Wednesday, December 6, 2017

So if you are thinking of starting an Etsy shop……

A good couple years ago now, I started an Etsy shop.   I was very hesitant to say the least.  I had no idea how to do any of it and all of it seemed to stress me out.  How to do shipping, where to get shipping supplies from, where to get sewing supplies from, was my stuff even good enough?  What if I did all that work and no one purchased anything? 

I was hoping after all the set up was done, and I had a handful of things to list in the shop, that I would get a few sales.   I still remember my first sale – it was really kind of exciting.  I sold a blue ID pouch to a woman in Virginia.  I was thrilled!

This was it!  My first sale.


And that is all I ever expected really – to make some sales and to feel good about making things and having people like them.

What I didn’t expect was the community.  I can’t even tell you (even though I am writing this and trying to do just that), how happy it has made me to interact with other sellers and customers.  My conversations with customers are often very uplifting.  Whenever I get a sale, I always contact the customer and let them know I’ve seen that they have purchased something and let them know when it will be out in the mail to them.  Often I don’t get a response to these messages. But there are many times I do.  Sometimes it’s just a quick “thank you”, but other times, customers tell me a bit about why they liked what they ordered, or who it is for, etc.  So for a brief moment, I am allowed to be part of an event in someone’s life.  It sounds like I’m reaching there but I’m really not. 

A man recently forgot to get a birthday gift for someone, and he wanted to order something but was worried about the time it would take to reach him if he did.  I happened to be online when that message came through and I assured him if he ordered it, I would stop what I was doing and package it up immediately.  So from the time he messaged me, to the time it went out in the mail to him was maybe a total of 10 minutes.  So, for a short time, that man and I were a team aiming to get a birthday gift to someone. Where else but Etsy can something like that happen? 

One of my ventures a while back was learning to sew bow-ties.  I put a lot of effort into it!  Designing it, getting the right texture and feel, learning how to size them, and then how to package them. I made about eight of them and all eight sat in the shop for months.  They did nothing.  If an item could do less than nothing, that's what my bow-ties did. That was kind of bit discouraging. I had so much faith in them! Then, just recently, one sold.  When I saw the sale I was completely happy.  One of my “Put too much effort into it” bow-ties had sold.  When I messaged the customer and let them know it would be out in the next day’s mail, she responded and let me know it was for a special person who she hoped would end up being more than a friend.  I loved that this person was willing to share that with me.  I was elated that someone purchased a bow-tie, and the person who bought it was hoping for a boyfriend.   For some reason I really like that.

Bowties - They are cool, and hopefully inspire love!

The people I’ve met through etsy have been amazing.  Other sellers, like Danette Bartelmay of Front Porch Knits, have been such of source of inspiration and encouragement.  I see what they can accomplish, how much they put into their shops and how much they enjoy what they do, and it inspires me to keep going. It makes me want to do more and do better. 


So, if you are reading this, and you are thinking of starting up an Etsy shop, and it seems overwhelming or you are on the fence about whether or not it would be worth it, I would say it most definitely is.  I’ve gotten so much more than just sales.  I’m part of an encouraging and inspiring community that I plan to part of for a very long time.

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