Research

I’m starting to feel a little pressure now to have the Bazaar Etsy shop up and running asap. I have a number of enquiries from friends and acquaintances (and even strangers, whee!) about price lists for the cushions and quilts, but have nothing made up yet to give them and certainly nothing online. I’m also hugely encouraged by the incredible lampshades created by my Mother-almost-in-Law, made with fabrics matching the ones I used to make quilts, so the stock is building up and will do even more after I’ve completed my cushions & quilts for my Fund It project.

I spent the last few weeks in researching tips and information on building an Etsy shop. I know from using the online shop myself that it’s hugely competitive and a quick search reveals so many makers and sellers of quilts, cushions and handmade textiles. I want to be sure that I have as strong a start as possible so I’m reading everything I can get my hands on. I’m also bookmarking some of the links in Pinterest on my board “Creating the Best Etsy Shop Ever” (ha!)

If you’re curious (or toying with an idea for your own Etsy store!) these are the places I’ve been researching:

This is an interesting start to a conversation on labeling your products with regard to animals & smoke in the home. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit, as I have a home workshop and it’s very open to the rest of the house. My fianceé is a smoker and although we’ve decided that in the new apartment he has a dedicated ‘fumoir’ there still is a tiny element of smoke in the house. And we’re always talking about one day having animals – cats, dogs, iguanas, pigs… Having said that though, some of the blogs I follow, indeed some of the most successful ones, often show pics of cats lying greedily on top of a quilt top that’s in preparation. And it’s often a selling point or a point of interest to start a blog post that cats and dogs in the home are present during the creative process. So I’m still a little torn on this. I don’t want to seem to lie to buyers and omit the fact that there is smoke in my home, yet at the same time, I’m careful that none of the things I’m working on have anything but a faint lavender smell on them.

I also subscribe to the Etsy Success emails from their site. Etsy themselves have brilliant tutorials and info sessions on getting the best out of your shop and I’m finding the email bulletin invaluable – the last one featured this nugget on writing product descriptions. If you’re considering setting up a shop, I’d absolutely recommend subscribing. I’m also going to dive into the Etsy Community and Forum pages now that I’m working harder at this. I have a feeling there will be many people at a simliar stage to me, with whom I can share setting-up experience. Really Etsy is all about getting people off the ground with their handmade business. It’s so encouraging to read the email newsletters, or read through the Teams Fellowship Program, or hear reports of people who attended the conferences. I’d love to get to one actually, but am grounded for the moment in lovely Brussels…

There are a mountain of photographic blogs and shops out there with tips on how to take really good pictures for Etsy on whatever camera you happen to have available. This is a post from Papernstitch blog with a list of good photography tutorials.

The brilliant Handmade Success blog also has some great tips for Etsy shop owners, including this post titled ‘My favourite things about your Etsy shop‘.

So, onwards and upwards! If you have any links for some good Etsy or other online business tips, please feel free to drop the link in the comments!

a x

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2 thoughts on “Research

  1. My main tip is don’t be afraid to start. I was like you and wanted to research everything possible before even creating an etsy account. I’d say, just go for it. Putting your first item in the shop is the scariest but once you do that, you have a shop. You can keep going from there.

  2. Ok, thanks a million Jenny! I’m going to pull out the camera in the next few days and get some decent pictures of my pieces.
    I love your pieces by the way – especially that blue songbird clutch – beautiful!

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