Lockdown, An Opportunity For Change ?
One thing I’ve never really thought about when I started an interior blog was that I would become a home and lifestyle designer, maker, and retailer (micro and independent but still!)
I had been more focused on creating content for the website talking about my home renovation, products I tried and recommend home styling, and decoration ideas.
But when lockdown hit, this changed. I had more time available and I had ZERO HEADSPACE for blogging, like none, I think I came late to the blogging party anyway as I started mid-2018. I’m a freelance digital marketing executive for a year before the pandemic hit but I saw my biggest contract canceled because they had to furlough staff so they weren’t going to keep contractors (the risk of self-employment I guess!), I started to look up ideas how I could still make some money to you know, eat and pay the bills!
I didn’t fit the little lines for lockdown government support sadly as I’d only started working for myself recently.
Looking For Ways To Occupy Myself And Not Go Insane
As a home blogger, I’m fairly aware of what I like and what I think *some* people like in their homes. That’s a round statement but I just had a feeling for it. I’m a believer that not everything needs to make sense. I had a newfound confidence. Maybe I could make some cute products, or find suppliers fitting my motto of “good quality, eco-friendly, useful” and check the market for appetite for said product.
So I started to look around for products I liked to potentially sell.
I dabbed into DIY by making my own masks in April 2020 which I’ve shared a DIY tutorial on the blog here.
I’ve started making items (5% profit from these masks are donated to charity Mind for Better Mental Health) and researched suppliers for handmade products I believed in and couldn’t produce myself.
I looked into personalized items and functional items, and that’s how I started. There are a million ways to do it, but that’s how I did it.
Etsy, a Platform for Handmade, And Quirky Items From Independent Sellers
I had a look at the current major ecommerce platforms.
Amazon is a jungle (quite literally but I’m referring here to the .com), that was too complicated, too low margins, high cost; and I wasn’t ready to dropship high volume where you never see the items and quality is often not guaranteed. It wasn’t going to work for me.
I could have tried eBay but I felt people weren’t going to ebay to BUY NEW homeware stuff, and my stuff is new, freshly made.
so I started checking Etsy up. I did an account in 2019, but that was pre-pandemic and I didn’t put any effort into understanding the platform so never listed any items on it then.
What I like about Etsy:
- Easy to start with just selling one item
- Etsy promotes Shopping Small and local and I love this! It’s better for the people and for the planet. They also off-set carbon emission footprint of all the sales.
- Known and trusted platform in the USA, Canada and Western Europe (hello more potential customers !!)
- The fees are paid when you create a listing (20p) and when you sell a listing (transaction fee of 5%, payment processing fee of 4%). There is no monthly subscription. Read more about Etsy fees.
- They have an embedded service that creates shipping labels with Royal Mail and makes it EASY and SIMPLE to ship your items. They even print Custom Forms when you are shipping abroad, so you just need to sign and take to the post office.
- Etsy Ads. You can choose to pay Etsy to bump your product listing up with sponsored listing. It’s easy and you can invest as small as $1/day. Way cheaper than making your own website and starting with google or facebook ads… Etsy is the simplest way to start, I have no doubt about it.
Starting an Etsy Shop, one listing at a time
I started with one product and when it sold, I thought about adding more using my creativity and skills to create new items. Some items sell better than others and I’m always learning. So far it’s a nice side hustle and I’m not looking back! I’ve shipped my items to USA, Canada, UK, and several European countries, and Etsy makes it really simple to do so.
Because I have the blog, I recently created my own e-shop area and added my products and you’ll find my Etsy items with a small discount because I don’t have to pay Etsy fees (of course!) so I’m passing on the savings to my customers!
I’m still building my shop and I’m thinking about Spring Collections and more handmade homeware items to add to it. Follow me to see what I do , I’d love to have your support!
Are you thinking about starting an Etsy business? If you are let me know, tag me @my_mindful_home on Instagram. I’ll be happy to share it in my stories.
Small Businesses stick together !!