Why I Started An Etsy Shop And How Its Going Now
On November 14, 2021 I opened my very own Etsy shop! It was something I had thought about for a long time but never thought I could do. I always had some ideas of items I’d like to make and sell but once again, I convinced myself I was not creative and couldn’t do it. HOWEVER, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just try…. And it worked! I’m a small business owner!!!
While I was trying to figure out how to go about opening the shop I came across a few blog posts on how to do it, tips and tricks, etc. I also came across a few personal stories of other Etsy shop owners talking about their journey and I just found them so inspiring and interesting! I figured I would use my blog as a place to document my own journey and give you amazing people updates and whatnot!
Why I decided to open an Etsy shop
Like so many people in the world, covid really changed my outlook on life. I work a full time job in social services and while I am thankful for my job, I also feel like I want to do something else with my life. I have felt like that for a while but struggled to put my finger on the actual issue but when I was able to work from home for a while…. It was like I was a new person. I was so freaking happy. I was THRIVING.
I never realized how much stress and anxiety work was causing me until I got a bit of a break. It opened my eyes to what my life could be like if I worked from home and for myself. The wheels started turning and I was trying to figure out how the hell I could make this happen.
My first failure
I first thought about online coaching. I have coached children for most my life and work in a support role in social services so it seemed like a no brainer. Step 1, I set up an Instagram account, I took a few online classes, and I got to work trying to get some life coaching clients. I quickly realized that 1. It was really hard to get clients and 2. It wasn’t really what I thought it would be. I wasn’t really having fun.
So, back to the drawing board. After talking with my fiancé about this nonstop for months lol I decided I needed something creative in my life and I wanted it to be hands on. I found out about heat pressing shirts and the rest is history! I am having so much fun with it and my brain is so full of ideas to design other things and make stickers and so much more. It’s such a blast! This is everything I was looking for!
From overwhelm to handling it all
It is honestly so true that if you want to do something you will. Even if it seems hard or you don’t know what to do… you will figure it out. I have discovered this crazy motivation within me since working on the shop. I’ve read so many articles and watched countless YouTube videos haha.
Honestly, I usually get too nervous to do big things on my own. Like, I am the type of person that doesn’t want to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment lol. So, the fact that I figured out the steps, created accounts, set up business related things, and went to the post office to get a PO box… like you guys, I took control and did the things!
It is easy to get overwhelmed when opening an Etsy shop though so I highly suggest keeping a list of all the things you need to do and just do a few at a time. I like to think I am a pretty organized person so that was easy for me thankfully! However, if you want to open your own shop and you find yourself getting overwhelmed, here is my advice (so far).
The helpful advice from yours truly
- Remember that it’s not a race. You don’t need to open your shop the minute you have your product. You can ease into things. You also don’t need to put up 15 listings all at once like some people tell you… I mean you CAN but if you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed, just start with one. You got this!
- Look for the “greats” for some inspo but don’t compare. It’s impossible to look at a shop owner who has been doing it for years and compare yourself when you’re 3 days in. Just focus on you and everything will work out
- Make use of social media but don’t think you need to be everywhere all at once. I watched a YouTube video of someone who coaches Etsy shop owners.. She was really helpful overall but one thing she said I didn’t really agree with. She encouraged new shop owners to be on every social media platform… Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, etc… like HOLD ON, it’s hard enough to keep up with one platform let alone ALL the platforms. So, while I do see the advantage of being everywhere… don’t think you are a failure if you aren’t. Do what you can and work your way up. We all start somewhere and it’s okay!
My worries about over saturation of the market
You hear it all the time: The market is so saturated. You won’t be successful, it’s already been done before. There are already thousands of people selling shirts, candles, scrunchies, insert whatever else people want to sell. The reality is YES, there are tons of people already selling those items. Yes, it has been done before. But… it’s never been done by you!
“It’s never been done by you” was honestly a pivotal moment for me. No one has ever had a t-shirt designed by me or made by me. I am my own original being and a shirt has NEVER been done by me yet. So why the heck not do it?!?
It seems like a silly idea because you could argue that there aren’t many original ideas or people are similar so someone has done what I want to do the way I want to do it. However, the idea of being original and having that type of mindset is freeing. I encourage you to think that same way about yourself because you are original and the world NEEDS your products, services, and ideas.
My next steps as a small business owner
I would love to tell you that my Etsy debut was such a success that I am quitting my job tomorrow to take it on full time but that would be a lie. My Etsy shop launch was small. I got 1 sale which made me freaking excited!!! But it’s not enough to take on full time haha.
My next steps involve a lot of hard work. Social media growth. Learning Etsy SEO. Getting a few more sales with some kick ass reviews. And just taking it day by day. Its easy to get discouraged and I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t the tiniest bit disappointed when I didn’t see the sales rolling in on launch day lol. It’s just not the way it goes. I am coming to terms that growing a business is a slower game. No one is an overnight success as much as it seems like they are.
I can’t wait to keep designing. I have some super fun ideas for the shop and I’m not going to let a slow first ever launch stop me. Yes, there are a lot of stickers in the world but they aren’t mine! Yes, there are lots of cozy sweaters in the world but not made by me! If I can keep this mindset going I feel hopeful that my Etsy shop will grow with time.
I’m going to leave you with a shameless plug for myself lol because how could I not!!
If you want to have a look at my Etsy shop, go check it out here.
If you want to follow my Etsy shop on Instagram, you can do that here.
My final thought on this whole process: I think we all know what we want from life. Sometimes it gets a little foggy between other people’s expectations and what we feel is our path. It’s okay to pivot. It’s okay to try something new. At the end of the day, we need to believe in ourselves and our dreams because if we don’t… no one else will. If you need some inspiration or help brainstorming what you really want, read my blog post about finding happiness.
Let me know if you want more blog posts about my Etsy/small business journey and topics you are interested in! Otherwise, let me know what your biggest dream is in the comments below!