Friday , 23 August 2019
Digital handmade (mouse made) products are not handmade?

Digital handmade (mouse made) products are not handmade?

I recently highlighted 3 shops that had over 1000 sales on Black Friday 2014. Due to the comments about the shops, Colette from My Computer is My Canvas left a comment about her shop and how she has had success.

There are many of you that are saying that digital handmade (mouse made) products are not handmade. This couldn’t be further from the truth!!  Please take a look at Colette’s shop and read her comment below.

Hi, Tim… :) Thanks so much for your post! I’ve been getting all kinds of emails and convos from many Etsy Sellers congratulating me on my success and seeking advice. I wondered if I had been featured somewhere and after doing a few searches, found your website and article. Thank you for highlighting my shop’s recent success, I appreciate it so much! I’ve spent most of the afternoon on your site reading and soaking in many of your articles, this will be a new favorite spot for me to follow. Thank you!

I was a little bit sad to read through some of the comments on this post. To each his own – and I do understand how the term “handmade” is a broader term on Etsy than it used to be. Etsy has grown and encouraged their interpretation of “handmade” to evolve. It has diversified on many fronts and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to be part of that.

It hasn’t come easy, it did not happen overnight – but after 5 years of hitting the pavement every day… I’m working a full time dream job that supports my family. Do I have any secrets? Maybe a few.. but I doubt they’ll surprise anyone:

I spend hours upon hours (upon hours) at my computer designing items for my shop. Every design is creative, original and designed on my canvas (which is my computer)… thus the name of my shop. :) I also spend hours and hours and HOURS researching trends in colors, patterns and graphic design styles. Through trial and error I’ve learned what’s hot AND what’s not – and I’ve learned to deliver what gets my followers in a frenzy and avoid what leaves them silent. I also spend a huge amount of time each day promoting my shop via my blog, social media channels and by networking with others – bringing the vast majority of my customers to Etsy from those channels. I don’t rely on Etsy SEO for my sales – and what is generated that way I consider gravy. :) Etsy is not an “if you build it they will come concept” – many, if not all, successful shops bring in most of their own customers. Some by the dozens, some by the hundreds, some by the thousands. I’m super proud that many of my customers are new to Etsy – and have since become loyal Etsy shoppers after having a positive and repeat experience with me. I am lucky to have a very dedicated following of fans and customers who have supported me, my creativity and ultimately my shop for years.

I’ve gotten many questions about what I did to create such a buzz in my shop on Black Friday. Honestly, I started planning for it MONTHS ago. I released several new designs, I ran a well advertised sale, I sent out a special newsletter announcement… but most of all, I listened all year to what my customers want, I read my analytics like it’s my shop’s bible and those two main factors influence how I design my game plan. I also remain as nimble as I can – so I can shift immediately if something isn’t working.

Ultimately, I am very proud of the artistic collection I’ve created – even though it sounds like some don’t agree that what I do is art – (again, to each his own). I am thrilled with the following and loyalty I have, I’m proud to have converted many, MANY people to become Etsy shoppers and look forward to continued success on an amazing platform. I am a huge fan of Etsy, of all Etsy Sellers and wish all of you the same success with your shops.






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  1. Feathered Star Vintage

    Well said! Your creativity shines! Congratulations and may you exceed all expectations in 2015!

  2. Just a bunch of jealous people out there, learning this myself!! I agree with you Colette, it is still hand made, you have to come up with designs & create them. I am a graphic designer myself, I use vintage images to create collage pictures, then they are sewn into my purses, it is all hand made from start to finish. Congrats on your success!

  3. Great post, thank you for sharing, Colette. I love your printable menu boards – I’m going to check that out.

  4. Colette, it’s obvious for me, as a graphic designer, how much work you put into your designs. I can tell, just by looking at your amazing shop but I think a lot of people who are not technologically inclined don’t understand this concept.

  5. Thank you Colette for your insightful thoughts. You’ve achieved success through hard work & savvy business practices. Good for you! You’ve given me yet another reason to strive for success; you’ve shown that it is indeed achievable. I’ve always thought my digital designs were handmade it is my hand & knowledge that creates & if that’s not handmade I don’t know what it is. Again, thank you & may you have continued success.

  6. Colette – Thanks for sharing about your success! I have tried my hand at just enough graphic design to know that it is not easy to learn, and that the designing of the items you sell is truly an art. I love your 2015 planner and your menu boards. Just might order for me!

  7. Great post! Colette, you are an inspiration. I’m slowly learning to “read” my customers — something that I find challenging online. My first large show in Chicago just before Christmas helped me gauge customer reaction and gather feedback…so I’ve applied for another big show this Spring. Your hard work and smarts will take you a long way. Thanks very much for sharing your advice.

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