16 September 2007

giving you a little push..

dear {girl},

i am grateful to hear you ask and open up about your anxiety to open an Etsy online shop. no doubt, every artist goes through the same self-doubts, worries and what ifs you are experiencing. of course i felt just as nervous as you. just to put my two cents in, while i was browsing your delicious FLICKR account a week ago, i began hoping that you did indeed have a shop to purchase your gorgeous things. they are lovely and i'm sure you'll be shocked at the numerous shoppers knocking down your door.

if anything, i've learned that people are nice. nicer than i had believed. and while you may think, as i've thought, there are tons of crafters who make the same sort of stuff i make, their stuff is better, more professional, there isn't any room for me to open shop too. honestly there IS. there is always space for another. and since we are all individuals and CREATE our very own creations, no one has seen anything like what you've made before, since you've never put it out there. so essentially, you are putting out something ONE of a KIND and brilliant. people will flock. people will crave. people will want. and you'll find, people WILL buy.

i've come to realize that people who are into crafts, handmade goods, and hoarders of good photography, crave it. they crave new stuff, they want to see the next best thing. and you are it, my dear. but you will never know it if you do not try. [as yoda says, do or do not..there is no try.] you must take that leap. you must give it your all. you must go. you must believe in yourself. you must believe in your product. you must believe it is good. good enough. if you don't, then fake it. and the shoppers will build your ego and you'll be in disbelief. and so so happy.

here is my {very inexpert/amateur/humble} advice to someone who wants to open an online shop. and you see, i'm not even a year in training, so if you have advice for me, feel free. okay here goes:

01. do research. figure out how much your process of creating/packaging/shipping is going to cost you. this comes out of your own pocket, therefore be thorough and round up so there aren't too many surprises. figure out what your 'competitors' charge and decide what price you'll price things at; making sure you get some kick back. don't forget to figure in the Etsy and PayPal fees too. also research out how much time you can devote to your craft and if it is feasible with your schedule/lifestyle.

02. love your craft. be passionate. this is important. can't stress this enough. love it so much that you aren't embarrassed, ashamed or doubtful about it. be proud of it. not in an overtly crazy salesman type way, but in a humble way. believe in your craft. believe in yourself. cannot stress this enough. good things come from inside; closer to your heart, the better. give us a chance to see it.

03. get things in order. have a stockpile of items that you will sell. be ready, be prepared. a tip if you are opening an Etsy shop, if you put items in small batches, you will be renewed more often in the Search as you add goods to your shop. if orders don't come immediately, relax and try not to doubt yourself, your product or hate your own guts so much you want to crawl into a deep dark cave. this is why creative confidence is key, it's got to keep you nourished through any type of drought you might land in. [though i highly doubt this will happen to you. because your stuff is amazingly beautiful.] be flexible and figure out new ways to self-promote and establish your new little shop. send an email to everyone you know with a 15% off coupon and a link to your online shop. if the friends & family discount works for the GAP, it can surely work for you.

04. enjoy it. don't let this new endeavor rule your life or suck all the life out of you. let it add a fabulous, wonderful and beneficial element to your life. be inspired by others. most importantly, support others in their online shops too. what goes around comes around, my friend. this is an amazing creative community. don't be afraid to join it!

good luck in your experience. i am [obviously] 100% in favor of procuring an online shop. but you have to be ready. so when you are ready, let me know and i'll be cheering for you. like finger painting, it's always more fun to get your hands covered in the thick wondrous colors than just watching painters from afar. once you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable and allow your craft to be viewed, you will see that good things and new friends will indeed come. and you will appreciate them and want to meet them and want to hug them because they like your stuff. YOUR stuff. the stuff you created. like finger painting, it's not only an experience to create and give a personalized, unique masterpiece for someone to enjoy, but you will see that the goodness even spreads onto yourself too. you will look down and see, your smock (and your insides) will be changed, altered, prettied.

expand and let yourself out. be bold. be unafraid. there are invisible arms waiting to catch you. so go ahead and jump. thank you for listening and letting me get this all out. who knew i had this wrapped up inside me?! it may as well be a blog post for others who hold your same questions. thank you.

am glad you're on the verge. let it out.

xo. marta

answering my email sunday night. and publishing it too.
because it might be applicable to you and you and maybe you too.

27 comments:

little miss pea said...

