Care To Bead

ETSY SHOP NAME : Care To Bead

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FEATURED ITEM:Vintage Inspired earring's using these beautiful 13mm vintage German glass bead's In champagne. Resting on top are two different types of bead cap's along with a rose faceted glass bead. Carefully wire wrapped and placed on a Vintaj ear wire.

These wires are great for sensitive ears. nickel and lead free brass.
Drop measures 7/8 of an Inch.

This piece will come gift wrapped along with a little surprise just for you.

mimosa designs

Etsy Shop Name: mimosa designs but found at etsy as "happyexpat"


What you sell: Mimosa features items that are inspired by life as an expariatet in the beautiful country of Morocco. Children's clothing and home deco items have a little Moroccan flourish. I also provide people with unusual supplies from Morocco; felt beads, henna stencils, little hand-crocheted buttons, etc.


Tell us about your featured item: This beautiful fuchsia basket was hand-woven by Moroccan craftsmen. I have added a sturdy cotton liner in a bold pattern. At the ties are Moroccan passementerie beads. The passementerie tradition thrives here in Morocco and is to be found on clothing and interior designs. The basket is a good example of what I love to do: putting a new twist on traditional items.

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?
Discovering Etsy was a life-changing event! I adore the idea of selling handmade and unique items to people all around the world. When I mail a package from here in Morocco to New Zealand or Cyprus or Alaska, I am thrilled! I love having complete control over my little shop... Soon we'll be leaving Morocco for Thailand (a new expat adventure!) where I will continue to create for Mimosa.

Do you sell in any venues outside of Etsy?

I often have people stop by here in Rabat and we design things together. I've done a lot of clothing for little girls this way...what fun! My things are also featured on the Nest website (a wonderful micro-bartering project) and at Kuati.com

SmithNatureGallery

Etsy Shop Name: SmithNatureGallery

What you sell: Gemstone and glass cluster dangling earrings, pendants, dichroic fused glass, necklaces and bracelets.

Tell us about your featured item: The Love Goddess was hand crafted in the Houghton Winery Port Cellar. I was holding a photography exhibition in the rustic and aromatic cellar at the time and felt charged with inspiration. During my time in the cellar I hand crafted a number of jewelry pieces. I used my famous romantic sunset glass chips as the highlighting feature to merge like a watercolor into the pink AB glass which produced a beautiful rainbow effect. The citrine just enriched the other stones. These were all placed together in my signature cluster dangling earring design.
The stones I use are not designed for the materials. What this means is a very lengthy process where through trial and error I find which stones will fit and which won’t. But nothing is wasted; the stones that cannot be used in the signature range are used in the classic range instead!

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

Ever make a phone call or e-mail to a business and you NEVER hear back? It seems to becoming a trend, poor customer service. What I love most about running my own shop is that I have eradicated what I dislike most about other businesses because I am my own owner/operator so I will always ensure customers get the best value, the best service and the utmost customer care! For me it isn’t about making as much money as I can, its about selling my art to fuel and fund new artistic projects.

What do you dislike most about running your own Etsy shop?

The time it takes to upload and promote everything. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes that customers don’t see! But I would never go back or change anything. Etsy is my home, a place where I can display and share my creativity.

6060


Etsy Shop Name: 6060

What you sell: safety eyes, buttons, neck cozies, dish clothes, crochet goods

Tell us about your featured item: I saw this crochet project from a yarn company website. I decided to crochet some of these for myself and my family. It’s fun and easy. I thought that was a very good idea to give a kitchen a little color. Because the crochet material was totally cotton and re-washable, it was more eco-friendly than paper towels. I wanted this idea got out to people. That’s why I made it, promoted it and sell it.
Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

Part-time job
Do you get stressed just thinking about filing taxes?

Yes, I do get very stressed until it’s done, it’s just like everything else, if I don’t get it done, I will think of it all the time.

RozArt

Etsy Shop Name: RozArt

What you sell: Original oil paintings & prints

Tell us about your featured item: This is Rooster #217, a 20x24” original oil painting on stretched canvas. Roosters are the subject that I have sold the most of, and seem to capture the movement so well. I have painted so many roosters, yet never tire of ideas.

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby? My painting is a full-time job, my etsy shop is part of the sales of my paintings.

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

I don’t mind it much.

Mu-Yin Jewelry

Etsy Shop Name: Mu-Yin Jewelry

What you sell: wire wrapped sterling silver jewelry J I have lots of colored pearls…

Tell us about your featured item: This peach nest ring was one of my earliest works when I first started selling my jewelry. I was trying to make a “sophisticated” ring, which turned out to be just “cute”...but it was so cute that it immediately became one of my signature designs and best sellers.

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

When I come up with designs that I love very much and are also well received by customers, I feel my art is supported and this makes me extremely happy. I feel very fortunate that this has happened with quite a few designs in my store, and my customers also seem to share my enthusiasm about colored pearls.

What do you dislike most about running your own Etsy shop?

Running an Etsy shop is EXTREMELY time consuming and can be quite confusing if you’re not organized. Unfortunately, because Etsy is such a new website, it does not have enough time-management features for high volume sellers. I consider myself a medium volume seller, and sometimes I already feel overwhelmed by the time I spend on the website.

Unique Expressions


Etsy Shop Name:Unique Expressions

What you sell: I sell all sorts of goodies: jewelry, magnets, yarn, and paper beads.

Tell us about your featured item: These are my *BLING* rings! I make them to order from glitter glass tiles of a variety of colors. The tiles measure ~ 1/4" x 1/4", and the ring base is adjustable. I love them because they are simple, funky, yet bright and sparkly! You really can’t go wrong with one of these on your hand.
Do you consider yourself and entrepreneur? Why or why not?

No. I have never approached my Etsy shop as a business, nor anything else in my life for that matter.

Do you feel more comfortable with the business or crafting side of your business? Why?

I am definitely more comfortable with the crafting side of my business, because creating is one of my major coping mechanisms. The business side is stressful to me.

Sew Bettie

Etsy Shop Name: Sew Bettie

What you sell: Sew Bettie is a collection of adorable patterns, tutorials, DIY kits, tees, and more to inspire the crafty soul in you.
Tell us about your featured item: The DIY Button ring kit contains everything you need to create your own button rings – elastic, 25 colorful buttons, and professionally printed directions with photos. This is a fun project for kids of all ages! The rings are gorgeous, fanciful, and easy to make with Sew Bettie’s help.

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

Great question! I do think there is a relationship between the number of hearts a shop has and the number of sales. Shops with a lot of sales almost always have a ton of hearts. Some shops have a ton of hearts but not very many sales. These shops usually have more expensive items that are really amazing, but don’t sell as frequently as less expensive items.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

We (my business partner and the love of my life, Mark, and I) want to start doing more to market our shop. I participate a lot in the forums, not really to market my shop, but just to hear what others are saying and thinking. We also use flickr, facebook, and google adwords. We have been fortunate enough to get some really great press on Design Sponge, She Unlimited, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of NEET magazine.

dismantled

Etsy Shop Name: dismantled

What you sell: Handmade reconstructed and recycled clothing & accessories

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is a flower barrette made from small scraps of recycled denim fabric. The first things I started making when I taught myself how to sew were skirts made from old jeans. I hate seeing stuff go to waste, so I was trying to breathe new life into jeans that had holes or stains. But once I was done, I would still have lots of leftover material. These cute little barrettes are one of the ways I’ve come up with to use very small scraps of fabric so that I don’t have to throw the leftover pieces away.

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

I love being able to set up a great looking online shop with relative ease. Just the other day I mentioned my Etsy shop to some co-workers… I got a bunch of compliments on how nice and professional they thought it looks. I also love how great it is for someone like me who makes mostly one-of-a-kind items. Before Etsy came along, that was one of the main obstacles keeping me from setting up my own online shop… it just seemed like too much work to build an e-commerce site from scratch. It’s so much easier to be able to use Etsy’s interface to offer my work for sale online.

Do you sell in any venues outside of Etsy?

The main place I sell my work at outside of Etsy is through the New Orleans Craft Mafia’s website and at our monthly event, the Crescent City Craft Market. I occasionally do other markets locally as well, and you can also find some of my work at Circle Circle Dot Dot. In the past I’ve had my work in other venues, via consignment and wholesale, but it’s not my main focus right now.

Dragon in Knots

Etsy Shop Name: Dragon in Knots

What you sell: I mostly sell my crocheted creations, which include clothing, accessories, and home décor items. While I offer many of the normal crocheted items, I also incorporate eggs, fruit, and other fun motifs into my shop. Dragon in Knots also contains some of my other creations, such as origami mobiles, cards, and jewelry. One of my overall philosophies with regards to my creations is that they should either be practical or look good, ideally both.

Tell us about your featured item: The Anhaga scarf is a beautiful example of simple elegance. Appropriate for either gender, it was created from a soft, machine-washable, cream-colored yarn that has accents in various shades of brown, creating a shadow-like effect. The name for this piece came from the Old English poem “the Wanderer.” The word “Anhaga” is an Old English word, which means “lone-dweller” or, even better, “he who thinks alone,” depending on the glossary or dictionary one uses. The shadowy appearance of this scarf is, for me, symbolic of someone living in the shadows of society, hidden in his own thoughts.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Why or why not?

Yes and no. I suppose by definition I qualify as an entrepreneur (or rather an entrepreneuse, the female form of the word), but there is always the nagging feeling that I am just doing this to provide a creative outlet for myself and to earn a little extra money to help with my academic expenses. I plan to continue studying for several more years and then go into an academic career. Dragon in Knots was always intended as a side project and by all appearances, will continue to be so. However, it has definitely been and will hopefully continue to be both a fun and an important learning experience for myself; as well as a way to provide people with quality handmade items, to promote the overall concept of the self-employed artisan in the world, and to battle, in my small way, the growing influence of mega-companies.

Do you feel more comfortable with the business or crafting side of your business? Why?

I am definitely more comfortable with the crafting side of my business. I suppose this is typical of most people selling on Etsy. If we were more comfortable with the business side of things, we would be accountants instead. But on the contrary, we choose to create crafts and artwork. Also, I often feel that I just do not have the tools to keep track of large amounts of business records. My system works on a small scale but would probably need to be updated if I ever needed to handle a large-scale production. I aspire to one day have Excel on my computer...

Sarahkincheloe

Etsy Shop Name: Hi-howareyou: sarahkincheloe.etsy.com

What you sell: Handmade organizers for knitting needles and crochet hooks, and a few bags, wallets, headbands and other little things I make.

Tell us about your featured item: My best-selling item is my combination organizer, which holds straight and circular knitting needles, dpns, and crochet hooks. They have from 33 to 42 pockets and I make them in all kinds of fabric patterns.

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

Obviously people heart things they like and people buy things they like, but other than that I think that it varies a lot from shop to shop. Some shops have items that are funny or fun just to look at, and they’ll get a lot of hearts compared to their sales. The same will happen with shops that sell very expensive items, because people might like their items but most can’t afford them.

I know that compared to the average, I have a lot of sales relative to hearts (349 and 578, respectively). I really don’t pay a lot of attention to hearts except to track how much exposure my shop is getting on various days – 5 or more hearts is a great day and less than 3, not so much. As far as items, I don’t consider a “good” item to be one that has a lot of hearts – a good item will sell before anyone has a chance to heart it!

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I initially determined my prices based on what I would want to pay for an item. Since then, I have done some calculations on the cost of making an item and time invested, and made sure I was making an hourly wage that satisfied me. I also keep track of monthly income after all expenses and hours worked, to make sure I’m paying myself fairly. I have increased my prices twice in the past year (not dramatically), both to reflect an increase in the quality of my work and to adjust for extra costs.

I’m a full time graduate student in social work which involves a full course load and a 24-hour-per-week unpaid internship for two years. The hours I can work are few and constantly changing, so I’m willing to earn a little less on my etsy work than I could at another job because of the flexibility it affords me in hours as well as commute, attire, and spending more time with my hubby and kitty. Fortunately, I’m currently doing well and haven’t had to make that sacrifice.

Shazzas Knits

Etsy Shop Name: Shazzas Knits

What you sell: handknitted items, mainly hats.

Tell us about your featured item: This is my most popular item in my shop by far and one that I designed as a request for one of my friends and it worked so well that I decided to add it to my knitwear range and boy am I glad that I did. It is made from 100% pure wool and is my girly take on the traditional newsboy cap. It is a one size fits most but I do custom make them in any size and colour.

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

part-time

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

I accept the necessity of record keeping as my husband and I run our own small business so taxes are part and parcel of it. Good bookkeeping makes it easy and we have an accountant to do the hard stuff!

Lula Boutique

Etsy Shop Name: Lula Boutique

What you sell: I sell vintage inspired jewelry and luxury boutique cards and accessories.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is the most sought after “Lily & Swallow” necklace. The simplicity of this necklace is why I adore it so and I believe that is why it has been such a big hit on Etsy!

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I actually don’t have a special formula to figure out the prices for the items in my shop. It has been more of a trial and error process for me. However, I take into consideration the cost of supplies and the time it takes to make each piece when deciding on the final listing prices. When I first joined Etsy, I had to find my niche and that’s just what I did by seeing what sold and what didn’t. The same goes for figuring out what prices buyers were willing to pay for each piece. Once I sell several pieces at a certain price, I stick with it because it works. I want my pieces to be somewhat affordable for buyers and still be able to run a profitable business for myself. I definitely price my pieces competitively within the Etsy community.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

First, let me say that I am very loyal to my Etsy shop because I absolutely adore it…and in my opinion, that is the best start to marketing something you love! I update Lula Boutique everyday and try and list new pieces often to keep buyers interested. I participate in the forums and maybe run a sale or two through the “Saturday Night Specials” and other promotions on Etsy. I also hand out my business cards whenever possible and I can always count on referrals. I also treat my customers with the utmost respect! My goal is to create a network of return customers who love my pieces. I create jewelry that is beautiful, made to last, and packaged like a personal gift from a friend. By doing this, I can be certain to have more sales follow because not only will buyers be back for more but their friends will too!

SoapWerks

Etsy Shop Name: SoapWerks

What you sell: Natural soap, body care products, and soy wax candles. I have put together two adoption fundraising programs with my products. My two girls sell bracelets, soap, and lip gloss as a fundraiser for their friend, Yuan Yuan, who lives in an orphanage in China.

