Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
I started as a graphic designer and a cake decorator. Once I tried resin I knew I was hooked!! I loved the creative freedom that I have with flow art.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I started selling via Facebook, to begin with, but a friend recommended Etsy. Which was a fantastic way to get my artwork out in the marketplace domestic and international!
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 lived on the beach of Cronulla NSW Australia for a few years and absolutely loved it. My art does focus a lot on resin ocean through coffee tables, Dining Tables, Paddles Boards, and many other items.
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?
When I first started resin I did a beginner’s workshop to learn the basics. I then self-taught most of the processes. Lots of trial and error as well as so much practice!
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?
To begin with, Etsy was just a way to sell some resin items so I have the excuse to make more. Now I have cut back my hours at work so I can focus on my online store! Having your own successful online store is beyond rewarding but a lot of work. It’s definitely a full-time job keeping up with the orders. Communication is massive and your customers will really Appreciate it! Staying organized is so important so as not to fall behind or have things forgotten!
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?
Etsy is a great online sales platform in the way that if I post an item to check the market and it doesn’t sell I’m not greatly out of pocket. Ocean style is our biggest seller and I like to think we have a competitive price point and the quality is second to none.
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?
Our first sale was pretty instant which was an amazing feeling! You made well over what we imagined in our first year (we had to tell our accountant twice). Some weeks are better than others. In the quiet weeks, I try to get book work completed or even make spare stock.
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?
I do have a full-time job will I did, I recently cut down my hours to focus more on my online store. Once I get up and feed the kids I start my working day. That includes resining boards, sanding tables, painting turtles, or wrapping stock for dispatch to customers. Breaking for lunch and dinner. It’s a lot of work and my house at times is extremely messy but the store is worth it and rewarding!
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?
Most of my work is made to order so that a customer does have the option to customize. This includes names, colors, or maybe how they may like the resin to look. Some paddleboards I will keep spares of so that they can be sent out when the order comes through. We also sell coffee/dining tables these items are custom made as most customers want a certain color, measurements, and even a chance to choose their camphor laurel slab of wood. This communication is a great way to build rapport with your customers. Once completely our items are wrapped beautifully. So that the customer has that exciting moment to wrap their item.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
Resin is a very expensive material to use as well as the wooden slabs for our tables. By far the most expensive part would be postage! We ship overseas and due to the weight of some of our items, it can cost almost as much as our item. Different countries also have different prices so he is passed we have charged an amount for an item only for it to be a lot more expensive than originally quoted.
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 always on the lookout for new ideas and during my quiet week I test them out then put them up for sale. I love using beautiful camphor laurel timber so I often get inspiration whilst picking timber slabs for the business. The ocean is a massive inspiration for me. It’s a place that makes me happy and calms me as does my resin.
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, we do ship internationally. This opens our business to so many more customers! Postage can be expensive so the large heavy items we often will contact our courier service to make sure that the postage quote is accurate as possible. We wrap our items in tissue paper, to begin with, and then lots and lots of bubble wrap to protect the items. Unfortunately, items do get damaged so it’s best to try to wrap every item as well as you can so you don’t have a disappointed customer.
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 stand out?
Every business is going to have competition. I’m not overly concerned as I know our work is the best it can be. We use the best quality materials and I believe it shows. I am always learning and experimenting with new styles to stay above my competition. I also believe our prices are very reasonable. Every so on I will put on a sale as we have lots of customers who have favorited our items so those customers will be alerted to these sales.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
So glad to sell all of our feedback has been amazing and that is probably due to great communication with our customers! We have had people who were not as happy as others so we would do what we can to make them happy. In some cases, I have re-made and sent out a new item as a replacement. We like to send photos to the customer along the way especially when making the tables. Customers love to see the progress and how it’s made. This adds a story to their showpiece.
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?
Absolutely it has changed my life! I cut down my work hours to focus on this career. I’m so proud of how far the business has come! I do get stressed! Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in orders but I take a deep breath and remind myself of how far we have gotten in the last year! My husband helps a lot with the business! Sometimes it’s chatting with customers so I have more time to focus on getting orders completed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! Taking on too much will often cause you more drama than it’s worth!
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?
I use Etsy advertising to help get our business seen by more customers! This has helped me a lot! I always post items including cool videos on my Facebook page and Instagram linking my Etsy page.
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’m generally extremely happy with my Etsy store and experience. Maybe if I could have more design control over my store page would be nice.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
When setting up a sale I put that I have a certain amount of stock in the inventory this is so that item will not sell out after 1 sale. Sometimes customers think that means I have the stock currently made ready to post which often is not the case. Our dispatch settings are at 2-3 weeks so I’m hoping that has fixed that issue.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Make sure the quality is the best it can be! Customers are ordering what the see in the photos so make sure they are as amazing if not BETTER!!
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