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Launching your Etsy shop. January 13, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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2 comments

Silence Dogood here. Recently I’ve been posting about selling original artisanal crafts here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, and some of our regulars have expressed an interest in knowing more. So here’s another step on the road to home-based income.

I love reading about knitting, beading, quilting, and all my other crafting ventures as much as I enjoy collecting the materials and creating the finished products. (Our friend Ben is just as bad about collecting books about all his collections.) So when I decided to launch a fashion accessories venture this year, it was unthinkable that I not start out by reading some expert advice on how to go about it. I had the name, I had the unique product, I had the marketing strategy. What I didn’t have was a way to get them out of my head and onto labels, cards, displays, brochures, and online.

I needed help, and plenty of it. So I went to Amazon and checked out their books on selling crafts on Etsy, the premier online crafts site, and elsewhere. Based on the content and reader reviews, I narrowed my choices to three books, which have just arrived here at Hawk’s Haven:

How to Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond (Derrick Sutton, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011).

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online (Kari Chapin, Storey Publishing, 2010).   

Starting an Etsy Business for Dummies (Allison Strine and Kate Shoup, Wiley, 2011).  

A quick look has convinced me that my choices were good. The For Dummies series is always good for an overview of any subject, a starting point for more personal and/or more in-depth books on the topic. The Handmade Marketplace is quirky but practical, with lots of real-life stories, successes and failures from the author and many other crafters. And How to Sell Your Crafts Online is a primer on successful selling, how to make your product stand out, how to get it noticed, how to create buzz, all of which are especially important for crafters, who tend to be rather shy when it comes to putting themselves and their products forward.

All three books are information-packed and easy to read. If, like me, you’re just getting started, I recommend them as an excellent place to start. And if you’re already up and running and have found other books or websites more useful, please share them with us!

              ‘Til next time,

                            Silence