Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Exhausted, But Giddy

When I opened my Etsy shop on February 28th of this year, I NEVER imagined that I'd be sitting here the week before Christmas, on the tail end of the online holiday shopping season, having sold 142 items.

I came to Etsy first as a shopper. My first purchase was an AWESOME pendant by Adorapop called The Untidy Princess. I loved the idea of buying from individuals. Being a crafter myself, I knew that handmade items were often of even higher quality than store bought ones . . . and as for the unique, one of a kind, "wow! where did you get that?!?!" factor that I love in jewelry and accessories, Etsy is second to none.

As my interest in crafting and my crafty abilities grew, I started to seriously consider opening a shop of my own . . . mostly just to try to make a bit of the money I was spending on crafting supplies back. I spent most of last holiday season making gifts for friends and family, and shortly thereafter started the process of getting ready to open a shop. I spent all of February working on developing items, setting up my seller Paypal account, researching tax laws and shipping rates. On the 28th, I listed my first item. A pair of fingerless gloves accented with vintage buttons and appliqued on the inside with a felt cupcake. They sold in a matter of hours and I was so shocked to see the little "1 item sold" logo that I called all of my friends to make sure none of them had bought the gloves as a joke. They were bought by someone I didn't know though, someone who now has her own VERY cute and very successful Etsy shop.

Over the next few months I devoted tons of time to developing new items, seeking out promotional opportunities like contributing to The Sampler and being active on the Craftster message boards, improving my photo taking setup and skills, and learning new crafts.
Running my shop has been a ton of work; and there have been a few down moments, I won't bore you with the details of those though :) But let it suffice to say that the ups have been far more prevalent than the downs, and for that I'm honestly grateful. It is so immensely gratifying to know that so many people have liked my work enough to buy it. To wear it! The response I have had is so much more than I was expecting or even daring to hope for.

Aside from the satisfaction of knowing that there are girls out there wearing my jewelry, purses and crocheted items (in Norway! in Spain! in Australia and London and Italy!), I have also been able to put aside every penny that I've made from my shop. That little account is actually growing quite big, and the money in it is going to be used for something very special that I'll be able to share more about in the new year ;)

I'm so grateful to Etsy, both Etsy admin and the Etsy community, for building a place where I'm able to take my little, fledgling creative ideas and actually DO something with them. I'm absolutely going to be continuing to work on my shop next year . . .I've got a few ideas up my sleeve that I'm really excited about. I can't wait to see what my second season on Etsy will bring!

Listening:  Goldrush - "Wait For The Wheels"


ReFabulous said...

Congrats on all the rewards of your hard work... you deserve it all! Here's to more success in '08! (ps... love your blog!)

HollyLynne said...

Thank you!!! Your shop has done so well too . . . I'm excited about the success all of my favorite Craftster Etsyians have had this holiday season!

Domesticrazy said...

Just found your blog, and congrats! You are exactly where I want to be in 1 year. I just started my research into opening my own shop, and it is so wonderful to see someone living my dream! Your stuff is awesome, by the way. Glad I found your blog...now I have a new Etsy store to shop, too!

HollyLynne said...

Thank you!!! Best of luck with your shop, I'm off to your blog so I can check out your crafts! Its so exciting to watch new shops open up :)