I have touched on wanting to get an Etsy shop up and running for myself but not really ever getting there. It so happens that my husband is crafty, too. He makes these fabulous guitar and ukulele stands. I love how simple they are and of course, I love how rustic they are. We stand them on the floor and display them in the corner of our living room. They turn the guitars into art. Aren’t they gorgeous?
He decided, with my encouragement, to sell them. So, it being easier to market someone else’s creativity than my own I started working on an Etsy shop for him. Wow, it sure takes a lot of work! I had bought this book, How to Sell Your Crafts Online, almost a year ago when I was first getting serious about doing a shop for myself. So far it has helped a lot but I still have a ways to go. And it has taken me hours to get this far.
At first we didn’t have the greatest pictures but I was getting frustrated with the stop and start of setting up the shop. I was hoping to set up all the details of the shop and then put in the photos and listings later. However, it appears Etsy doesn’t let you do that. You almost start with the listings. So I threw the crappy photos up to begin with because it was starting to look like we were never going to move forward on this otherwise. My husband works night shift and does his 40 hours in 4 days. So we don’t actually have much time to talk to each other during the week and usually that time is reserved for the essential stuff that relates to our girly and such.
Once we had the listings up and running my husband had himself a shop. I did a quick shout out on his Facebook, my Facebook, and my twitter (he doesn’t have one …yet). And amazingly we got quite a few views. Now to only get some good pictures up, a few more listings and fill in the shop descriptions, etc. The other big stumbling block we had was shipping. I did a rough estimate based on the Canada Post site but this still requires some more work. We don’t want to over charge people but we also don’t want to end up paying too much shipping ourselves and losing money altogether. Also, we would like to be able to figure out how to have no shipping if their are local people who can pick up. This is obviously going to take more hours of research and figuring. I also have more reading of that book to do.
This last weekend we got quite a lot done with new pictures. That alone took hours. But now that we have done the initial work of what works and what doesn’t it will take much less time in the future. I found (after a long time spent looking at loads of different ones) a font my husband liked for his shop title, printed it out and traced it in chalk onto our chalkboard table. I love the way it turned out. You can see it in the picture above. Then I spent a bunch of time taking pictures of the guitar stands. This also took a lot of time. They didn’t stand out against the black chalkboard background so I had to find something to put them on that would make them stand out. Finally, I found this pillow case and I think it does the trick nicely. Of course, I had to pull out the iron and iron it first. After all that I had to still make adjustments for lighting. And then it all came together and we have new lovely photos for his shop. Yay!
My sister loves the guitar stands, too and she nicely posted the shop on her twitter and her blog, too. We are a lot closer but we still have a lot of work to do. My husband is busy making a ukulele stand for me and for us to take photos of for the ukulele listing. It is now done so I will be back to the picture taking soon. My daughter has taken over the table with play doh though so I will have to wait to clean it up and see if I can save the smudged font. If not I can start over. That’s okay, too. When I go into creative mode I tend to block out the world around me. I couldn’t have done the above photo shoot if my husband hadn’t been home to play with our daughter while I did it. Otherwise it would have probably taken me days. Now that I have the photo set up figured out I can probably get some photos taken quite quickly with just me at home with the girly.
I also have to work on completing the shop message and anything else we might want to say in the JD original shop. My mind has been working on that in the background as I go about my days so hopefully I can sit down and get it on the screen soon. And, of course, I still have to get to fine tuning the shipping and I have a couple of ideas on how to tweak the listings, too. My husband is also brainstorming other things he can make that wouldn’t be too difficult to ship (he has also made me an awesome counter table for the kitchen, a giant wooden A for our daughter, square shelves etc.) … he loves to create. I suspect this will be an ongoing work in progress for some time. If anything, it has given me lots of great experience for my own shop which will hopefully happen sooner than later. For that first I have to get some crafty stuff completed so I have things to sell.
If you love the guitar stands, too please feel free to share with your friends!