[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/RMartshopNL
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/rmartshop
Website : https://rmartshop.com[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…
We are two owners of the shop, both artists by heart. Roland has a life long career as a musician, but always loved to create with his hands. Mimi is also a kind of Multi-Artist, painting, sewing, and making music as well. Together we found a way to live art and bring our creations to the people with our shop.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
The funny thing is that we started the Etsy shop because we wanted to sell masks in times of Corona. But while getting involved with Etsy, we discovered that it is the perfect platform to sell all our ideas, that we already were creating and thining of for long. Before Mimi for example was present in several art markets where she sold her paintings. Digging into the Etsy Shop opened up a whole new world, and the possibility to present our art to wider publicity. We are very thrilled and motivated to make it a shop that is living and full of new ideas.
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 ?
We sell art & fashion accessories, Self-designed furniture, paintings and eco-friendly ideas that help the environment. We always start with an idea, that thrills ourselves, that we love or like ourselves, and design, paint or build it until it fits into our ideal. Therefore everything has our own stamp on it, a bit individual and as we believe, sticking out of the mass.
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
Like everything in creating art, it is always mingled. Besides studying art and music, we developed our own skills by trying out and learning new ways and technics to create along the way. It happens more out of curiosity and the fun to learn new things. We indeed have a professional background in art and music, but mostly all the skills that we sell on Etsy are self-taught.
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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 original goal was honestly to make some little money with the masks as we said before. But once we looked into Etsy and saw the potential for all the other stuff we create, we started to believe, that we can make it at least to a side-job. But as motivated and enthusiastic as we are, we believe, that this shop will one day be a full-time job. Cause the ideas to keep on flowing and the shop is filling with more and more creations.
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 did not think so much before. Neither now. We looked into the net, what possibilities are there to sell products and Etsy made a very positive impression. Just maybe we thought in the beginning, that it could be difficult, but once we started, we became more confident.
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?
We sold our first item one week after opening the shop. That was amazing. Since we are still new on Etsy we cannot speak about a year, it´s just 2 months for us now, but we are happy with the start. It´s one sale a week, but we are looking into the handbook of Etsy and trying to optimize our ways of selling and promoting.
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?
We have part-time jobs and devote every free minute into the family, our relationship, and our art. Everybody who has family, kids, jobs, and a side job as an artist, knows that every day is not looking like the other but is filled with pleasant and unpleasant surprises. But somehow at the end of the day, we end up happy and often with a new product to put on our new Etsy shop.
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?
That is hard to tell, as we have so many different products. Basically we start with an idea, make one prototype, put it on the Shop, and create on order. Some are unique like the paintings, these are made ahead of course. And some of our fashion items. We customized a belt on request now, so that happens too.
The tools we use are very diverse. From the saw for our furniture, till the sewing machine, brushes, etc, we in a way use everything that serves the result of a new product.
What is the biggest impact on profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
All the costs around to sell a product hit us a little on surprise. Shipping costs, advertising, material costs, and so on. We try to make a price reasonable for the customers, but of course that we make some money. We do everything ourselves, so that saves a lot of money.
But we learn more and more and get more cautious when buying material, trying to find sources that are good quality but affordable for us. For us good quality stuff is important, and also eco friendly is a standard we wanna keep. So it is a fine line, but so far it is looking good.
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?
Mainly we talk a lot together and the results are often new ideas. Creating is based on our identity, we honestly cannot explain when ideas get born, as they come just so and all we do is riding the wave.
One thing leads to another. The masks did lead to belts and fashion. The chair idea did lead to a full new furniture line like we are working now on a new chair, a little table and a wine- rag. Our love for nature motivated us to look into eco-friendly products. We use re-usable coffee filters ourselves, so we thought, why not selling them also to others. And so on. It´s a big ping-pong game.
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, we ship internationally. Some products we ship for free at the moment. We try to adjust that with the prices. For example with the paintings, which are very bulky and costs more in shipping, we calculated that in the price. The furniture we decided to sell excluding the shipping costs, cause then people can decide if they wanna have it send with Track&Trace and/or assurance.
But 90% of our products are light and small and we try to keep the price as low as possible for the customers.
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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, not at all, we like the diversity of the offers. And it is often inspiring. But we strongly believe that there is a piece of the cake for everyone and that everybody puts his/her own stamp on the product, so it becomes valuable for the people who maybe wait for exactly the product you offer.
The only thing that is troubling sometimes, is when you see a similar product that´s been sold for a very cheap price. But even then we trust, that enough people go for quality and chose the product, that is made with love and care.
How do you deal with disputes or bad rating/feedback? How do you manage presale and post sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Luckily we didn´t experience a bad rating yet. If it happens we will have to take it seriously and try to listen to the complaints. Meanwhile, we always try to respond immediately and transparently, friendly but never pushy. We answer the questions and try to be of help in a neutral way.
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?
It is too early to answer that. But of course, since we opened the shop, we are busy every day, producing, coming up with ideas, putting them on and checking our statistics :D. So yes, in that sense it changed our daily life a lot, also, cause our creativity became a focus, so it accelerated our productivity. Cause we know now, where to sell it.
The only stress there is is the question, does the customer likes it in the end. And also the time pressure, when there is an order, and the equipment is not working at that moment as you want. But so far luckily that worked out until now.
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?
we use Facebook and Instagram. We also did spend money on Facebook and Etsy adds. And it worked as far as we can tell now. Furthermore, we made a promotion clip for our “Rolnar” chair, for example, to get some attention for that gorgeous furniture item. That was last week, so we cannot say if it was successful or not…
We´re still looking into strategies to create attention. It is a kind of new world for us.
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?
we like it very much. So far we have no complaints. It seems all to be in a reasonable price scheme.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
From the beginning on we tried to be very precise with good pictures, descriptions, and info, so it was a bit of time-consuming. But it was worth it, we believe so. We keep on filling our shop with products, so there goes a lot of time and energy into setting it up as professional as possible.
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?
Be active. Invest in the beginning to get the train rolling. Make good photos. And make the shop your own. The other shops exists already.