My Quest To Build a Better Etsy Business – Part 1
In my last post, I announced my exciting plans to re-brand and improve my Etsy Shop. The response I received was overwhelming! Turns out, I’m not the only one in this Etsy shop boat of despair. There are LOTS of shop owners, just like me, who struggle to keep their Etsy business afloat. We are amazing at our craft, but utterly hopeless about getting our handmade products to sell.
So, here’s what I’m thinking…
“What if I document my learning process, and make it into a series?”
How will this work?
I am currently researching strategies to (hopefully) make my business a success. Better branding, better inventory, better photos, better…..EVERYTHING! Sitting thru painfully boring online classes and webinars (bring on the coffee!) And, reading countless articles and tutorials. All to learn what it takes to set my shop apart from the others.
BUT, let’s be real here.
- This is NOT a “How To” series for starting your own business.
- I am NOT a business expert (not even close).
- And, I am certainly NOT qualified to teach anybody anything.
Maybe I’ll strike it rich and make millions! Woohoo!
Ooor, maybe I will fail miserably, close up shop and hide in a closet for the rest of my life.
So, why am I documenting this? For 2 reasons:
- To track my own progress – kinda like a journal. That way, if something’s not quite working right, I can look back and see where I went wrong, or what needs to be fixed.
- To help motivate others to take control of (or start) their handmade business. If I can do it, you can do it!
I do all the hard work and painstaking research.
You sit back, and follow along in this harrowing tale of an Etsy shop owner trying to get her sh*t together.
On that note… let’s get started!
My Quest To Build a Better Etsy Business – Part 1
~Deciding What To Sell~
First thing’s first – Deciding what to sell.
Duhhhh! Seems like a no-brainer, right? I mean, how hard is it to decide on what product you want to sell? Turns out, it’s tougher than you might think!
It’s been a big part of my problem this whole time!
Let me explain with a little backstory…..
I am a stay-at-home Mom of 4. My first 3 babies were all boys! And as much as I love my boys, I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when baby #4 was finally a girl! I wanted to buy ALL the girly things. All day, every day!
One day, I happen to come across the most adorable vintage embroidered pillowcase at a rummage sale. Being a vintage lover, I was so excited at the thought of putting it on my daughter’s pillow….until I took it home and got a closer look at it. To my dismay, their was a huge hole in one of the corners (que, uncontrollable sobbing).
Once all the tears dried, it occurred to me…
While this pillowcase couldn’t be used for it’s original purpose any more, I could up-cycle it into an adorable one-of-a-kind dress for my daughter instead. So, I did! And, it turned out so well, I decided to make more and open an Etsy shop.
Wanna see it? Here it is! The dress that started it all <3
Big surprise….They didn’t sell!
No worries, I had another idea! All those dresses I’d made left me with a huge pile of vintage linen scraps (I didn’t have the heart to throw them away).
I used those scraps to make coin purses and phone cases. And, customers seemed to like those! Which motivated me to try more ideas.
I started sewing up cross-body hipster bags, then on to pretend tea bags (for pretend tea parties). Then most recently, aprons. And, I loved all these things I was creating. My heart and soul went into each and every one of them.
So what’s the problem?
For starters, as new ideas came flooding in, I was always eager to move on to the next exciting project. As such, only a handful of each item was being made before moving on to the next.
One thing that keeps coming up in all the classes I’ve been attending is the concept having a ‘product line’. Focusing on one thing and building upon that. For example: A potato chip company makes potato chips. And, they build upon that by offering different sizes and flavors. You wouldn’t expect them to start selling shoes!
So it seams, while I’ve always been true to my theme (Up-Cycling Vintage Embroidered Linens), my problem has been a lack of focus. Too many items in my shop that don’t really coincide or complement each other.
Let’s focus on 1 item, and build upon that!
Of all the random (but still fabulous!) items I offer in my shop, my kiss lock coin purses are the one thing that sell the most. Seems like a good place to start!
So, as part of my re-branding strategy, I will remove all other items from the shop and focus only on coin purses.
My coin purses were always one of my favorite items in the shop anyway! They have such a timeless style, and go with everything. To build upon that, I can offer different shapes and size options. In fact, I am considering creating a whole line of Kiss Lock Purses and accessories. Now, I’m really getting excited!
And, that’s the key. Isn’t it?
Feeling excited about your products. Otherwise, why even bother? If you’re not excited over the items you’re selling, how can you expect your customers to be?
What about you?
Do you have an Etsy Shop like mine? Full of random things because you just love to craft and work on new projects?
Is there any item you sell more of, and/or are particularly excited about?
I would love to hear about you! Tell me in the comments (below) if you can relate to my story and maybe want to start a ‘Quest’ of your own.
I hope my series will help fill you with inspiration. Take charge of your Etsy business!
Oh! And, don’t forget to Pin!
Be sure to’Pin’ an image from this post so you can find this series again and follow along 😉