Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
It started with kids. When you are staying a home parent, you become an overthinker. I wanted to stay home with them for a longer time. So, I decided to run my own business.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
Etsy. I started this journey trying to find one global market. Etsy was easy to fit in and open the store. Simple rules, understandable conditions.
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?
As I am in love with calligraphy, I sell calligraphy stamps for any occasion. Usually make designs on the computer, but I can also write with ink. It is my kind of meditation.
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 doodle since I remember myself. Every piece of paper was colored in my early days. And I loved stamps. Every single shop in my childhood had a stamp. SOLD! My mom bought me ones as a kid set. I was so happy!
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 goal for the Etsy shop was a miracle for me. Put together all my visions and work in one place. It is a heart job. Like a hobby, like a lifestyle. Still love it every day.
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?
No, I did not have fears. I am always open to something new and excited.
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?
My first sale was in the first week after opening. I still remember there was “PEACE” ordered in the last line after the customer address. The goal I was hoping for was at least one order per day.
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?
Outside Etsy, I am a student again. For the third time in my life. I study dental technician in medical school. Calligraphy skills are so useful there. Usually, I check my Etsy shop in the mornings, then do all answers and print jobs. Going to Post Office a couple of times of the week in the afternoons.
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 do not have a best-selling product. I change them from time to time, always have new ideas. Almost every stamp is customized. I never know what to expect when opening an order. Used to make a stamp from a photo of the tattoo on arm once. This is the most interesting part. Different orders.
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 am getting products from great labels. Prices depend on the market. It can change from time to time.
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?
Usually, ideas come when I am on my daily routine run. Somewhere in the street and crowd. I have a small sketchbook always with myself, so I scribble the ideas there.
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?
Sure, I ship internationally. Post prices are available in the local Post Office. The average time from order to delivery could be different – from one week up to four in rush time like Christmas. I never used free shipping as I never know what customer orders. Often it is a special offer from me. Always thinking about my customers when wrapping my products. I like them to think it is a small Birthday gift. Packaging should be sophisticated I think.
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?
No, I am not worried about the competitors. Always have my own ideas in the head. Just visit some art exhibition or read a new book and voila! catch some good scribbles.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Actually, I never had some bad ratings. Maybe one with a Post problem. Returns are always welcome. Also, I am always open to conversations with customers.
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?
Etsy is a great lifestyle. I like it very much. Still get to know so many beautiful things and other sellers. TO be honest was not thinking run a shop for many years, but now it is my daily routine also after 7 years. I am not stressed, as I like what I 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?
Social media are important for me, usually use Instagram and friends to promote.
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?
Etsy is changing inside the platform from time to time and it always takes time to use a new one. Otherwise, it is a full fast service for my customers.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
When I started to run my shop I used to make samples for free without order and people usually disappeared. Now I make up to 10 samples after the customer has been landed with an order.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Just go for it! Doing what you like is freedom. Make sure all is well organized and never miss deadlines. Trying to be super fast for customer service. Movement is a clue.
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