Tell us about your featured item: My “Soon to be Famous” Healing Salve isn’t my most colorful item, but it is a really wonderful product that has helped many people with their skin problems. It is made from olive oil, calendula, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and Vitamin E. Pretty basic ingredients that combine to heal rashes, insect bites, poison ivy, diaper rash, cuts, blemishes, and cracked cuticles. My customers keep buying it for themselves and their friends and family. A 2 oz. jar costs $7.00.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I consider the cost of my ingredients and packaging, the amount of time I put into making it, and add on profit. It should break down pretty much 1/3 supplies, 1/3 labor, 1/3 profit. Then, I check out the market to see if my product is competitive with other sellers of similar products. If the price isn’t competitive, then I need to look at reducing the cost of supplies, working more efficiently, or reworking the packaging.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I just got really serious about marketing my Etsy shop in 2008. I list/renew items 3 times per day. I added a tag line to my e-mail signature. I am in the process of starting up a blog. I have a brick & mortar shop too, so I keep in touch with my existing customer base by sending out a monthly newsletter that is filled with good information about essential oils, recipes, features and artists from my shop, and a creativity activity. I try to make the newsletter informative, not just sales. I also send out special cards at holidays, thanking my customers for their support. I use Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) for the newsletter and cards.

B Dazzling Creations

Etsy Shop Name: B Dazzling Creations

What you sell: I create jewelry pieces for the modern women and all her many moods.

Tell us about your featured item: This piece is one of my personal favorites. It’s a nice combination of romance and femininity, with a fun punch of color. I love the juxtaposition of elements – soft tones, then the black for added drama. This piece was created with rhyolite, rhodonite, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver components.

Do you feel more comfortable with the business or crafting side of your business? Why?

The crafting side is far more comfortable, as it’s something that has to happen. Creating is a necessity! The business of selling is not so natural for me. That said – I do get great satisfaction seeing how much my business sense has developed over the years. I can now price an item in minutes, rather than agonizing over that detail for days. Spreadsheets and pricing programs are a necessity for me, they help remove some of the emotional side of creating – they help me see my piece as a product rather than a part of me. Sometimes that emotional tie blinds you to proper pricing and marketing strategies.

Have you read any good books to help you manage the business side of your Etsy shop?
I just finished reading Handmade for Profit by Barbara Brabec. I liked how the book translated natural creativity skills that crafters possess into business skills. It’s an easy read, and not intimidating at all. The only thing missing was a more extensive section on on-line businesses.

baby anne quilts

Etsy Shop Name: baby anne quilts

What you sell: Heirloom Quality Baby / Toddler and Doll Quilts

Tell us about your featured item: paris patisserie – Baby / Toddler Heirloom Quilt
One of the things I love about Paris are the patisseries! I love the beautiful, artistic displays of simple macaroons in the patisserie windows. I especially love the colors! So I created a quilt that used those same pastel colors in a simple, but elegent design…just like Paris itself!
Shortly after finishing the quilt I took a two day trip to Paris and was able to take photos of the finished quilt in the city that inspired it!

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I send my promos to other sellers to pass out at craft fairs and I always carry my business cards around. I’m now looking into inexpensive web ads. I have also found that joining and being active in Etsy Street Teams is helping to get my shop name out there. I also have a blog…it’s still only a few months old but I get an average of about 25-30 visitors a day.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

Because taxes are confusing and frustrating no matter how simple your finances are! When you add a small business to that it gets downright scary. I’m just now starting to figure out everything for my

Mia Beads

Etsy Shop Name: Mia Beads

What you sell: An eclectic mix of jewelry for the young and young at heart! Mia Beads jewelry is based on the simplicity of nature and includes bright colors, flowers, and simple designs with organic pearls and vintage components. I offer trendy styles as well as delicate, feminine, timeless pieces.

Tell us about your featured item:hen I was making the “Treasure” Locket Necklace, I really had no clear idea of what it would like in the end… I just kept adding little beads and charms here and there, until it “worked” for me. I’m not the type to lay my beads out in a pattern and carefully string them in a row- I like when jewelry just happens. I think this piece sums up my style pretty well!

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

Technically, Mia Beads is a part time gig, as I have another job in the “real world” and I’m also taking college classes. However, the amount of time that I put into my etsy shop would definitely be considered full time hours - making, listing, packing, and sending. It’s a lot to keep up with, especially when I’m busy in other areas of my life, but I enjoy it!

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

I have a system, and I keep meticulous records of everything, but I need a better way of organizing it all. I never know where all of the meticulous records are when I need them! I guess you could say that I simply accept it; if I enjoyed it, I would probably have a better method of retrieving the data ß My business administration degree at work….

Freckled Pink

Etsy Shop Name: Freckled Pink

What you sell: Boutique-style custom monogrammed goods, and beautifully unique embroidered stationery.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is a monogrammed pillow case. Perfect as a gift for a sorority sister, or simply your own little sister! This pillow case can be monogrammed in your choice of font, color, and trim. These monogrammed pillow cases are some of my favorite projects to work on, because they always come out so adorable! Have your name, initials, nickname, birth date, or even your travel destination monogrammed on the pillowcase! Each case, including the adorable grosgrain ribbon trim, is machine washable, and would be a great keepsake for anyone.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

The best marketing tool I have been fortunate enough to use has been word of mouth! My customers, especially locally, almost always come by referral from someone in the area who has shopped from me before. In order to keep this up, I work very hard to maintain good relationships with all of my shoppers, and am working on coming up with some incentives for return customers.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

I believe the one main reason is this: most of us are afraid we will do something wrong and get into trouble. This was my first year to file taxes on my business, and though it was daunting at first, I learned a lot. After the first time around, for me at least, the fear is gone. I will work even harder from this point forward to keep immaculate records, so that future tax fears can be avoided!

FromJapanWithLove


Etsy Shop Name: FromJapanWithLove

What you sell: I sell supplies like stickers, fabric, chiyogami paper, buttons and lots of other Japanese supplies.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is the Japanese Sweet Dumpling Stickers. I love these because they are so unique and very Japanese. “Dango”, as the rice dumplings are called in Japanese, are famous in Japan.
Is this your first entrepreneurial adventure, or are you a seasoned veteran?

I have owned other businesses but this is the first one that I know will work for me in the long run. When I was a University student I had a business lecturing to schools, universities and women’s groups about body image. I also had an online shop in Japan selling unique jewelry to Japanese but we closed that one down when this business basically started taking all of my time and was becoming more profitable.
Do you hire an accountant to help with your Etsy shop finances? Why or why not?

I would love to hire an accountant so that I can have help truly figuring it all out. The business laws/rules are very different here in Japan and I really would like to make sure that I’m doing it right. Since I would need a bilingual accountant and I don’t live in Tokyo, it will be very expensive so that is something I plan to do in the future-hopefully before tax season next year.

wovenchains

Etsy Shop Name: wovenchains

What you sell: I sell hand woven chainmaille jewelry in sterling silver, gold-fill and copper. Each piece I sell is woven together one ring at a time.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is a beautiful bracelet in sterling silver woven in the Dragonscale weave. When complete, the pattern actually resembles the scales on a dragon’s back. This is the most intricate and labor-intensive weave that I make, but the results are well worth the efforts. The weave is very flexible and invites anyone who sees it to touch the bracelet to feel the texture and the mobility

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

What I enjoy most about running my own Etsy shop is the fact that I am continually being challenged to make it better: better photos, more items, clearer descriptions. I can’t just sit on my laurels and expect to be successful, I have to stretch and work to improve upon what is already there. That makes me want to come back and work on what ends up being a very solitary endeavor.

