Gotta start somewhere.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

As an Etsy shop owner, I go through lots of ups and downs. There are seasons of so many sales I can barely handle the orders rolling in. And then there are slumps. I try to use the down time (if there is such a thing with a 3 month old in the house!) to create new products or to improve the ones I already have. But I can always use encouragement along the way. So I start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. :)

Want to see how I started?

Take a look at my very first sale:
It was one of the first pairs of earrings I'd ever made, and I was feeling inspired. I was living in Chicago at the time, working as a nanny for the summer, and I needed a creative outlet. As soon as I listed the earrings and my shop was officially open for business, I called my best friend Jessica and she bought them. My first sale! I was over the moon. After that, I made scrabble pendants for a while...
 then more jewelry...
 then some paintings...
 then some hand carved stamps...
a few camera strap slip covers...

a wreath... 
and then finally, my first bag.

Needless to say, it took a while to find what stuck - and what I didn't lose interest in making. And in looking back, I'm encouraged - because when I see how much I've learned and grown and changed with the times, it's a good feeling! I hope you're encouraged, too. I can assure you - shops with lots of sales didn't just pop up overnight.

Just for fun, I love to look at some of my favorite shops and see where they started out, too. For the majority of them, I find poorly lit photographs of items that look nothing like what they're selling now. It's a journey. And it's beautiful to see.

Speaking of Etsy shops, do you have favorites to share? I always love new finds! Let me know in the comments!


  1. Thank you for the encouragement Whitney! I recently opened my first Etsy shop SewHelpMebyMarissa and adore yours!

  2. Your bags are very cute:) I used your tute to make one for a friend:)

  3. Its encouraging to see where people start out and how far they come. I often look at my favourite shops past sales just to gauge growth. I love the evolution. I am currently in one of those slumps, and experimenting with new items,

    Your shop has been a definite encouragement! So, Thanks!!!

  4. Raceytay has always been a shop that I come back to again and again. I love adding their pieces to our walls.

  5. You are such an inspiration to me. I started out just like you... Trying to find my niche, and I feel like sewing is where I belong! I'm slowly learning and hope to open an Etsy store soon! My dream is to be able to do it full time! Thanks for your amazing blog! It's very inspirational and is always helping me stay focused on my goals!

  6. My Etsy shop is OriginalCharlie! I make dog collars and other things (starting out, and like you said, it's taking a little while to see what "sticks"- I'm also having a hard time figuring out the photography part, lol). This post was so inspiring, and you made me excited to go and work even harder! Thank you!

  7. WOW..u r so creative..! love everything u made.


  8. It is nice to see how what you selling has changed so much over time. I often feel like I have 10 directions I want to take my shop but never can quite decide which way to go. Glad to see that it may just take some time to find my niche!

  9. Wow I love your awesome ideas!!! You are so creative!! You should put some tutorials of some of the things you made on your blog:):)

  10. I love how your friend bought your first pair of earrings! Also, I want that camera strap- it's SO cute!

  11. All of the things you make and post pictures of are just beautiful, but I absolutely love that necklace! SO pretty!!!

  12. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I just opened a new shop and I'm very excited about it. I can't wait to make my first sale!

  13. Love, love, LOVE the paintings and everything else! :)


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