E-Commerce DIY: Craftpreneur

Product Development on Etsy for Handmade Businesses

By Sarah Sewell

Product Development on Etsy for Handmade Businesses by Artisan Indie

Product development almost seems like a dirty word to a handmade business. After all, we’re creatives and product development sounds so… business-y. As much as it doesn’t sound fun, it’s an important step that helps set your handmade shop up for success. 

 


Why product development is important.

When you treat your online shop like a business and follow the steps to make products that consumers want, you’re setting your shop up for success. And it’s not just the sales or cha-chings as Flourish loving calls them, it’s about longevity.


How hard would it be to get up every day and work on a business that was struggling? Not very motivating. But a business that has a product that people want and you believe in? That’s a great feeling!

 


What does product development look like?

There are a few important steps to developing a product that’s worthy of your shop. First, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:


  1. What is your passion? Most Etsy shops start with a vision of sharing what you love. So what are you passionate about? Chances are, there are other people out there that share your interests.
  2. Who are you serving? Finding your target market is an important step. And to get you pointed in the right direction, Etsy shoppers tend to be between 25-40 years old. They are going through major life events like weddings, having babies, and buying teacher gifts.
  3. What problem is your item solving? Consumers are shopping to find a solution to a problem. It may be that they need a gift for a special event, or they want a unique, personalized item for their new baby’s nursery. Consider why your customer needs your product.

 

Product Development on Etsy for Handmade Businesses by Artisan Indie

 

I have an idea, now what?

Now that you’ve answered some important questions, let’s focus on research. The best tool to figure out what customers want is actually Etsy. 


First, log out of your Etsy account and start searching keywords that apply to your product. Look at which items come up on the first few pages. Do any of them have a ‘best seller’ tag? What colors/textures/prices do you see? Click on a few items that rank higher and look at what their sales look like. What are the customer reviews saying?



How to stand out in Etsy searches

After researching similar products, think about your idea and how you can elevate it so that it stands out in the searches. 


  • Excellent photography is huge. Clean images that convince the buyer to click get potential shoppers “in the door” so to speak.
  • Product descriptions that impress. Take the time to write copy that tells shoppers why your product answers all their problems. Describe what to expect after the sale and when they receive the item.
  • Be realistic. If your product is successful or goes viral, can you produce your item quickly and keep the same high quality? And can you get your hands on the supplies to fill orders in a timely manner? If the answer to any of these questions is no, problem-solve those obstacles before you’re in a sticky situation.

 

Product Development on Etsy for Handmade Businesses by Artisan Indie

 

Test your product in your shop.

Before you invest a lot of time and money into your new product, list it. In fact, list two. Do a little A/B product testing to see what customers like. Test two different product photos, different pricing, whatever you’re trying to figure out- make two listings and compare the stats after a few weeks. Then tweak and list more items. It’s a process.

 

 

A few things to remember.

Etsy is a commerce platform, but it also functions as a search engine. Each listing is a separate thing. You can have 2-3 really great items that are listed with 10 different target customers or occasions and be successful. 


Don’t rush into listing 100 different items to try and fill your shop. Take your time and focus on one thing at a time. Your shop, and sanity, will thank you for it!



Enjoying this content? Come join Artisan Indie’s e-commerce group, Flourish, to learn and get support for your craft business. We’d love to have you!

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Meet Alicia with Shop Leebrick!

By Sarah Sewell

Meet Alicia with Shop Leebrick!

Imagine unleashing rainbows and unicorns with your lotion, or breathing in a sugary pop-rock rush of childhood memories as you soak in the tub. That state of delight is what Alicia Leebrick wishes for her customers.

Shop Leebrick Handmade Soap

All of Leebrick products are created with love and care. She handcrafts her products in small batches and they are made fresh daily.

Alicia is dedicated to crafting bath and body products with scents that not only bring smiles to her family’s faces, but also to her customers. Made with the finest fragrance oils and never any harsh chemicals these products are sure to bring joy to all who use them.

Shop Leebrick Handmade Sugar Scrub

You can check out more of her scrumptious smelling bath and body products on her beautiful website shopleebrick.com or visit her on Etsy at shopleebrick.etsy.com

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Are you setting your Artisan Business up for Success?

By Sarah Sewell

Are you setting your Artisan Business up for Success?

