Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…
Hello, my name is Filip Nikolovski. I am 25 years old and happily married for 1 year.I live in Chicago Illinois.It is enough to know for me let’s see how I started my work. I started working as a carpenter when I was 11 years old, some will say very young but before I moved to America I lived in Europe, more precisely Macedonia where wages are low and you have to work to have a normal life.I started working in a company where I progressed a lot and the result is what I am now.I love my customers. They love me (at least that’s what they say) hah.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I found Еtsy by searching the internet. I created an account with the idea of promoting my business and selling more. Yes, I’m working all the time like carpenter and sell handmade furniture.
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 ?
All my products are made of wood with the added detail of metal. Everything I design and make it in my head. some products can also be listed, such as dining table, coffee table, side table or nightstand, tv stand…
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
No, I don’t have any mentor. I learned to work by my self.
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?
The goal for Etsy was always to earn a living.. Selling on Etsy and to make customers happy!
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?
No, I wasn’t worried about that at all. However, this is my job.
How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever thought you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was a goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?
I only have the Etsy store for a week. My first sale was after the third day and another one the next day.
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 my clients that I care about here in Chicago. However, I do the same job.
How does your manufacturing process looks 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 tools that you are using in manufacturing process?
I have a number of products that I produce. Working with wood can sometimes be difficult and arduous. But I do not have any difficulties in my production.
What is the biggest impact on profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
There are different types of wood that I use. it all depends on the desire of the buyer.
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’m the type of person who travels a lot to different destinations, I meet different people, I see different cultures. By inspiring me to create something.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is 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, my products are internationally available. Shipping is calculated at the price of the product. It’s all marketing.
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?
No, I’m not worried about the competition. However, people know how to recognize quality.
How do you deal with disputes or bad rating/feedback? How do you manage presale and post sale communication and customer satisfaction?
The most important thing is communication with the customer. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever thought you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?
Not for now. But I want to reach something more, so I take care of my customers and their desires.
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?
Vital! You cant do business anywhere today without it. I often advertise on Facebook. But I do not have any additional costs that I use.
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 customers satisfaction?
It still seems a little US central. I would like to see all features available in all countries.
Also, when customers enquire I cant see where they are located. This is useful as they are often asking about the cost of delivery!
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
The lesson learned hardest is finding your niche. It takes time to settle into the thing that earns you money.
this can take years so the best thing I did for success was research.
You have to know your customers, so read the stuff they read. TV movies, social media all affect buying trends nowadays so I take notice.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering to sell on Etsy? How can they avoid beginners mistakes?
I would advise new sellers to list 30 different items as quickly as possible, then review them each month.
Chop out the weakest 10 and replace them with something new. Soon you will have the top 10 sellers that can give you an income.