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Eggs-traordinary Designs

Cultural craft brings law student big attention.

For recent law-school graduate Chrissy Luschas, creating and selling her hand-drawn and etched eggs is a way to relax from hours of lectures and reading.

“Being able to come home to something not law related, but instead something that I could do very well helped remind me of fun things, as well as the fact that I can master something,” she notes.

Luschas began decorating eggs at the age of 14. Now 25, she’s been selling on Etsy in her store, artbythedozen, since February 2010. Before that, she sold a few eggs she had created on eBay.

Etched eggs: a cultural ‘draw’

Egg etching is an art form in Easter Europe, notes Luschas, whose family is from Lithuania. Keeping the Lithuanian culture alive was important to Luschas’ mother, so she taught her daughters how to etch eggs, cook traditional Lithuanian foods and create other Baltic crafts.

From the start, egg etching grabbed Luschas’ attention, but she admits her drawings of flowers, trees, owls and other figures weren’t always pretty.

“I was terrible,” she recalls. “I broke several of my first eggs because I wanted to be the best from the start.”

Eventually, her sisters and mom moved on to other interests, like making straw ornaments. Luschas stuck with eggs.

“I was stubborn, and really wanted to make one great egg,” she explains. “The first one I was satisfied with, I gave to my mom. She loved it so much I wanted to make more. Today, I am still trying to outdo my latest new egg design.”

Finding the right nest

I went insane with excitement when I saw my shop was empty. I knew as a result that I would not leave Etsy for a long, long time

Luschas says eggs are her “main artistic passion,” and her Etsy profile conveys this as well.

“From selecting the perfect egg, [the dying process], all the way up to creating a design, drawing and finally scratching an egg—this involved process is something I undertake with excitement,” her profile states.

Eggs are decorated in vibrant lime green, maroon, orange, purple, black and red hues, among other shades. Many of her creations have intricate flower and tree designs, but she also offers customizable eggs that brides and grooms can use as wedding favors, and others that football fans can request to feature their favorite team.

Luschas decided to begin selling on Etsy after testing out the site and finding its listing fees reasonable. Her store started off with a bang, she recalls. The 20-plus items she initially listed sold out in the first week she was on the marketplace.

“I went insane with excitement when I saw my shop was empty!” she recalls. “I knew as a result that I would not leave Etsy for a long, long time.”

Etching eggs with Martha Stewart

To create her designs, Luschas blows out eggs and saves the egg whites and yolks to make scrambled eggs or tasty treats. She then uses a box cutter to etch a design into the shell, she says, adding that she gets inspiration from nature, architecture, Google images and an herb book her mother owns.

“Lithuania is all about nature, and I like using nature ideas in more modern styles,” she says.

After growing confident in her etching skills, Luschas recalls seeing a Martha Stewart Easter show and hoping she’d one day show her skills there.

“[I remember] thinking, ‘I think etched eggs would be something different she has never seen, and I think I am the one to show her,” she notes. “I never thought it would really happen, though.”

She thought wrong. One of Martha Stewart’s employees saw her listings on Etsy and asked her to be on Stewart’s Easter show this year.

“I remember thinking, ‘This has to be a joke,'” the law-school grad says about getting the call. “The year before I was messaged by another employee to be in the April 2011 magazine for the Great Finds section, but before publication, my item was scrapped. I kept thinking this is going to be the same: They are going to invite me, but in the end I probably won’t be picked.”

Luschas figured the employee had asked lots of Etsy sellers to come on the show and would likely go with one of them. When she heard that she would indeed be a guest, she tried to “play it cool,” she says.

“Whether or not they heard me jumping up and down and running all over the apartment, I don’t know,” she says. “I was overly excited!”

My parents always said I was a business woman and I think they were right

Telling her mom, a big fan of “The Martha Stewart Show,” only added to the anticipation, she notes, adding that it took her mom 10 minutes to believe that her daughter would show millions of people how to make their very own etched eggs.

Getting clicks

After taping the show in New York, Luschas went back to Pittsburgh, where she attended law school, to wait for her Bar Exam results and continue creating eggs and filling orders. She says that ads she began using likely helped catch the attention of “The Martha Stewart Show,” but her photos likely did as well. In fact, she takes pride in the attention she puts to staging her items in just the right setting for attractive product images.

“I think the most important thing to remember is that photos are the most important thing,” she notes. “People hardly read the description.”

She adds that descriptions are necessary, too, but people must first click on an item to read more about it—and photos can play a big part in getting that click. She also says it’s important to broaden your store and offering when selling on Etsy to keep buyers coming back. She’s expanded onto making shabby chic cards.

“People are always about new and more items in a store,” she adds.

Looking back, it seems that Luschas had the entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, she notes.

“When I was in elementary school, I opened a roadside store of nothing but crab apples because I didn’t know how to do anything else. No one ever came because we lived in the middle of nowhere. As a result, I would do work for my mom and make money that way,” she recalls. “Then I started making bead animals and braided bracelets. I sold them at school until I got shut down by the principal. I think she wanted me to cut her in on my business.

“My parents always said I was a business woman,” she adds, “and I think they were right.”

Visit artbythedozen on Etsy.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Christine Luschas

    Thanks for the Feature 

    The Martha Stewart Show air on the Hallmark Channel 10am live, then re-airs 1pm and 2pm! 
    It’s a wonderful show from cooking, decorating, crafting, and more! 



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