For the past two years, one of my goals was to start up my own Etsy shop. I wanted to get my creations out there and available for people to enjoy! Unfortunately with school and priorities, this idea was soon pushed to the back of my head. I continued with my studies as the year sped by, and in late June, things started to finally wind down. After the hectic week of finals, I found myself not knowing what to do.
I feel like that always happens to me. During the school year, the only thing i look forward to is being able to sleep in during the summer. Yet when summer arrives and I do find myself sleeping in, it feels really unproductive. That's when the Etsy shop idea popped back into my mind. 3 months of time, 2,232 hours of possibilities. Here's a summary of my one week process of starting up my shop, and suggestions on how you can do it too.
1. Coming up with a store name.
Believe it or not, it took me forever to decide what I wanted to name my shop. I'm really glad that I finally thought of Hemisfere, as it does actually have meaning to me. But before that, I went through what seems like a million options in my head. At first, I wanted to simply name it: SunShine. Unfortunately, that and everything through SunShine148 were taken. Thus my search continued. Some tips for when you are trying to come up with a store name...don't be generic. I know that sounds so broad and also cliche, but if you name your shop something for the pure sake of aesthetics, there's less originality and if you want to create a brand, that's not going to help. So instead, think of why you want to create your store! For example if you are selling handdrawn cards, don't name your shop Greetingcards123, instead name it something memorable and short. Keep it sweet! Something like: WithinUs is broad, but it's also a memorable store name, and could potentially become a brand.
2. Stocking your shop.
This is actually a step that I didn't really think through before I created my shop. I had 10 items and I thought that would be enough, but now I realize my mistake. If you go on any big online store, there are thousands of options to browse through. While there are numerous reasons why Etsy is different than big brand stores, your store immediately seems more reputable if it has more items, and you also have more of a chance of people finding something they like. So, stock your shop or gather your products before you start listing! If you are impatient like me, don;t start with 100 items, start with 40-50!
3. Marketing your brand.
As an Etsy beginner myself sharing my experience with you, marketing has by far been one of the hardest steps of starting my store. While I have some pretty decent photos, good products, and a creative store mission, there's still no influx of people waiting to buy my products. Part of this is due to what I mentioned above--with only 5 listings, it's hard for people to find something they actually like, and your store might seem a little less reputable. Another part of this is due to social media and online advertising. This is just up to you to have the motivation and put in the effort to do some research, find some good hashtags, and get yourself out there. There's no easy way to do this, and even I'm learning that.
So, you're now ready to start your own Etsy shop! (just kidding.) But I hope this kind of gives you an idea of the struggles of starting an Etsy shop, so if you are motivated and ready to put in the effort, I say go for it!
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