Shop Closing: Lessons From Etsy

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Photography

I have been an Etsy fan since a year after it first began. It boasted 100,000 users/sellers in 2006. Back then, I had my first baby and we lived in a small one-bedroom apartment. I had found myself new to the Stay At Home Mom thing, and got crafty. Etsy was a place where I could sell my projects and buy unique items from fellow crafters around the US. And, I had high hopes that it would be a forum where I could help contribute to our family income.

Instead, I found myself without much time to put into the shop as parenthood took a lot more time and energy than I anticipated. So, the crafter in me took a long nap. Then, the creative part of me found an outlet in photography. I had my first art show in January 2012. My business license shows that I started in December 2011, but I wasn’t prepared to sell anything until January. The first art show was fun and gratifying. That lead me to open my second Etsy shop, and I even took a class on how to grow my shop through meeting people at art shows and growing my following.

It seemed promising, but I didn’t make my first Etsy sale until 9 months later, and it was to a neighbor (who is awesome, BTW)! That motivated me to keep going, and with each new art show, I found my sales on Etsy coming from strangers. In all, I’ve made just enough from those sales to cover the Etsy fees (they are small, but add up)…

Art2bToday, I find myself at that point where I need to close the shop. My creative energy is being focused on portraits, and I have to admit that while I will always love fine art nature photography, I can’t do all the things. I have my limits, and admitting that feels like failure, but I’m hoping to move forward with better focus on providing the same quality of my fine art photography in portraiture.

Here’s my past 6 months ledger to prove it (and I haven’t done the annual calculations to pay taxes on those sales yet):

ART SALES Date Fees/sales
Etsy 6/1/2015 -$6.00
Prolab (magnets) 5/8/2015 -23.07
Etsy 5/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 4/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 3/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 2/1/2015 $0.73
Etsy 1/20/2015 SALE $20.00
Etsy 1/1/2015 -$7.76
Profit -$16.10

This experience has taught me that to make Etsy work, you have to work it. Etsy is a great vendor store-front for those who don’t want to manage e-commerce on their websites, but it’s like a giant store. No one will find you unless you stand there to greet and direct them. You’ve got to do the work.

My work is shifting, and that is why the Etsy shop is closing. I decided to make this fun for everyone, because I honestly do not want to have the 2 large boxes living in my garage for the next 25 years full of art, magnets and postcards. I want to see each item find a home.

Take a look and enjoy 50% off of EVERYTHING! I can’t discount shipping, but if I could, I would do that too. I’ll be officially closing the shop on July 10, 2015. Use coupon code: CLEAROUT when checking out to get the discount. And, thank you for following my art photography journey!

Onward,

Holli