Let’s Chat: Getting Started

A Pair & A Spare print (image by a pair & a spare)

Thanks to some encouraging words from my friend Rachael, I opened a Society6 shop last week to sell some of my prints. Photography is a newer hobby of mine, I’ve even been able to do some freelancing this year, but it got me thinking about starting a shop for the other items I make.

I’ve dabbled on Etsy before, but I wasn’t serious about what I was doing or what I was selling. I was perfectly happy when my shop got a favorite or two, but at the end of the day, there was a disconnect between me and the product.

Here are some basic tips that I learned the first time around:

1. Find something to make that you don’t hate making. Sure, there might be a market for the item you’re selling, but are you going to be motivated to make that item and ship it out on time? Chances are you’ll put it off until the last minute.

2. Set goals and track them. I used to list items without purpose which put me at a loss with my inventory and overall budget. Being aware of every detail will help you actually turn a profit and get you closer to a full time creative job.

3. Don’t undervalue your work. Pricing an item you make is hard, there’s no doubt about that! You can compare yourself to what others are charging to compete OR you can try this helpful formula.

Of course it’s scary to put work you’re passionate about out there, but if it’s something want to do, I say take the risk. Don’t let the fear of getting started hold you back from something that could be really great!

 

PS Feel free to share your shop in the comments as well as any tips that you have!  Also, I’m thinking about making ‘The Crafted Business’ a reoccurring column and would love to hear what you think!

  • Casey Starks

    Keep taking risks! :D I agree: the hardest part is getting started. Congrats on the new shop!

    • Thanks Casey! Your shop is so lovely, are there any tips/advice you’d give to new sellers?

  • Rachel! This is amazing news!! It does take a lot of bravery to put yourself out there like this and I’m so happy you did! Your shop is going to be amazing, I KNOW it. Congratulations on taking the jump!

    • Girl, you are SO sweet! Thank you! Have you ever thought about selling your work? I know we both make a fair amount for our blogs, so it’s interesting to think at what point will we run out of room in our own homes :)

      • OMG YES. My apt is cluttered with all the things I make or have yet to make and my guy is starting to complain… So I absolutely want to look into selling in the future but that’s a whole other monster… my plate is already so full with just running my blog! Ack! So many things I want to do!

  • HelloLidy

    Yay Rachel! Proud of you for taking that step :) I am LOVING your prints!!! You have success written all over you, so I don’t doubt you’re shop will do amazing!

    XOXO

    • LIDYYYYY! You just made my day, thank you friend! I can’t wait for you and Joel to open a shop– I’ll be the first customer :)

  • Ya! Congrats on starting this new venture :) The photos look amazing! And I would love to see more posts on The Crafted Business. As a new Etsy shop owner and artist/artisan, I am constantly looking for advice on how to run a small business successfully!

    • Aww thanks Jenni! I’m so happy you like the new series, hopefully it will be helpful! I’d love to see your shop, would you mind sharing a link?

      • Sure! There really isn’t much in it at the moment, as I haven’t updated it in a while, but there are a few small things :) I’m working on getting some more prints in the next while! https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BottomleyCottage

        • Jenni! Your work is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • Armande

    Great points! Especially nr 2 for setting goals. My tip would be: “don’t overthink it, just jump right in”. You cannot prepare for (or oversee) all eventualities as you start out, you will just stumble over them as you get moving.
    http://blog-steinperlenwelt.de/

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