HOW I STARTED MY ETSY SHOP — PART 2

Want to start from the beginning?  Here’s Part 1.

Back to the worst summer ever…

I was perusing Etsy one day and everytime I saw something cute I thought, “I could totally make that. ” {You guys do that too, right?!}  Keep in mind that this was pre-pinterest days so etsy was where you went to get ideas like that.

I had made a few things before and decided to try it.  Wanna see one of  my first creations?
 
 

I know.  My shop has changed quite a bit.  But at the time I was so excited that I jumped on etsy, picked out a premade banner and set up shop with about 5 items in it.  I will never forget clicking that button.   It was July 24th, 2010.  We had to run out the door right away and as we were driving to Josh’s parents house I just remember the feeling that I had just embarked on something bigger than I knew.  Hope was setting in.

Three days later, I made my first sale and over the course of that next week, I sold 3 more.  I certainly don’t think that’s always the case when you open a new shop (I mean, look at how blurry those pictures are!), but it was the clarity I needed to go in a new direction.

We crunched the numbers and came up with an amount I needed to sell each month in order for me to replace my part-time teaching pay.  I worked my tail off in August…researching, reading the etsy forums, learning how to take better pictures and write, tag, price and publish my items to get the best results.  It was trial and error, but a few weeks into August I took a leap of faith, emailed my boss and resigned.  We were doing this!

It’s 2 1/2 years later.  I’m past 1700 sales and close to 139,000 views to my shop.  I can honestly say that I’ve worked harder than I ever did at an outside-my-home job (I’m a really tough boss!).  There have been highs and lows, crazy seasons and dry seasons and I’m still learning a ton….but it has been THE best decision for me and my family.  I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled in a job before.

This journey has definitely not made us rich and it hasn’t saved us from feeling stretched financially at times.  My mother-in-law graciously watches my kids 2 days a week so I can get everything done and I always feel like there are a million things to do, but you know what?  I really love it.  I love the flexibility in my day and being with my kids.  I love being my own boss and making my own decisions.
 

And I love using my brain to create.  It’s what I was born to do.  So what’s next?

Welp.  I have some big dreams!  And this blog is part of it. I certainly feel the gap in my own life where I long for community and sounding boards and mentors in this business. A big dream of mine is to be able to provide a place for that here. I also feel the growing pains of getting to a place where I am at my personal capacity and it’s time to expand a bit….but I honestly don’t know how it will all play out.  Kinda exciting, huh?  Wanna come along for the ride? I would so LOVE to have you, friend!

I want to write much, much more on this subject so if you sell handmade goods or want to, I’d love to hear from you!  What questions or advice do you have?

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