For those of you who’ve been following our blog for a while you probably already know that we’re big on saving money. However, we also enjoy sharing tips on fashion and clothing crafts as well as feature small craft businesses. So in keeping with these themes, today we’re going to talk about how to start your own crafts business on Etsy.
We’ve gathered a small group of experts consisting of some of Etsy’s top sellers to tell you about starting and running your own Etsy crafts store. Today we’re releasing the initial portion of the discussion. Stay tuned for the next installment of this mini-series-coming soon!
The participants in this panel discussion are:
- Tara Burns – founder of the Create and Accentuate Etsy shop. Tara specializes in customizing baby bodysuits, t-shirts and rompers.
- Christy Wilson – proprietor of Embellished Bayou on Etsy. Embellished Bayou creates one of a kind custom home décor and children’s embellishments with a Louisiana twist.
- Tashae Watson – owns an Etsy shop called Dresses, Tresses, and More. Tashae’s store features designer hair bows as well as girls dresses.
- Gwen Davenport – owner of the Frills and Frogs Etsy shop. We recently featured Gwen in our Boutique Clothing Craft Series.
- Soma Venus – founder of the Soma Venus store on Etsy. A true creative at heart, Soma’s store features her custom handmade photo albums, sketchbooks, photos, and more.
- Kimberly Layton – owns several successful Etsy shops, along with a few self-hosted online stores. She also authors a blog called Everything Etsy that offers tips to new Etsy store owners.
Why Should Someone Start an Etsy Store as Opposed to Starting Their Own Online Store?
Tara Burns says
“For me, the best reason is time and money. Etsy has done all the work for me. I simply enter in my info and pictures and the format is done for me. Maintaining the store takes minimal time. There is a listing fee, and Etsy earns a transaction fee but compared to the online store, it’s minimal.”
Here’s what Christy says on the topic,
“Etsy already has the exposure that is hard for new online shop owners to get. You can spend time and money advertising, but Etsy has already done that and they are well-known in the handmade community.”
Tashae weighs in,
“I like Etsy because you don’t have to advertise or promote your store to get buyers. Everything is done for you. Just follow the prompts and even if you are “computer challenged” as I am, it’s so simple that you can figure it out.”
Here’s what Gwen states,
“Etsy is already established. They have a huge customer base just waiting to look at your products. Etsy has also worked on SEO and their site usually comes up near the top of Google and other searches. It’s also much easier to get started with Etsy than your own private site. The startup costs are less too.”
Here’s Soma’s perspective,
“What I love about Etsy as opposed to starting your own online store is the community! Especially back in the forum, chat and virtual lab days – I learned so much from fellow “Etsians” when I was first starting out. It’s a great place to bounce ideas off of each other, as well as be inspired by one another.”
Here’s what Kim says on starting an Etsy store,
“Starting an Etsy shop is one of the easiest ways to sell your handmade items and it’s hard to beat the startup cost of 20 cents!! Within hours you can have your shop set up and selling 24 hours a day…worldwide!”
What Type of Financial Investment Should a Person Expect to Make Into Their Etsy Store?
“I would say very minimal … it’s a safe way to start off because it is not a huge commitment. Initially, it is just the listing fees. (20 cents per item for 4 months) Ongoing, it is the listing fees (including renewing if someone buys it) and transaction fees. They bill you at the beginning of each month which is nice. You can also view your bill as you go. It can be as big or small as you want it to be. I create custom items so I don’t have an inventory to speak of … other than having blank tees and onesies [sic] available.”
Here’s Tashae’s take,
“Etsy is one of the best to make a minimal investment and test the waters. You can start with 10 items and should definitely try to do a showcase. My business increased 20% by doing a couple of showcases. A showcase is a feature offered by Etsy. This feature allows you to list your items to be on the front home page of Etsy for all who visit Etsy’s homepage to see. It’s a great way to get exposure, it certainly was for me!!”
This is how Gwen puts it,
“One of the great things about Etsy is that there is little investment up front and some of the upfront costs will depend on the items you make and how much they cost you to make. You also have listing fees, which are minimal. I would say you could start an average Etsy store with $100 or less.”
So that’s it for today. Again, this is just the first installment of the mini-series-there’s much more and we’ll release the next installment very soon so stay tuned! Also, we’d be pleased to hear your thoughts and questions on starting an Etsy business so don’t be shy…add your comment below!