Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ride the Changing Tide on Etsy

It feels like I am riding a changing tide. At the end of my first year on Etsy, I'm pondering how to survive the economic crisis and still grow my Etsy site.  There's so much I would do with my site, if I had more capital to invest.  I would make a lot more jewelry, advertise more and certainly expand my options.  I have made a vow not to create debt while starting this small business, and that has kept my business small.  I have made ten sales this year, though I have made more sales off line at trunk shows and craft fairs.  Ten sales feels too small.

I enjoy making jewelry, but I've other work to do, too.  I would enjoy hearing from those of you with Etsy businesses how you find time to grow your business and do whatever other jobs you have.  I will share some of the things that have been storming my brain and look forward to your ideas, too.

Claire's Ideas for Growing Business

  1. Make simpler, quicker jewelry, which can be sold for less.  
  2. Repeat designs instead of making "one-of-a-kind."
  3. Find a less expensive source and recycle materials.
  4. Diversify what I make to include non-jewelry items (there's a glut of jewelry on Etsy).
  5. Find a good, active Street Team on Etsy.  I love the team I have, but I maybe need another.
  6. Advertise myself more off-line.
  7. Focus on preparing for a few big craft shows and fairs and participate big time.
  8. Guard my spare time with a passion so I don't get burned-out.
  9. Passionately uphold my schedule, with an eye for boundary busters. (They don't know who they are, poor things, but they suck up a lot of my energy for my work.  Only I can create my boundaries - and only I can enforce them.)
  10. And I will be aware of the fact I am learning and not compare myself to other artists. 

I will honor that I am doing the best I can, even in those times when I need to do better.

So tell me all of you out there in Etsy Land - any advice for growing my business, without going into debt or spending too much? How do you guard your time for other things?  What has served you well?  What hasn't?


  1. wishing you a wonderful New Years Eve and year ahead as well!!
    some good tips there...i need to learn to manage my process such a slow crafter
    and for my wholesale line, i really need to streamline that process as well!

  2. I've been 'in business' only since august on etsy, but i've found that using cheap materials has really benefited me. However, I have no idea how difficult it is to find used materials for making jewelry as I don't know anything about making jewelry. But with my craft I just use fabric, thread and polyfil, and the fabric i pick up for barely ANYTHING, literally 25 cents or 50 cents, when I find it at at yard sales and thrift stores. until two weeks ago i had NEVER bought fabric brand new, and even then i bought from the 'scraps' area at wal mart so I paid less than 5 dollars total for everything I did get. Where as a lot of the people I compete with buy brand new fabric that might be a few dollars a yard and I think this helps me keep my prices down and do much better.

    I can't imagine how difficult it must be to sell jewelry on etsy - as it seems that every other store, or even more than that, is a jewelry store.

    Good luck with sales!!


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