Friday, November 8, 2013

What I Wish I Knew -- When I Started My Etsy Shop

// guest post from another amazing friend of mine, Tara //

hi! my name is tara and first of all i freaking love lindsey.
she is just the best and i am totally stoked to be part of her gorgeous blog today. 

so i have been a photographer and graphic designer for about 5 years
and i recently just opened my second etsy shop, radandhappy
for my handmade quilts.
i am in no means an expert at having the ultimate etsy shop,
but opening up my second shop
it has been a lot more successful the second time around
so i figured i would give you a few tips i learned along the way.

take good pictures. 

i know i am a photographer so i have a bias
but i really think the pictures will make or break your shop.

you don't need a fancy camera either.
an iphone will do just fine IF you do it right.

i could talk about this for days but just a few tips..
don't take product pictures in artificial light.
just don't do it.

it's best to go by an open window and use the natural light on your product.
if you really can't do your product justice by taking good pictures,
maybe offer a trade to a photographer
for ex. they can keep the products they photograph.
it's worth it.

get good detail shots.
people are visual.
they wont just trust your word that it is really cool.
they need to SEE it. 

it's also good to stay consistent as a brand with your photos.

a good example of this is Kelseys Feathers
she is not a photographer but she does all her own pictures
and i think she does a good job.
she has a few pictures of her styling the piece of jewelry
and then always has a close up of the piece on the same metal platter.
the styling pictures vary and add interest,
but always having the piece on the platter helps keep the consistency of her shop.

work your little booty off

talk to everyone.
email every single person you think may be interested.
offer to do trades for advertising.
the answer is always no unless you ask.

for example..
when i was starting my photography business i was living in Rexburg, Idaho
and I had a class with Sydney from The Daybook
i was crazy terrified but i asked her if i could take pictures of her and her husband.
she was more than willing and featured me on her blog
which obviously gave me a huge jump start in traffic and followers. 

it isn't easy putting yourself out there.
a lot of people will say no or most likely not write you back.
just keep trying different things.
sometimes you will fail miserably but don't give up.
you gotta hustle and not let things push you back down.
it doesn't matter what you're doing as long as you are doing something.

just keep moving forward. 

the most important piece of advice i could possibly give may seem simple but it's huge..
just be nice.
your journey will be so much more enjoyable and easier
if you are happy for other people and if you work WITH people instead of against them.

it's a super competitive market out there
for pretty much any creative field you are wanting to go into.
you wont get far if you aren't kind and gracious.

just trust me on this one. :)

and if you are emailing the world like you are supposed to be doing,
everyone will be able to sense your kindness and be much more willing to work with you. 

i hope all this info was at least somewhat helpful.
good luck in your shops
feel free to put the link in the comments so we see all your pretty things! 

and of course if you have made it this far and are interested here is all my info :)

 Quilt Shop / RadAndHappy // Rad Instagram: @radandhappy

// Design Shop //  Blog // Personal Instagram: @taraphotographics

always with love, tara


  1. great tips! I just started my own little etsy shop and I got a little discouraged because while I've had a little bit of traffic, I have yet to make a sale. I think better pictures is the key! I'm just not sure how to go about taking photos of....well, photos, since I sell prints! haha.

  2. Thanks for posting this! I am starting my own Etsy shop soon (basically as soon as I have pictures) and this really helps me see what I need to do to get started. I always get so nervous asking people if they are interested, but I am definitely going to ask people to help me advertise my pillows, and maybe get my professional photographer sister-in-law to help me with the pictures!

  3. This post was immensely helpful to me. I'm opening an etsy shop within the next couple weeks and was wondering how to make it successful with such a competitive market. I'm really exciting about my shop but timid about putting myself out there but, you made it so simple and easy. Thank you, you truly put my mind at ease.


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