Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
Crafter & artist. I got into this business because my daughter asked me to and she is a soap maker. She wanted me to make a cutter for her soaps. Considering I was into metal works up till the crash of brother Lemons stock market, 5 years later after my bankruptcy, my daughter asked me to help her. I used all my skills and love for metalwork to create a soap cutter for her and a beautiful, efficient soap cutter was born. She told me that I could have a lot of buyers for this worldwide and I trusted her. Now we are here.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
2015. First we were on ebay than we looked further.
What products do you sell, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
Soap cutter, steel and stainless steel. Our product stands out because a lot of inventions have been made in that field and with a high dose of love.
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How was your experience in learning to craft, are you self-taught or did you have a mentor, how long did it take for you to be satisfied with your creations
I was introduced in my early life to industrial design, I was a sign maker, where that skill was necessary. That experience in feeling the design contributed to creating this successful product. Also, we took into consideration suggestions from our customers worldwide, to whom which we have big thanks at this moment because they helped our baby grow.
What was your original goal when you opened up an Etsy shop? What impacted your decision to start selling online? Do you consider online selling as a side-job, full-time job, or extra income to pay for your hobby?
I was driven by the goal to help all the women (soap makers are mainly women) around the world because in them I saw my happy daughter whom I love so much. I didn’t think about the money, however, it turned into a good business. Even though this product is being sold a few times more expensive, we have decided to keep this price to be affordable our dear clients.
Did you have any fears or reservations before opening up your Etsy shop? Were you worried about profitability or product competitiveness? What are some concerns and questions you had before you got started? How did you overcome them?
We didn’t have any fears or reservations, we went into this open hearted. We believed we are doing an useful and good thing.
How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever think you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was the goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?
Do you have a job outside Etsy? If not, are you able to commit full-time to online selling? How does your typical day look like? How do you manage time?
Yes, I have work outside etsy shop. Mostly metal work.
How does your manufacturing process look like for e.g. your best selling product? Do you create products ahead of the orders? Do you customize your products, if so how? What are the tools that you are using in the manufacturing process?
We produce ahead of the time, but we also make custom products upon order. We use many sophisticated machines for steel making.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
Marketing. They are very expensive, mostly stainless steel. We price our products so we cover our costs and have a minimum profit.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
I am inspired by our satisfied customers. Who wouldn’t be inspired by the smile of happy customer
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
Yes, it all depend where we ship.
Are you worried about competitors? Does it impact your business in any way? If there are a lot of similar products, how do you make your own standout?
We are not worried about our competition. We are happy to help our competition. We do not see them as a distractors, yet as other people who are helping to promote love and culture for homemade and natural products.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
We are doing our best to satisfy our customers.
Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever think you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed about dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?
It has improved my life and my understanding of value.
How important is social media for your shop? What are some common tactics you use to promote your products? Do you spend money on ads outside of Etsy? How do you generate excitement/hype around your products?
At beginning it was very important, now our customers are doing the marketing for future buyers. The machine has been started and we almost don’t need any marketing investments.
What are some things you don’t like about Etsy? If you could talk to the CEO of Etsy what recommendations would you tell him to improve sellers and customer satisfaction?
I would recommend him if his goal is to make more profit, it is not a best option to increase the price of his services. I would recommend lowering the price for Etsy services which would in return bring more profit with more sales (based on my experience).
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Fast dispatch, quality product, good communication and relation with customers. Refunding damaged products in transport. Having a consideration for customers.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
The biggest profit is definitely not brought by the highest price. To find a price that brings the best profit is an art. It is very easy to put a big price and lose clients.