Are you setting the scene for success? I believe the fact that you are here reading this post means YES you are ready to take your artisan business to the next level. Success can look different to different people. What matters is what you think success would look like to you. You may want to earn 6 or 7 figures a year selling your work, you may only want a side hustle to supplement your spouses income, whatever your reason for wanting to grow your business it absolutely is and should be an exciting endeavor.

Doing what you love and earning a living from it is an amazing feeling. My personal idea of success is simply having financial freedom and living my best life. This may be your idea too! The feeling of supporting yourself from something that you made or designed is a feeling that is hard to beat! I am here to tell you that this IS possible! I earned just under 7 figures in my handmade business before growing into my current career now. In my Flourish Craft Commerce Community we have a thousands of makers living that dream now and still wanting to grow further. It is not only possible but probable if you believe that it can happen for you. You must have a vision of success formed in your mind in order to adjust your sails to take you there.

The makers in our Flourish community are more than likely not all AMAZE-BALLS at business, sales, marketing or entrepreneurship. Many creatives see themselves as hobbyists and NOT as business owners and that creates doubt inside right from the beginning. They are highly skilled in their craft but not necessarily in how to run or grow a business.

I have something to share about this… You DON’T have to be an expert in business in order to find success. You don't have to have a MBA or a background in marketing. What you do need is a belief in yourself and a belief in your craft. If you have a desire to make and a desire to sell what you make you are already half way there.

Tips and Tricks to set your Artisan Business up for Success!

1. Goal Setting: Set up some clear objectives. You don’t need to know the end game or even what that would look like. Start simple and small if you like. Ask yourself questions like how much money you would like to earn in your first year? What online marketplaces would you like to see your goods sold on? What products will you create for the holiday seasons?

If you are more of a seasoned seller already perhaps you can ask yourself bigger questions like "am I ready to build my own website"? "Is wholesale right for my business"? Etc etc…. having some clear objectives can help get you headed towards your path of success.

2. Create a Space to Flourish: Many makers craft or create from their dining room table, or even the living room couch. You do you boo! Many successful craftpreneurs started this way and now have multiple warehouses they are utilizing for their business. START where you are, but spend some time thinking how you can maximize your creativity within this space. Fill your surrounding with inspiring things. Make use of the space you have to work with and get organized.

Creativity thrives in spaces that feel good. Take some time to clean out, repurpose and organize the space you have to work in. You will find when this is done the creative juices will be flowing!

3. Get Inspired. It’s hard to find success when you don’t have a dream or the excitement to get to that dream. Inspiration and Excitement is the heart and soul of a creative business. If you are feeling down, (which happens to us all sometimes) get out of the house, let the sun shine on your face, breathe in some fresh air, listen to feel good music, take some classes, go to a museum, spend some time on Pinterest whatever it takes….find some inspiration and stick with it!

Creating a vision board is a great way to stay inspired. Pin visuals of your goals & dreams to this board and look at them daily! This will help you stay focused on your dreams and inspirations.

4. Improve your social connections. You have probably heard the saying that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, I am not sure if that is true but I do know we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Take an audit of the people around you and make sure you are spending your time with those that are encouraging, uplifting, positive and supportive. Sometimes we can’t get away from those who suck our energy but try your best to reduce face time with people that aren’t aligned with your ideas of growth and success.

If the people we surround ourselves with influence our behaviors then it makes the most sense if we want to have success to surround ourselves with those who are successful and those who believe that we too can succeed. 

5. Be Flexible. It is important to be aware that life doesn’t always move us in a linear motion. Sometimes it’s a step forward and three steps back….then 20 giant hops ahead only to stumble and lose 10. It is LIFE. The more flexible and fluid you can be the less you will be knocked down for any length of time. You must remember as a business there are seasons, there are slumps, there are highs and there are lows. If you have a growth mindset you will be prepared for this and will have a plan of action to work on something else when the slow downs happen.

Those who find it hard to succeed are usually those commiserating with others about why everything bad is happening to them. They play the victim and when they do this they are giving away their control and power in owning their business. Successful business owners are in it for the long game. They know there is a natural ebb and flow to things and they adjust as needed to move forward.

Remember life has peaks and valley's! You will have up days, you will have down days, don't take it too seriously. Follow the tips above and you will be off to a good start! 

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Setting your craft business up for success.

By Sarah Sewell

Setting your craft business up for success.

Setting yourself up for Success:

Are you setting the scene for success? I believe the fact that you are here reading this blog means YES you are ready to take your craft business to the next level. Success can look different to different people. What matters is what you think success would look like to you. You may want to earn 6 or 7 figures a year selling your work, you may only want a side hustle to supplement your spouse’s income, whatever your reason for wanting to grow your business it absolutely is and should be an exciting endeavor.

 

Doing what you love and earning a living from it is an amazing feeling. My personal idea of success is simply having financial freedom and living my best life. This may be your idea too! The feeling of supporting yourself from something that you made or designed is a feeling that is hard to beat! I am here to tell you that this IS possible! I earned just under 7 figures in my handmade business before growing into my current career now. In my Flourish Craft Business Community we have a few hundred members living that dream now and still wanting to grow further. It is not only possible but probable if you believe that it can happen for you, but you must have a vision of success formed in your mind in order to adjust your sails to take you there.

 

My members in the Flourish community are more than likely not all AMAZE-BALLS at business, or sales or entrepreneurship. They ARE however great at their craft or have honed a skill that has enabled them to be a creator, maker, artist and designer. This is what usually creates doubt in the minds of creatives, they see themselves as hobbyists and NOT as business owners. They know they are great at what they make but usually feel they fall short in business. I have something to share about this… You DON’T have to be an expert in business in order to find success. What you do need is a belief in yourself and a belief in your craft. If you have a desire to make and a desire to sell what you make you are already half  there.

 

Let’s go over some tips and tricks to set yourself up for success:

 

  1. Goal Setting: Set up some clear objectives. You don’t need to know the end game or even what that would look like. Start simple and small if you like. Ask yourself questions like how much money you would like to earn in your first year? What online marketplaces would you like to see your goods sold on? What products will you create for the holiday seasons? If you are more of a seasoned seller already perhaps you can ask yourself bigger questions like am I ready to build my own website? Is wholesale right for my business? Etc etc…. having some clear objectives can help get you headed towards your path of success.

 

  1. Create a Space to Flourish: Many makers craft or create from their dining room table, or even the living room couch! I am not here to judge as many successful craftpreneurs also started this way and now have multiple warehouses they are utilizing for their business. START where you are, but spend some time thinking how you can maximize your creativity within this space. Fill your surrounding with inspiring things. Make use of the space you have to work with and get organized. Creativity thrives in spaces that feel good. Take some time to clean out, repurpose and organize the space you have to work in. You will find when this is done the creative juices will be flowing!

 

  1. Get Inspired. It’s hard to find success when you don’t have a dream or the excitement to get to that dream. Inspiration and Excitement is the heart and soul of a creative business. If you are feeling down, (which happens to us all sometimes) get out of the house, let the sun shine on your face, breathe in some fresh air, listen to feel good music, take some classes, go to a museum, spend some time on Pinterest whatever it takes….find some inspiration and stick with it! Creating a vision board is a great way to stay inspired. Pin visuals of your goals & dreams to this board and look at them daily! This will help you stay focused on your dreams and inspirations.

 

  1. Improve your social connections. You have probably heard the saying that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, I am not sure if that is true, but I do know we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Take an audit of the people around you and make sure you are spending your time with those that are encouraging, uplifting, positive and supportive. Sometimes we can’t get away from those who suck our energy but try your best to reduce face time with people that aren’t aligned with your ideas of growth and success. If the people we surround ourselves with influence our behaviors, then it makes the most sense if we want to have success to surround ourselves with those who are successful and those who believe that we too can succeed. This is a core value in my Flourish community, we are a network of artisans that empower and uplift one another. We believe that celebrating and sharing our wins enables others to know and believe that they can do it too!

 

  1. Be Flexible. It is important to be aware that life doesn’t always move us in a linear motion. Sometimes it’s a step forward and three steps back…. then 20 giant hops ahead only to stumble and lose 10. It is LIFE. The more flexible and fluid you can be the less you will be knocked down for any length of time. You must remember as a business there are seasons, there are slumps, there are highs and there are lows. If you have a growth mindset you will be prepared for this and will have a plan of action to work on something else when the slowdowns happen. Those who find it hard to succeed are usually those commiserating with others about why everything bad is happening to them. They play the victim and when they do this, they are giving away their control and power in owning their business. Successful business owners are in it for the long game. They know there is a natural ebb and flow to things, and they adjust as needed to move forward.

Starting a craft business is thrilling, the thought of supporting yourself on what you make IS incredibly freeing. I am here to say YOU CAN DO IT but you must ensure you are setting yourself up for success. Take action to move yourself in a forward motion direction, be flexible through the peaks and valleys and keep a growth mindset. Believe it, See it and Be it! You got this!

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