ProjektGlitter – Biodegradable Face and Body Glitter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Personalized Design
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Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…

Starting a glitter company was inspired by many summers spent dancing in festival fields, costumed-up, and sharing what glitter I had with those around me. At the time, glitter was packaged and shared was exclusively for the arts and crafts market, and it was difficult for me to get hold of good chunky cosmetic glitter, so that’s when I decided to create my own product for the free-spirited festival-goers. I love creating things and have a background in Product Design, so I usually have at least one creative project on the go. Naturally, the design is an integral part of Projekt Glitter. The experience of the products, from the glitter mix to the packaging and sustainability have all been considered.

How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?

I had been a customer on Etsy for some time, as I love buying from independent creators and brands- the items are so much more unique. I had previously started a jewelry brand with my sister and we would sell at local weekend markets in London, however, this was many years ago and online shopping was still a new idea. Projekt Glitter was the first brand where I actually started selling online because there were so many platforms out there like Etsy which made it so easy to do.

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 sell hand-mixed biodegradable glitter. I mix glitter of different sizes and colors and hand fills them in small glass test tubes. I think the packaging of my product is what really sets it apart. Coming up with a good design for how the glitter will be packaged went through many different rounds of iteration, as it was important to me that it was portable, easy to open, but not easy to spill, and used sustainable materials.

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 mum was creative herself, so I spent my childhood playing in her art studio, helping her sell at bazaars, and eventually studying Product Design. I did not have a mentor, but I had an internal sense of when I was satisfied with my creations, and in a way, I was my own best customer. So I had to love what I created.

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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?

I was working full time in tech at the time, and Projekt Glitter was a side project, so Etsy was the easiest way to set up an online shop without much time-investment, allowing me to get my product out there without requiring a physical brick and mortar shop. Also with working in tech, it felt natural to build an online retail brand, as this was a world I was very familiar with.

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?

Opening a shop on Etsy was a no brainer as the cost to entry was basically zero, Etsy only took a fee when you made a sale. And at the time there were hardly any glitter brands on the market, so there wasn’t much competition.

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 remember it was within a couple of days when I made my first sale on Etsy – it was such a thrilling experience! I had no idea how they found me. And in the first year glitter sales steadily grew month on month organically. I was getting maybe an order every day by the end of my first year.

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 quit my job last year to focus full time on Projekt Glitter and on other creative ventures. I usually start my day with morning yoga, then go through my emails. At noon I have a group call with my small team to sync on our plan for the afternoon (we are all working from home these days). My tasks really change from day to day, depending on what is a priority, sometimes I would spend all day editing photos and videos (yes I do all of this still), and other days it will be filling out spreadsheets and planning budgets.

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 premix all the glitter in large jars and fill them by hand using a self-made filling tool using test tube trays. I would usually create stock ahead of time, and when I can see colors are running low, then I would do a top-up of everything. I used to do this all myself, but now I have someone who comes and helps me with the filling process.

What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?

Biodegradable glitter is not cheap, especially when you compare it to traditional plastic glitter. So the raw material costs a lot, and packaging is too, especially for small brands, who can’t afford to buy in huge bulk orders, like larger companies. I usually ensure there is a decent enough mark up after accounting in the costs for postage, listing items online, transaction fees, and tax, etc.

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 follow a lot of branding and design agency profiles on Instagram, so I get a lot of inspiration there. And for new product ideas, I take inspiration from life, I think my mind is naturally programmed to always be on the lookout for new ideas. With every challenge, there is always an opportunity for a new creative solution.

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?

We do ship internationally and we offer free postage for orders over 25 EUR. The average time for postage to arrive really depends on where you are. Within Europe, it usually arrives within a week, and outside Europe, it can take between 2 – 4 weeks.

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?

In the last couple of years, there have been a lot of competitors who have come up, but I still think our branding still sets us apart from our competition.

How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?

We want our customers to love our products as much as we do, so if they don’t love it, we have a policy where they can return to us for a full refund, no questions asked. Thankfully by selling glitter we have the best customers ever!

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 think Etsy has allowed me to put my product in front of 10000s of users without any marketing, without staff, without much cost. It’s really amazing what it gives to solo entrepreneurs. It’s something that 15 years ago would have been impossible for me to do.

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?

Instagram has been my best marketing tool. It’s how most of my first customers discovered the brand. I did some Google, Instagram, and Facebook advertising, and found Instagram worked the best, as it is such a visual platform that is perfect for a glitter company. We like to launch new products every month and build anticipation around it.

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?

An Etsy integration with Squarespace would be amazing so that it pulls the products from my Squarespace website over – it would save me from duplicating everything.

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What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?

I think updating the shop regularly with new products keeps the shop alive, I noticed after some time I had neglected to update the store with new products and sales on Etsy began to drop.

What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?

Take good photos, research your competitors, and see what they are doing well and not well work these learnings into your shop.


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