Interview with Authors Noelle Ihli and Jeanne Allen

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Both Jeanne and I studied English and editing in college. When we started working together on Fourth Wave (our Etsy shop), we were both taking on freelance editing and writing assignments as well. Basically, we’ve both been writing for a very long time. But this is our first foray into publishing! 


2) What inspired you to write your book?

Jeanne and I are avid readers. We essentially had an hours-long book club every week while we printed our orders. Naturally, we were interested in reading about e-commerce (specifically e-commerce related to Etsy’s platform). We quickly realized that the available resources were slim. We determined (much later than we should have) that there was a hole in the market, and we had the experience and the expertise to fill that hole. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Sometimes how-to books (especially business how-to books) feel very coy to me. They’re full of hooks and big promises that don’t necessarily translate to real, actionable advice. When we set out to write “The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy,” we wanted to write a book full of down-to-earth, ACTIONABLE advice: the kind of advice you’d get from a good friend, giving you the inside scoop about how to succeed on Etsy. I hope our readers come away with a sense of direction and confidence. Etsy is a truly incredible, unique e-commerce platform. It’s growing like crazy. People crave the handmade, one-of-a-kind vibe that Etsy offers in a world full of cheap, fast, bulk products.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

While Jeanne and I started our careers in publishing, life sometimes has other ideas in mind! We got sucked into the world of ecommerce (and couldn’t be happier!). After learning a LOT and successfully growing our shop, we decided to tap back into our roots in writing and publishing to create a book that could help other Etsy sellers.

5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Etsy is an evolving platform with new changes rolling out often. Facebook has allowed us to quickly and easily share short- and long-form updates and new tips with readers to keep them updated on changes that may affect their shop. 

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Spend twenty minutes writing every day. You don’t have to get a particular amount accomplished. You just need to carve out the time and do it. Some people are really prolific and enjoy pumping out books. But for most people, slow and consistent wins the day. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Definitely. Expect a screen printing reference! We’ve learned that the way we create our t-shirts is both unconventional and ideal for beginners. There’s so much we wish we had known before diving headlong into our specific niche (T-shirts!) on Etsy.


About the Authors

Etsy is an incredible platform. And if you know what works, you can be successful. We know because we did it. Our Etsy shop started with a single listing in 2013. We’re proud to say that it ranks in the top 1% and brings in 6 figures.

If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering if you have what it takes to be successful on Etsy. If your product is good enough. And even if you’ve seen some success, you may still think of your Etsy shop as your “little hobby.” And we want you to knock that off right now. We’ve found that the people who run Etsy shops are some of the most creative, tenacious people we know. And we have no doubt that you are one of them. You can do this. You DO have what it takes.

And that’s why we wrote this book. Because we’ve figured out what actually works, and we love helping other women (and the occasional awesome dude) take their fledgling Etsy shop, and make it into something that gives back to them what they’re putting into it.

About Us:

Noelle is a boy mom to Luke and Max, and a cat mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows. The two things she loves most (in addition to Etsy and the aforementioned children and husband) are murder and horses. (Separately, never together.)

Jeanne is also a mom—to Kaylee, Eileen, and Tober. (Yes, Tober. The short story is that she let Kaylee name her baby brother when she was five. She swears she would have stepped in if Kaylee had added too many Xs or Zs, but luckily, she hadn’t learned those letters yet). Her husband Bryan is, like Noelle’s Nate, pretty dang awesome and supportive. Especially when she decided to veer off a more standard career in technical editing and jumped headfirst into the world of Etsy selling.


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