I am a believer that if you want to create for a living you can do it! It won’t happen over night, but if you stick with it you will find yourself living the dream you never thought you would! It takes hard work, but us creatives are never afraid to roll up our sleeves. If you have a creative talent that is piling up in your life like my piles of tie dye and no more room in your closet…then its probably time for you to start an Etsy shop!
I am a text book over thinker. So many blogs will give you long lists of things to do like finding your niche etc. This can be daunting and trying to figure everything out at once can lead to nothing happening at all. It’s hard to get the ball rolling. But thankfully you can get this ball going while sitting on your bed watching TV!
Log on to Etsy.com, create an account if you don’t already have one- use your personal email, don’t even make a “business email yet!”, and click the big start selling button at the top! You have to connect your credit card but lets be real its saved in your google for easy online shopping haha. You will also need to pick a name for your shop. I suggest doing this while you set up your shop because SO MANY NAMES ARE TAKEN. It can be invigorating, but stick at it you will find an awesome one! Sometimes it takes time, you can always change your name- however it will hinder your growth!
PICK A SOLID NAME
To pick a name for your shop get Etsy.com up on your one tab, GoDaddy on another and Instagram on your phone. Check that your name is available across all platforms. GoDaddy will allow you to search for the domain. You want your name to be original and short so its easy to type and remember. Consider using your name in. Customers connect to the personality of this and it is also usually available with a word describing your creations attached.
I suggest that once you find something you like, just stick with it!! This can really help grow your audience. Your customers will know where to return to in order to shop again. This is something I really struggled with in creating Desert Dyes. I have had several different names for the business and overall I think it has only hindered our growth and wasted time. If you find something you like and are ready to go run it past a few friends or family members, stick with it and don’t revisit it again. People don’t really care that much about your name if your creations are cool! So just stay more focused on creating amazing products and showing them successfully on Etsy.
TAKE SOLID PICTURES
Whatever it is you have made you need to take stunning photos of it to showcase it to the world. Imagine every picture as part of a store front window. You want them to work together well and to have been taken in the same lighting.
To take stunning product pics you can use your iPhone. Unless you are willing to shell out for an entire photo set up (lighting, backdrop, camera + editing software) I would stick with the iPhone. There are really easy to use free apps to edit pics, and you can drop box or airdrop them easily to your computer.
Use a foam board as the backdrop. You can get two and set them up to from a floor and background. Make sure to use the thick foam ones, not the paper poster board. It will create the best white backdrop possible! Set this up midday in the shade outside or near a window inside. I find that outside is the best place get good product photos, but if that is inaccessible near a window out of direct light can create the same effect. Take a bunch of photos from various angles. You can sort through them and edit them on your phone later.
I recommend using all of the adobe apps for editing your photos. It make take a little time to get to know the apps, I still cant remember whats what but they work great and have easy to use select tools. I also find that VSCO works wonders if you are just cropping and light editing. Go easy on your first product photos and know they will get better with time!
STICK WITH IT
So much of your Etsy shop will happen organically. I am a believer that you cant really find your niche, you just find your self in it one day. You might open your shop with 5 listings but keep working at it! Add a listing every day or so if you can and within a few weeks you could have upwards of 20 which is plenty to start getting sales. One of my shops has never had more than 14 items on it and continues to grow. Don’t worry if you are just starting out, if your creations are cool and your photos are decent people will be interested!
Freak things happen + you are just learning to run a business, people are not always understanding of this. People can be mean and when you are selling things you created it is easy to take it to heart. Don’t let anyone or any situation discourage you from starting and keeping your shop up! Who knows maybe you’ll be the next one to make it big!