I’ve featured new Etsy shops over the past two years with my series Undiscovered Treasures. This week, we checked in with some of the featured denizens to see how their shops have fared since they were featured on the site.
Scott Evans of BucketOBolts has sold more items in 2012 than he expected, averaging a sale a week for the past year. Scott believes that his success is partly attributed to reaching a male market on Etsy. His unique items are likely a big part of his success. Scott keeps track of where his pieces land with a map of the United States. Scott’s creative sculptures are now in 26 states.
I am much more enthusiastic now than when I first started. It takes a long time to get sales going and views on my store and items. Now that the ball is rolling I want to keep it going. Selling things is a great motivator!
During a normal week, Scott can be found working about 10-12 hours on his sculptures and countless hours on photo taking, editing and keeping up his Etsy shop. When asked what advice he would give to new Etsy sellers, Scott said sellers need to be patient and work on photos because people buy based on what they can see. He also offers this advice to newbies:
Try and come up with items that few others have. Etsy is so huge your store can get lost. Having products that stand out when people search is a good thing.
New items in Scott’s shop since our last interview include business card holders, wine bottle holders and can openers. You can check out his Etsy site for all his newest additions as well as his art blog and Facebook page.
Heather Matthews of Parsley Art has been busy since her feature last year and has set some big goals for next year. She’s enrolling in a BFA program for studio art at the university and working on her first children’s book. She also plans to participate in a local studio tour and has come up with some great new items for her Etsy shop.
Bike bands and advent calendars have been the biggest sellers for Parsley Art; Heather is working on many more countdown calendars for 2013. Her calendars can be used over and over instead of tossed out after one year. Last summer, Heather applied for Martha Stewart’s American Made awards – she didn’t make it to the finals, but she did have fun making a video on her site to represent her work.
Heather’s enthusiasm has grown for her Etsy shop as she’s learned more about how Etsy works.
I’m surprised by how many people find my Etsy shop with no online marketing other than a mention on my website! I find Etsy to be a cost effective, and more than that, time effective way for me to sell my products. Sitting at day-long art shows is just not a good use of my time any more.
Heather discovered early on that Etsy doesn’t send notification when listings are set to expire, a frustrating experience for many sellers. She warns new Etsy shops:
Sellers, get on your Etsy page often enough to know when your listings will expire, so that not a day goes by that your stuff isn’t for sale.
Judy Weinberg of Photos by Judy has experienced an increase in both sales and confidence since her interview, expanding her photography to new and different subjects. She’s learned how important exposure and advertising are to success. Judy found that Etsy Search Ads, along with outside sources, have helped bring traffic to her Etsy site. Judy has also been working to get her products in more independently-owned local stores. She and a friend were asked to be the co-curators for a new gallery space at a local non-profit. These new endeavors have been rewarding and inspiring.
Sales in have been slowly gaining momentum both at shows and my Etsy shop. It takes time to grow a business, for the artists to find their niche market and to find their way as a business owner.
Judy’s most special sale was a photo of a sand dune taken at Sandy Hook National Gateway Park in NJ. It was purchased by a woman who loved the Jersey shore and spent lots of time near where the photo was taken. The proceeds from the photo went to Shore relief.
It felt good to know that she had a photo of the shore she loved so much in her home and we were both able to help with the relief efforts.
Judy’s lesson to new Etsians is to focus on tags. She spends lots of time in the forums looking for new friends and ideas.
Tagging is so important; it helps people find you when they are searching. I reevaluate and change my tags regularly.
Etsy is just a lovely community and I am happy to be part of it!
Judy’s 2013 calendar are stand-alone cards, one for each month of the year, with stunningly beautiful images on each card. The image can be trimmed and framed when the month is over. They’re nice to have on a desk at work or on the fridge for a quick reference. New glue-free note cards allow the recipient to easily remove and frame the photo – a card and a gift all in one!
Thanks to the
undiscovered shops for updating us on their progress! I always hope that shops featured on the site enjoy success. Best of luck to everyone in 2013!