|Uncle Sam Bunny|
I am a former brick and mortar retail store owner.
I taught tole painting classes, and sold cookie cutter primitive items purchased from wholesale companies, with some of my hand made items mixed in. I noticed a trend with my items out selling the made in China; but business in my small town of Georgetown, OH was sporadic.I needed to reach out to find more customers.
I gravitated over the years from tole and decorative painting to designing and making primitive dolls. I sold my unique patterns to DIY sewers, and knew the finished dolls would be marketable, as well.
I operated my business, from accounting to marketing and everyday operations for 12 years, and closed in 2013 to concentrate solely on ETSY. I launched www.etsy.com/shop/CottonPickingFolkArt a year prior in 21012, and made the decision to sell exclusively on ETSY in mid year.
Etsy is a community of artisans unlike any other, in that they are willing to help other like minded seller, and I loved that from the start.
The biggest tips I would offer fellow Etsy sellers would be:
Good photography plays a huge role in selling your designs, and pricing is sometimes to most difficult for me still. Making a fair profit for the amount of labor you put in is sometimes difficult to measure. I am constantly trying to improve in these areas.
I would tell new sellers on ETSY most of all the be patient the first 3 to 6 months, it takes time to establish networks, and social media contacts. So never stop trying!
I am also a member of many groups on Etsy, including Handmadeology. I have found their marketing tips invaluable.