Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
Started my jewelry career as a watchmaker apprentice with my grandfather then send to jewelry making/repair school then on to the study of gemstones to be a graduate gemologist. I have been active in this career for the last sixty years.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
Etsy was recommended to me by the shop owner I currently lease space from for my five jewelry floor cases. I have been selling handmade products for over 50 years. I started online to increase sales.
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?
Jewelry watches gemstones using silver and gold most are copies of designs that I like and I restore vintage pieces of jewelry and watches.
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?
I enjoy crafting and restoring had instructors in jewelry school and had my father and grandfather as mentors on the watchmaking. I became satisfied with my work after about 5 years of active jewelry making/repair.
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 was to increase sales as a supplement to my instore sales. Consider it a full-time job.
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?
Really didn’t know what to expect how to market/price items overcame all this through trial and error still continue to try new approaches.
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?
Got sales in the first week and did very well the first year I did not have any set sales goal. I average about5 sales a week.
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 have my jewelry shop and Etsy is just part of my business I typically spend a couple of hours a day on Etsy.
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?
I have a complete jewelry making/repair shop that uses various equipment for a variety of items.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
Turnover. Gold silver and gemstones are sometimes very expensive. I try to research similar items online and take the cost of materials to try to be competitive.
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?
Jewelry magazines other vendors sometimes paintings.
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?
I do international and let Etsy handle shipping time varies on international but local is very fast one-two days I offer free shipping as a sales inducement on certain products. I package carefully to ensure the safety of products.
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?
I don’t really worry about competitors as most of my items are unique.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
I always try to satisfy customer all communication and customer satisfaction is handled thru my ETSY account.
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?
I have been extremely happy with Etsy and my only stress is self-induced and I work daily to overcome that stress.
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?
Believe social media is important but I’m still a rookie at this only in my second year. Only use Etsy ads. I try to present interesting photos using gemstone backdrops to create excitement.
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?
Don’t really have any complaints about Etsy.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Good photos. Learned the hard way about shipping processing time.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Don’t put a processing and shipping time in a place that you can’t meet.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Look forward to any feedback and thank you for the opportunity to expand/improve my shop.