Do you sell in any venues outside of Etsy?

I do sell in one major venue outside of Etsy, the Kent Farmers Market in Kent, Washington that runs from June through September every summer. I enjoy selling at the Market because it gives me a chance to meet my customers in person and see their reactions to the pieces I have made. I have also dabbled in craft fairs, and I would like to look more into those this year.

dudesbybebot


Etsy Shop Name: dudesbybebot

What you sell: Felt dudes.

Tell us about your featured item: Beercules. I named him after my boyfriend. Contrary to the name my boyfriend doesn’t really drink beer. He does like his Pumpkin Spice Lattes though. The materials I used were felt and embroidery thread.
Is this your first entrepreneurial adventure, or are you a seasoned veteran?

First.

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

None at all. Probably a class on how to better promote my store.

timelady -- The Cycling Artist


Etsy Shop Name: My Etsy member name is timelady so my shop is timelady.etsy.com – but my shop name is actually The Cycling Artist

What you sell: My own original paintings, which are mainly seascapes from my ongoing project of cycling the English coast. All of my paintings are abstractions about the sea and water. On Etsy I sell my exhibition work (larger canvas paintings) but also a lot of small, affordable pieces from my studio process including small paintings on board and small 5” stretched canvases as well as the popular ACEO format paintings.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is a study on board of the seaside at Middleton-on-Sea on the Sussex coast where there is a grassy footpath along the seafront. I loved trying to capture the simplicity of the sea meeting green and also the overcast day creating a soft grey feel to everything. This is quite a sublte painting but one of my favourites. It is artist acrylics on primed hardboard, 7.5”x3.5”. These paintings are very popular on Etsy and off, I think because they are an easy way to start collecting original art.
How do you decide on the price of your products?

I have established my prices over the course of selling for about 10 years. While I did start selling online on another venue, it evolved to mainly gallery representation and exhibitions in art-specific spaces. My prices have risen slowly over the years in relation to demand and how much I produce. Now I’m at the point where I simply list at my usual gallery prices. I do not undercut my galleries, which would be very bad practice, but try to use Etsy to offer a different selection of work. Most of my online customers are international, mainly in the USA, so with larger works on Etsy I keep consistent pricing with galleries by including international courier costs in the online prices. That means international customers don’t have any scary extra costs to worry about if they like my paintings.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

Mainly online – through my several blogs, website, Twitter, email signature and occasional newsletters. Right now I have few chances for marketing it on the street so to speak since I don’t do many art events myself. This may change though!

WaKuWaKu

Etsy Shop Name: WaKuWaKu

What you sell: I sell items made from or inspired by things Japanese. I most often use vintage and antique kimonos that are no longer in wearable condition, but have parts that can be salvaged for smaller items. Wakuwaku is a Japanese word that means “to excite,” and that’s how I feel when I work with the gorgeous silk kimonos.

Tell us about your featured item: These hand-sewn plum blossom bobbies are fun for females of all ages. Although I enjoy sewing on my sewing machine, I love hand sewing most. And since some of the kimonos I take apart have many tiny holes from age and wear that I have to work around, making the little blossoms is the perfect answer. The five-petal plum blossom is a traditional design in Japanese art, so I have used it with this bobbies and on a few other items in my shop.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners consider the business side of their shop the most challenging?

Many shop owners are like me—in a kind of a loop. They love what they do, but can’t afford to do it full-time. To do it full time they need to market their work more, to market their work they need more time and money. To get that money they need to work outside of Etsy, and that means less time to create. Doesn’t this sound familiar? In addition to this, I think many of us love the creating aspect, but don’t like or have marketing or business experience. I sometimes try things that may not be best choice for marketing my product because it seems like it will give me more time to create.

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

I have taken two college level accounting classes in the past which were helpful. Classes I would love to take would be ones on small business start-up, marketing or a class on internet selling.

Flying Star Toys

Etsy Shop Name: Flying Star Toys

What you sell: designer made soft toys

Tell us about your featured item: Star Boomer – Kangaroo of the Sky. I have always loved the Australian Christmas song "Six White Boomers" and had long thought of the idea of the mythical kangaroos of the sky that came to help Santa on his hot Southern run. They became the inspiration for this toy. Ever since my close encounter with the gray Kangaroos on Mount Ainslie in Canberra when on one of my poetry pilgrimages, I have had a great fondness for the kangaroo. I wanted to bring into being a toy that captured this special feeling, to give them an appropriate mythical linkage. I hope that next time you look up into the night sky you might imagine a mob of Star Boomers traversing the heavens, bounding over the Milky Way in search of green starry pastures. The Star Boomer toy is a set, including both the mother Kangaroo and her Joey. The hand embroidered stars on the front of each come together to form the Southern Cross constellation, which you can find on the Australian Flag. The current fabrics for Star Boomers are a silver flecked wool suiting with a backing of cream wide-waled corduroy. An interesting detail is the eyelashes of the mother Boomer, which are made using the selvage of the suiting fabric. Dimensions: Mother Star Boomer - 35.5 cm (14 inches) high, 37 cm (14 1/2 inch) wide. Joey Star Boomer - 16.5 cm (6 1/2 inches) high, 15cm (6 inches)wide.

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

No, I don't think there is. People who shop through the Etsy gateway may like your product but it may not fall into the price bracket of the typical Etsy market segment – which in my opinion is $50 or less. Most of my work is above that price range . However, I never set about using Etsy as my main market place. For me it is firstly a convenient shopping cart which I'm using until I develop one on my website . Also, Etsy is way of being found by stores and media. My toys are high quality and of original design because of that my toys regularly appear on the front page and in treasuries and I frequently receive email inquiries regarding wholesale because they found via Etsy. The number of heart s is good for indicating how far your store has worked its way into the system . It is by being in the system that one is found. So while I do believe the number of heart is not directly proportional to sales I think that over time the hearts (or rather the people who have booked marked you with in the system) aggregate attention and interest that ends up working by itself without additional effort on your part.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

Since I began my work as a designer toy maker within the craft arts gallery world I have always considered what I do seriously. I know that I have to be able to make my work at a wholesale price that is high enough to make it worth my while and be attractive enough for retailers. After a while I developed price brackets. So that , for instance, one type of toy will be put into a bracket based on a number of factors not just time which is of course the biggest cost. Other factors for me apart from pure material costs and labor include: size; amount of hand embroidering verse machine work; the amount of pieces and the amount of fabric to fabric waste a design requires... to name some off the top of my head.

Erica Leigh Designs

Etsy Shop Name: Erica Leigh Designs

What you sell: One-of-a-kind clothing, purses, and accessories for teen girls and young women.

Tell us about your featured item: This is a one-of-a-kind jersey knit cotton shirt. The fabric used in the main part of the shirt is light blue with white polka-dotes. The trim, banding, and sleeves are made from a cute, white pointelle fabric. There's a front kangaroo pocket, attached bow, and attached, vintage white buttons. The sleeves are pleated and elasticized to make them poufy. It’s sweet, comfy, and perfect for spring!

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

I enjoy running my own Etsy shop because I get to be my own boss. I’m a full time college student, but I also love sewing, so Etsy is perfect for me. I can set my own schedule, use up any creative energy, meet other people, and even make some money.

