Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I Have Learned

I'm taking a moment from making flowers to write this post that just came to me. Sometimes this is how blog posts work! This will be my second full year on Etsy. When I started out, I only knew two things. I loved the Etsy site and I wanted to become a seller on this site. Did I really know what I wanted to sell? No, really no clue. I thought at first it would be baby blankets. I love fabrics and matching up prints. The market is flooded with these items though. I wanted to stand out. One day I bought some vintage bias tape. I loved the feel of it. I tried to make a flower out of it. I probably spent a whole day getting it to where I wanted it at that time. I have since improved my design. After making over one thousand flowers, that's what happens. One day a lovely customer requested a pillow made into a ring bearer pillow. It got me thinking of a design that could be personalized. It has become my bestseller today. If someone would have told me that I would be selling mostly wedding items on etsy, I wouldn't have believed them. I have to say though, I am honored every time I get a request from a bride to make something for her wedding. Such a meaningful day and my little item is included. Truly gets me emotional. When I was growing up my family had a Sears Catalogue Store. My grandfather had an Antique shop in the same building. I spent hours each day working with both shops. I never knew that what I was doing then would benefit my shop today. Here's how they relate to my etsy shop jadiecakes.

1)Customer service is number ONE. Be pleasant, helpful, and respond to their request in a timely manner. If not, you may lose a sale. When a package came in the morning off the Sears truck, we had to hurry and unload it and then call the customer. If you do offer excellent customer service there is a possibility of the customer coming back again.

2)Window displays were an important part of my grandfather's business. He would let me choose what items would catch customers' eyes. It was fun at the time but I didn't realize at the time that this was what was drawing people into his antique store. Just like my etsy shop. My storefront (photos) have to be clear and crisp. I need them to draw my customers in.

3)The slow down of sales is frustrating. I admit I had a great year last year but December was slower. I was starting to get down on myself. Questioning what I might have done. With our Sears store we had times when sales weren't as high. Summer was slower. November and December were like Christmas every day.  For my shop  January hit and I've had the most sales that my shop has had ever in one month and February is looking like it might be a record too!

  4)When sales slow down work on improvements. We painted and cleaned our store when times were slow. We made extra room for the busy times. In the Antique shop we polished silver and cleaned out the clutter. I have taken this and applied it to my own shop. I take stock of my supplies. Cut fabric ribbon ahead of time. Make flowers upon flowers. I take a look at my listings and change tags and rewrite descriptions. If you have a handmade shop you know that this is just the tip of what happens on a daily basis. These thought motivate me. Don't give up on yourself. It is HARD, but it gives me an amazing feeling to know that all this hard work is paying off.

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