Five Tips for Myself (and You!) on Starting an Etsy Shop


After five years of running my assemblage jewelry/handmade clothing/vintage Etsy shop I’ve decided to embark on a new adventure by starting Half Craft Studio. I’m closing the doors on my original shop and starting fresh with a totally new product (3D printed jewelry). And I’m doing things differently this time. After five years and over 150 sales, I’ve learned a lot and will be doing things quite differently the third second time around. I wanted to share what I’ve learned in the hopes of helping out anyone who is opening their first shop.

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Print by Kiss and Punch

#1 Start with a high quality product

Back in 2008,  I decided that I wanted to sell on Etsy before I knew what I wanted to sell. I was a crafty teenager with the entrepreneurial spirit. I began making all kinds of crazy assemblage jewelry, and my shop had absolutely no cohesion. I really can’t believe I sold anything at this point. Some kind soul bought two terribly ugly pieces from me within two days of my opening shop, which I can only attribute to Etsy’s now-defunct Pounce feature, which let you bestow the kindness of your purchase on fledgling shops. This time around, I’m starting one cohesive line of jewelry, stepping away from one-of-a-kind pieces and doing tons of tests. Every piece is going to be something I’m proud to send out.

#2 Photos

Just about any craft blog will tell you how to take good photos of your product, especially jewelry, so I’m not going to go into depth on this one. I’ll just leave you with a comparison of one of my early photos with one of my recent ones, and let the images speak for themselves.

photo comparison

#3 Marketing

I did no marketing at the beginning for Ariel Telsa (shop #1), and very little once I got going. I found that good tags on Etsy were enough to get me sales, and I got enough blog coverage just from people finding me on their own. I wasn’t getting more than a sale every few weeks this way, though. So for Half Craft Studio, I’ve started this blog several months before the product launches, and got myself a Twitter account, which is new to me. I’m finding it both terrifying and fascinating to have to come up with interesting things to say in so few words.

#4 Get it together before you start

Having ten or so items in your shop to start looks much better than one or two. This gives a sense of your style to the viewer and allows them to really look around. It makes you look at thousand times more professional. For Half CraftStudio, I intend to put together some really amazing packaging and I’m going to have a photo of the packaging in with each listing so people can imagine themselves receiving their gorgeous package.

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Packaging by Sweet Petula

#5 Check Your Name

It’s a given that you should Google your chosen business name to make sure it doesn’t turn up an existing business or anything unsavory. But something that did not occur to me, and that I had to contend with, was every Google search automatically changing “Ariel Telsa” to “Ariel Tesla.” You don’t want to make it even harder for people to find you in the vast ocean that is the internet.

Share your seasoned-seller tips in the comment section!

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