My first year running an Etsy Business

My first year running an Etsy Business

My first year running an Etsy Business

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I have recently celebrated the first year anniversary of my shop Crafty Rat Designs. It’s certainly quite apparent that I’ve come a long way since I originally set it up, and still have a long way to go – nonetheless I think it might be quite interesting to share what I have learnt so far.

The initial set-up

After exhausting YouTube of planner videos and any relevant tutorials, I decided that it was finally time to just go ahead and start with something – Anything at all which might set me in the direction I wanted to go. Which, out of everything I have done, was probably the trickiest part of the whole process. Creating something from nothing was certainly quite intimidating.
I decided to use Etsy as a selling platform due to the already existing community which it holds. Generally speaking, the Etsy community has the kind of characteristics that I was aiming for with my target audience – Fun, friendly and creative.

Lessons learnt

Arguably I think I rushed into things here, I wanted a shop and I wanted it immediately. The logo I created was very unprofessional and many of the products I was creating were being made in a very inefficient way. I decided that I was reluctant to put any money towards the business because I had something to prove from hand cutting 30 page notebooks with a Stanley knife every time someone ordered one. (I now know that the inexperienced me was very wrong)
Had I purchased important tools and resources such as my slightly pricey heavy-duty guillotine earlier, then I would no doubt have been able to produce a lot higher quality product at a much faster rate. Perhaps I learnt the hard way that it’s better to invest in products that will benefit the business in the long run.

How refreshing!

Towards the end of my second year at university I decided to take a step back from my shop, I temporarily closed it in order to give myself time to get my work to the highest standard for the deadlines (and also take a cheeky trip to Ibiza!)
On my return, instead of opening my shop immediately, I spent time really searching into what I wanted to achieve from it. I didn’t want a shop – I wanted a community. I needed a professional brand identity that people would recognise and trust, as well as knowing that there was still the connection of a person behind that brand.
I designed myself a new logo and put together a branding sheet so that I was able to maintain a consistency throughout the different social media platforms. I also designed a huge range of new products and photographed them all as professionally as I could with the resources that were available.

What next?

After the brand refresh, I figured I was already well on the way to being able to sit back and watch the community build and my shop along with it – Once again I was wrong.
I started working at Banter in early August, and happily sat next to the social marketing executive, Ash. This seems to have proved a huge benefit to me as I am able to ask her questions about what (and why) she is doing what she does. After only a month of working here I have learnt about content calendars, scheduling, peak posting times, and so much more. All of which I have applied to my own social media and have been seeing huge benefits in doing so.

So…

As I said at the beginning, I have recently celebrated my first anniversary for Crafty Rat Designs and am looking to continue improving on my business and introducing new and exciting products at every opportunity. I know the difference between spending money aimlessly, and meaningfully investing in a product that is likely to benefit me in the long run. Such as a proper website, which is now my next project!

Liam Wright Growth hacker, animal lover, @dota2 junkie, @manutd & @giants fan | Founder - @BanterMediauk | CoFounder - @team6t9 | CoFounder - @socialgrowthlab |