I am not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, I love vintage items but the majority of vintage items in my home are circa 1980 not 1880—and that’s not a good look. As far as style goes, I haven’t worn lace since my attempt at mimicking Molly Ringwald’s prom dress in Pretty in Pink—also, not a good look. So when I started my Etsy store, I knew I would be going against the grain. As I researched and browsed Etsy, I started to realize that the very popular shops, the ones featured on the main Etsy page, were largely vintage inspired. While I was blown away by the artistic photography and the beautiful goods, I started to doubt that I had what it takes to make it on Etsy.
I do not consider myself a photographer, but I knew I had to learn if I was going to make a go of my Etsy shop. I got straight to work. I learned how light boxes worked, how to take close-up images and how to position items for the best photographic effect. I read endless articles and forums about the topic and viewed several on-line tutorials. Early on, I was getting five good images out of two hundred—thank goodness for digital cameras—but after several days, it became easier and easier. I now had pictures that I was proud to put up. That alone was the boost of confidence I needed to take me to the next step – listing items on Etsy.
It took days to list all my items on Etsy, upload photos, add descriptions and all the rest. When I was done, I sat back and believed my first sale was going to happen any day. After a two weeks with no sales and lackluster traffic to my shop, I promoted my jewelry like Etsy advises, using the Etsy showcases. The big day of my first showcase came and went—no sale. What is wrong with my shop? I hit the Etsy chat rooms to find out.
Oh, Etsy chat! All the things I didn’t read about in the Sellers Handbook came flying out at me like flying pigs. I quickly learned about chat etiquette and realized that many of the chatters in the chat rooms had little desire to help me or my flailing shop. I did get some great advice however and that is one of the reasons for this blog.
So what does it take to be an Etsy success story? Ask me in six months. Right now, I am following the advice I was given and doing everything I can including networking, joining teams, participating in forums, creating treasuries, tracking my traffic using Google Analytics, taking good pictures, keeping my items fresh by adding to my shop and relisting items, learning how to tag appropriately and most of all—staying positive.
I have recently had lots of great feedback due to these efforts and I am very hopeful about the future. The moral of this story folks is that going against the grain is just fine as long as you believe in what you are doing. I am not going to attempt to sell vintage goods on Etsy. I will not have beautiful women with spiked jet black hair and tattoos modeling my goods. My photos will probably not contain cherubs and/or mustaches. I am going to just be myself and list the items that I adore and hope that others adore them too. I am not vintage and I’m o.k.