I just wanted to write a quick post before I leave for the weekend! My husband and I were going to spend the holidays together, but the Army had other plans for him, so we are at least going away for the next few days. Which I kind of don’t even want to enjoy, because it will make me miss him more. But I’m done talking about that because, much like a teenage girl, I just can’t even.
Anyway, as I mentioned, my handmade item sales on Etsy (and occasionally Facebook/in person) are going great, but it took a long time to get there. So I have one little tip I’d like to share with you, which is probably really obvious, but somehow it just clicked for me!
I’ve spent a lot of time listing items and just kind of guessing what people will like enough to buy and what they won’t. So my shop has a lot of items that never sell, and a few that do, and recently, a few that sell over and over again.
It finally occurred to me to ask myself what people like so much about those items. You can’t always tell. Maybe one is popular because it’s one of a kind (for example, all of my pendants are handmade, mostly with polymer clay, but my best seller also has a hand-painted image that I guess makes it a little more artistic) and another because it’s based on something that’s already popular like a book, movie, or sport.
So instead of trying to make items similar in style – which might also be a good idea – I tried making variations of the same designs. Like converting a popular necklace design into earrings. And guess what? One of them sold a couple days later!
Leave it to me to take 5 years to figure that out. Maybe I was just having too much fun making & listing one random jewelry piece after another. Which I guess is fine too if you’re not living off your Etsy income, which I’m not. Of course it’s nice to have, especially for buying more art supplies (I just got a set of professional-quality markers for the first time in my life), but I also think it’s important for me to set goals and to feel productive doing something I enjoy. Call it therapy.
I’m sure I still have a lot to learn about running a business – it doesn’t come naturally to me like being an artist – but I wanted to share my little lightbulb moment: paying attention to what customers like, and why, can help you a lot! Duh?
Well I hope you can take something away from this post. And now I will get back to my weekend plans and my pathetic moments of getting sad whenever I see someone at the grocery store who looks like Joe (really, self? He hasn’t even left yet!).