Eight lessons learnt in the first year of having an Etsy Store and inspiration for you to chase your dreams.....

This time last year I was in hospital snuggling with a fresh bundle of joy with our wee man Fraser. Phone calls congratulating us along with text messages and emails were coming in too thick and fast. Among the messages we received on that day was also a notification I had made my first Etsy sale.



It seemed at the time to be magical sign that I had given birth to our last little vintage baby and on the same day my Etsy store gave birth to it's first sale. I look back now and think about all the effort that went into preparing my store and setting up my business. Taking on building my dream was not a project I had intended on doing deliberately while I was pregnant. But I simply just did, because no matter what I said or did I could not tell myself to wait to work on my dream any longer. My dream had an energy of it's own and simply propelled me forwarded to launching my Etsy Store only a few weeks before Fraser was born. It's not been easy with a young family with three children now five and under.

Many lessons and insights have been learnt through this process of the last year.

I've learnt that despite perceived or actual life challenges, there is always time and space to honor your dream. I want to inspire others to see and believe this too in their own dreams.
Having an Etsy store totally rocks and suits my lifestyle and business model for now. There is so much support in the Etsy community and opportunities are abound if you're ready to chase them and receive them.
If you're an Australian Etsy seller it's absolutely worth shipping internationally. It might seem like a weird point to single out, but it's true. I've heard so many Australian Etsy and other online sellers from other sites talk about shipping and postage rates overseas being prohibitive. 

My biggest tip is: don't make decisions for people about shipping rates and what they'll pay. Half of my sales have been and continue to be outside of Australia. If you have awesome products and it moves people in some way, where they are saying to themselves they need it, want it and can't live without it, they will pay the shipping. 

Extra tip: be fair don't charge extra on shipping, charge actual cost no more and if you do over estimate on shipping/postage be generous and refund the difference to your customer or offer them a store credit. Trust me people will be impressed with your ethics and integrity, they'll be back.
Managing a business and a young family is a juggle, it's best to be flexible about these commitments. Family is always first, without family what do you have? Getting your home life and children into a routine that allows you to be flexible to their every changing needs, will bring calm to your business goals and expectations and of yourself.
If you're setting up an Etsy store aim to have a minimum of two full pages of your store stocked. The more items you have listed the more chances people have of seeing your items or store. A pretty basic point that most Etsy sellers will tell you, but it's true and I've walked the path.
Listing new items regularly is great and if you're on top of this your items will appear in recent feeds and searches more often, and once again giving you more chances of your products being seen.
Product photographs are everything, take the best pictures you can with the equipment you have. Be flexible to supplying interested buyers with more photographs. I've improved my photos already this year and it made a difference and I'm just about to move forward with this again, with a studio lighting set up.
Finally customer service has been everything. Going above and beyond to make customers feel special about their purchase has been everything. My very first sale came when I was in hospital after giving birth to Fraser. I simply and honestly contacted my customer and explained there would be a delay and why. She also had a request for packaging and it to not giveaway whether the item was for a boy or girl. These were small matters dealt with simply (despite having a newborn) but made such a difference to their experience. The review I received for my customer service on my very first sale was glowing and set a standard. Believe me, going the extra mile in a simple way pays dividends with people's confidence in buying from you.

I'm excited to reach this milestone in my dreams, it's been a long time coming after many years selling "unoffically" in different forms and collecting for even longer. What has been achieved in one year and the opportunities that have risen have surprised me, when I'm still finding my way in the overall scheme of things.  I guess it goes to show that caging our dreams for what we think might be a better time in our lives is a crazy thing.

I want to say to others, let the beast out, let your dreams run and see where they go, I truly believe that life, if you listen to the signs will ALWAYS provide you with answers of how YOU can have time and energy to answer your calling.

Labels:

My Vintage Childhood: Eight lessons learnt in the first year of having an Etsy Store and inspiration for you to chase your dreams.....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eight lessons learnt in the first year of having an Etsy Store and inspiration for you to chase your dreams.....

This time last year I was in hospital snuggling with a fresh bundle of joy with our wee man Fraser. Phone calls congratulating us along with text messages and emails were coming in too thick and fast. Among the messages we received on that day was also a notification I had made my first Etsy sale.



It seemed at the time to be magical sign that I had given birth to our last little vintage baby and on the same day my Etsy store gave birth to it's first sale. I look back now and think about all the effort that went into preparing my store and setting up my business. Taking on building my dream was not a project I had intended on doing deliberately while I was pregnant. But I simply just did, because no matter what I said or did I could not tell myself to wait to work on my dream any longer. My dream had an energy of it's own and simply propelled me forwarded to launching my Etsy Store only a few weeks before Fraser was born. It's not been easy with a young family with three children now five and under.

