One year ago, a Cricut machine fell into my lap. I bought a water bottle for myself and customized it. Then I thought…hey! I could sell these on Etsy!
Despite that, I made a sale the next day and sold two items simply because I had marketed the products on Instagram. A few days later, I got my second sale – to England! It became so addicting, so fun, so crazy! This little idea I had, was growing. I had an average of 5 orders, making about $125 a month. It was nice pocket money for me then, when all I had to worry about was a phone bill and storage.
But then I realized that I really loved what I was doing and that I could actually make an impact if I took my shop seriously instead of as a hobby. I could make reusable goods available at cheaper prices for everyone.
So, I revamped the entire store and blew myself away.
I worked tirelessly to bulk up my inventory offering 3 products (milk cartons, glass bottles, tote bags) with different variations, write killer descriptions, fill out every little detail in the shop settings, and even pick out the packaging I wanted.
Eventually, I had a brand identity I fell in love with.
And as it turned out, others fell in love with the new identity, too. The shop became bigger than itself. I quickly had to learn how to manage literally everything in a business. I got a business card, I started bookkeeping, I had to become better at customer service, I had to familiarize myself with shipping and taxes and – oh, my goodness – everything!
I ended up selling out within a month.
Part of what I had to learn is supply and demand. I sold out of everything, I have no more shipping supplies. I remember thinking, okay, let’s restock and raise prices, we’ll go from there.
And what do you know. Sold out again and made a bit over $2,000 in one month alone.
proof of income:
total profit: ~$2023.17
Restocked – check!
Raised prices – check!
Get better at understanding how to control my inventory – check!
When I almost came to sell out yet again, I was already prepared with extra inventory and shipping supplies on the way. Except there was an extra thing on my checklist…
Suddenly run into a supply chain delay and be left empty handed – wait, what?!
Yeah. I was prepared for everything but that. When you run your own shop, there’s this easy understanding of how you have control of everything. You’re used to calling the shots. If I get an order of X amount of Y and Z today, I have up to 5 business days to process it and then USPS will pick it up. It’s easy to forget, though, that not everything is in your control.
Postal delays are crazy and lead/processing times are extending! I waited almost a month for new shipping supplies and over a month for new inventory. My processing times for my own shop had to extend as I waited. It became the most anxious waiting game I’ve ever played.
During that time, I accumulated 50+ orders. I prepped for them by writing thank you cards, folding whatever boxes I had, and cutting out designs. When my supplies finally came, I rushed all the orders out and finally got to take a deep sigh of relief.
Being on Etsy, though, isn’t always fast paced. There were two months where I sold very little and didn’t make much. It was very hard and frustrating. The savings track I was on, I fell off. I didn’t think my shop could do so bad out of nowhere. Especially with an Etsy Bestseller.
Turns out, retail slumps exist. And for me, that’s right when summer becomes autumn. My popular summer must haves slowly turn into Christmas gifts for everyone.
Through the sell outs and the slumps, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to supply reusable goods as party favors for birthdays, baby showers, and even help brides give gifts to their bridal parties. I’ve helped celebrate birthdays, weddings, and new jobs, even offer pick-me-ups and company merch. My products have made it (almost) across the 50 states and beyond to England, Austria, Sweden, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
It has been an incredible, incredible year on Etsy. I’m so happy for myself. I hope to do this as long as I can. Thanks for recapping the weird year I’ve had with me!
Maybe in the future I’ll have an Etsy shop guide. Or maybe I should just start an Etsy series. I’ve learned a lot. If you have an Etsy shop or are thinking about starting one, comment down below! I’d love to check your shop out!
I may be a small business, but it’s had such a big impact in my life.
Hi, I’m Jade Madison!
When I am blogging, I work to bring you quality lifestyle and personal content, as well as printables to make your life easier.