Friday, May 14, 2010

10 Lessons from my first year on Etsy

You may have heard that the Muse Silk Paintings Etsy store just turned 1 year old this week! Instead of posting our Friday Finds today, I thought I would share 10 lessons I’ve learned in my first year of selling hand painted scarves on Etsy. In one year, MUSE gotten off to a healthy running start passing 100 sales, over 2,000 fans, and countless creative musings! Although always learning, today I would like to share some things I've picked up along the way. Enjoy!

1. Marketing

You could be the most talented artist in the world, but it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows you exist. Use everything you can – word of mouth, your local businesses, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy teams, community forums, etc.. and find out what works best for you. Personally, the MUSE Facebook fan page has been an amazing tool for sharing my creative process, and spreading the word!

2. Photos

Online shops are just that – customers cannot feel, smell or try on the product so the pictures better be good. A beautiful dress form and investing in OTT lights for incredible lighting have been key instruments in producing better pictures.

3. Descriptions

I like reading interesting descriptions, don’t you? The beauty of Etsy is that you can put your own twist, personality and voice into each listing, so I like to have fun with it and dream a little about the story my piece tells…it’s fun to write about something I’ve poured so much love into already. I really enjoyed writing this one!

4. Customer Service

Cannot stress this one enough. My products are luxury items, and feel the service provided should be as well. Answer your emails, pay attention to the details. This is like building trust – it takes time, however well worth the investment as people will know when they come to you, they’ll be receiving royal treatment. Who wouldn’t want that?

5. Fast Shipping

When you purchase a product, you can’t wait to get it, right? Right! Send it out quickly to get it into your buyers hot little hands! USPS cannot be trusted with overnight delivery, but normal shipping has been great! I hear FedEx is the way to go for urgent, overnight rushes.

6. Timing

Custom orders tend to take longer than expected, so budget more time than you think you need, as many questions and check points come up. To see one of my custom order (Dragon) photo albums, click HERE.

7. Be Yourself

I happen to have an odd love for piglets, and tried to hold back as pigs have absolutely NOTHING to do with beautiful scarves, but after a bit, my Muselet staff just had to burst out onto the public scene, and you know what? Some of my fans have come to enjoy the comic relief as much as I do! To view more Muselet staff member photos click HERE.

8. Deflect negative energy

As the light shines for one, another always tries to snuff it out. Don’t let negative responses or spiteful people get you down. Dismiss, delete, rise above, and move on. Put your energy towards creativity and smart business tactics. If you want to dwell on something, dwell on the raving feedback you’ve received from ALL the other people, friends and family who are rooting you on!

9. Let others speak for you

I find it hard to brag about my work, however I don’t mind blushing a bit from hearing all the lovely things my clients have had to say. So why not share the good news? Read MUSE customer feedback HERE.

10. Don’t forget why you are doing what you’re doing

It’s easy to get caught up in “best sellers”, taxes, treasuries, and reacting to all the other creative artisan’s requests, voters, etc. At the end of the day, always remember what made you start your shop in the first place and keep your priorities straight. For me, silk painting is my absolute dream and passion, and my Etsy store is just a vehicle to share it with the world.

Thank you to all my friends, family the CCCOE Team and of course, my clients. Your support, suggestions, and encouragement this past year has meant the WORLD to me, and look forward to many more!

Lots of Love,



ArdentReverie said...

Hi fellow cccoe member! Great post and great advice. I'm still in awe on how beautiful and original your silk paintings are =]

Anonymous said...

Angel, you are an inspiring member of CCCOE team and I love your scarves and your piglets! Everything you have said is true, thanks for putting it into words. Congratulations on an amazing year!

Pearlie Girl said...

Angel, Congratulations on your 1st year Anniversary! Thank you for gracing us with your beautiful art and so lucky to have you as part of the CCCOE Team!

wzgirl said...

Happy Anniversary Ms. Muse! xo

aubepine said...

Congrats, Angel! Thanks for sharing this, and wishing you another wonderful year :).

AlliesAdornments said...

Wishing you an even more successful 2nd year! Go get it girlie!

surfandsand said...

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! That 1st year is the toughest and you've really shown us all that success can be had on Etsy! Thanks so much for sharing your success with us.

QuirkynBerkeley said...

Good luck in your second year! May it be filled with success! Wonderful post!

Angel Ray said...

Thanks so much everyone! This year would never have been so great without the CCCOE team. You guys are the BEST!!! xoxoxo

antique love said...

Loved your blog about etsy!

Swordfish Mining said...

Thanks again; You are one of the shining lights in my friends.

Nancy Trujillo said...

Muse you are one talented gal with such great advice. Wishing you much success in the future! You deserve it! Nan

KavitaKriti said...

Thank you for the excellent suggestions. I have just setup an Etsy shop and am fast learning that creating the silk scarf is just step one in a long list of steps :).

Well I'm hoping I will slowly get there. Congrats on turning 1 year old :D

Oh I also love your name...MUSE... One of my scarves is titled "My Indian Muse" :)