Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
I consider myself a crafter and maker. I started at 6 years old, I was taught by my grandmother, mom, and I later started following other crafters myself.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
There is a small market in our city. This product requires an exclusive user. I found Etsy by accident.
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 ?
I sell crochet dresses for kids and women. I use only natural yarns: linen, cotton, wool. Once a few customers asked me. Can I make a crochet dress pattern? Since then, sales and crochet patterns.
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?
The basics of how to do this was shown by mom, but these were just a few simple crochet loops. I looked for ways to crochet in magazines, on the Internet, and followed the work of other crocheters. Three years later, I mastered many crochet techniques. Working it day after day, 10 a.m. a day.
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?
When I opened the Etsy shop, I didn’t think I would have so many shoppers. I just tried. Yes, it can be a full-time job. It just takes effort, you have to offer really original goods.
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?
There was a fear that I would put a lot of goods, no one would buy them, and I would have to pay a large fee. But that didn’t happen, the fees aren’t high, and they only have to be paid after the sale.
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?
Since I only have two hands to work with, many orders had to be canceled due to lack of time. I chose the one that offered the best price. I sold the first dresses very cheaply because I lacked money to create new models of yarn.
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 another job. When I needed to take pictures of the dresses, I became a photographer. One, two days a week I spend on photography, a couple of hours a day online, all the other time I crochet.
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?
The thread and the hook are all my tools. The work starts from a few loops. There is no preconceived vision of what the end result will be, everything is in the process.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
30% of the price is made up of materials. I choose materials that are natural, but not too expensive. If I chose silk instead of cotton, then the material would make up 70% of the price. Otherwise the dress would be difficult to sell.
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 just still need a new model. A large line of dress patterns in mind.
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?
I ship to all continents of the world. I use standard sending. I save buyers money. I pack usually, in a padded envelope.
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?
I don’t look for competitors, I don’t follow. Very distracting. In the past, I was wondering what keywords they use to sell their goods.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
If this is my mistake, I will refund the money. Sometimes we correspond for a long time. I take a photo of the product when I place an order, and I keep asking for measurements.
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?
Yes, it really helped to discover more buyers. Thanks to this platform.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner’s mistakes?
Build your own, not resell to others.