1. Tell us your Etsy story.. how you got started in your craft and how you started selling on Etsy.
I started knitting when I was about 14. I picked up a DIY scarf kit at Target as a neat gift idea for a friend. Needless to say, teaching yourself to knit is much harder than I thought! It took be two years of on-again off-again learning to finally finish that first scarf. After that I was hooked. Knitting provided me with a sense of calm and allowed me to be creative with yarn and color and texture.
At the time I stayed with knitting scarves exclusively. Years later while I was in college I found myself with far too many scarves around my apartment (and all my friends and family had enough scarves from me already), so I decided to open my Etsy shop. I had no idea how to run a shop, and between school, graduation, and searching for a grown-up, my shop soon became ignored.
Fast forward 2 years, 1 promotion, and a long winding journey through life later, and I’ve quit my day-job to focus exclusively on my Etsy shop. Everything you see today has been produced in only the past few months, and I’m working hard to see my shop succeed and spread a little more handmade love and joy to the world.
2. What have you learned about business since you launched your Etsy shop?
#1 Lesson: Success does not happen overnight (and I was one of the fools who thought it would). Running a shop either as a business or just as a hobby requires a lot of hard work, constant upkeep, and new creativity if you want to sell anything.
I’ve also learned that networking is one of the best marketing tools. It may not mean an immediate sale, but knowing people online (like bloggers and other sellers) as well as offline (friends, family, local business owners, sellers at craft shows) can give you more exposure for your shop and build brand recognition for more sales and success later.
3. Tell us one piece of advice for new sellers.
Make sure you are doing what you love and putting the highest quality into your items. Your product is the base of your whole shop (and as an extention, your brand). If you really want to be in this for the long haul, you really need to be passionate about what you are doing. Customers can tell when you are, and they are more likely to buy from someone genuine than from a ‘salesperson.’
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