Many lessons and insights have been learnt through this process of the last year.

  • ONE 
I've learnt that despite perceived or actual life challenges, there is always time and space to honor your dream. I want to inspire others to see and believe this too in their own dreams.
  • TWO
Having an Etsy store totally rocks and suits my lifestyle and business model for now. There is so much support in the Etsy community and opportunities are abound if you're ready to chase them and receive them.
  • THREE
If you're an Australian Etsy seller it's absolutely worth shipping internationally. It might seem like a weird point to single out, but it's true. I've heard so many Australian Etsy and other online sellers from other sites talk about shipping and postage rates overseas being prohibitive. 

My biggest tip is: don't make decisions for people about shipping rates and what they'll pay. Half of my sales have been and continue to be outside of Australia. If you have awesome products and it moves people in some way, where they are saying to themselves they need it, want it and can't live without it, they will pay the shipping. 

Extra tip: be fair don't charge extra on shipping, charge actual cost no more and if you do over estimate on shipping/postage be generous and refund the difference to your customer or offer them a store credit. Trust me people will be impressed with your ethics and integrity, they'll be back.
  • FOUR
Managing a business and a young family is a juggle, it's best to be flexible about these commitments. Family is always first, without family what do you have? Getting your home life and children into a routine that allows you to be flexible to their every changing needs, will bring calm to your business goals and expectations and of yourself.
  • FIVE
If you're setting up an Etsy store aim to have a minimum of two full pages of your store stocked. The more items you have listed the more chances people have of seeing your items or store. A pretty basic point that most Etsy sellers will tell you, but it's true and I've walked the path.
  • SIX
Listing new items regularly is great and if you're on top of this your items will appear in recent feeds and searches more often, and once again giving you more chances of your products being seen.
  • SEVEN
Product photographs are everything, take the best pictures you can with the equipment you have. Be flexible to supplying interested buyers with more photographs. I've improved my photos already this year and it made a difference and I'm just about to move forward with this again, with a studio lighting set up.
  • EIGHT
Finally customer service has been everything. Going above and beyond to make customers feel special about their purchase has been everything. My very first sale came when I was in hospital after giving birth to Fraser. I simply and honestly contacted my customer and explained there would be a delay and why. She also had a request for packaging and it to not giveaway whether the item was for a boy or girl. These were small matters dealt with simply (despite having a newborn) but made such a difference to their experience. The review I received for my customer service on my very first sale was glowing and set a standard. Believe me, going the extra mile in a simple way pays dividends with people's confidence in buying from you.

I'm excited to reach this milestone in my dreams, it's been a long time coming after many years selling "unoffically" in different forms and collecting for even longer. What has been achieved in one year and the opportunities that have risen have surprised me, when I'm still finding my way in the overall scheme of things.  I guess it goes to show that caging our dreams for what we think might be a better time in our lives is a crazy thing.

I want to say to others, let the beast out, let your dreams run and see where they go, I truly believe that life, if you listen to the signs will ALWAYS provide you with answers of how YOU can have time and energy to answer your calling.

Labels:

8 Comments:

At August 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM , Blogger Deb @ home life simplified said...

Congrats on one year hon. Excellent post. Loved your perspective and tips xx

 
At August 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM , Blogger Lilybett said...

I think plenty of businesses could take note of that last point (not just the etsy ones). I'm willing to pay that bit extra if it means being treated with trust and respect. Congratulations of making it through the first year of business and working towards youe own dreams.

 
At August 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM , Blogger Iliska Dreams said...

Whilst I have been sick, and with no internet. I have been quietly working on setting up shop. This is some great info!

 
At August 24, 2014 at 11:11 PM , Blogger Bron Maxabella said...

Your point 1 says it all - big congrats for striving to live your dreams and for doing it above and beyond expectations. x

 
At August 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM , Blogger Trudie said...

Thanks so much Deb it's been a very full and exciting year and I'm looking forward to what the next year holds. I'm glad you enjoyed the tips.

 
At August 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM , Blogger Trudie said...

You're so right, it truly doesn't take a lot to make someone feel special and not a number. Thanks for popping by.

 
At August 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Trudie said...

Ohhh this is exciting news to hear. I can't wait to hear and see more. I hope you're in the mend. Sending healing your way. X

 
At August 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM , Blogger Trudie said...

You're just gorgeous thanks Bron. I'm really chuffed with the last 12 months.

 

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