As long as I can remember, I have loved arts and crafts. And the type of craft almost never mattered. As long as I am making something with my hands, I am happier than a pig in mud. I truly love the process of taking simple materials and turning them into something entirely new and beautiful.
I have toyed around with the idea of an Etsy shop for a long time now; several years, in fact. I always put it off and can’t even put a finger on why. Fear maybe? Worrying that my products wouldn’t be a good value, perhaps? I’m picky enough that if I wouldn’t give a product as a gift to a family member, I definitely wouldn’t put it on Etsy for sale. I’ve realized that God gave me some talents, and I’m doing myself and my family a disservice by not putting them to good use.
After years of dreaming, I decided just this week to procrastinate no longer, and start my very own Etsy shop. I hope to launch by the end of April!
Another reason I put off starting an Etsy shop is feeling like there was so much to do. Which make no mistake, there is! But I questioned where would I even begin? Once I breathed into a paperbag and calmed myself down, I broke it down into logical steps.
The first step in any process for me, is an absurd amount of research. Knowledge is power, School House Rocky. 😉 I grab Google and Pinterest by the horns and get every last ounce of information out as possible. In fact, I’m still reading every article I can get my hands on. Michelle Hickey Design’s How to Start your own Etsy Shop was my first -and is still one of my absolute favorite – references. And her site is gorgeous; I pop in often.
Next, I’ve started brainstorming on what offerings I can put in my shop. I want every single item to be of good quality and value to my customers, so I made a list of some things I’m definitely skilled at or items I have on hand that are already finished and appropriate for sale. These offerings include:
- Handmade Cards with Mix and Match Greetings
- Loom Knit Items such as scarves, hair clips and bows, 18″ Doll Scarves (American Girl, Our Generation Dolls, etc)
- Perler Bead Creations (maybe earrings, hair clips, bookmarks)
- Handpainted/decoupaged light switch plates/covers
Eventually, I’d love to venture into Digital Downloads. In the past I’ve downloaded templates for felt play food for Ladybug, and I’m fairly certain I could design some really cute stuff. However, I’m also an “all in”/overachieving/do it all RIGHT NOW kind-of-girl and have to remind myself to take one step at a time.
Step three is organizing pictures, and preparing to list my inventory. We’re very fortunate that we already have a nice camera, and my husband is a great photographer. So next up, was to buy a light tent and lights. “What is a light tent?”, you might say. Well, a light tent is a little, well, tent, that helps you take professional looking photos of objects. I found so many great tutorials on how to make them, but truth be told I’m going to be working on inventory and decided to outsource it. If you decide to make a Light Box/Tent, Sandra at Simple is Pretty has a very well done tutorial to follow here. And her light box looks absolutely lovely. If I wasn’t so focused on inventory, I would have followed her tutorial.
Side note: I will buy just about anything from Amazon. I even buy our toilet paper there, no joke.
And then, there was the matter of lights. These lights were recommended with my light tent, so in the cart they went.
Additional side note: I’m a snob when it comes to buying things on Amazon. I really strive for 4.5-5 star items.
Amazon prices fluctuate, of course, but at the time, it was only $33 for both. A very modest investment for getting started! Which, if you’re reading this and thinking of starting a shop, I highly encourage you to track every dime. Even if this is your passion, like it is for me, it’s still a business. You don’t want your passion to bankrupt you.
So what happens next? Now I get to work on my inventory, take pictures (as well as some other footwork), and launch my shop! I already know there are many moments where I’ll need to extend grace to myself. Being a perfectionist is both a blessing and a curse.
I’ll be blogging every step of the way, so I invite you to check back and see what things I learn along the way.
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