Hand-made and Online Shops

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Over the past month I have had friends ask me for advice on them opening up an online shop for their hand-made work!  I will admit, it is a bit of an honor to be asked first of all as I am always inquiring to others about advice on MY own etsy shop, Sunshine On Water! http://www.etsy.com/shop/SunshineOnWater?ref=seller_info

Here are a few of my thoughts…

Be sure to have a cohesive, nice-looking online shop, as in….

  •  Good quality,  CLEAR photos with a nice clean background.
  • A read-able shop description with a lot of key words that will pull up your shop in searches.
  • List the location you live in (at least this is something I look at as an online seller and buyer) I want to know where my product is made and will come from… if it is a place I have been before or is near where I live, it forms somewhat of a connection and I often would be more likely to buy from them or keep them in mind for future purchases.
  • List information in your policy section so buyers can clearly see your return/exchange/shipping or other policies.
  • Be sure  that the aspect of hand-made is clear,  generally hand-made means not mass-produced!!  Make the originality of your work clear to buyers!
  • Be sure to use the maximum spaces allotted for photos when listing an item.
  • Use the maximum number of tag words available when listing an item.  If you have the ability to list 13 tags, BY ALL MEANS, use 13 tags!   My first time on etsy, I listed maybe 3 tags on my items, bad idea when I had the option of using 13!
  • One of the main things is SOCIAL MEDIA!  Utilize this as much as you can because if you don’t market you work, nobody else will.  You are your own marketer, that means getting others to see then appreciate your work!

Making something hand-made means you put your time, materials and love into what you make!   The love for craft or working with a certain material inspires and challenges us to continue our hand-made passion!

To me, selling hand-made online is always a learning experience, always learning!   I am always changing and coming up with new ideas to improve my shop!    I have had several shop names over the course of the past year, some of these changes were in my control, others out of my control and for another blog!  I am finally happy with my shop name, Sunshine On Water, but on a final note… If you do have an online shop, I highly suggest you buy the Domain name (the .com) for the shop name you choose!

A few steps at a time, have fun!


Sunshine On Water… This is my etsy link, take a look!   http://www.etsy.com/shop/SunshineOnWater?ref=seller_info

This is one of my new designs, a sterling silver heart pendant & jump ring.
One of my hand-made sterling silver heart pendants with jump ring and chain.

9 thoughts on “Hand-made and Online Shops

    Deb said:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for sharing your first hand experience; it is valuable to hear other’s advice.

      petunia106 responded:
      April 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      I am glad you enjoyed this Deb! When I started this I was looking for someone to give me these tips- basic advice needed to start! So I want others to have a general idea of what works & what doesn’t.
      Have a good day!
      Betsy 🙂

    Rochester Artisans said:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:39 am

    When I met you a short time ago, Betsy, it was at your first show ever. Now you’re a go-to girl for newbies! Love that – well deserved. Great post!

      petunia106 responded:
      April 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you!! I was always looking for something like this when I started my shop, I was always searching for general info about what to do but couldn’t find anything. I would come across info but it was from those who have established shops and were beyond the new phase. Sometimes the basics are needed!

    Rochester Artisans said:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Reblogged this on Rochester Artisans and commented:
    Rochester Artisan Betsy Murray offers some great advice for those seeking tips on how to open an online shop.

    Juana E. Morreale said:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you Betsy for the advice…..
    Juana E. Morreale

      petunia106 responded:
      April 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      You’re welcome Juana! I am still learning things as I go too but I have learned a lot over the past year and I hope by sharing what I’ve learned that it may help others too!
      Betsy 🙂

    aurumeve said:
    June 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks for posting, very simple and nice twist on heart jewelry 🙂
    AurumEve.com ~ Global Jewelry

    petunia106 responded:
    June 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you Aurum Eve! The heart shape is so common among jewelry that I wanted to create something unique and original! Thanks for checking out my blog.

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