Do you set goals for your Etsy shop? If so, what type of goals?

My Etsy goals are based on the items themselves—not the sales. I try to make sure that each item is carefully made, that everything is distinctive and unique, and that there is a variety of sizes.

Sweet Spice Bodycare

Etsy Shop Name: Sweet Spice Bodycare

What you sell: Botanical based bodycare in the form of sugar scrubs, bath salts, shea body butters & sticks alongside cold process and melt & pour soaps! Each of my items are handmade in small batches, this gives me to opportunity to pay special attention to each order and to ensure that each customer gets a fresh product!

Tell us about your featured item: My Citrus Trio gift set is a sugar scrub, shea body butter and cold process soap, all blended with an invigorating blend of citrus oils. It was created after working with our realtor and her request for “something, ANYthing” that would wake her up and get her going *grin*, now she gives them to her clients when their house sells!

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

Not really. I think sales come from exposure and happy repeat customers.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I send my business card in all outgoing snail mail, I’ve got vinyl stickers of my Etsy shop address on all of our vehicles (including the boat because you just never know), I have a link to my shop in my email signature, throughout the year I purchase ad space in online gift guides as well as blog sidebars, I participate in monthly swaps through multiple forums, I send in samples every month to 2 of the sampler sites, I try to carry samples with me everywhere I go, and I carry a tote bag that has my logo and shop name on it. I’ve also been contacting different review blogs/websites and sending in my products for review. Exposure is everything!

Laura Baillie Designs

Etsy Shop Name: Laura Baillie Designs

What you sell: I sell jewelry, at the moment I have charm bracelets and earrings, made using Czech glass beads, semi precious stones and Swarovski crystals.

Tell us about your featured item: “Key to my heart” is my featured item. Valentine inspired of course! I love the way it sparkles in the light, the rich reds and the key charm.

Do you consider yourself and entrepreneur? Why or why not?

Yes I am an entrepreneur! I have been selling my hand made goodies since I was 12. I would make up invoices and give them out to my family who bought my cards and I had a little notebook of all my sales! I always played ‘shops’ when I was small and knew deep down some day I would have a real shop of my own one day.

Do you feel more comfortable with the business or crafting side of your business? Why?

I feel more comfortable creating now than selling. I used to be able to sell everything to anyone, but age seems to have knocked my confidence a bit.

Five Forty

Etsy Shop Name: Five Forty

What you sell: I sell one of a kind handwoven rag rugs, not your usual rag rug, mine are woven with recycled textile for both warp and weft. I have adapted an upright tapestry loom to weave with rag. Soft and cushy felted wool, sturdy denim or corduroy. Warm your soles with one of my beautiful rugs!

I also make and sell one of a kind beaded beach pebble and gemstone jewelry. I love working with Lake Superior beach pebbles, but also love working with semi precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, and of course colour. I love colour and texture. I have added some felted wool jewelry to my shop, felted wool cuffs and some needle felted beads.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is a gorgeous rug, woven with recycled felted wool sweaters. It is a runner 25” x 55”, woven with a range of pumpkin, gold, brown, grey and green. It is cozy warm, it will warm your soles!!

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

Etsy is a part time job for me, but I am hoping it will turn into a full time job. I really love what I am doing, and with more marketing I am hoping my sales will increase.

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

I loathe record keeping. I feel it interferes with my creative process! I do realize it is a necessity, and do bare bones record keeping. Stuffing receipts in a drawer. Hard to imagine my dad was an accountant, his skills did not rub off on me.

EmmaJane

Etsy Shop Name: EmmaJane

What you sell: I sell prints and greetings cards of my photos, and fanzines.

Tell us about your featured item:
This is one of my most popular photos. It’s Brighton Pier in the summer. I took it with a tin toy camera from the 50s called the Vredeborch Felica with cross-processed slide film to give the candyfloss colours. It looks nostalgic, and tends to remind people of their childhood seaside holidays.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

It’s harder with prints because the materials cost isn’t what you base it on, it’s the “artistic value” which is hard to work out with an equation! Basically I just picked prices similar to other people, it took a bit of trial and error to get to a good pricing scheme, first of all they were much too low because I felt a bit like I was being shameless selling my photo in the first place, but I soon got over that. I sell in GBP on another UK-based site, and my prices there are different to the USD ones on Etsy because the economies of the two countries are different, and I don’t have to work out the exchange rate selling in £££s. You get about $2 to £1 at the moment, which is great if you’re buying from the US; but if you’re selling and you just convert your UK prices into dollars it’s too expensive for people in the US. You have to be careful to sell at prices people earning in dollars will pay without shortchanging yourself.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

It’s not an issue for me, I live in the UK and it’s pretty straightforward for me because I don’t have any employees or claim deductions on cars or suchlike, and my day job is in finance so I’m used to sorting that kind of thing out. US taxes seem a proper Josef K style nightmare to calculate though, and people who have to deal with them have my sympathy.

JMillen

Etsy Shop Name: JMillen

What you sell: I have two creative passions: Graphic Design and Knitting. Manipulating my own photos with Photoshop into interesting and unique prints is very rewarding. I usually don’t know what I’m going to end up with until I’m done playing!
I started knitting about 6 years ago. At first I made scarves and felted purses. In 3 years I sold over 100 purses in craft shows. Recently I began the fine art of needlefelting. I buy wool pants from Goodwill and needlefelt designs onto them, then make them into scarves. I pay it forward by knitting hats for chemo patients. I donate about 50 per year to our local oncologists. I don’t usually follow a pattern so sometimes they look a little wonky!

Tell us about your featured item: This is one of my original designs, the zinnia swirl. It makes me think of spring and fun! I have sold it with many different colored backgrounds, in card form and matted prints.

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

At first it was a hobby, but as I spent more time marketing and listing, I decided I needed to approach it as a job. Unfortunately I don’t sell enough to make it a full time job, but I do make enough to call it a part time job. I love what I make and it feel so good when I make a sale, because it validates my work!

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

I am a former computer programmer so the record keeping goes with my need for things to make sense. When my financial records aren’t up to date I get a panicky feeling… like I’m going to forget to record something.

Guiding Light Candles

Etsy Shop Name: My shop name is Guiding Light Candles.

What you sell: I sell hand-poured soy candles in various container sizes and wax simmers. I also make body butter, sugar scrub, and soap. I have well over 40 different high quality scents that are often rotated throughout the year to fit the seasons. I'm continually testing and adding new scents.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is my “Scent-a-ment” candle. The Scent-a-ment candle is made in my 12oz. container and then embellished with vellum paper that has a saying or quote printed on it. I enjoy making these because they can be personalized for anybody. I have some listed that have specific sayings on them or my customer can choose their own saying, quote, or scripture. My Scent-a-ment candles make great gifts because they can be customized to any occasion.

Do you consider yourself and entrepreneur? Why or why not?

While I would love to say yes I consider myself an entrepreneur, I cannot truthfully say that. That is the ultimate goal though. Right now time and finances keep me from making this little business of mine any bigger. I suppose there's a little bit of fear in that equation as well. I pray that someday in the near future my dreams will become reality.

How do you keep your receipts and paperwork organized?

All my paperwork is kept in folders in a filing cabinet. I have 2 sets of folders for each month of the year. One set is for receipts of business purchases and the other set is for my sales. I also have folders for donations/give-aways, bank statements, fundraisers, and other miscillanious paperwork.

