Contributor post by Beverly from designbcb
When I was ‘just a knitter’, it was an easy enough decision when it came to what I would make next: anything I wanted. If I wanted to do a scarf, then I’d just cast on and off I went. If I wanted to try something new; I’d just do it. It was a luxury moment, deciding what to do next.
But the moment I became a shop owner, that processed changed a little. Obviously when I opened my shop, I put in items I liked and then had to see if someone out there liked them, too. After a while, I had to pay attention to views and stats and analytics and all those other crazy things, to see what was trending. OMG – I had to trend. Doing something I loved had to partner with doing things other people would love. Nameless, faceless people who, at least in my mind, were just sitting at the computer waiting for that sign that the thing they were looking for just posted in my shop.
The weather is beginning to warm up and it’s the time of year when a knitter can put down the needles and pick up a book. But not if the knitter has an Etsy shop. My thoughts have already turned to the fall and what will the great fall color be and Halloween, what can I make for it and then the real holiday season begins.
It will be here in six short months. You know how fast that goes. I mean – it’s already the middle of April. I have a calendar and still didn’t see it coming this fast.
I know I still want to make more warm weather items because we’re global and it’s always summer somewhere but do I start on fall things now?
I cannot be the only one without a more defined system of deciding what to make. Or maybe I am and one (or more) of you can rope me into being more responsible. I’d love to read your process in the comments. In the meantime, here’s what some fellow Etsians have to say about their process.
Decisions…are impossible for me. I have meltdowns in the cereal aisle. I want to make THIS. And THAT. And THE OTHER. And buyers of fashion are fickle – assuming that you can be found to be bought from. So I compromise. I make an amount of staples that people seem to buy no matter what (like my ribbon necklaces), and then try to add things that I would personally wear, buy and/or give as gifts. I do look at what others are making, mostly to see if I can be competitive and maintain quality. Before I decided to offer earrings I made several pair, wore them to test the wires and durability, and then began to make more of the ones that pleased me. I got feedback from my daughter, friends and co-workers, and that got the ball rolling. I would totally wear every pair I make. Here is my favorite pair – so far. I made a pair for me and one for my cousin before they ever hit the shop.
From Corkycrafts: I can not decide upon colors for bird houses this spring for my listings however lately the cardinals visiting my yard suggested red…..ha!
For the record, I knew I wasn’t alone. But a little confirmation never hurts. There’s more:
From Stock Lane Studio:
I often get intimidated by the great pool of talent on Etsy, there are so many talented artists and crafters producing amazing things. This way of thinking just blocks me and prevents me from putting my ideas into production. And I have a lot of ideas ( I keep a mini notebook in my purse and write dictate ideas into my phone when the notebook is not handy). My daughters are teeming with ideas too, constantly drawing or writing. So I talk myself into taking the plunge and showing the Etsy world our thoughts, feelings and experiences. And then it’s really fun to get the positive reactions from our art.
From Sheila and Shannon and Beady Eye Bird:
When Shannon makes jewelry for me to list in the shop, she tries to focus on materials and designs we know people are looking for — but we also target items incorporating our own favorites and values (natural gemstone jewelry, chunky/exotic designs, Southwestern, Tribal, Boho, etc.)
We aren’t disciplined about checking our stats or doing lots of research — we just try to make sure we’re being true to ourselves and our brand. I know taking a more scientific approach would result in more sales, but this is what we have time for at this point. We really admire folks who can wrangle the business/science side to their benefit!
Here’s one of ‘our style’ pieces for sale in the shop:
See? We are in this together. That’s one of the fun things about being an Etsy shop owner – there’s another owner going through the exact same thing!