I have had my Etsy Shop, TreehouseFeltFlowers, open for almost a month. So far, so good. Not a lot of orders, 8 to be exact, but enough that I am able to see how things work. And I know what I need to do to keep improving the Shop.
I had read many articles about opening a Shop on Etsy. After doing my research, I found the amount of information and advice online overwhelming. I delayed opening the Shop because it just seemed like one had to know so much, have so much stock ready, have all the paperwork/bank accounts/advertising budget all lined up...and I was just not ready. But like many things, sometimes you just have to jump into it and see where it takes you. So that's what I did.
Knowing what you want to make, the time it takes for you to make the item(s), and a reasonable price to charge are a few of the essential things to decide before starting.
I decided to put a variety of items up. Single Stem Felt Flowers. Custom Christmas Ornaments. Wedding Bouquets and Table Numbers. Custom Flower Arrangements. Halloween Wreaths and Ornaments. I thought I could appeal to a larger audience if I offered more. We'll see how this idea pans out. I have gotten orders for flower stems, custom arrangements, custom ornaments, and a wreath so far.
I find the custom orders interesting, challenging, and a time drain. At this point, I'm still learning, and I don't mind spending a lot of time designing a custom ornament of someone's favorite pet. But I have a feeling once I hit on the right formula of what works for me on Etsy, custom orders may disappear.
If asked what the most challenging thing is so far, I would have to answer shipping and SEO. I am still navigating the Etsy shipping policies and prices.
A huge aspect to continue exploring and researching is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of using key words or labels to enable Search Engines like Google to find your site. I have SO much work to do along these lines.
My conclusion after one month: I've had fun! I get a thrill out of each order. I get excited about each package sent to a new customer. I wait expectantly for a good review. And I want to keep going. I see why people say you can spend as much time working on your Shop as you do creating your product. For a retired person, opening the Shop has been fun, a learning experience, and has kept me busy and happy and able to create flowers and felt ornaments for sale. Which is what I love. I'll update in six months. It will be interesting to see what I learn over the holidays!