A while back I asked you all if I should open an Etsy store. A couple of you replied that I should. I talked to Stephen about it (more than he ever wanted to hear, I’m sure) and I decided that I would go for it. My goal was (and still is) to finish the lighthouse cross-stitch piece before I jump into the Etsy pool. But I’ve been dipping my toe in the water for the past week just to see how the water is.
Step 1: Research is for Scoobies
I’ve been doing research. It feels like I’ve looked at every page on the Etsy store front. I know this is impossible, but I’ve looked at a lot of people’s shops, their mastheads, what they charge and what they’ve sold. I’ve been looking for that magic bullet that makes some stores so successful. The good news from all this research is that I’ve not really found anything quite like what I do. But does that mean the bad news is people won’t be interested?
I’ve read articles on getting up and running and how to get in with the Etsy folks so that they might feature me. I’ve joined a ton of flickr groups, which seems to be one of the ways you promote the goods in your store. I’ll be adding a link on this site so you, my faithful readers, will be able to easily access my store for all your notebook-buying needs. I won’t be placing any ads just yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get a mention or three on friend’s blogs so more folks can find me.
I’ve got a good idea of the categories of products I’m going to offer. I’m trying to make myself stick with what I do well for now and see how it sells. But I keep thinking, “I could make THIS for the shop!” “THAT will definitely sell!” “I should make 50 of those!” But then I look at the short list I’m trying to focus on and remind myself that I need to make the few things that my friends have enjoyed and not be distracted by new possible crafts.
I need to do a bit more work figuring out how to set up my payment options. I have a Paypal account, but I need to hook it to my business checking account. I need to figure out the shipping part of the shop and have all that stuff in place. Basically, I just need a giant block of time to sit down, go over my options, and get it all typed up.
Step 1a: Panic
Step 2: Graphic Design for Shop Girls
I have the name I’m going to call my shop. No, I’m not quite ready to share it yet. I have no idea for the image(s) I’m going to use for my masthead and product labeling. I feel like a big ol’ dork since this is what I do, but I think I have performance anxiety. I want it to be exactly right yet I’m unsure of what note to strike to make it awesome. I’m hoping inspiration will hit me. Barring inspiration, I’m hoping once Liza is back in school, I’ll have some time I can dedicate to figuring it out by good old-fashioned hard work.
A side bar to the graphic design work I need to do for the shop: I also really want to get my graphic design portfolio online. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have put it off and put it off until it’s just ridiculous. I’d like to be able to mention it in my Etsy store so that folks can potentially hire me for that as well. I don’t know where this is going to fit into the schedule since Stephen is deep into Dragon*Con and is unlikely to be able to do the work for our site before the middle of September. I suppose I could figure out how to do it myself, but have you seen this plate I’m currently carrying here? Full, full, and full. Of course, I’m supposing I’m going to have the shop ready before then. Maybe I’m crazier than I thought.
Step 2a: More Panic and consider chucking it all to read the latest Suzanne Brockmann instead.
Step 3: I can haz prodkt?
Thursday, I wanted desperately to start making pieces to put in the shop but my first attempt caused me a massive round of performance anxiety, again. Yesterday, I cleaned off my desk and I am going to concentrate on finishing the lighthouses for the next few days before I start again. It’s hard though because my brain is screaming, “Go. Go! GO!” I’ve been shopping and have a ton of supplies. I feel like now that I’ve made the decision, I need to work. Then the rational part of me remembers the things that need to be in place before all that. I think the ideas for making things will be there but the shop needs to be in good shape before people get there. I can always add more and more product but I only have once chance to make a good impression with the business end of it all.
Seriously, there were more steps when I started taking notes on this process a few weeks ago. Now I’m starting to panic about the time I’ve spent writing this when I could have been: a: Working on the lighthouses, b. Making new crafts for my store, or c. Panicking some more.