Sunday, October 20, 2013

Etsy seller advice: Opening a shop

My very first sale - Feb. 28, 2008

When thinking about starting your own Etsy shop, there is a fairly large learning curve.

Etsy has lots of resources, mainly the SELLERS HANDBOOK. (

This pretty spells out everything you need to know. 

But just following the steps will rarely lead to anything long-lasting and rewarding.

The main point about an Etsy shop is that YOU are making everything. You are shipping it, you are photographing it, you are writing about it.


If there is something that you love to make, make it. 
If you love dogs, make dog treats.
If you love jane austen novels, make wall hangings with quotes.

If you decide to open a shop with an idea of "Oh yeah, this will definitely make money", and that is your only driving force, then it probably won't.

Having a passion for what you sell will come through in your shop, and buyers will respond.

Once you get past this main hurdle and have the WHAT of your shop all settled, there are few additional details to consider.

Here are my top three "elements of your shop" to consider. 

PHOTOS: Show, don't tell. 

Good, eye-catching photos are what drive buyers to click. They aren't going to read a long description to get the details of an item, they will quickly look at photos and decide if they are interested. 

If the photo passes the test, then they will read on and possibly get to the sale. 

SHIPPING/PACKAGING: Make it special. 

The relationship between the Etsy buyer and seller is a special one. It's not a factory  or shipping warehouse worker packing their purchase ... it is the person who made it .. just for them.

Try to show a bit more personal care when packing your items. This doesn't have to be over the top.

I generally wrap items in bubble wrap, tissue paper, and then tie up with ribbons -- business card tucked in the ribbon.

I know my sister (who has a vintage shop) includes a vintage scarf freebie in each order (because she has a bagillion of them!) 

I once got a package with a piece of candy in it. That made my day!!

It's all about making your customer feel special and making them want to buy from you again in the future.

SEO and TAGGING: Be seen.

Etsy has changed so much over the years when it comes to "being seen." 

Used to be, the most recent listings automatically showed up first in search. 

This was cool because you could simply "renew" your listings to get them to the top of the pack.

NOW ... it's all about relevancy. 
I really don't like it because I have to have ugly listing titles now .. packed with key words to be seen.

Here's a pretty good article about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Etsy shops:

I hope this helps if you are thinking about opening a shop, or are just starting out!

Questions?? I'd love to answer in the comments!!! 

- Emily

Friday, October 11, 2013

Advice for Etsy sellers

The Sale.

Photo by Etsy seller SeasAndPeas

When you first open your Etsy shop, it's such a novelty.
Getting a sale is the stuff of magic!
You jump up and down and scream in a really high pitch. 

Before, when maybe it was a fun way to make some extra cash, not getting a sale in a day was no big deal. In fact, it was expected. 

But after a while, that magic wears off, and like an addict, you get to where you depend on that "Etsy Transaction" e-mail.  And you need MORE and MORE sales to make you happy!

And now that your life and your livelihood are both wrapped up in that delicate little spot on the internet, you may start to freak out when you don't get that fix one day, or one week!

I used to be that way.
I was that girl.
In some ways I still am, but I am getting better.

You have to look at the big picture. 
Minor, daily victories are great, but the larger success of your business relies on your ability to see beyond every single sale.

You have to constantly innovate ways to make your product better, your customer service better, your time management better.

Taking some time to step back and improve the overall function of your shop will lead to more sales in the long-run.


Any questions from Etsy sellers about running their shop?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Breaking Bad = Good

The conclusion of "Breaking Bad" has had such a huge presence in pop culture in recent weeks.

I started watching it about a year ago. My husband (then boyfriend) and I would watch an episode with dinner. Then IMMEDIATELY have to watch 2 more consecutive episodes until it was obviously time to go to bed (or else he would be late for work in the morning!).

Jesse and Walt having a beer after a long night at work. 

It's rare to find a show like that. Not just that it has cliff-hanger endings ... but the characters were so complicated that you couldn't figure out how you felt about everything.

I've heard a lot about how it's so hard to watch and so violent and so traumatic ... but really, I what other directions could it take?

It's about cancer ... drugs ... infidelity ... murder ...  all the bad things in life.

But I think it's all the bad things that make you realize the good. And in the end, that's what it's really about: Family, loyalty and friendship.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pretty Petal Studio - Autumn 2013 shoot


Photography by Pretty Petal Studio:
Florals by Candlelight Floral Designs:
Models: Kate and Lalania
Hair pieces by Whichgoose: