Monday, May 3, 2010

Free Craft Etsy business advice....

I have had a flood of emails from gals wanting to start their own businesses lately.
I had a custom children's clothing business for a few years on Etsy and sold to boutiques.
These are just a few tips I have passed along to gals.
*Improve yourself first. When I started sewing I realized I would have periods of time when I wasn't learning new techniques. This would lead to blase designs and creations. Whatever your craft, choose to learn something new at least once a week or even daily.
*Brainstorm, read, research, practice, sell. Doesn't sell? Start over on this step and try, try again.
*Start SLOW. I personally think where people make their biggest mistake is thinking that if you have 50 different products in your etsy shop that you will be successful. I don't believe that to be the case at all.
Find a product you absolutely love to make, that you would make for free you love it so much and that other people love, love, love. Now make it a few dozen times and perfect it, whether it be an appliqued tshirt, ruffled pants, pincushion, you name it. When it is perfected, sell the ONE perfected item in 2-4 different options of fabrics or colors. Start with listing this in your Etsy shop or wherever you are selling. Listen to feedback from customers on this item and make changes where you might feel you need it.
*Is your one item selling? If not, it could be the photography. Take great photos!
*Don't listen to advice or seek advice from people who are not in the craft industry or even from people who might not have your best interest in mind. Very few, if any, people out there will see the value in hours of work for very little, if any pay in the beginning of your business.
When it comes to business advice, well, just go with your gut or talk to people who are doing exactly what you would like to be doing in a few years.
*Need to make a profit now? Well then definitely don't forget to start slow. The MORE PRODUCTS you add to your shop, the more of an inventory of materials you have to carry in house and each item will cost you.
*Spouse not supportive? Be sure not to neglect your best asset, your spouse. I'm not saying if you are working 40 hours a week on your business, that you have to have to cook dinner every night. Just find what works in your relationship.
*Build relationships with clients and customers.
*Don't forget it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. Enjoy each and every moment of having your own business. It is a wonderful ride! Your pitfalls will be your greatest teacher.
*Keep your chin up! Think positive thoughts and be your own cheerleader. Purge out all the negative thoughts! Who needs 'em?

"To get profit without risk, experience without danger, and reward without work, is as impossible as as it is to live without being born." - A.P. Gouthev


Melissa Sauls said...

I just found your blog via your Etsy store by doing a search for bib necklaces. Oh my...what gorgeous necklaces you make!!! I'm soooo tempted to get your tutorial...and how excited I was to find that you are in Austin too! Off to see more of your lovely creations. :)

hipchic~cynde said...

This is all great advice!
I absolutely love the necklace!

Snazziedrawers said...

So awesome you are in Austin too! I checked out your etsy shop and blog! Love your paper art! Paper was my first true love! :)
Thanks hipchic so much! I am thrilled you love the necklace.

Edris said...

Thanks for the free and very useful advice. I am in the process of gathering all the ideas I have in my head, putting them on paper, and developing a plan of action. I will have a shop on etsy this year!

Munchkin Things said...

Thanks for the great kick in the butt! I've been a little discouraged but I know I've got something just gotta get it out to the right audience. :0)

Heart n Soul Photography said...

Thanks for the GREAT advice!! I really needed that bit of encouragement; this week has been so discouraging. You are awesome!! :)