Tuesday, June 12, 2012

four steps to opening my etsy store

I've been wanting to open an Etsy store FOREVER. I make things all the time for friends and family as gifts - custom notebooks, greeting cards, hand-painted wall hangings, magnets, etc. I've had multiple people ask where they can purchase things and every time I'm asked if I have a store, I sort of bow my head in shame and have to simply say, Not yet.

Not yet, I say, as if I'm actively working on opening one soon. Well, I'm not. And I decided that's a crying shame. Today on my lunch break I was reading the Etsy blog, as I do most days. I love hearing of how people quit their full-time jobs to sell their handmade goods full time or simply discovered a hidden passion to make handmade things. Sure it's very difficult to achieve the level of success it takes to make a full-time living, but it made me realize that there are tons of people out their sharing their creativity with the world, and I feel like I'm missing out big time.

SO, I did what I do when I want to hold myself accountable to a goal - I made a plan. I pulled out my Moleskine and my Sharpie and here's what I came up with. Carol's four-step plan to an Etsy shop.

Now I know that most people would probably just say, what's the big deal, just open the darn shop. Yes, well, that would be gloriously simple, wouldn't it. Unfortunately, I'm what you would call a chronic over-preparer. In order to actually accomplish something, I have to pre-accomplish all these somewhat unnecessary steps in order to adequately "prepare" for whatever I'm doing. (A Carol-ism I find both frustrating and slightly hilarious.)

While I know that redesigning my blog might seem like it has nothing to do with starting my Etsy shop, to me it has to happen. I'm just the type of person that likes to feel that I have my ducks in a row when I tackle a big goal. Kinda like if I'm going to jump in the deep end I'd like to learn how to swim first, ya know?

So that's my plan. At first I was going to keep it to myself, but Jason suggested I post it here so that I have a sense of accountability about it. (Don't you hate it when he's smart like that?) I also think completing my steps by the end of 2012 is not only a realistic timeframe for me (...I tend to drag my feet. Know thyself, right?) but I also think it would be wonderful to look back on 2012 and feel like I really accomplished something big for myself. My word this year is FINISH, so the way I see it, I really don't have a choice but to succeed.

My favorite part about this plan though is the final line that I wrote under step four. "If people buy, cool. If not, oh well." I think what has been holding me back is the fear that no one will care. No one will like what I make, no one will buy, no one will give a hoot. But if that's all that's holding me back then I decided I don't care. I want to do it for myself as a personal challenge. I'm not planning to make any real money, quit my job or support a family. Just want a reason to make stuff.

Step one begins this weekend with the work on my new craft room/Jason's studio. I'm going to try and be better about taking before and after photos so you guys can follow along in the progress.

If you have any ideas about what type of Etsy finds are your favorite or what you might like to see in my brand spanking new store, please leave a comment below. I'd love to get the wheels turning already!

1 comment:

  1. I had my Etsy shop for a while and I'll be honest and say I probably didn't work on it as hard as I could. I had a few loyal buyers, but I really didn't make much money nor have as much fun as I wanted to.

    I recently opened my Storenvy shop (though I have yet to make a BIG GRAND announcement on the blog) and I'm really enjoying myself. If you're only going to sell handmade or vintage, I say go for Etsy. But I love to thrift and sometimes I see some cool stuff that people might like. And that's why I prefer Storenvy, because I can sell whatever I want. This is also why I'm more excited about my store now. I can combine all the things I like - handmade, thrift, and vintage. My grandpa is an antique dealer specializing in vintage costume jewelry so he's going to help me with some items, too.

    I can't wait to see what kinds of things you have in your shop! Let me know if you have any questions. I'm not a pro by any means, but I know a thing or two. :)