To ETSY…or not to ETSY????

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To Etsy…or not to Etsy, is the only question in my head today.  I am obsessed, so I thought I would throw it out to you, and hopefully I get some feed back.  I come from an entire family of free thinkers, artists, politicians, and entrepreneurs, so the question really isn’t if I should take a risk.  My entire family would encourage me to live my life to the fullest, and follow my heart, and live my dreams, which I cherish, and I do every day.  But right now I am at a very large cross road. 

Let me explain my Etsy situation…

I studied commercial photography, specializing in food photography from Ohio University, with a minor in fine art.  When I lived in Chicago I opened my own photography studio, and I was in heaven.  Life changed, and I moved to Ohio to open an amazing vegan bakery with my best friend, and it is a mad success.  But today, I crave deep in my bones to be the photographer again, I don’t know if it is because I just turned 30 or not, all I can say is I feel it.   So I thought maybe I could dabble in the Etsy world.  Multi task the bakery and the photography, it has been done before…right? 

I talked to my friend who had a shop on etsy, selling hand knit cowls, and she gave me some good advice.  She said that it was a lot of work marketing, the Etsy market is not what it was 5 years ago, it is very saturated now.  She also mentioned that with photography, you need to be more creative, than just put an image up.  Which I agree, and she gave me some great ideas on products that would sell.  Such as coasters, like to one you see above.  

I have many many many images that would be marketable in many different cities all over the country, so I believe I could reach far.  I also have many different ideas such as the coasters, cards, and many different items.  

I have a mixed bag of friends, and I know my artist friends would say, “jump in”, and I know my commercial advertising photography friends would most likely say “work on editorial marketing”.  I know that shouldn’t sway my opinion, but I guess I just need more feedback. 

So I suppose the question to all of you is, have you ever worked with Etsy?  Are you a photographer on Etsy?  Is it worth my time, and would you buy a product from my shop? 

Thanks in advance! 

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2 thoughts on “To ETSY…or not to ETSY????

  1. I work on Etsy full time right now. Your friend is right. For most artist including myself it is a 30 to 40 hour work week unless you just do it as a hobby. If you really want to make a profit you really need to participate in Etsy teams, network on social media, network in the real world and even if you do those things you still might not be successful. You should also do your research, read books, websites and the etsy seller handbook on the etsy website, watch videos. Don’t dive in head first until you know what you are doing and you have a goal in mind. Don’t expect to be an overnight success. It took me about 2-3 months to get my first sale and it was another 6 months to get my second sale. I have since made 5 sales (on just etsy alone and not including sales made outside of etsy) in over a year. Look around Etsy at what other sellers are pricing their photographs. There are other art selling venues so you might want to research those as well to see if those would be a more suitable place to sell your items as well.

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