“She Designed A Life She Loved” Series, Part 1: The Beginning Of An Etsy Shop

 

She Designed A Life She Loved - Etsy

She Designed A Life She Loved

An Etsy PR Administrator had some questions for me, and I answered.

Why did you open your Etsy shop?

After my first child was born in 2009, I quit a 10-Year accounting career to become a SAHM. It was a huge transition! I missed daily interaction with my peers, but also loved staying home. I needed a creative outlet that would allow me to recharge and rejuvenate.  I absolutely love staying home to take care of my children and I absolutely love being a homemaker. I have envisioned both for many, many years. With that being said, when I initially made the transition to become a SAHM, l felt like something was missing. My husband is also a small business owner, and at times, can be very, very busy with his business.  I wanted something I could focus on late in the evenings when my kids were sleeping, especially if I knew it would be a late work night for my husband. I have a ton of energy and a ton of ideas. I opened up my Etsy Shop to share my creative energy with the world in hopes of making others happy and inspiring them!  Doing so has allowed me to interact with so many lovely people.  My life has changed. Becoming a small business owner was like finding the missing piece of a puzzle and I’ve never been happier.  Having a creative outlet AND happy customers has been more rewarding that I could ever have dreamed.

Does the income from your Etsy shop go towards anything specific in your household?

The income I make from my shop is used towards my children’s education. It is also used to pay for family adventures such as trips to the zoo, the bowling alley, museums, aquariums, etc.  I also use it to treat myself to simple pleasures in life, like a coffee, or a new nail polish. Becoming financially dependent on my husband after being independent for so long was also an adjustment. It makes me feel extremely happy to contribute in some way.

At what point did you decide to bring your mother on board?

I knew I wanted to bring my mother on board from the very beginning. I have watched my mother be creative all of my life and I have learned so much from her. I also knew of the amazing talent she possessed. I wanted to share her incredible work with the world, because I knew others would appreciate it.  Also, when I opened up my shop, my daughter was 30 months and my son was 12 months. My days AND nights were filled taking care of my children. In the beginning, I focused solely on setting up my shop, taking the photographs, listing items and marketing (I usually did this during nap time). My mother’s creations were the only items for sale in the very, very beginning. It wasn’t until my children were a little bit older and I was somewhat out of the sleep deprivation stage, that I was able to do everything it takes to run my Etsy shop AND make creations too.

What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced with your Etsy shop?

Three challenges came to mind after I read this question. The biggest challenge I have faced is putting myself out there.  I am a really private person and it takes me a long time before I open up to someone. I learned very quickly that small business owners have to share their stories. To succeed, small business owners have to get their name out there, market themselves, because nobody is going to do it for them. This made me so uncomfortable at first. It was so hard for me to “market myself”.   When you put yourself out there, people will support and people will criticize. Obviously, the latter can be difficult to deal with, but the couple of times I have received criticism, I used it as a growth opportunity, as stepping stones to change the way I am doing things.  To try to become better, in hopes of increasing my customer/fan engagement and creating good content that keeps people interested. Secondly, I also learned that it is important to share snippets of my life, that was challenging at first too, but customers love seeing that there is a “real person” behind the business. Lastly, it was a challenge learning how to “shut my business off”.  I have a mind that does not stop. It’s family first and business second. This means that most of my work is done at night. In the beginning, there were a lot of late nights. As time went on, I realized how important it was to take care of myself too. To schedule nights on the calendar when I could just relax and not even think about the business, to learn that everything doesn’t have to be done ‘”right now’”. Obviously, there are busy seasons, such as holidays, and I prepare myself for them, but there are also times when I have put my shop ‘on vacation’ just to take a break. That is key. It’s all about balance and I think I’m in a good place now.

Did you always envision running your own business?

Yes!! I’ve had the dream for years, but I always thought I would own a brick and mortar business. I love to cook and had a dream of owning a small shop that sold kitchen supplies like towels, aprons, gadgets, bakeware etc. I even had the business name picked out. I knew from the beginning I wanted to be a SAHM, so this was a dream that I hoped to live once my children were in school full time. Thankfully, Etsy came along! I didn’t have to wait, because it doesn’t require me to be away from home. That is the beauty of an ecommerce business. Sometimes, on the way to a dream you find another dream, and I’m so grateful I did. I don’t think there is any turning back now. I truly love what I do and I have so much passion for it.  Liking what you do is happiness and I am very, very happy!

The Dream Is Free, The Hustle Is Sold Separately.

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xo ~Colette

The Beginning of an Etsy Shop

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