Sunday, March 8, 2015

Interview with Rock Your Shop's Shai Ford!

When did you realize writing "Rock Your Shop" was necessary?

I realized I had to write this book when I started spending more time helping other people than I did working on my own shop. As much as I love helping people, I’m also a single mom and can’t afford to just give away all of my time. I realized that, with that many people asking similar questions and needing similar help, there was a need to be filled. So, I filled it!

What was the hardest part of self-publishing your work? The most rewarding?

The hardest part, for me, was actually doing it. There’s always that underlying fear that it’s going to fail and, for me, that fear turns into procrastination. You can’t fail if you don’t try, I guess? So actually sitting down and diving into it was the hardest part. Once I started, though, it all flowed rather easily.

The most rewarding part was opening my ebook up on my Kindle for the first time. I actually didn’t do that until several days after the launch. A lot of my friends had checked it out on various mobile devices for tech purposes, or read it to make sure things flowed, but I personally hadn’t opened it anywhere but my eBook program. There was this absolute moment of ‘Ohwow….I made this!’ combined with a bit of disbelief.

What’s your writing environment like?

I actually wrote most of the book sitting on my bathroom counter with the door locked. My co-parent and I lived together for the first half of the book and, even if he was watching the kids or the kids were asleep, the noise from the television or whatever activities were going on was too distracting. Once he moved out, I kept up the bathroom tradition just because it’s nice and quiet, and there are zero distractions. If I didn’t write it in the bathroom, I wrote it at his place. He just moved in somewhere new and still hadn’t unpacked, so there were zero distractions there, as well. Just me, a recliner, and some sweet tea.

What projects are you currently working on?

Now that my book is launched, I’m focusing on my blog and coaching. I work one-on-one with Etsy sellers to help them build, brand, and market their shops. The book wraps up a lot of that information into one package, but there are a lot of small business owners and Etsians who work better one-on-one with someone who can give them ideas, help them with their branding, and steer them in the right direction. I am also starting the outline for my next book, which is on social media marketing for handmade and small businesses like mine.

Shai Ford is a 29-year-old mom, social media campaign manager, and Etsy veteran. She currently runs her own Etsy shop as well as, and offers one-on-one business coaching for Etsians and other small business folks, targeting everything from product creation to social media marketing. As an artist, and a peace and social justice rights activist, Shai loves helping and watching 'the little man' succeed and reach their dreams. 

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