Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
I always watched Martha Stewart growing up and seeing her create things started a little flame in me to start making things. Growing up and making things a little here and there and her and there. Made me have a lot of things I created just around the house. So I started to give them as gifts. Then I came across a video of someone making candles and soups and I thought to myself. “How come I never tried to make that?” So I did it. And I made a lot I mean A LOT. I didn’t think it would make that much of soup bars. I gave some away I used some for myself. But now I wanted to make more scents well… I go maybe I should sell them online and I always shopped at Etsy and I knew there’s not a better place to sell my creations at.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I always thought supporting little shops and finding a lot of unique items is pretty awesome. So I wanted to provide that for others too.
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 try to make everything that is possible for me to make. I try a lot of new crafts out (like I’m trying out carving and burning wood). But for products, I only sell things that worked for me and I have some family and friends try out the products to see their results. I try to make things that I use and sell them because I think they work well and it’s natural.
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 taught myself and a lot of research on google.
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?
My original goal was to sell things I made that I have too many of. Then a way to pay for my hobby that that keeps getting bigger.
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 felt I shouldn’t open a shop because no one will find it interesting. But I said I’ll just give it a shot. When I first opened it I saw no one was looking at my shop. So I decided to enroll in the Etsy ad and I started to see views roll in I got all excited I was getting so many views but I was feeling down I was getting no purchases. I go maybe I should close it, I knew no one really is interested in this stuff. Then I thought to myself why I started the shop, not to make big bucks, but to share my creations. Then I started to get purchases and I kept that thought of it doesn’t matter if no one views or no one purchases but at least the option is there for anyone else is looking for it.
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?
The first sale I think was like a month after opening. It seemed like a really long month. Then the next purchase was like another month later but after that sales started to get closer in date.
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 feel like I work all day from being a caretaker, helping my family, having some time to myself, and always trying to find new things to make that’s organic.
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?
Everything I make, I use for myself and most of my stuff is made in small personal batches specially made for the customer.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
I price them on how much I spend. I don’t get too much profit and somethings I sell with a nonprofit that I have to raise the price later because I was losing money and not even breaking even.
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?
If I come across an item in the store, I try to make it natural or try to bring it back when things were handmade.
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 ship everywhere just using USPS the customers do pay for the shipping because I’m still very small I can’t afford to pay for shipping.
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 do, But I just try to stay original and have fun with the creations. So everything is made with good positive vibes. I hope that gets transferred to the customers.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
When I first started to sell I was so worried if they liked it or not that I would message them to make sure this was exactly what they wanted. getting replies like “yea, that’s exactly what I was looking for” makes me relax and say well I hope they like it and I wanted to hear the feedback to know I can improve the products to customer satisfaction.
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 never thought I would get 5 sales but hearing how someone liked an item that I can provide them or it helped someone out. That’s my biggest drive to make more items and more options.
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 just started an Instagram I don’t have many followers.
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?
I don’t have anything to say, It’s pretty good so far.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Well, when I first started I didn’t tell anyone I knew I opened the shopped because I didn’t want to be judged about my purchases. But that’s not a good thing because you telling people makes them tell people and so on and so forth but you get views and purchases that way too.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Wait and be more focused on bettering the catalog items. Then waiting and worrying about people’s views and purchases, then get the ads. Don’t just jump into buying ads.