Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Etsybloggers Blog Carnival: Why Oh Why?

1) Etsy. What made you open a shop on Etsy? What do you like about being a seller on Etsy? What don't you like?

I am not sure I that I can say exactly what made me open shop on Etsy. It was a bit of a domino effect. It started when I made a bunch of handbags for Christmas gifts. They were quite well received and soon my family suggested I try selling them. The initial thought was craft shows...but I am not extremely outgoing when I am at the center of attention in a crowd of unknowns. So I did some research.

I decided that I would at least get the ball rolling legit wise. I filed all the necessary paperwork to make myself a sole proprietor of Tilt Creations. One of the books I had read mentioned online selling. I peeked at Etsy and was a tad overwhelmed. I wound up playing around on Craftster...which I still love to do.

I ran across a few sellers on Craftster and decided to take the plunge. I liked the appeal of online anonymity. I took some pictures. Researched pricing how-tos and compared to others in the market. Then I set up shop.

I have been open since September and sold 14 items. My first sale was to my aunt. She wanted one of my bags and wanted to "do it the right way". The next two were to Australia...I was astounded at the price of shipping. Then there was a trade, a Saturday Night Special giveaway and 6 were part of a custom order. All in all, not bad...but still can be discouraging when you see people selling similar things left and right.

I have plans to change things around somewhat. Partly because of what I don't like about
Etsy - the gigantic number of sellers makes it hard to stand out...if not impossible. I have noticed that the more successful handbag sellers stick to one or three designs only. As much as I prefer to have my bags be all different from each other, I do see the necessity to scale back on the variety. I will be clearing out the bags I will not be making anymore, taking 2 or 3 designs to "mass produce" and only bring in OOAK designs bit by bit. Hopefully this balance will work better.

What do I LIKE about
Etsy? The people...my teams. The overall layout and "slickness" of the Etsy set up is nice and appealing visually...but it is the friends that I have made that keep me there. Every time I am ready to throw in the towel they are there to encourage me back in...and they probably don't even know it...until now.

Thanks guys :)


  1. Great post!

    I agree with you about limiting the styles. Save up some cash and get Kathleen Fasanella's book. Although she comes from an apparel background her insight is incredible. Go to fashion-incubator.com to read the forums...

  2. Wonderful post on how you came to sell on Etsy! I like your work because of the fact it's different than what so many tend to make. The unique aspect of your bags make them stand out to me!

  3. Ah the infamous domino effect... :) Gotta love it! Love the new plans although I must agree with BT. Your work stands out because it is so different!

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. Focus, focus, focus!
    When I first started selling on Etsy I was trying to be all things to all people. I guess I thought that if I cast a wide enough net more people would like my work and I'd have more sales. It doesn't actually work like that--I think that when I was trying to do too many styles in my shop it might have made me appear like I wasn't too serious about my work.

    Pick one to be your signature style and make it in a several sizes and multiple color options. Maybe every fall (in time for Xmas shopping season) introduce a new design to add to your repertoire and see if people like it. If not, weed it out again and try something else.

  5. I don't think the problem is that you have so many different designs, I think it's more about how cohesive those designs are. Or how cohesive they look - with consistent photos and such. I think that having consistent backgrounds would help you a lot in that regard.

    I'm a one-of-a-kind seller and I've been doing pretty well on Etsy. I think the benefit of this is that you're constantly rolling out new designs (I list one or two brand new items every day or two) so the customers and treasury curators always have something fresh to look at. As a buyer, I definitely appreciate this, and the shops I visit most often are the ones that do one-of-a-kind, because I want to see what they're up to next.

    I actually considered and started bringing out made to order designs, but they're weren't as well recieved, and to be honest, it bored me making the same thing again and not having creative freedom to just pick up whatever materials I wanted and making something from them.

    I think it's about making whatever works well for you, work well for your shop and customers.


Glad you stopped by and said hi