1. How did you get started making your items? In the beginning, I started making watch straps for my personal use. Then friends started asking me to make other accessories (wallets, key chains, belts,etc).
2. How long have you been making them? And how long have you been selling them? I've been making my items for a few years, but I only started selling them since last year. I've only started selling on etsy about 2 months ago.
3. Do you make these items yourself? Yes, I make my items myself, although some of the designs were created by what my friends have requested.
4. About how long does it take you to make an item? It depends on the designs and the availability of the materials.
5. What pushed you to make your items and sell them? It was a personal hobby of mine, but I've never thought that other people would like to buy them. I take pride in my products, when I go out, I usually wear my own watch strap, wallets, belts, mobile phone case. That's how I get my sales from local buyers, actually. My friends see them and buy from me. When they wear my products, their friends will also be interested. So, I got a lot of repeat buyers.
6. What prompted you to use the materials you use? The calf leathers, buffalo, python skin, cobra and others? I personally like leather products. I think they are more durable and can last longer than other materials. I use genuine materials only because I want to present my buyers with quality products. Snakeskin is one of the hottest trends this year, especially for women's products (wallets, purses, shoes).
7. How hard is it to get your materials for your items? I purchase my materials from trusted suppliers. They have a higher price compared to other suppliers, but I can rest assured because their qualities are genuine. For me, I think it's a bit harder to find calf leather that suit my needs. As I hand-pick each leather and skin myself, I will only purchase the materials that are high qualities, something that I see I can wear myself. Which is why, I have limited products in calf leather. For snakeskin, it's easier to find, but for some colors, I sometimes have to wait until it's available in my suppliers.
8. Where else do you sell your items? I sell on etsy for international orders. For local orders, I sell using my facebook page. I also get regular orders from a boutique at a high end mall. I've also been getting sales from local repeat buyers.
Here's one of his great Passport holders from Python: