Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…
Artist was always inside of me but after high school, I had to decide between art and finance. The latter won and for many years I did work for a bank. However, I also did try to do some things related to art. I did enjoy decorating my apartment, painting from time to time, or attending the art biennial.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
My friend told me about it but I did not have any prior experience in selling handmade goods or any experience in online business.
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 started by designing children’s floor beds. It was very simple because we started to work on our son’s bedroom interior, therefore we looked for something unique and high quality. It turned out that house beds were not available at that time or very poor quality. At first, we did not plan to start that as a business, but I got many compliments about my ideas. Therefore, we decided to give a try. We focus on quality and customization. We started with house beds and then added new items when our kid started to grow older. Basically, we focus on the stuff that our children need. If our children need these items, it means that also other children need them.
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?
At first, we did not have any major plans. However, slowly we did grow our business, and now its full-time job. You can start selling only fairly fast and it does not ask huge financial investments.
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?
I had no knowledge of online business, was not aware of competition or struggles that many online businesses meet. Therefore, I also did not have any fear.
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?
It was very quick, probably a week after we did open our Etsy shop in late 2015. We started with few sales and then slowly, as we progressed as a business, also sales grew.
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?
Selling online is a full time job. From the outside, it might look like an easy job but in reality, it’s a hard job. Daily I need to manage customer relationships, manufacturing, finance, and social networks. It’s very diverse, challenging but also very interesting.
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?
It really depends on the product. Children’s beds are made to order while children chairs, we do have in stock to meet demand.
What is the biggest impact on profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
Our products are not cheap since we use the highest class materials and take care of our partners. However, people value quality and are ready to pay for good quality and excellent customer service.
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?
Basically, we just follow our children and their needs in the room interior.
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?
We ship globally, delivery to the US is within 2-3 days for products that we have in stock and in Europe its around 7 days.
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?
Competition is good because it moves you forward. At first, I was more worried about it but now I am at ease. Our products are best in quality, we offer excellent service and fast shipping.
How do you deal with disputes or bad rating/feedback? How do you manage presale and post sale communication and customer satisfaction?
We strive to offer the best customer service in the world. If you sell many items, then there will be errors – some items will be lost, some might be damaged and in some cases, something was not made correctly. Such things will happen, and no one should be afraid of it. Most important is how you resolve such issues. In our case, we always resolve problem cases.
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?
I never considered that I could be an entrepreneur, but online business did change that. Currently, I am a business owner and my life is very different from what it was 6 years ago. This gives me personal and financial freedom. Of course, hard work and stress is part of this job as in any business. But it gives you plenty of satisfaction.
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 are very active on Pinterest and Instagram. It’s a great way how to reach customers, how to share ideas and promote cooperation. Currently, we do not spend extra money for ads on social media since we pay extra for Etsy offsite adds.
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?
There is always room for improvement, but I feel that Etsy is listening to its partners.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Hard work is the answer to everything. In business, there will always be hard lessons (you might also call them expensive lessons) but that is part of the deal. One thing that I can advise is to follow your finances from day one.
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?
It’s almost impossible to avoid mistakes in business. But do not be afraid of them, rather consider them as part of your education.