I'm definitely saving this up. ( ^ _ ^ )

jen anderson said...

my goodness...just a great push of inspiration! i feel this could have been written to me also! thank you for posting for everyone. my name is jen, i found your blog a couple days ago through domino magazine's blogs. i'm hooked! i love your sweet items and beautiful pictures. you've inspired me to learn photography and yes...{i'm so excited} to get my items out there! i also make journals, and books, i think paper dolls are my favorite. thank you marta, keep up the beautiful work!

ann said...

your optimism and faith in other people is always inspiring. i'm so glad i've found you (or rather, you found me)!

sarbear said...

wow. this is exactly what i needed to hear right now. thanks.

AnastasiaC said...

i love this post - Im going to print and save (and read it often!!)
i have been ho-hum about opening an etsy store...i want to..i really do..but my fear and doubt get in the way...Im making some things for a little local store so im going to do my best to open and esty store at the same time!!

Kloth & Bolt said...

printed. posteding above my sewing machine. thank you thank you thank you! -kb

cyndi & lee said...

How in the world did you know this is exactly the kick in the butt many of us needed?! While I'm not thinking of opening an etsy shop, I find myself at the crossroads of life and have been quite afraid to take a risk and do something about it. Needless to say, I've been "standing" still for far too long. This post will definitely be printed and placed where I can re-read it as often as necessary. Thank you for inspiring me (that's something you do daily via your blog) and giving me the courage and confidence to move forward! I appreciate your words, as well as the timing of them, more than you could possibly know. Thank you!

Summers Camp said...

Awesome. Thanks for sharing. I know there will be a lot of your readers who needed to hear this. I'm still unsure as to whether or not I might be one of them... ha! *B

People St.Clair said...

WOW! Thank you these words are exactly what I needed to hear and so inspiring.

gab said...

wow...maybe i'll even start an etsy store...hmmm, what should i sell?

christine said...

thank you! you gave me and plenty of others a great dose of inspiration!

Sharon Tessandori said...

What a lovely, inspiring and thoughtful reply! I try to live my life day to day with a view of "abundance". I am enough, there is enough, you are enough, etc. I always find this helpful.

And like the others, I plan to return and re-read this email when I need some feel good, inspirational reading.

alyson. said...

love your honesty. after opening the little shop I have, I've been really researching on how to do it better when I launch new things. you're inspiring!

Jessica said...

You are the best! Thanks for sharing this genuine, motivational advice. Some day I will become an Etsian! May I ask you something that's perhaps personal?? What made you decide not to use etsy and to open your own little shop through blogspot? Happy crafting!

melissa deakin said...

i love this.
such wonderful advice.
thanks so much for sharing it.
i am printing this out.
still trying to find my niche.
i have lots of ideas, but not sure where to begin.
i so appreciate you sharing this, marta!
xoxo

meg said...

yeah, the girl who got that email is so, so lucky! i would bet a million bucks that it is exactly what she needed. i second every comment here! i think i'll talk about this email/blogpost this week on my blog, if you don't mind. ;-)

thank you so much. xx

love.boxes said...

very good advice. :)

Carpenters said...

Great advise...

mk said...

Brilliant & sincere words of encouragement is what we all need from time and time again and yours just slid into place for me! It made my heart beat faster... as if you knew exactly what i have been thinking. thank you.

sweetjessie@comcast.net said...

Marta,
While reading this, I kept thinking - "is she writing to me??" Of course you weren't, but you said things I needed to hear all the same...
Thank you so much!

ed said...

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Krista Eitsert said...

What a great and inspiring post! I will be reading this post daily to keep myself inspired and motivated!

jodi said...

thank you SO much for that.

emosback said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I am in the planning phases of opening an etsy shop and have been scared of the idea for sometime and feel I'm finally mustering the guts for it! After the 50th some odd comment from friends and family that I need to be selling my creations I finally started believing in myself. Your words were encouraging and motivating :)

cathiehong said...

just read this after you linked to it from your current B&B. thank you SO much... my husband has been saying the same things to me, but it helps to hear it from someone who has actual experience haha :] thanks so much!

emilyrobinson said...

this post just about brought me to tears. i feel like you are speaking directly to me. thank you. :)

emily
http://smalltownwddng.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I just sent this to my sister. Thank you.

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