Almost a year ago, Brian, a coworker of mine, told me about a place called Etsy. I looked at him and asked “where is it?”
He laughed (at me nicely) and said “It is online Rachel.”
Thus began my year long journey to Etsy. The journey included relocation (which you are surely sick of hearing about by now), leaving a perfectly well paying job (though not perfect itself), and leaning on my husband an awful lot.
My coworker explained the website was a marketplace like eBay, but for homemade, vintage or handcrafted items. Hmm. Sounded right up my alley.
My husband does eBay so I understand the buying and selling, invoicing, shipping, refunds, bidding, searching, and marketing. However, Etsy takes it that much further and is centered around buyers and sellers who understand and respect quality personalized craftsmanship.
Why did it take me a year to set up an Etsy store?
First, about a year ago, my job had taken a toll on me. I knew that I was going to get out of my main job but I wasn’t sure how. I refused to start a home business with a full-time stressful career in the way.
Second, my growth making jewelry has been a three year beginning process. A year ago, my creativity was still okay, but I think my friends were giving me positive reinforcement because they liked me. I still have a LOT to learn, but I am to the point people fight over a single piece of my jewelry. So I think I am advanced enough to sell it on Etsy.
Third, location location location. I did not want to start a business in one state and then have to worry about moving it another state. This may have been a delaying tactic. I will never tell.
Fourth, I have crappy self-esteem. Ask my husband. He is my number one fan but he is married to me. On any given day any of the following thoughts may go through my head:
- I have some talent but so do a lot of other people.
- What if everyone hates my jewelry?
- What if everyone who buys something returns it?
- What if I fail?
- What if no one ever buys anything from me ever?
- They are all going to laugh at me:)
Fifth, I really did not want to start a new business and have to deal with all the paperwork. This is the sheer lazy delaying tactic I used for a long time.
So January 2013 came and I knew I had to make this happen. We had moved. My full-time employment had gone away, and I had a lot of time on my hand to make jewelry. My time for excuses and delay was over.
My husband, who is the most (Married-to-a Beading-Addict-Who-Calls-Herself-a-Jewelry-Artist) supportive husband that an anxious person like me could ever hope for, helped me with the following:
- Registering my Business Name in Florida
- Filing for a Sales Tax ID in Florida
- Walked me through a refresher on Paypal setup and usage
- Put up with my “I don’t want to do this” moments
- Watched as I added listings to Etsy for two weeks before making it go live and provided the requested feedback to go with each listing.
- Patiently stood by as I purchased all kinds of last minute supplies “Just in case”.
The Etsy setup was remarkably user friendly. The site itself helps you through each step including billing, paying your own invoice, product listings, photo suggestions, store setup, and finally opening the store. Tutorials exist on maximizing your exposure, finding clientele, and working with others in communities. Those are on my to do list for this coming week.
So now it is January 14th as I write this and I just went live on Etsy! You can visit my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ExecutiveBeader . You may recognize some of the pieces for sale that were mentioned on prior blog posts.
Thanks for providing me the comments and feedback!