The Business of Being in Business

Well readers, it's been over a month since I've opened up Simply Wired Custom Jewelry on Etsy, and I have details to report. Some of it good, some of it so-so, but let it serve as a guide for you if you decide to start this endeavor. This won't be ALL boring biz stuff, but it is important for new sellers to be aware of. What I will try to do over the next few days (weeks?) is provide information related to tips, practices, resources, web sites, etc. that are available to you. Some of them will be my own, and some of them will be from others.

Please keep in mind that I do not consider myself an expert at this point, nor do I consider myself to be a "successful" Etsy seller as of yet. Also keep in mind that some of you may be impressed with where I am a month after beginning, and some of you may not. That's OK--we all measure success in different ways. However you want to measure yours, let the information posted here help you along your path in some way or another.


First let's do a review of the goals that I posted for myself a little while ago. The reason I listed these on my site was because I was following Christina's Perdue's Blog, where she provides insightful articles and tips for improving your shop. I credit Christina's blog with starting to set things in motion for myself. Following along and writing about my shop, even before it was open, forced me to move forward and start actually thinking about things like "goals" and "marketing" and "branding." If you haven't been there yet, regardless of whether you have started your shop or not, you should check it out.

OK, enough of my rambling. Here is what I listed way back in early October (the 7th, to be exact), along with notes related to status:


  • Open Etsy shop: Simply Wired Custom Jewelry officially opened on October 21
  • List at least one new item per day (weekdays) after opening until inventory runs out: I think I did this, but it was hard to tell because I had some sales in there. Regardless, I did list a new item each day (except Saturdays). Now, I try to list a new item each day plus renew 1-2 items each day.
  • Create new items while listing so that number of items in my shop is approximately 30 (may stretch to November): This definitely stretched to November! And, not to mention, when I listed this I was assuming that I wouldn't have any sales. At this point, I've had 15 of them, and I currently have 16 items for sale. So, add them together, and what do you get? 31! So, as far as I'm concerned, I met this goal.
  • Update blog every day: I've done a fairly good job at this; however, I think every 2-3 days may be more realistic for me. I was finding that I was spending too much time blogging and not enough time crafting, which should obviously not be the case.
  • Sell at least one item before the end of the month: Well, I didn't make a sale before the end of October, but I did have a sale within 30 days--seven of them, to be exact. So, I consider this goal being met as well.
Long-term (within one year): I'm not going to provide an update on status yet, as these were intended to be far beyond 30 days. If, however, you see something that you like, feel free to use these goals with adaptations for your own needs:

  • If sales continue to be a success, purchase a Simply Wired Custom Jewelry domain name
  • Begin metalsmithing techniques, and take a class if one is available near me
  • Submit my work in a jewelry contest
  • Evaluate success and determine if Simply Wired Custom Jewelry can become a significant portion of my income; if so, begin business plan for brick and mortar store (may extend beyond one year)

So, back to my October goals. How did I get to where I am right now? Much, much work my readers. And much more to come. Marketing and promotions is where it's at, and you have to be ready to put your time into it. Below is a list of activities that I've completed, are currently in progress, or are on my "To Do" list. The items displayed are what I'll be presenting in my blog entries in the future. If you see one that interests you and would like to see it presented sooner than later, do leave a comment and I'll be happy to post it quickly (also comment if you'd like to see something added; I'll write about it if I feel I can provide blog-worthy input):

  • Researching
  • Perfecting photos
  • Participating in Forums
  • Making the "Brand"
  • Developing business cards
  • Selecting promotional materials
  • Determining packaging approach
  • Joining social networking groups: Flickr, MySpace (to do), Ning (Indiepublic, Skwiggler, EtsyLove [to do]), Talent Database
  • Blogging/blog directories (i.e., Technorati)
  • Joining Street Teams
  • Advertising (Project Wonderful, paid ads)
  • Volunteering/Networking

...and that's just a start. There is plenty more, but it's 9:30 and I still have to edit some photos for posting. Stay tuned for updates on each of these and more...

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