Thursday, August 21, 2008

To and Fro

I finished making the brooches that were in bits and pieces last Sunday. I've used new and recycled vinyl, leather, felt, and buttons......

I've been thinking of maybe opening up an etsy shop to sell a few of my creations....

I'm thinking of making simple things such as brooches, aprons, simple tote bags.....


So I really need some advice....

I love making things but I don't want it to end up feeling like work (if that makes any sense at all). That's why I thought an etsy shop may be a good option for a start. If it's a dismal failure, then it really doesn't matter so much as there isn't a huge capital outlay. I did read a great post over at Michelle's blog a couple of weeks ago regarding costing and pricing and postage, so I would of course have to work all of that out first. I would be very interested to hear about others experiences in setting up an etsy shop, successes, failures, etc, yaddah, yaddah.....over to you!



20 comments:

kristy said...

Love your apron in the first photo and your tote! I set up an etsy shop but then shut it down as I found it confusing listing everything in american dollars... but that was just me. Ended up setting up my own blog just for selling softies on (www.paisleyjade.blogspot.com) which has worked way better for me).

kristy said...

p.s. who do you get to make your curlypops tags?

BigCat said...

How exciting Cam. Good on your for even thinking about trying it. I will be interested to see what advice people have for you.

Cass said...

Hi Cam, I've got an Etsy shop but admit I haven't listed for a while. The US dollar thing annoys me. There is a lot of traffic on Etsy but also a lot of sellers so you can get a bit lost in the mix. I also have a Made It store (basically an Australian type Etsy). I've sold a few things here but it is relatively new and obviously doesn't get as much traffic as Etsy although they are doing lots of things to get it out there. I guess the advantage of Made It is it is in Aussie dollars, all Australian sellers etc. Email me if you want any more info.

cindy said...

I have already put my 2 cents in - have a go. It doesn't matter if you only add items occasionally and you also have the benefit that although there are a lot of sellers on Etsy you have a good platform here for some advertising - plus it's cute.

Super Monkey said...

I second using Made It. Would be great if it could grow to be the Australian etsy. With fewer sellers on there at the moment, you will have less competition and your listing won't get lost so quickly. Also consider a store on something like ozebaby.com.au as another option.

I think there is definately a market for the things you make - they look great.

Michelle

Christie said...

I vote YES! you can work at your own pace & stop if it isn't fun, you make GREAT stuff, why not have a try?

handmaiden said...

I am also at the same place as you. At brown owls i spoke with Kerry and Cindy and they said make a start. So I am with my jewellery.

Bec said...

Congratulations!! You should definitely set up shop. Etsy is so easy, and you really do make such beautiful things. I think it's a great idea! I guess some of the advice I can think of (that's not repeating anyone else) is that when pricing your goods it is better to add a few extra dollars to the cost of your item, and try and keep the postage low, rather than the other way around. Postage overseas can get very expensive, and people hate paying too much for postage. I would also advise making yourself very familiar with the Aust Post website, and having some scales on standby, so you can estimate postage as accurately as possible. I also like to have a few postbags and some customs forms at home, so I can do most of the postage stuff at home, and don't have to spend too long in the post office when I'm posting stuff (but then this might only be a handy hint if you are dragging two kids around :P)
I'm sure I'll think of heaps of other things once I post this, but if I do I'll send them on via email :)
Best of luck :) Bec X

Nicola said...

Sorry don't have an etsy shop, but have considered it. I used to make reversible clothes for small kids. I sold them through mail order(pre internet popularity), and at craft fairs. Gave it up because it did take over my life and I ended up hating sewing and did not touch my sewing machine for about 3 years afterwards. I did really love doing the craft fairs and miss the buzz it used to give me.

I wish etsy had been around then, it seems to be a great way to get started, and to keep it enjoyable. So good luck if you decide to give it a go.

BTW I love the bags.

Georgie Love said...

Yay you! That's so awesome! I can't help you much with etsy, but I can give you a ton of pointers on selling online, if you want it?

Georgie Love said...

sorry: sally @ georgielove.com is where I can be found!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

I shouldn't be commenting, due to my serial procrastination and an etsy shop .... but go for it!. I love your aprons, bags and brooches ... I will definitely buy something.

Linda said...

I don't have an Etsy shop but have thought about it for a long time (that was part of why I started my blog 2 years ago, yes I do procrastinate!!!) due to an ongoing health problem I thought it would be good as there would be no pressure but I always think I'll do it once I have a small stock of items which hasn't happened yet, like you I want to do simple totes and other bags and probably aprons too. But I think now I will eventually do it with Made It and am waiting to see what the Living Creatively one will be, I think that could be the go!!!

Linda said...

ps
your work is beautiful so you DEFINATELY should sell it.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

It looks like you've recieved some great advice here. I say go for it, the things you make are gorgeous. Etsy's good in that you can do it at your own pace, and with this blog people can see what you're making (and selling).

Good luck! I'd love to know when you're up and going!

joanne said...

All I can say that if you have an etsy shop I will buy one of your brooches - they are great!

Lauren said...

I say go for it too! I haven't been doing my shop for long but it's good to go at your own pace. There isn't a huge outlay of $$$ either.....Good Luck!

PS - Love your aprons :-)

Stacey said...

I have an Etsy shop and can give you a few pointers if you're interested.
In short:
- Spend a bit of time accurately working out your costings.
- Re the USD thing, be conservative with your pricing, i.e. I work on a parity AUD / USD thing, so any currency fluctuations don't hit too hard. If the AUD comes down, then its just more profit.
- Remember to factor in things such as labelling, packaging, wrapping, thank you notes, etc, into your pricing.
- Spend a lot of time on photos. They make all the difference.
Made It is good too, but traffic is a lot less.
Feel free to email me if you want any specific advice. I'm no expert of course, but am very happy to help where I can.

Michelle said...

Do it, do it, do it! If only for the fact that it actually can be FUN!

Things I have found in my 6 weeks of operating? You can't beat Etsy's foot traffic. Madeit, doesn't come close.

Never underestimate the power of the blog. Most of my customers are from my blog, and then they in turn blog about their purchases, and before you know it you have customers you didn't know you could get.

I do a lot of customs work (people send me fabric, or tell me they want to reserve something I am about to make (that they saw on the blog, for instance). Sometimes it can get a little annoying and I'd prefer to just have open slather on the shop and make it first in best dressed. But 99% of the time it is intensely satisfying because you are actually working with the person who really wants your handmade thing (like you did), and nothing beats that. So what I am saying is - don't shy away from customs work, and put realistic time frames on it. I have stopped saying "oh, right away" and started saying "it will take 2 weeks".

And for heaven's sake, be realistic about your postage (I charge $2.50 per item, as the sunnyboys are bulky) and also your item costs. Don't baulk and put your prices down if they don't sell straight away. And keep your shop well stocked - it's good for people who want to by multiple items!

If you need any more advice, email me - quiltingmick at gmail.com. I'm happy to be a sounding board!