ll be selling quality new and destash supplies at great prices.
But I think my biggest success over the past year has been to focus on my health. I wanted to get healthy for my grandchildren and have lost over 50 pounds since July 2011! Yay me! I discovered the Zumba fitness craze and now attend six classes per week in addition to doing strength and resistance training. I feel better at this age than I did in my twenties and have plenty of energy to play with my grandchildren.
What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
No one thing or person inspires me to do what I do. I draw inspiration from everyday things like a pretty scarf, the color of leaves in the fall, the different hues of greens and blues in the ocean waves a bright, shiny new red car, etc. and translate those colors to create something with either fabric, yarn or paper.
Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
I look up to only two people: God and my Dad, in that order. While I’m hardly a religious zealot, I am very serious about my faith. I thank God each morning for allowing me to see another day and for bestowing upon me the talents I have to create such beautiful things with. I give Him thanks in all things.
I look up to my Dad because he’s the best man I’ve ever known. He instilled morals and values in me (and my siblings) that I do my best to live up to each day. I remember when I was young my Dad used to say, “If I had to choose between a liar and a thief visiting my house, I’d choose a thief every time.” Now this seemed strange to me that he’d rather have a thief over to visit so when I got old enough, around 11 or 12 I think, I asked him why he’d prefer a thief over a liar. His response has stuck with me to this day. He said, “Because when you know someone is a thief or steals, you can lock up your valuables before they visit. But when someone lies to you, you’ll always doubt whatever comes out of their mouth.”
What other passions do you have in your life?
My two biggest passions are writing and photography. I love both. As I mentioned earlier I am currently writing a book. I’m also looking to take my photography to the next level by offering wedding packages beginning in 2013.
What do you like most about Zibbet?
The thing I like most about Zibbet is the monthly rate. It’s wonderful to be able to pay a flat monthly rate to list unlimited items. And the fact that there are no final value fees or commissions is a bonus! I also like the ability we have to customize our shop although, truthfully, I’m still learning how to do this. LOL I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the forums and chat. I’ve learned so much from fellow Zibbeters who are always ready and willing to help whenever they can. Lastly, perhaps it should have been first, is the fact that Jonathan takes the time to participate in the forums with us. Being able to have direct access to the CEO is something you don’t get on the other sites.
What ‘new’ things would you like to see added to Zibbet?
I haven’t really given much thought to adding new things to Zibbet as I’m still trying to become proficient with the site as it is. But one thing I think would be nice is the ability to offer other payment options like Amazon Payments and Google Checkout.
How do you promote your work?
Honestly, I don’t spend nearly enough time promoting my work because I love the creative side of things so much. I hand out business cards everywhere I go. When dining out I ask if it’s ok to leave several cards on the bulletin board if they have one. I leave a couple of cards in library books before I return them. (Don’t laugh! I’ve gotten two sales from this!) I also leave business cards in the ladies room of every establishment I frequent.
I wear and use my own creations in public. My crocheted Mohawk hats are big hits in the winter as are my scarves. I use one of my mini notebooks when grocery shopping. I wear my own jewelry, too. People are more confident about buying your products if they know you wear/use what you make.
For social media I have a Facebook page, I’m on Pinterest, Twitter, Stumble Upon and Tumblr. I’m most active on FB and Pinterest, though, and I’ve been featured on several blogs. I’m currently working on a marketing campaign to increase holiday sales. The one thing I don’t have yet is a blog which is strange considering how much I love to write! Well, maybe soon. How would you recommend other Zibbeters make the most of Zibbet.com?
How would you recommend other Zibbeters make the most of Zibbet.com?
First, I’d recommend a premium account. The advantages are tremendous. Next, I’d tell them to join the Zibbet community. This is a valuable piece to selling on Zibbet. The community is warm and inviting and is willing to help newbies just starting out. I’d also suggest familiarizing themselves with the Zibbet guidelines or do’s and don’ts. You should always know the rules on any site you sell on. Lastly, I’d tell them to be patient, the sales will come!
In the future I’d like to be…
Exactly who I am now. I love my life, my husband and my family just as it is.