My SCORE mentor saw a book on Etsy in the library, and suggested I check it out. It’s from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up Series and it’s called Start Your Own Etsy Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Handmade Success. This book is not authorized, prepared, or sponsored by Etsy, which is great because it contains information from a variety of sources. It was published in 2017, so it’s pretty up-to-date. The only thing I could think of that wasn’t current was the number of listing photos has gone from 5 to 10. I’m sure there’s more, but I didn’t notice any.
This book contains a lot of detailed information on running a business and using Etsy. The main advice I got from this book was be prepared before becoming an Etsy seller, run your shop like a business, and have realistic expectations. I had none of those things when I started, so I really wish I would have found a book like this before I opened my shop in 2015.
Each chapter end with the background of a successful Etsy seller as well as their advice for new sellers. These stories were fascinating and helpful.
This book stresses the importance of professional-quality listing photos, which is something I really want to work on. I use Photoshop to apply my graphics to photos I took of white onesies and shirts, but now I would like to post photos of my best sellers with the graphics physically on the items. One thing that surprized me was the book stressed how helpful using a light box can be, and even gave ideas of where to purchase one of your own. However, the book did not give instructions on how to contruct one of your own and save money. I have seen instructions in other books as well as online.
One clever tip was the book suggested to register and forward your own website URL to your Etsy shop. I had never thought of that. The book also suggests using the keyword tool in Google AdWords. I have used this in the past but it’s definitely worth revisiting.
I found this book extremely helpful even though I’ve had an Etsy shop for just over two years. If you’re just starting out or thinking of becoming an Etsy seller, definitely check it out.
I do a lot of reading online and off so I can learn as much as I can about running and growing my business. I recently started a free online course offered by Womens Business Centers called Dream Builder. It offers valuable information and tools for women entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business.
There are 13 lessons, and I’ve completed the first two. From what I’ve seen so far, and looking ahead at the topics of the other lessons, this course seems very thorough.
I thought lesson one was very interesting because it covered topics I had never thought of like the motivations and characteristics of entrepreneurs. I also liked that it challenges you to explore your own reasons for starting a business.
Lesson two starts the more technical topics such as defining customers, competitors, and market research.
During each lesson you jot down notes to help prepare you to create a business plan. In the tools and resources section there’s even a business plan generator.
I’m looking forward to what’s to come in the remaining lessons. If you want to check it out, click here.
My goal for January is to keep an open mind and just get through the month. I have a couple meetings to prepare for and I am eager yet nervous to hear everyone’s feedback.
I feel my goals are a little more clear now on how I want to expand my business. I want to focus on two areas: designing for adult sizes and finding more writing jobs. I will have to purchase a larger heat press. This of course does not mean I will stop designing for children’s clothing and accessories. These new goals are just ways I would like to expand.
I also plan on focusing my design work (for both children and adults) on niche markets. I am exploring different hobbies and interests to come up with some ideas.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
In the 19th Century, early settlers to Northwest Ohio endured a difficult life in a dark, forested swampland. Many suffered from malaria and swamp fever in a region filled with thick mud and swarms of mosquitos. Other regions of Ohio were settled long before this area. The Great Black Swamp, named by the soldiers of 1812, covered Northwest Ohio making travel nearly impossible. It stretched from Lake Erie to Fort Wayne, IN.
It’s hard to imagine these dark, swampy surroundings when Northwest Ohio is now an open patchwork of fertile farmland. Our area has a colorful history and it’s important to remember our hardy ancesters.
Please check out The Great Black Swamp: Historical Tales of 19th-Century Northwest Ohio by Jim Mollenkopf to learn more about our early settlers and the difficult conditions they endured. Our home wouldn’t be what it is today without their struggles and sacrifice.
After several weeks of work, I am excited to present my new portfolio. It consists of three designs I’ve already been selling and nine new ones. I tried different subject matter, and more importantly, tried to make them as cute as possible. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I’m looking forward to sharing my portfolio with my mentors. Hopefully this will help start the new year off right.
Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you happiness and success in 2018.
Here are the 12 designs included in my new portfolio.
I’m not a big holiday person. I just want to spend time with my family. I can do without the gifts, decorations, Christmas carols, etc. However, being a mom has made the holiday season a little more exciting. Jason and I actually put up a Christmas tree this year. Karly is now busy playing with all her new toys and books.
Happy holidays, everyone. We’re looking forward to what the new year might have in store for us.
Karly and Jax napping after a long, exciting Christmas day.
I’m still working hard on my portfolio. This is a new design I worked on this past week. I hope to finish my portfolio next Tuesday, and I will post an update at the end of next week.