Boni-Karen by Design

Etsy Shop Name: Boni-Karen by Design

What you sell: I sell Simple, Classic, Well Made Artisan Jewelry. I use the finest materials available to make my jewelry. This includes, but is not limited to, Sterling Silver and Gold filled wire and components, Bali Silver components, Thai silver components, Gemstone beads, Swarovski Crystal and Seed Beads. These are then hand crafted into reasonably priced jewelry for you and your friends. Making my Jewelry gives me great joy and nothing compares to the feeling I get when someone connects to one of my pieces !

Tell us about your featured item: This Beautiful piece has a Lovely Pearl and Thai Silver Dragonfly Pendant suspended from a wire wrapped pearl necklace. Each pearl is wrapped by hand with sterling silver wire and connected to each other in a rosary style. The necklace is 18” in length with a sterling silver lobster claw closure and a 3” extender made with sterling silver chain that ends with a pearl dangle. You can adjust the necklace from 18” to 21” if desired, so that you can wear it with different necklines. However, if you desire a different length, I will adjust it at no charge !

Do you believe there is any relationship between the number of sales a shop makes and the number of hearts they have?

I think there is definitely a relationship. When I browse around Etsy, I look at both the shop owners “favorites” and the “Hearts Me” sections. Since I am already in a shop that interests me, the shops in “favorites” and “hearts me” are generally in a style that I like and I will very often click on those stores and may make a purchase. Or, they are very different from my style and I am exposed to products I might not normally see in my window shopping and I may purchase from them! I believe the more exposure you get the better! I give hearts to stores that I feel are selling quality hand crafted items, whether they are my “cup of tea” or not. I feel all hard working artists deserve to be recognized for the time, and attention to quality, they put into their products.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

First I spend a lot of time tracking down the finest quality materials (on line or in Brick and Mortar Stores). I always try to get the best “fair” price for them so I can pass the savings onto my customers. I also keep track of how long it takes me to make the piece and what my material costs are ( each bead, piece of wire, clasp etc…). Then a small fee is added towards packaging and the cost of advertising, and I pay myself a fair hourly wage (this is determined by the level of expertise needed to complete the piece). This is added together to come up with the final price. My jewelry is very fairly priced as I believe that everyone should be able to have an artisan made piece no matter what their income.

Caroline Grace Designs

Etsy Shop Name: Caroline Grace Designs

What you sell: Unique, hand-crocheted jewelry that is designed with life in mind. My store is named after my two inspirations – my grandmothers – Caroline and Grace.

Tell us about your featured item: My favorite featured item is my “falling snowflake” earrings that I just designed. They’re crocheted using glass pearls and silver craft wire and hang beautifully. This is a new design of mine that I plan on playing with in the future. They’re unique and nothing that you’ll find at Target or Macy’s!

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners consider the business side of their shop the most challenging?

Because first and foremost, most etsy shop owners are creative people. I don’t think it ‘s specific to etsy shop owners, though. I think any owner of any store feels the business side is the most challenging. Look at restaurants; half of them fail in the first year! If there were an exact formula to follow to having a successful etsy shop, it would be easy. The challenge is finding the right combination of pricing and marketing and targeting your customers in fresh and unique ways.

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

I was a business and marketing major in college, which I feel has helped in some regard. If I were to take any class related to my business, I would probably choose one that would help me with tax-related issues.

littlegiggles

Etsy Shop Name: littlegiggles mylittlegiggles.com

What you sell: I sell items for babies and children such as uniquely-designed pacifier holders, emergency bracelets, flower bows, and jewelry. I am able to personalize many of the items to add that one-of-a-kind touch!

Tell us about your featured item: My featured items are a child’s emergency bracelet, personalized pacifier clip, and one of my promotional listings. These bracelets are customized not only by color, but include the child’s phone number in case of an emergency situation. These pacifier holder are very new and have the cutest letters and perfect for baby and toddlers. Each month I offer Limited Specials that provide extra savings for the buyer. Limited Specials are on a “first come, first served” basis and once they run out, will not be listed again until the next month.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

Like many other entrepreneurs out there, it took some time to find the best price for both the buyer and myself. I do wholesale pricing on orders to boutiques and specialty shops, and try to keep the prices low for the everyday buyer as well while still making a small profit for myself. It’s a delicate balance but I feel that it works out for everyone in the end!

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

I think when it comes to opening your own business simply by putting your talents to use; you don’t always have a full understanding of the tax process. It also becomes difficult to become organized enough to keep track of everything. After all, most of us started these businesses doing the things we love to do. I’ve never found everything I need in one place and sometimes still have concerns and questions but find it sometimes helps to communicate with other business owners. I am always up for learning new tricks when it comes to my business!

EpochBeads

Etsy Shop Name: EpochBeads

What you sell: Vintage, antique, and contemporary jewelry supply components.

Tell us about your featured item: These are vintage circa 1950’s and 1960’s copper plated birdcage charms. These are great for putting little treasures on the inside. These are one of my favorites because they are the essence
of vintage. Copper, tarnished, and so rare! Pendants like this are just not made this way any more.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I factor in my initial investment cost, as well as the rarity of the product. Many things I offer are very unique, and not easy to come by. I do extensive research in the history of jewelry production. So if it is very rare, and very special, then I price as such.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I take part in forums often. Sometimes I do threads to buy jewelry, and in the process, gain customers from that. I also do local art markets where I sell my jewelry. In fact, my competition at those markets becomes my customers in the end. Etsy sort of does it for me. As long as I keep listing new items on a regular basis, my marketing has been done.

Harmony Supplies

Etsy Shop Name: Harmony Supplies

What you sell: Modern and vintage jewelry findings, charms, gemstones, and beads.

Tell us about your featured item: Harmony Supplies focuses on finding the hard-to-find jewelry findings. One of our biggest sellers is the silver tone cuff links. They are base metal, sturdy, and have a flat glue able 9mm pad. They’re great for everyone as its super easy to create your own cuff links.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I try and use a simple formula for all my items. I purchase my supplies wholesale, generally in very large quantities to get price breaks. I pass on my price breaks to my customers who don’t have a wholesale license or need huge quantities. I add up the cost of the product with the wholesalers shipping and divide that by the amount to get the per-unit price. I then mark it up a certain percentage to get the retail cost. The retail cost is adjusted to a more even number, as all of my pricing is in $0.25 increments. I also do a bit of research to see how my pricing measures in the market.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

Like most categories in Etsy, it’s hard to get your name out there. I’ve tried doing a few outside advertisements through Project Wonderful, but found limited results. I’ve had a little success with showcase spots although they are quite costly. To be honest, the most effective advertising I’ve had has been through Etsy’s “free” resources. I joined a street team of supply sellers (ESST), we work together to feature each other in treasuries. Treasuries are a great way to get your products featured and it’s also a huge compliment to your work. I also try and visit the forums daily – you never know when someone is looking for an item you sell. Forum postings also help get you noticed by other etsy sellers, who may either heart or buy items from your shop.

