After 5 radical years of selling on Etsy, I am retiring. Here’s what I learned during my time hawking vintage.
My Origin Story
I originally started up an Etsy shop because I love old stuff and saw it as being a better option than eBay to sell my treasures.
Through the years I evolved my personal style (more on that in a sec!) and the shop finally became something I was proud of.
The Power of Personal Branding
Just as I’ve changed physically/mentally over the years, so has my taste and style. I was once pretty shy about expressing myself but have since embraced my quirks and love for all things weird.
This has been reflected in the way I present myself online. I now understand the power of personal branding and my Etsy shop has a lot to do with that! Through taking web classes, reading guides from other bloggers, and trusting my own intuition; I’ve created an aesthetic that I love.
By having a unique image online (or IRL!) it becomes like a calling card to others. I love when you guys tell me you saw a cassette tape and thought of me or bought red lipstick because I empowered you to try it (you really should buy the lipstick!). That’s personal branding in action. How cool is that?!
It’s Hard Work
Some might see running a blog and a YouTube channel as a breeze but there is so much behind-the-scenes work you don’t see (unless you watch my vlogs) so to throw running a store on top of that load, I felt very overwhelmed.
In a perfect world, I would probably need to focus 100% of my time to just my Etsy shop. Shopping, researching, photographing, listing, marketing, etc etc etc. It’s a lot to try and balance with life, if you’re doing it right. I gave it one heck of a shot!
My Decision To Close Up Shop
The shop eventually became too much work. There wasn’t enough payoff for what I was putting into it. Even after re-branding and going hard on the marketing, 2016 was one of my worst years financially for the shop.
That, coupled with a recent onset of depression, led to burning out. I had to decide what was important and what I could manage. It wasn’t easy but I knew my Etsy shop was sucking too much of my resources and it was time to move on.
It’s Not For Me
While I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s been awesome to learn the ins-n-outs of the business world, I now know it’s not for me. I might have the skills and talents for running a shop but they’re better off being used elsewhere right now. It’s important to recognize your limits and walk away when you’ve had enough.
What’s next for my Etsy shop? I’m going to let it sit dormant on the internet, in case I get some irrational idea in the future that I should open it up again. It’s all over June 22nd: https://www.etsy.com/shop/shop1980something
But for now I’m very fulfilled with my blog and YouTube channel and don’t see myself taking on any lofty ventures again for a very long time!
So that’s the scoop! I would love to hear your stories about selling on Etsy. The good, bad, and ugly. Share them with me in the comments!
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