We have all heard about etsy right? For those of you that don’t know, etsy is a handmade website for creative’s and artisans all over the world. You can find everything from a dog tutu to a blog templates, wait, what? Yes, you can even sell digital products! More on this later but this is a very good thing. Omg, did I just channel Martha Stewart on that one? Ok, back to business.
If you are creative in any way you may want to consider starting an etsy shop. If you have even ten hours a week to dedicate to it. You can get it up and running in no time.
Here’s how I got started with etsy. I was at a really hard place in my life, I was struggling with infertility. I came to the realization that I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids after ten years, three surgeries for endometriosis, and with the third ending in the removal of one ovary. I needed a distraction, something to throw myself into full force to get my mind focused in something else. I thought about it for awhile, then stumbled upon etsy, it was perfect. Finally a place to sell the things I had been making for years. I started sewing when I was 8 years old and I loved it, I even considered going to the Fashion Institute of San Fransico in high school, but after I graduated I followed my boyfriend( who later became my husband, now ex) to Oregon, to get out of my mom’s house really.
I started sewing again when I was around 20 years old. I started spending a lot of money on the supplies needed to make all the things I was crafting. The main expenditure being fabric. So it was either stop sewing or find a way to save on fabric. I ended up upcycling old clothing, sheets, pillow cases, really anything that had a large amount of usable fabric. I then started making quilts, dresses, purses, hats, even dog clothes, anything I felt like making. I ended up settling on women’s clothing.
I then started my shop earthangelclothing.etsy.com and it actually did pretty well, I ended up starting another shop, which is now closed, to expand my customer base. I was selling things like custom swimsuits for upwards of $120 each. Times sure have changed and now it seems like everyone and their grandma has an etsy shop, it’s a pretty staturated market now, and etsy started allowing other items that were manufactured into the market place, which was a bad mistake. There is just no way to compete with manufactured items when you only make handmade items. Something handmade just can’t be sold for the same amount or you wouldn’t make any money. So that’s the bad news.
Here’s the good news. You can still open a shop and be successful but it takes a very strategic plan. You need amazing lighting, great pics and a great presentation. I even recently invested in a full size mannequin to boost my sells.
This is the best deal I have found online for full sized mannequins
Here is the link to this one.
After presentation, the next thing to do is market your items on all social media outlets like, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and above all Pintrest. You need to analyse your competition and see what they are pricing their items at that are similar.
Another important tip. Keep your expenses low. You really don’t need to invest in much from the get go. You can take pics with your iPhone or android phone, you can find supplies at thrift stores, yard sales, or even go through what you already have. You can even find crafting supplies at the Dollar Tree. I’ve seen everything from glue, floral items, felt, paint, plaster, modge podge. Think outside the box, I’ve even got some good ideas by going to my local hardware store. There might be something you could use there. Cut pipe cut for bracelets, washers painted and used for jewelery, use what you have and what you can get cheap or even free. Maybe even repurpose things like milk jugs you could cut them and use them for something. You could save baby food jars and make bath products and decorate the jar really cute. The sky’s the limit.
Here’s a handmade bracelet cuff.
*More on etsy to come. Also, check out Renae Christine on youtube. She’s an Etsy guru. She helps launch etsy businesses and gives tips, tricks and ideas on getting started and being successful with your handmade business.*