Design Studio 504

Etsy Shop Name: Design Studio 504

What you sell: Jewelry and beaded and bejeweled home decor

Tell us about your featured item: Opal Crop Circle Earrings--the personal favorite from my Birthstone Crop Circle line. Being born in October and having Opal as my birthstone I know how hard it is to find modern looking opal jewelry. For some reason 95% of opals seem to be marquis or teardrop cuts. To make matters worse there is some strange compulsion by jewelers to put this stone in "fruit" settings—I personally have a pear pendant that I was given years ago. My lifelong desperation to find contemporary opal jewelry was the inspiration for these earrings and the Birthstone Crop Circle line. (Okay, maybe "lifelong desperation" is a little over the top, but I was really, really frustrated).

Is your Etsy shop a full-time job, part-time job, or hobby?

At the current time my Etsy shop is a merely a hobby as I only have about 10-15 hours a week total to dedicate to jewelry design & production, photographing & listing, marketing, record keeping, sourcing materials, and any other details that need to be dealt with. This time restriction is born out of the unreal living situation that I have right now, I hope to have this resolved and have my jewelry business and my Etsy shop as a full-time endeavor by the end of this year.

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessity of record keeping for your business? Why?

A little bit of all three I suppose. I inherited fabulous combination obsessive compulsive/attention deficit disorder tendencies from my father which basically makes me a compulsive list maker with a short attention span. It can make for interesting and arduous record keeping at times. I battle through these organizational glitches though because I realize that without accurate records, determining pricing and profit is nearly impossible.

Quirky’n Berkeley

Etsy Shop Name: Quirky’n Berkeley

What you sell: Handcrafted cards and origami boxes

Tell us about your featured item: This is a festive iris fold card is suitable for any occasion or for framing. Strips of paper are folded carefully, place into position and secured. Then the “iris” is mounted to a background pattern before being placed into the hand-cut aperture.

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

Making a sale and doing the happy dance, but also feeling humble that someone has selected one of my cards for a special occasion. I also enjoy the sense of community and support that Etsy provides.

Do you set goals for your Etsy shop? If so, what type of goals?

My biggest goal is to make cards that people want to send to someone they love. I set benchmarks for my shop to measure how it’s doing, and the higher various numbers grow, the more inclined I am to treat this as a business instead of just a way to sell the products of my hobby. I observe what goes on the front page and treasuries, and sometimes try to design with that in mind. I know that people have astonishing numbers of hearts, and I try to become a recognizable presence in the community. I try to make treasuries for my street teams on a regular basis to repay the kindness and support I get from them. When things slow down in my shop, I take it as a sign that I need to spend more time browsing through other people’s shops, and to make some new, fresh goodies to look at. I try to be a good Etsy citizen, and to be a friendly, supportive presence in the forums.

Metalheart Jewelry

Etsy Shop Name: Metalheart Jewelry

What you sell: Jewelry that I make from silver, semi-precious stones, chain, and other pretty bits.
I am currently taking metalworking classes so that I can expand my designs--I’d really like to be focusing mostly on the metals. I LOVE learning this skill!

Tell us about your featured item: These are my Smokestack Lightning earrings, my favorite piece right now. I like to think of this look as “modern rustic-industrial”. This pair combines many of my favorite ingredients: smoky quartz, chain, silver, circles, oxidation… I called them Smokestack Lightning because the name references the stone and creates the idea of old trains. (Plus, with just a few exceptions, I name all my pieces after songs. This one is an old blues song by Howlin’ Wolf that’s been covered by a lot, from the Yardbirds to Soundgarden.)

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I try to stay involved in the forums and the treasury on etsy, and I also renew items I have listed a few times a day. I’ve joined a few teams on etsy as well, my favorite is etsyrain, the seattle etsy team! Outside of etsy, I maintain accounts on myspace, flickr, and indiepublic (www.myspace.com/metalheartdesign and http://www.flickr.com/photos/metalheart_design/sets/72157602037669890/ ) but I feel I could be doing much, much more! I have a couple of domain names, but only have one set up (www.metalheartdesign.net) with anything on it. I would love to start a blog one of these days, too. I have a full-time-plus day job, so I run out of time to do a lot of the things I’d like to be doing with my shop. Which is unfortunate, because I’d WAY rather be playing with my jewelries!

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

Probably just having a lack of information about it. People (including myself, and I’m even a lawyer!) get overwhelmed by the mere idea of dealing with taxes but usually once you just start doing it, it becomes easier. It is also helpful to have an organized system of tracking all the information you need all year long instead of on January 30th! Hmm, I wonder where an etsy seller might find some useful business tracking tools… (wink!)

JBSoaps

Etsy Shop Name: JBSoaps stands for: (Jabonero Blake Soap Works)
JBSoaps is the creation of my son Eric who is 12 years old.
This all started when Eric had a school project in which he needed to demonstrate how a business was run. He had to pick a product, show how he got money, bought supplies, sell his product, and deliver to the customer. We decided to use soaps as we had been making them for a while. He came up with the name JBSoaps, which stands for Jabonero Blake Soap Works. Jabonero is a Spanish word for someone that makes soaps, (Not to be confused with Habanero which is a type of Chili pepper) Blake is the name that he uses in one of his games.
We created JBSoaps for him on paper, and after making some samples, we set up a mock bank account to pay the bills for supplies, advertisement and running a store, etc. When the project was completed, he told us that he wanted to try selling them for real, and kept asking us for an Etsy store for the business. My husband opened the account for my son as a birthday present, and now we run the business as a family.
Eric makes Glycerin soaps and I make the Hot and Cold press soaps. I run the Etsy shop and do all the listings, he makes soaps and my husband is the helper. We do this as a family, and hope to take the money from what we make and apply it towards his college education, and also teach him how to run a business.

What you sell: We specialize in Cold Processed, Hot Processed, and Melt and Pour soaps for your delight. We make traditional soaps for adults, and soaps for kids of all ages. We are bilingual (Se Habla Espanol) and will gladly handle any special requests.

Tell us about your featured item:
Our featured item is our “Little Goats Milk Sheep Soap”. We wanted to bring something special that can be used by our adult customers and kids as well. Our little Sheep is made out of Goats Milk and other oils; and provides an incredible lather with a rich creamy feel on your skin. The soaps can be unscented or custom made with a variety of fragrances. We can also make them in a variety of colors, but most clients like them just white. The Goats Milk soaps are handmade made at the time of purchase, and we make each one special to meet the needs of each client.

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

I have attended various business training classes in relation to my other business ventures. I was also a cosmetologist for many years and ran my own business, so we have a bit of knowledge of what it takes to run a business.

Do you hire an accountant to help with your Etsy shop finances? Why or why not?

Right now, I do all the work of keeping records for both shops, and at the end of the year I send my paperwork to my accountant. He has been doing our taxes for the past 19 years and is an old family friend.

Dot the I

Etsy Shop Name: Dot the I

What you sell: I’m a graphic designer/illustrator, so I like to use my illustrations in my work. I have a lot of baby onesies and tote bags. I also do a lot of scrap booking, and enjoy Photoshop-ing pictures as well and getting them printed on textured paper, suitable for framing.

Tell us about your featured item: The other is an illustration inspired by the Beatle’s “Abbey Road” album cover. It’s great for a nursery because it has 4 babies crossing the street instead of our beloved Beatles. I call the picture “Baby Road.”

How do you market your Etsy shop?

The promo forum, giving out business cards to friends and people on the street who comment on my work. I’ve hosted some giveaways and participate in trades regularly.

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes?

