Yes, call me the obsessed entrepreneur. I’ve had not one, not two, not three, but 7 Etsy shops over the past several years. So is more better or is less best? In this post, I’m going to share with you 7 Stellar things I learned from owning 7 Etsy shops.
I started my first Etsy shop at the very end of 2015 “Beaded Tassel Co”. I’m like a proud mama. I started this shop with no knowledge of Etsy, no following, no email list, social media or really anything!
I started my shop from ground zero. As I’m writing this post my shop has grown to house approximately 400 items and has hit almost $170,000.00 in sales. You can read about how I started “Beaded Tassel Co.” in this blog post. “My 6 Figure Etsy Shop”.
Before we get into the good stuff about what lessons I learned from having multiple shops, let’s first talk about what compelled me to open up 7 more shops, what niches those shops were in, and which shops I currently have on Etsy.
So what compelled me to open multiple Etsy shops?
I will admit, I have so many interests that I’m a bit ADD when it comes to business. I’ve been a successful fashion designer for over 20 years which allows me to have a very creative outlet. Fashion is a great place for all of that inspiration to funnel through but Starting an Etsy shop was sailing in uncharted waters for me.
In it’s first year, Beaded Tassel Co. brought in a whopping $53,000.00 in Revenue.
I was so thrilled and inspired that of course I reasoned with myself that if one store can bring in that much revenue (part time may I add), then opening 2 or 3 shops in different niches would allow me to double or even triple my income and reach different markets.
And thats exactly what I did. I opened several different stores in different niches.
Here is a list of my Etsy Shops (almost like having 7 children).
- The Gorgeous Package Co.-Beautiful and unique packaging supplies. (Currently on vacation).
- Headband Chic-Handmade headbands. (Currently on vacation).
- Bohemian Rockstar– My handmade jewelry line. (Currently open but very limited products).
- OH MY BOD– My clothing line ( Open but very limited products).
- Love luxe Studio– Party supplies, confetti, handmade items. (Currently open, but very limited products).
- My Superverse– Bible scripture necklaces, coffee mugs etc. (Recently opened in 2018)
- Beaded Tassel Co.-Jewelry making supplies, tassels and more.
WHEW!! How’s that for entrepreneurial ADD!! But if you looked closely, you may have noticed that all of those shops are either on vacation or have very limited products. Read on and you will see why.
What I love about being a true entrepreneur, is what you glean from your efforts.
So what exactly did I learn from all of this?
7 Things I Learned From Owning 7 Etsy Shops
1. I can sell almost anything that has demand and I can control to some extent how many sales I get.
All of my shops have had sales. Proof that Etsy is an amazing place to sell! Actually, it couldn’t be easier to set up a shop and start selling.
Why is this? In my opinion, the Etsy platform is truly unique because it has a very niche customer. Etsy’s customers are coming to buy something that is not mainstream. The target audience are individuals purchasing products that are crafted, vintage or supply oriented . BUT, how many sales you receive will depend on many different factors. I’ll save this for another blog post (wink, wink).
2. The more shops I owned, the more scattered I became.
2016 was the first full year that I started my Etsy journey. It also was when I opened most of my other shops as well. Little did I know that 2017 would be so busy that I was running around like a chicken without a head. I was jumping from shop to shop to print orders, convo buyers, not to mention design, stock, photograph and list my items. I was busier than ever, but I felt very scattered and rushed all of the time.
3. My main shop was doing so well, I didn’t have time to focus on the others and they all suffered as a result.
As you probably noticed with all of my shops, that I have 1 very successful shop and the others are well, kind of existing. There is a reason for this.
My Main shop, Beaded Tassel Co. in its second year (2017) did roughly $80,000 in sales. I was shipping out dozens of orders a day with this shop alone. Suddenly, I started to dread all of the other orders that were coming in from the other shops because I was starting to burn out. The hours I worked got longer and I worked very late into the night to make and fill all of the orders.
I was running all of these shops by myself while running my full-time fashion design business and taking care of my high functioning autistic daughter. The realization set in that I was starting to lose grip of my main money-making shop just to satisfy the minimum requirements of all of the shops combined.
I know this may seem like a dream for many people, but it turned into a very stressful time.
IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH!! WHAT WAS I THINKING???
I had to rethink, refocus and recharge.
Beaded Tassel Co. was so busy, that I was forced to put several shops on vacation just to keep up with demand. One day, I just flipped the button on those shops to ON VACATION. There was a sense of relief that I felt doing this.
4. It was more beneficial and easier to work on customer retention instead of trying to attract many new customers across multiple shops.
Even big retailers are guilty of this.
Although I have amazing customer loyalty, it could have been even more so if I would have implemented strategies early on to retain even more customers. Collecting emails, followup discount coupons, freebies and more would have sky rocketed my customer retention.
I was so focused on getting new customers that I completely ignored these strategies for the longest time. It is much more cost-effective to sell a new item to an existing customer than to go out and find a new customer to sell them the same item. BIG LESSON right there..HUGE!
5. Ya gotta show up consistently. No if’s and’s or but’s.
It is no secret that if your shop is not consistently new items, your current customers will have no reason to keep checking your shop. Your shop should be evolving over time. Pay close attention to what is selling and what your customers are asking for. This is gold! This is one of the keys to success on Etsy.
Give the customer what they want along with new, fresh items to choose from. Answer all of your emails in a timely manner and ship out all orders the next day if possible. Like everything in life, if you care and nurture your shop, it will reap the benefits.
6. I had to choose to hire and expand or stay solo.
Why didn’t you hire employees you say? Yes, hiring help could have helped me keep all of my shops running like a well oiled machine. But, I already had several employees from my fashion business and my Etsy shops were businesses that I wanted to keep as home based. I didn’t want employees working out of my house and I wasn’t ready to get into warehouse. I truly wasn’t prepared nor didn’t expect my shop to take off like it did. I’m sure some people would have hired a crew to handle the work, but I had to be REAL about what I wanted.
Be True To Yourself.
Bringing in people to my home based business was not an option for me. Get real with yourself about what YOU want out of your business. For some people, it would have been a no brainer to hire outside help. This may have been a great option for a person who wanted to escape the 9-5 or for other reasons. But for me, I knew I was going to stay solo.
7. Less may be best. If you are going to succeed in business, you can’t go half in. You need to be all in.
It is better to have one successful shop that is growing, than 7 that are struggling to stay afloat. One of the main problems with being an entrepreneur is that we want immediate results. BUT, the truth is, rarely do we see things happening right before our eyes, the way we envision them.
If you want results, you must do the work! But the work is not always a set process that we can purchase in a course or learn from a video. Being all in means making a mess sometimes, getting frustrated with doesn’t work yet being smart enough to pivot to positive changes and then run with them. When you are all in, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly. THIS is the key to success not just in your Etsy shop, but in life itself.
There you have it-7 Stellar Things I learned from Having 7 Etsy Shops!
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