How I opened an Etsy shop and was successful.

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Etsy is a platform to buy and sell handmade, vintage, digital art and much more. If you are good with graphic art, crafts or love Vintage, I encourage you to join the Etsy community. If I can do it, so can you! If you have a desire to sell on Etsy, I encourage you to do so.

Etsy members are very supportive about giving shop critique (constructive criticism) and helping you promote your shop. It is a great idea for a side hustle, and even a full time job. You can make and sell anything from jewelry, crochet, knitted items, paper-craft, felt art, sewing, card making, hair bows, paintings, digital art, such as Christmas cards, resell vintage, and much more but these are just the ideas off of the top of my head. You can search the Web for ideas of what you can sell on Etsy, or just go to Etsy.com and look around!

Here is my long story, then I’ll get to the how to get started with Etsy and be successful. Scroll down if you just want to know some tips for Etsy and don’t want to hear my rambling. 😂😂😂😆😆😆
I was a stay at home Mom of two precious little one’s, my husband was in the hospital with a leg infection and I was dependent on him for bills. He was out of work for a month. Well, us being inexperienced in life and not having savings, I was so worried. I freaked out. Live and learn. I guess we learn the hard way. Everything turned out fine, even better than we could imagine and he hasn’t returned to the hospital since then. Seriously, we are doing awesome and I am happy with where we are at today.

My cousin told me about Etsy. She encouraged and motivated me. She was very supportive and I probably would of never been an Etsyer if it wasn’t for her. I didn’t even know how to crochet, but I decided that is what I was going to do.

First, I asked my Mom to show me how to crochet and my husband did too. He is a jack of all trades, and he is just incredibly intelligent. I was practicing and practicing making crochet chains in the hospital room, sitting next to my husband. Then I would watch YouTube videos online and crochet along, and that is one way I learned. Next I would try beanie hat patterns. My neighbor also encouraged me and bought items from me. I was ready to follow patterns that were free online that I found on and make beanie hats. I was having fun, and my kids were set for winter as well. I loved making beanie’s with a flower on the side. Then I saw patterns on Pinterest, for animal beanie’s and character beanie’s like Hello Kitty, which was my best seller, Marvin the Martian, Minnie Mouse, and animal hats. I also started making and selling hair bows, crochet fingerless gloves, scarves, dish cloths, baby blankets, and diaper covers. Which is awesome because I love babies. I even sold digital art and I was not good at it. I had Adobe Photoshop, so why not? I was having fun making money then….
We got garnished for the hospital bill. Live and learn. We were still young, inexperienced and haven’t been out of our parents houses long enough, I guess. We made our choices and learned from them. That’s one thing about making mistakes, you learn from them. I keep it real and try to be authentic. That’s why I’m telling my whole story, no details left out. One purpose of this blog is it to teach from my experiences.
I had to go back to work to keep a roof over my kids head and food over their stomachs. I needed money now and fast. My job is physically, and emotionally draining. But you’ve got to do what you gotta do. I’m a caregiver in assisted living. I’m still there until this day. I’ve been there almost 7 years. I didn’t have time to Etsy anymore and I was exhausted but I can’t wait to go back and sell crochet.

So finally let’s get to the point of the blog. How can I start on Etsy and be successful? First decided what you are going to make and sell obviously. Join Etsy. Fill out your about me section, what you love to make and sell. Be enthusiastic, creative and drive people towards you. Fill out your shop policies, shipping information, and return policies. My return policy was that if they simply return the item I would give them a full refund. I didn’t want any bad reviews and I didn’t get any! Also, for shipping, you can buy your own weight scale and print shipping labels at home or just visit the post office, wait in a long line and have them do all the work. When you send items to your customers, I recommend sending it with pretty tissue paper, make it look pretty. Get business cards, custom address label with your shop name. You can also send them a free gift with the item they purchased. Wow your customers and keep them coming back. It is an investment but it’s worth it. You can also ship world wide. That is the beauty of working for yourself and having your own business, you get make the decisions. I mean you still need to have superb customer service, and all for good reviews and to keep them coming back. Also, at the same time, do not be taken advance of and have your boundaries. Be assertive, but kind. You can also choose to do custom orders. Customers can ask you to make something specifically. Like hey I really want a Marvin the Martian beanie. I would do custom orders, why not? More sales.

Next photography. When you take a picture of the items that you want to sell, make sure the picture is clear, crisp, and looking good, so that it has appeal and customers want to buy it. Be creative, put something pretty behind it, or a white paper to bring your item out. For example I put a teddy bear on the baby blanket that I made. You can use apps or programs to edit your photo. You can download canva or picmonkey or use Adobe Photoshop or even Instagram.
Next description and adding tags. Tags bring in people who are on Etsy to buy, that are not on Etsy selling but they are from “the outside world” of the world wide web. When describing your item, be very descriptive and make it sound appealing. Most stuff on Etsy already is. One example instead of saying pink say mauve. Add tags, very important so that people can find you. For example, I am selling a crocheted baby hat with a flower on it. I am going to add the tags: crochet, flower, floral, beanie, hat, baby, baby shower, and gift. Then I would personally in the description say keep baby warm with this adorable handmade beanie, especially made for your little one, but that is just me and I do what I want in this regard because I am working for myself, no boss, except the customers. Then again it’s better to say handmade crocheted sea blue beanie hat for baby. Acrylic yarn, and so on. Look around on Etsy and look at shops that are doing well. Which brings me to my next point, the Etsy community.

Etsy is a very supportive community. Get involved in teams. You can post your items on team’s and people will favor them and it will bring you exposure. You also need to be supportive and help your teammates out and favor their items. It’s a what goes around comes around idea. I did a lot of favoring items for exposure, and I mean a lot, and to just make Etsy friends in general. You get to see all the pretty stuff people make on Etsy it is fun. You also get to make treasuries. Treasuries are like a product showcase. You put twelve people’s product into a treasury and you pick a theme, like lovely lavender. My favorite color. Then they will do the same for you. You can also participate in BNR’s which you reserve your spot by buying from someone and they will buy from you possibly. I think it stands for buy now reserve. I don’t know but that’s what I thought. I participated in these.
Last but not least social media is very important! You need more exposure equals more sales. Pinterest, on Pinterest you may get invited to join group boards which creates more exposure. Twitter, there are people on Etsy who will retweet your product. You can make yourself a business Facebook page. You can have a blog. There is also Tumblr it. Once again social media is awesome for exposure. Look around Pinterest on tips on how to make Etsy sales. Making that first Etsy sale can be difficult but it will happen. Do not give up. I got impatient, but I will never forget how excited I was when I made that sale. You can also take online Etsy classes hI never took a class. I’m telling you the Etsy community is supportive and I like to do things my way but I’m sure I would of benefited.
So there you have it that is how I started on Etsy and made 65 sales. I hope I have helped someone and I am excited for you to open your Etsy shop. This is my link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MichelleRoseBoutique

There are also Etsy classes online. I never have taken one, but I have talked to people that have, and they stated that these classes were helpful:

Turn your Etsy shop into a sales machine <—– You may click this link for another class, on how to make Etsy sales.

Thanks for visiting, hope this is helpful.

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