I think it’s a dreaded time of the year when you have to file taxes just as an employee, but as a business owner there is so much more to take into consideration, and of course you don’t want to make any huge mistakes that could cost your business.

Ottoman

Etsy Shop Name: Ottoman

What you sell: I started selling my Moss Collection in October of last year; the Moss Collection consists of needle felted items made to look like moss such as pincushions, sachets, jewelry, hair and other accessories, pillows and my piece that inspired the collection, the Moss Ottoman Slipcover. I will also be debuting a new collection within about week, so it should be up by the time this interview is posted.

Tell us about your featured item: I only make what I love (well, I only list what I love), so it was impossible to choose on the basis of favoritism; so, my featured item is my best seller, the Moss Pincushion. The Moss Pincushion is a needle felted pincushion made to look like moss and has three layers: the “soil” layer is dark chocolate brown in color, then on the top of the soil clump is a dark green layer, and on top of the dark green is the “moss” layer which is lime green in color.

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

I love, love having a creative outlet. After having a child, I needed to be able to work on something that I could do in my lap or required very little clean-up, which meant no fine art (I have a BFA in sculpture and printmaking). Although I plan on getting back into making fine art at some point, I am happy to do what I am doing now and plan on continuing and growing.

Do you set goals for your Etsy shop? If so, what type of goals?

Yes. My goals mainly deal with finishing a new idea, such as my new collection; for example, I want to start listing the new items by the end of January. The same was true for the Moss Collection; I wanted to start listing by the end of October. Some goals are pretty basic, such as finishing an item while the sun is still shining so that I can take a picture of it before it rains since I live in Oregon!

Simplysavy

Etsy Shop Name: Simplysavy

What you sell: Handbags, totes, messenger bags, evening bags and more. Our whole concept is “simple purses for your savy mood.

Tell us about your featured item: This was a hard one to pick. My sister is more conservative where I am more funky and retro. So since I am the one writing this interview I picked our Stella Tote. Funky and Unique! That is how to describe The Stella. This is a great medium size tote that fits perfectly without too much bulk horizontally. We added a black vinyl bottom and tote style handles for durability. Pack up your things for the day and go with style. Great colors of orange, taupe, white, purple and black give this a great Bohemian look. This is a MUST to have. Dimensions: 12 1/2 inches wide 13 inches high 2 1/2 inch bottom 12 1/2 inch tote straps top to bottom

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop?

We are two sister's/mom's who created Simply Savy because we wanted not only our kids to spend more time together but for us to do something that would be fun and creative together. Our goal is to have a line of original purses that fit every style, outfit and savy mood without breaking the bank. As mom's we are so busy taking care of other's that sometimes we forget about ourselves, this way you can treat yourself, while still staying within your budget. Our shop is for anyone looking to spruce up their closet and satisfy their handbag obsession without feeling guilty for overspending. It's handmade, handcrafted and made with care and love. We have total control over what we do on our shop, how and when we promote and when we create. Etsy is flexible and fun. The community is probably the second best thing about Etsy!!!

Do you set goals for your Etsy shop? If so, what type of goals?

Always!! Our goal is to sell 10 items a month, does it always happen, no but we come pretty close. Some months are better than other’s and it seems to all balance out in the end. We try and make 2 handbags each a week. Being mothers and having other jobs besides Etsy that can be difficult, so if we can’t create, we take the time to promote and talk to other Etsyians in the chat rooms of Etsy. (My personal addiction)

haddy2dogs

Etsy Shop Name: haddy2dogs

What you sell: Needle felted fiber art

Tell us about your featured item: This is a paper mache ball a little larger than asoftball, filled with treasures. I also add a clothbag to collect them in.We started making this kind of pinata when our firstchild was very young. Gnomes would hide them in thefairy garden. To open it you can toss it, kick it orplay hot potato with the family.

This toy is for all the parents out there who havecome home with a pile of plastic oddities from anotherchilds pinata. Myself I stare like a deer inheadlights wondering exactly what do with it. Myfillings are a natrual alternative. The materials canbe used for many activities. The other items wouldblend nicely into any home. I also have a deaf childwho, blinfolded and armed with a large stick canstrike fear into the bravest soul. So we still enjoythe thrill of pinatas but play soccer with theminstead of hitting them.

What role does creativity play in your marketingmethods?

Creativity is very important. I find that having ashop personality helps set me apart. Owning a smallbusiness takes more than just artistic talent.

Do you enjoy, loathe, or simply accept the necessityof record keeping for your business? Why?

I am awful at keeping records but I admit as mybusiness has grown I force myself to do it.
Etsy Shop Name: Pink Quartz Minerals

What you sell: I sell handmade natural vegan mineral makeup. Foundations, veil, blushes, bronzers, eye shadows and eyeliners, concealers and correctors. I also make custom vegan lip balms.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is my Mineral Makeup Sampler Kit. It contains a choice of 6 products along with a fantastic silky vegan baby kabuki brush. This gives the opportunity to try out a variety of my products without a huge investment, and to get a high quality brush that will last for many years. Most people choose a few foundations, a blush or bronzer, and some eye shadows for their kit. I am also available to assist with color and product choices, I love to help people find their perfect colors!

Have you taken any business classes to help you prepare for being an Etsy shop owner? What class would you like to take?

I have taken business classes in college, but what is most helpful with my business is my degree in Interior Design. I apply many of the principles learned to my makeup business, whether it be color theory or marketing. I would like to take additional financial classes to assist in future expansion of my business.

Do you hire an accountant to help with your Etsy shop finances? Why or why not?

I do not have an accountant at this point in my business. I feel more comfortable keeping tabs on exactly where the money is going. Having a limited budget, decisions are constantly being made regarding where to spend the money most effectively. This month I may spend on minerals I am getting low on, and next month I may spend on new supplies, jars or new items to try in my business. I am very pleased with the software I bought from JJM Finance. It is easy to use and super helpful, making my paperwork much easier!

The Lola Collection

Etsy Shop Name: The Lola Collection

What you sell: I create unique pendants using collage, decoupage techniques, glass and polymer clay.

Tell us about your featured item: My featured item is my most popular pendant, featuring a vintage map of Los Angeles. I love the colors in this piece and it seems many other people do as well. I create a lot of custom map pendants using the same style map and people cannot get enough of them. It is a great way to commemorate your home town or favorite destinations.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I see so many talented artists on Etsy and in other venues and sometimes wonder how they can afford selling their work at the prices they do. Pricing is such a touchy subject, but one that I spend a lot of time contemplating. Basically, I add up all of my supplies, my time and listing fee’s and double the sum to come up with a price. Then I work backwards to determine my Etsy and PayPal fees and then adjust the price accordingly.

I’ve settled upon this formula so that I can offer a substantial discount for wholesale orders. I have found that the 50% discount for wholesale that is standard in the retail industry is so imbedded in people’s brains; I had a difficult time landing wholesale accounts at a 25% - 35% discount.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

Why do you think that most Etsy shop owners are worried about filing taxes? Well, I cannot speak for other Etsy sellers, but I can certainly tell you why I am worried about filing taxes! The whole idea of taxes (or anything that bureaucratic and/or involving mass amounts of paperwork) really stresses me out. Plus, this will be my first year not receiving a W-2 from a job. But, on the other hand, it’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve had the opportunity to really make your money work for you and your business before having to pay massive taxes. Hopefully I’ve invested in the right areas and won’t get crushed this year!