Okay, so this post is admittedly a bit late but I am finally getting around to posting about my opening a brand new shop on Etsy – Thatch & Thistle Supply Co. While I adore my handmade shop where I sell needle felted animals and decor, I felt like I needed another outlet. I've always been crazy about packaging and gift wrapping supplies things that make parties, weddings, gift wrapping and decorating more fun so it was a natural process to build on an idea that would soon become a small business centered on just that - supplies for celebrating, gift giving and embellishing your projects.
Dan and I spent a lot of time talking it over, the cost of investing in supplies to sell, the cost of essentials such as business cards, packaging materials and how/if I should be advertising. There are a lot of small businesses out there that sell supplies similar to what I do and have been around much longer but we were confident that my passion for what I would be doing and selling would bring in buyers and the quality in products and customer service would bring them back. It was decided. I was in business!
My next decision was what to sell. Not as easy as you might think. I'm already really particular about everything so I figured this would be an evolving process. I knew twine was first on my list. I will NEVER have enough twine. Never. I wanted all different colors. Baker's twine, thick cotton twine, frilly and fun twine, sparkly tinsel twine, ALL OF IT. Of course, "all of it" will take a very long time, but we're getting there. I also knew I wanted to include my mini wooden clothespins, carnival tickets, paper straws, vintage inspired library cards, pom pom garland, tags, stickers and many other things I haven't thought of yet! It's all so exciting. These are all things I've loved my whole life are now my job and I get to share them with all of you. All the while staying home, baking for Dan and loving time with our pugs. Those three are my world.
My shop has been open for exactly two months now and so far I can say I'm more than pleased with how everything is going. Some sellers can wait a full two months before ever making a sale and I'm already up to 67+ sales at the time of this post. I'm incredibly thankful for the successes I have had in my small business/working from home ventures. Mostly because husband dearest encourages me to find successes in all things. Shipment of paper straws arrives uncrunched? Hubby cheers hooray!
I've discovered many things in my years of running shops on Etsy. Here are a few tips if you are looking to make your shop better:
1. Sell What You Love – If you love what you sell then you are way more likely to photograph it, describe it and talk it up in a way that will make someone else love it. It's human nature. And marketing. And sibling rivalry. We like what other people like.
2. Take Great Photos – It seems obvious but it's a big deal. When selling online, photos are everything. Buyers can't touch, feel or see the items in person so they have to rely solely on photos. Pictures should be clear, crisp and taken in natural light without flash. Stay away from distracting props and make sure the products are color contrasted well with the background.
3. Customer Service – While passion for your products and great images will get you sales, what keeps buyers coming back is communication, feeling appreciated and good business practices. Always ship on time and inform about delays as soon as possible, describe items accurately so they know exactly what to expect and handle postal losses and conflict resolutions with care. As a buyer myself, I remember and return to shops where I have the most confidence that I will be taken care of if something goes wrong.
I have many hopes and dreams in the future for my new shop. :) Next on my list is
ordering a custom stamp, adding new paper favor bags to the shop and rededicating myself to blogging. I'll be having a special ad sale soon so keep posted.
As of right now, all of my shops run through my handmade shop name in my social media accounts. Find me here:
Instagram – handmadebybrynne
Pinterest – brynnehandmade
Twitter – @brynnehandmade
Hope to see you at my new shop! I love you all.