Thursday, June 11, 2009

Setting up an etsy shop.

I’ve been considering setting up an etsy shop. It just seems like a good way to sell the barrettes I’m making. I had dismissed the idea before as it’s a big job and I don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to another project. Then I got thinking - the parts I’m really worried about I just need to ask for help on. Pictures. You can see my blog hardly has any pictures on it. Here’s the situation: I work in an office full time and spend 2 hours each day commuting. When I’m at home my time is 100% kids and family and making sure our lives don’t completely fall apart. I have 2 young kids, one of which doesn’t sleep through the night, and a busy life. I don’t get to the computer most days. I check my email over the internet, check out blogs etc. and write the occasional blog post here all from work. The one thing I can’t do from work is download pictures. Hubby, on the other hand, doesn’t have to go to bed as early as me and gets lots on computer time – you can see where I’m going with this – he’s agreed to download pictures for me and upload them to the internet somewhere so I can post them from work. (updated: I tried this and can’t seem to get them to upload to blogger correctly..... something to figure out.)
The other thing I need help with is making a shop banner and avatar. I’m hoping to find a smart friend to help out with this (have a few in mind). This may not be as difficult as I thought – there are all sorts of “easy” guides out there.....but I don’t have photoshop, and I suck at figuring new technology stuff out.

I wrote most of the above yesterday when I was all excited about the idea. And then I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, got up late, stepped on a tack, realized that I hadn’t made lunch the night before, got into a (minor) scuff with the hubby about bathroom time and coughed up a lung all before 6am. Do I really have the time and energy to deal with an etsy shop?? Why am I doing this again? Right now I’m about 50/50 again. I think it’ll be fine once I get things set up and then you put in as much effort as you decide to put in. It’s just all overwhelming in the start, and I don’t really know what to expect in terms of time and energy commitment. I keep reading stories about people’s successful shops, but they’re all full-timers, so they HAVE to spend all that time promoting their shops to generate enough business to keep a full-timer going.

I forgot to mention the blog. One of the best ways to promote your etsy shop is through a good blog. Etsy is getting big, and you can’t think that all you have to do is set up your shop and the orders will start pouring in. You have to spend some time promoting your shop. A good blog has lots of nice pictures. Works in progress, ideas, it shows people what you’re working on, what you’re thinking about. People who make a point of shopping handmade are interested in getting to know the person who made the product.
This blog isn’t that. This blog is personal. It’s for me. I’ll have to make a new one. A prettier one with a little less complaining (only a little), and a whole lot more pictures. Even if I just update once a week, that’d be ok, I think.

Back to scheduled programming, here’s the list of things I’d have to do to set up an etsy shop. Everything I’ve thought of so far anyway. This is what I started with for this mammoth post. A simple list.


Set Up

Shop banner and avatar. (Help!)
Write a bio, shop announcement
Figure out cards (packaging – to display the barrettes on.) (in progress, with help from sister J)
Figure out shipping packaging and shipping charges

Set up blog
Make blog banner

Upkeep - ongoing

Taking photos (weekend)
Uploading photos (hubby)
Listing items
Shipping orders (!)
Etsy forums?

Take photos (weekend)
Upload photos (hubby)
Write posts (on a regular schedule – once a week??)

All Right! I'd better hit publish on this before I think of more to write! Please, please, please feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or experience on any of the above. I'd really appreciate the advice.

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