I make jewelry.
It started off with one of those generic Wal-Mart packs of beads, some wire, and a couple of hooks to make really official looking bracelets. The gift was given to me for one random Christmas present. I pretty much used up all the beads that day.
Then I kept making more stuff. A bracelet here. A necklace there. My jewelry designing skills made for the easiest and most personalized birthday presents ever (literally all my friends from high school got a Haley Beads Bracelet for every birthday, Christmas, and graduation present).
That’s pretty much all I used it for: gifts and relaxation. I’d come home after a particularly stressful day, making a couple of earrings and tuck them away for gifts later. People commented that I could probably make money off of my designs. I shrugged it off, never really giving it much thought.
Until one fated summer. I was back at home, working two internships that didn’t particularly satisfy my inner boredom. So, I decided, just up out of the blue, to throw my jewelry designs up on Etsy. I spent an evening watching a couple of Youtube videos about taking pictures for your Etsy store and how to set up your Etsy store and Etsy, Etsy, Etsy.
I love Etsy, I really do. It’s the perfect place to find all sorts of fun knickknacks and what-knots, but it’s also been growing rapidly since its inception. And the problem with that is if someone hops onto Etsy looking for jewelry, there is an infinitesimally slight chance that they will happen upon your store.
Type in “Jewelry” on Etsy and 250 pages of options show up. I did my best to market my wares on Instagram and Facebook, but without a central idea, message, and style to all of these outfits, I was drowning amongst the hundreds of other “handmade jewelry designers” out there, all vying for the same customers.
Things might have been different with my own website.
A website of my own would have provided a central location for all potential customers. On my own website, I could have a specific style, mood, and theme that would be easy to replicate across all social media platforms, instead of being forced to utilize whatever little individual personality design Etsy offered to its vendors. With my own website, I could control not only my image, but also the business transactions themselves.
On Etsy, you have to pay a fee every month to even have your own piece of jewelry present on your store. This is how the website makes its money, but having to pay Etsy for a spot on my own website took away funds I could put towards buying more supplies.
Don’t make the same mistakes. Don’t get lost in the hundreds of vendors on Etsy and other similar websites. They make it simpler to set up your own store, but it may cost you customers in the end.
With your own website, all of the traffic goes directly to you and no one but you. If you’re ready to take your business and services to the World Wide Web, take the time and money to invest in your very own website.
Not sure how to start? Hit up Devin with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on taking your business to the next level.