Today we have an amazing interview with Christina who is the founder of Christina Ceo. In this interview, Christina shares tips and resources on how to build a successful Etsy shop and make full-time income right from home.
In 2014 Christina decided to open up an Etsy shop with little to no expectations. Within months she earned hundreds of dollars every week and she was able to quit my corporate career to work full time from home. Now she earns six figures a year with her Etsy shop. The interview below will show Etsy creators how to grow their businesses and make money from home.
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How To Build a Successful Etsy Shop and Make Money From Home
Please give us a little background about yourself? How did you get started as an Etsy shop owner? How long have you been an Etsy shop owner? What type of product do you sell in your shop?
In 2014 I was working as a graphic designer for a corporate environment. It was an entry-level job so I wasn’t making much money. I decided to open an Etsy shop to try to earn a little extra income to help pay my bills. At first, I started with something that I love to do; design. I would design custom invitations for birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, etc. At first, I was only selling digital files of invitations that people would download and take to a professional printer. I thought it was so cool that I could do something I really enjoyed and actually get paid for it.
As more and more orders came through I realized I could make something out of this “business” and I just kept reinvesting the money until I was able to purchase machinery to sell printed invitations. So that’s what I sell on Etsy, custom printed invitations.
What exactly is an Etsy shop owner? What do they do? What does a normal day look like?
An Etsy shop owner is an individual that owns and operates a shop on Etsy. See, Etsy is an online handmade community. The items that you see listed for sale on Etsy are actually handmade by people just like you and I. An Etsy shop owner may be a college student looking to make a few extra dollars with their crafts or they could be a stay at home mom with 3 children. Each day as an Etsy shop own is different. I am a mother of 2 girls who go to daycare part time (3 days a week). On the days that they go to “school” I get to work right away after my exercise class.
My shop requires a lot of communication with my buyers when designing custom invitations so I usually start with emails. Once I’m done with all of that I’ll go ahead and start printing orders that were approved by customers and I will go down to my basement office to cut the invitations down to size, package them up and print out the shipping labels. Then the rest of the day I spend designing new designs or work on other projects.
What type of skill(s) does an individual need if they are interested in becoming an Etsy shop owner?
You definitely have to be good at customer service. Etsy recently changed their layout and buyers constantly contact me asking questions about my products. It gets frustrating sometimes to answer the same questions that are already listed in the description, but I know it’s not the customer’s fault for missing the description. You also have to be prompt and make sure that you are sending out orders on time. You are supposed to set a processing time for your products and Etsy holds you accountable. If you’re not sending out orders on time they will “penalize” you by listing your products lower in search results.
How much can a person just starting out as an Etsy shop Owner except to make per month? How much can they expect to make after one full-year?
It really depends on the product that you’re making. If you find a profitable item to sell then you could expect to earn a couple hundred dollars a month just starting out. If you keep working on your shop and reinvest you could start seeing a good amount of money coming in after a year. I was making a couple thousand dollars a month after one year of selling on Etsy. I know for a fact that there are multiple shops on Etsy that are earning well over a million dollars a year.
What do you like best about being an Etsy shop owner?
I love the fact that I can set my own hours. I can do what I want and when I want. I don’t have to answer phone calls all day long. And most importantly, I can spend more time with my girls.
What’s the best way to promote a new shop on Etsy?
In all honesty, I don’t spend too much time on promoting my products. I know, that sounds weird and I really should, but I spend more time creating quality listings. I work really hard on SEO (search engine optimization) and creating quality products.
If there’s one platform I would really recommend promoting your handmade products it would be Pinterest.
What are 2 ways someone can find success on Etsy?
You can find success on Etsy if you really work hard on your Etsy shop. Spend as much time as you can to absorb any information that you can about selling with Etsy. Read books, blogs, listen to podcasts, etc.
Secondly, pick a product to make that you absolutely love. If you don’t absolutely love the product that you make then you will get bored with your business or you will procrastinate and fall behind on orders because you don’t have the energy to create the products. You might start out selling one product that you think you love, and down the road, you might find something even more exciting to create.
What are your go-to resources for a shop owner?
Pinterest is my favorite resource to find advice related to selling on Etsy. I love to read blogs so that’s where I find a lot of great information. There are also a lot of helpful Facebook groups related to selling on Etsy. Facebook groups are so resourceful because you can ask questions and receive answers from other shop owners. They are great for getting personalized advice. Check out the Handmade Journey Facebook group.
What advice would you give someone interested in this side hustle who is just starting out?
Just start now. Seriously, don’t hang on to the “what if’s”. Just create a handmade product and open a shop on Etsy. You don’t need anything else besides a camera and a computer or mobile phone to list your first product. The rest you will learn as you go 🙂
Do you currently have any products or posts that can help someone that wants to start their own shop?
Yes, I have a lot of valuable information over on my blog, christinaceo.com . I even have a free resource library loaded with printable worksheets to help you with your Etsy shop. I also have an eBook available for purchase over on my website that’s dedicated to opening and growing an Etsy shop 🙂
Any additional tips you would like to give someone interested in a becoming an Esty shop owner?
Don’t always put all your eggs in one basket. Besides selling products on Etsy, you can also sell handmade products on Amazon. Always look for other platforms which you can sell your products on. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and that’s why I highly stress to sell items on multiple platforms.