Categories: Home & DIY

A Day in the Life of One of Etsy’s Top Sellers, Sara Barrett of Simka Sol

Etsy is all about handmade merchandise created by crafters. So what's really going on behind the scenes?

Sara Barrett is a 31-year-old Etsy seller from Massachusetts whose online shop Simka Sol is a huge success. With her degree in Art and Design, Sara used her sewing and artistic skills to become one of Etsy’s most prolific sellers – and she does this all by herself!

Here’s what her typical day is like.

Sara starts her day off by walking her dogs and grinding up her morning coffee.

Source: Sara Barrett
She then heads to her 300-square-foot studio where she spends the first hour of her work day checking emails, checking her site, and looking at social media stats to get up to date.

Source: Sara Barrett
Next up, Sara packages her pending orders. The time it takes to do this depends on the season, as the holiday season usually entails a lot of packaging to do.

Source: Sara Barrett
Sara, who has celiac disease, generally eats healthy with lots of fresh greens and fruit.

Source: Sara Barrett
Etsy sellers aren't always creating new merchandise to sell. There are times when Sara needs to come up with new designs. She says she spends up to three weeks a year in design mode.

Source: Sara Barrett
But on production days, she transfers her designs to her computer to be printed so she can create her signature repetitive designs.

Source: Sara Barrett
Sara burns the prints onto a screen using UV exposure from the sun.

Source: Sara Barrett
These are just some of about 40 designs stacked up in her studio.

Source: Sara Barrett
The design is then transferred onto the fabric through the screen.

Source: Sara Barrett
Sara uses only water-based inks as they're safer for both the wearer and the environment. Printing takes about three hours, which can be tiring but also rewarding.

Source: Sara Barrett
The freshly-painted design then goes through the conveyor dryer to evaporate the water from the ink. It takes about two minutes at 350 to 375 degrees for the ink to completely dry.

Source: Sara Barrett
Once dry, the fabric is cut into patterns for shirts, leggings, dresses, and tank tops. This takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

Source: Sara Barrett
Once the patterns are cut, Sara then spends up to 8 hours sewing different designs and sizes.

Source: Sara Barrett
Here's a look at one of Sara's most popular creations.

Source: Sara Barrett
If she completes an order before 6 pm, she packages it up so she can send it out the next day.

Source: Sara Barrett
Sara then ends her day by writing up what she needs to do the next day.

Source: Sara Barrett

With the success of her shop, Sara now wants to expand her business beyond her little studio. She said:

“I just looked at a space right down the street from my house in this really awesome old mill that they converted into an innovation center of artists, manufacturers, and designers. This new space is 700 square feet so I’m hoping to expand and upgrade my equipment so I’m capable to print wider fabrics and also so I’m able to pay an intern or employee — so that’s a 2017 goal.”

Check out Sara’s awesome fabrics and apparel at Simka Sol!

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