In 2020, we launched an Etsy shop that changed our lives. Before this Etsy shop, our lives looked different. It’s not a stretch to say that it completely changed our lives. In 2020, we took in more than 8,000 orders and sent out more than 25,000 handmade items to customers all over the world. What a crazy year, right?
So, we thought we’d take some time to reflect on what our lives were like before and after our Etsy shop became one of the top 1% of handmade shops on Etsy and to share with all of you what it’s like to have an Etsy shop as your full time gig.
When I started the year, I (Taylor) had a teaching job I enjoyed but it just didn’t pay enough. I worked too many hours just to make ends meet. I carefully planned my spending money just to able to go to a coffee shop a couple of times per week.
Katie was doing her own thing, already a freelancing artist...but she wasn’t great at selling her own art. She also worked like totally alone . As an introvert, Katie does love being alone a lot, but for my business I needed someone to bounce ideas off of!
Then, at the end of March 2020, I suggested to my mom and Katie, whom I dragged along the way, that we launch an etsy shop where we initially sold face masks.
Katie and I have both had other etsy shops with decent sales, but nothing like this. I would make maybe $3,000 a season in my vintage handmade business and Katie made a little more than that by driving most of her own traffic from her instagram account to Etsy and her website.
So, when we launched our new etsy shop this year, we didn’t have super high expectations. We just knew we could probably sell a good amount and take in maybe 100-200 orders.
Within just a few days of launching our etsy shop in April of 2020, it blew up and we were literally drowning in orders. It seemed amazing...right?
We were selling a LOT, but running into a lot of problems along the way. Like, spending too much money on shipping because we weren’t calculating it right. And, some days our sales would drop dramatically or we’d have slow weeks and we wished for more consistent Etsy income. I can recall the overwhelm of being exhausted, just keeping our heads barely above water to get orders out on time, but also I remember the days when the crickets were so loud I thought we’d never get another sale.
These may just seem like highs and lows, but the truth is, they were stressful!
Have you ever felt like you just didn’t understand how some people seemed to have an Etsy shop that was a breeze, while you’re working night and day just to make sales happen?
We did. So then we convinced ourselves of one important thing:
There had to be a better way.
So, the simple truth is, we got better by putting in the work. We researched and googled and tested to create a formula of successful Etsy SEO and a framework for growing our shop’s presence on Instagram & Pinterest.
I quit my teaching job 4 months after opening our Etsy shop and we haven’t looked back.
Through practice and consistency, Studio Sisters became an Etsy shop and a brand that we LOVED and also a business that produced meaningful and stable income.
So, before Etsy, I worked as many teaching hours as I could just to make enough money to live. I also run another business, which is still only at the end of year 2, so it’s still growing. But before Etsy, I was really depending on my teaching job to live on.
After our Etsy shop took off, we both started making a lot more money. It’s given me so much peace of mind to have this money coming in. I quit my teaching job for good in June 2020 and haven’t looked back.
I feel so. much. freedom.
Who here wants more of that in their lives?
Listen to the full episode above to learn about some of the ways that Etsy changed our lives in a MAJOR way, and how we shifted our work and personal habits.
Thanks so much for listening to the Studio Sisters podcast!
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