I get a lot of questions about what I do, so I finally took the time to create a “Frequently asked Questions” page. Don’t see your question? Leave a reply at the bottom of the page!

Why the name?

“The Tragic Whale” grew out of a dead whale doodle in English class. I developed a couple of stories for my senior project, calling them “Tragic Whale Stories.” After college, I started a blog for the stories and called it “The Tragic Whale” so friends and family could easily find it. I originally started my Etsy shop as a gift shop for the stories on the blog, so it made sense to give it the same name.

“What is your real job?”

This is my real job! I make and sell my work. I describe myself as a Sewist, an Artist, and a Business Lady. I once told a former boss that I understand business things because I’m a Business Lady, and he laughed so hard he had to walk away. Fuck that guy.

“Do you make all the bags yourself?”

I sew all the bags myself! I’m currently sewing with a Brother DZ3000. I draft my own patterns for the bags, use YKK zippers, polyester thread, and started designing my own fabric this past year. I’m hoping to phase out store-bought prints from the shop in the next few years and exclusively offer my own designs.

“How do you design your own fabric?”

I make most of my designs out of paper! I’ll do some light editing in Photoshop before uploading the finished image onto SpoonFlower. SpoonFlower allows you to pick how you want your patterns to repeat, offers a wide range of materials to have your designs printed on, and has a pretty speedy turnaround time between ordering and delivery. Go check it out!

“I saw you put your cat’s face on a bag! Will you put my pet on a bag?”

I will not. I’m not taking custom fabric orders. I would have to charge too much for the bags and the turn around time would take weeks. I don’t think it’s a good fit for my business, at least not right now.

“If I want to buy from you in person, where can I do that?”

I’m currently part of two local Farmer’s Markets and have a few events lined up for Fall! You can find a detailed list of everything here: https://thetragicwhale.com/events/ 
I try to update the page weekly, to remove past events and add anything new.

“Is it easy to sell on Etsy?”

Yes and no. At first, you need patience. People don’t want to buy from a shop that doesn’t have a lot of sales, or doesn’t have any reviews. Etsy gives you tools to increase traffic to your shop, usually for a fee, and increased traffic usually translates into more sales. To anyone starting out, I would say to build up an inventory first, and then add items to your shop daily. Adding new item will boost you in the search algorithm. Make sure you’re using all 13 “tags,” which are essentially search terms. And don’t give up! If you’re offering quality items, people will find you, buy from you, and come back to you again.

“Will you fix my clothes?”

I will not. I’m not a seamstress. While I will occasionally dabble in clothing repair for myself, I’m not comfortable taking someone else’s clothes to alter or repair.

“Have you always been crafty?”

Yes! I used to make Barbie clothes out of old socks. In elementary school, I made pom pom people and sold them to my classmates at recess. In middle school, I made peg dolls and sold them to my classmates at lunch. In high school, I made earrings and sold them to my classmates during class. In college, I made dolls, wrote and illustrated Tragic Whale Stories, and started making bags.

Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

November 2020

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