Should you open an Etsy shop?

Recently, I have had a few friends ask me if they should open an Etsy shop. I have summed up my thoughts about Etsy below, to try to help out those who are wondering if it is worth it.

  1. Do you want to sell things you have made? Yes, open a shop.
  2. Will you sell something? Maybe. But still, open a shop and then market yourself. Etsy is made up of reportedly 1.6 millions sellers. If you want to be noticed by anyone at all, you have to market yourself
    1. Instagram – free and easy marketing. Understand hashtags and use a public account.
    2. Facebook – share, share, share.
    3. Pinterest – create a board and post your items there
    4. Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. So many platforms. Use them to your advantage.

Etsy is easy. It is not free. It costs money to post items, Etsy takes a cut when you make a sale, and of course, there are shipping fees. The great thing about this system though, is that you only get charged when you decide to post an item and when you happen to sell. Other sites, such as Squarespace, let you host products but have monthly fees. These can range from $10-$3o, even when you sell nothing.

You also have to know NOTHING about coding to open a shop and it will still look professional. If you have ever tried coding, you know this is a welcome relief that allows you to focus on your products and not your site.

Have I made a bunch of sales on Etsy? – No, but I have made more than I would’ve without starting a shop.

I also have my products at a local coffee shop, which has increased my Etsy traffic. Be patient and be persistent and look for ways to raise brand awareness. But definitely, if you are hoping to sell anything at all, open a shop.

Local Living

My husband Tory and I have been living in eastern PA for about a year and a half. When we first moved here we mostly shopped in chain stores because we knew what we could find there and we usually were short on time to explore new options, though we would often talk about how we could eat local, farm fresh food. Now that I am not working a regular full-time job, I have been able to take some time to find local places to enjoy.
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Opening an Etsy Shop

I used Etsy to buy a few items for my wedding. Etsy provides daily inspiration, much like Pinterest. Since I am currently staying at home and working on graphic and interior design projects, I decided that it would not hurt to open an Etsy shop. I love and hate the shop world of Etsy. It is a great platform for getting stuff out there without the worries of figuring out payments and orders on your own online shop, but then, you are just one in a million. However, since I am new to this woodworking and home items process I have nothing to lose. Continue reading

Woodworking

My dad practically rebuilt our house after our family bought it. My grandma still swears it should have been condemned and never purchased by a family who had young kids. However, we moved in and lived through construction and renovation. I always saw my dad working with wood – it could be the floors, the trim, built-ins, our TV console, whatever it was at the time, I always thought he was amazing at doing it.

Of course, it was not until after I married Tory and moved four hours away from my dad’s workshop, that I became interested in basic woodworking. Don’t be too impressed. I mean cutting, sanding, and drilling holes. I am not even sure if that qualifies. It all started when I discovered the antique shopping world where we live. Barn windows, homemade frames, Amish furniture, it is all here and nearby! Across the street from us is a cedar furniture plant that sells its leftover scraps for pennies, from which my crazy idea was born. I really wanted to make coasters. It sounded simple enough and I did not want to spend a chunk of money on something I could make, so I bought cork squares and mod-podge and made some. We still have those coasters and use them daily, but they aren’t exactly the dreamy design people would want to buy.

However, my dad informed me that I should get a bag of cedar scraps and make coasters out of that. Great idea Dad! There I went, walking across the street, oblivious to how heavy a bag of cedar scraps was. I found out. There is a reason people use cars, but instead, I carried my bag of cedar like Santa might carry his pack when he visits the house of an exceptionally well behaved child. So there I was, proud as a could be that I had my own bag of cedar. About a month later, Tory and I drove across the state so that I could go to a Boden sample sale and Tory could cut coasters (my idea of job delegation) with my dad.

A few months later, I actually made some coasters for a good friend of mine (bless her for being my guinea pig). They turned out great! Color-blocked wood, naturally made by the color differentiation in wood and an added pop of neutral color with some trendy acrylic paint.

It did take a lot of sanding, a couple of finger tips, and creative use of our small studio loft space, but they are complete and the process was well worth the end product.coasterholder