I started silversmithing 6 years ago. I live in a remote area of the Oregon Coast. I didn’t have access to classes of any kind. I’d been making beaded jewelry for many years and grew up in a very artsy, creative family so have always created in some form. I moved from glass beads to stone beads then began using Fair Trade Karen Hilltribe silver. I am in awe of the Karen and their skilled silversmiths. So after years of using their silver I decided to give it a try myself. I bought a couple silversmithing books, some magazines and watched some You Tube videos. My husband builds aluminum offshore boats so he was a help with my torch and gases. After that I was off!
My daughter had been hounding me forever about doing an Etsy shop. I had been an Etsy member for a few years, but didn’t think people would buy my jewelry without trying it on. Finally April 19th 2010 I gave in to my daughter and opened an Etsy shop. I thank her all the time, she likes silver as “Thank Yous”.
I read, endless forum discussions on branding, marketing, photos, selling on Etsy in general. When I do something I do it all the way, so my husband only saw the side of my face for my first 4 months on Etsy as I buried myself in my computer and at my workbench. My first sale I was so excited I couldn’t believe it. Now 9 months later I have 95 sales and every sale is still exciting. One of the most important things I learned from Etsy was finding my niche and creating my shop around that. I started really thinking about what I do and what I love. I have always collected stones, love walking the beach and finding new stones. I realized I could incorporate my love for stones, love for the beach, and love of creating into one. I use beach stones in many of my pieces which ties it all together.
I have learned so many things since starting my Etsy shop. Branding, marketing, use of social networks, among a few. I am still learning, but if you read all the tips and apply them you will sell.
I love Etsy one piece of advice for new sellers is to make use of all the tons of seller help, read, read, read! Handmadeology is probably the best for an endless wealth of information. I have had many sales that directly link back to the Handmadeology blog and facebook page. Thank you Tim and Handmadeology!
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