Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter,maker,artist…
I am a 35-year-old woman in Turkey. I am married and I have 3 children. At first, I started to do handmade products for my children and for myself. I started to do crochet bags for me and amigurumi toys for my children. When I realized that everybody likes what I did, I thought that it can be a good and profitable job for me. I was a housewife so it would be a good start for me. I consider myself as a crafter. Because most of my designs belong to me and it is my imagination
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
When I started to sell my products in Turkey, one of my friends told me about Etsy. It was the first time that I heard about Etsy. She was a buyer on the Etsy platform and she told me that Etsy is a big platform and it would be a big chance for me in order to sell my goods worldwide. My previous experience was only in Turkey but Etsy made it possible for me to open up to the world.
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 mostly make accessories for women and toys for kids. For the accessories, I usually use cotton and leather. For the toys I usually use cotton. I also make furnished dining chairs. Most of these products are all my designs. First of all, I think about what I need to do. Then it forms in my mind. Sometimes I draw my imagination on a piece of paper. During these stages, my kids help me so much. My elder boy is interested in graphic designing so he is also good at colors and harmony. When the design formed totally I decide the material. I try to choose organic materials mostly. Then the final touch; decoration, colors sometimes additional shapes or branding technique. And finally, I create my own work.
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
As a housewife, I don’t like to stay at home and doing nothing. So in the beginning, I tried to do some accessories for me as an amateur. I also believe that I have a skill in handcrafts. Day by day I improved myself and I learned different styles or techniques.
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?
It was the first step for me to earn my own money. I can say that online selling is a side job for me because my priority is my kids. I have big dreams about the future. I want to sell my own goods worldwide. I want to improve myself and prove that a housewife can get success on trade
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?
The most difficult for me was the language. Because my English isn’t so good. But my cousin helped me about this matter much (He is still helping on this questionnarie 🙂 ) Of course I also had some concerns about product competitiveness but I rely on my products and also Etsy ads helped me with this matter.
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?
My first sale was so fast in fact. It was earlier than I expected. I opened my shop on Etsy and started to add my listings. In 10 days I made my first sale. I am new on Etsy so I can’t analyze my yearly sells but I have big expectations.
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 don’t have a job outside Etsy. I am a housewife and I mostly spend my time with my kids. I spend the rest of my time on my handcrafts mostly.
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?
Most of my products are my own handmade products. Mostly crochet tools are useful for me. And also for furnishing my husband helps me
What is the biggest impact on profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
I check the similar goods on Etsy or other platforms and then I price my products. I think my shop can be accepted as affordable because most of them are handmade crafts
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 love shopping for myself so I surf the shopping websites mostly on the internet. And also I have many friends who inspire me. They told me about their ideas and I make them real.
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?
I ship my products internationally and I use free shipping. Before pandemia it was faster but now I have some problems about the delivery time. In fact it is all the same for everybody but approximately in 15 days the delivery is finished. I mostly use boxes for the products in my shop
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?
Of course, I have competitors and it mostly impacts my prices and profit. I make some discounts and coupons in order to make my goods more attractive
How do you deal with disputes or bad rating/feedback? How do you manage presale and post sale communication and customer satisfaction?
I didnt have any disputes or bad rating till now. But the customers’ satisfaction is my priority. If I have any bad rating or feedback I will do my best in order to retrieve it.
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?
Of course selling to people from all over the world is so exciting. I was selling my goods only in my country on the internet or to my close friends face to face. But now I have a shop that I can reach from all over the World.
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 try to do my best about social media because I believe that it has a big impact on people. I dont spend money on ads except from Etsy but I am a good social media user. So I am trying to use social media in best way.
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?
If I had a chance to talk to the CEO of Etsy I would only thank to him/her 🙂 I dont have any problems about the system.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
The most important thing that I learned is Etsy ads is the best way to get the attention of the customers.
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 advice them not to hesitate anything. One of the most important and biggest step to sell their goods is to make their shop clear and also their prices are so important. I think that also free shipping method is one of the best ways to get the attraction