What is Etsy? Etsy is a handmade marketplace that provides opportunities for artists, designers, and arts and crafts suppliers to offer their goods to thousands of customers all over the world (Etsy website is at www.etsy.com).
I still remember the day when I accidentally landed on Etsy website. I was purchasing some office supplies and somehow got redirected to Etsy. Ever since the day I discovered the website, I got hooked. Every week I would spend hours checking out unique handmade items and thinking that I myself could make quite a few of them. I added items to favorites, studied tags, admired great photos, even bought a couple handmade gifts for my family. I loved reading about the shop owners – quite a few of them young Moms, just like me, staying at home with their kids and making money on Etsy. Some Etsians were selling an item or 2 every other day, others were making $50-$100 or more per day.
It took me about 6 months to make the decision to open up my own shop. By then, I knew what I was signing up for. I didn’t expect to make a sale the first day – or even the first week. I knew that building my own brand would take some time. My expectations were realistic – I was not looking at Etsy as an opportunity to get rich fast, but rather as a website that could help me make a couple hundred dollars every month. I considered painting, making cards, selling scrapbooking supplies, making jewelry or soap, but then I decided that sewing would be the way to go. I had very limited experience sewing, but it was enough to get me started. Being a new Mom, I had quite a few bibs, changing pads, burp clothes, baby items organizers, and diaper bags laying around the house. So making baby items for sale seemed inevitable.
I made my first sale about 2 weeks after listing my first item. By then I had about 10 items posted to choose from – 3 bibs, 3 changing pads, and 4 zippered pouches – all made out of Michael Miller designer fabrics as designer fabrics seemed to attract more potential customers. The first bib that I sold for $5 plus shipping gave me a lot of hope and motivation. I figured that if I made and sold only an item or 2 per day, I would be making a couple hundred dollars per month. I started making matching items for twins and triplets, and several days later, I made my second sale and sold 4 items at once – totaling almost $30. Later, I learnt to take good photos, use props, provide outstanding customer service… I learnt that Etsy buyers expected pretty packaging, fast shipments, quality products – and slowly but surely I figured out how to meet their expectaions…
2 years into Etsy selling, and I am making a steady supplemental income, working about 20 hours per week. I like being my own boss and scheduling my own hours. Before finding Etsy, I checked into quite a few “work from home” opportunities – like medical billing, taking surveys, assembling items, processing coupons, and so much more. Etsy turned out to be the only “work at home” opportunity that worked for me.