Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
It all started when the pandemic hit and there was a scarce of resources such as PPE, face masks, and etc. I wanted to contribute and make sure of my time as we are all under lockdown.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
We discover Etsy through a friend. This is my first time sewing. I have never seen it in my entire life and just pick it up during the pandemic. This is my first time making and selling handmade products which excites me even more. I started starting online because of all the compliments I have gotten from the face mask I have given away to friends, family, and the community. Therefore, I thought others might find my face masks delightful as well.
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 currently only sell handmade face masks. All my face masks are 100% cotton unless stated otherwise. The design of my product differentiates from other face masks is multi-layer protection, great sizing, and adjustable nose piece that help keep the face mask in place. Hence, keeping my consumers safe.
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?
My experience in learning to craft or sewing was stressful only trying to figure out everything on my own. However, thanks to the internet a lot of my problems were resolved. It took me three months of trial and error to finally become satisfied with my creations.
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 when I opened up an Etsy shop is to spread the word about my handmade face masks’ awareness. What impacted my decision to start selling online the most is my fan base encouraging me to. I consider online selling a side-job and I do it for fun as a hobby. There is so much fulfillment that comes with this as consumers review my product and love it!
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 didn’t have any fears or reservations before opening up your Etsy shop because I started this for fun. I am not worried about profitability or product competitiveness because the product speaks for itself and I enjoy selling high-quality face mask that I’ve personally made individually all by myself stitch by stitch. Some concerns and questions I had before you got started were making sure it fit consumers who purchased my product even though they have been thoroughly tested on family, friends, and my community. I overcame them through positive feedback from my customers.
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?
I got my first sale almost immediately after I gave free face masks away from friends then friends of friends. I never thought I’ve would make a lot of sales in the first year. The sales range from 5-8 a week in spurts. I don’t have any sales goals. I just hope to reach as many customers as possible.
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 work full-time for a Fintech company. I typically work during the day for the full-time job and work on my face mask orders at night or on the weekends. I manage time by using a planner.
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?
The manufacturing process can be stressful when I have a lot of orders and not enough time in the day to finish them. I do not create them ahead of time due to the workload I have from my full-time job. I currently don’t customize my products but I do hope so in the future. The tools that I use in the manufacturing process is a sewing machine, thread, and fabric.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
The biggest impact on the profitability of your shop is fabric. The materials I used are 100% cotton and approximately $18 per yard for the design not including shipping. I price the products with the labor and resources that go into them.
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?
What inspires me when you’re creating is my fans and customers. I get ideas for new products from new fabric designs I see and I think I am addicted.
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 ship your product internationally. I have shipped to places like the UK and Canada. I either go with USPS or FedEx for international orders. The average time it takes from the order to the delivery is around 5-7 business days. I do use free shipping only domestically for orders over $35.00. I package my products with care instructions and material detail with a cellophane sealable bag.
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 am not worried about competitors because this is a leisure business for me. I standout alone with high-quality sewing, fabric, and style.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
I handle disputes or bad ratings/feedback carefully and reach back out promptly to try my best to understand the problem and find solutions such as a new face mask, discount, or refund. We manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction with follow-ups and sales.
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?
Selling on Etsy changed your life in many ways. It is a great platform from experience to get my store’s name out there. I never thought my shop would gain so much attraction. I have been stress with the volume of orders and the means of manufacturing/producing the products as I am a one-man team. I try my best to time manage and do some late night sewing to get the orders out.
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?
Social media for my shop is very important. It is one outlet for the customer to find me. I post weekly on the Amora Lily Instagram Page to spread the word about my face masks.
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?
There are some fees that Etsy charges that don’t make sense and I wish there was a better break down of this matter.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Some things I did to set your shop for success on Etsy have to do with the product I sell in itself and utilizing the Etsy Ads market to gain more attention and eventually they become return customers.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
A piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy is to never give up and keep trying. Some beginner mistakes are inevitable but testing and care for your product will help everything turn out alright.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
I wish to create more handmade products for my fans and enjoy! It’s very satisfying to have customers love your products and becoming returning customers.