Attention all aspiring crafters and artisans! If you’re thinking of starting your own successful online store on Etsy, read this success story for a little inspiration.
What started as a small work from home business for Alicia Shaffer has become a thriving online sales machine in a matter of a few years. Bringing in nearly $80,000 per month from her Etsy shop Three Bird Nest, Shaffer has been able to pull in serious income through her passion of creating homemade headbands, scarves and socks since starting her shop in 2011. Her online retail boutique is one of the five top grossing ecommerce stores on Etsy.
How does she do it? It didn’t come easy. After shuttering a clothing boutique she ran with her husband several years ago after the recession, the resident of Livermore, California decided to try her hand at an online store. What’s even more amazing for this mother of three is that she had no formal training in fashion or apparel; she learned everything by trial and error. She has always had a passion for mixing textiles and fabrics together to create appealing looks and styles.
While 70 percent of her sales are driven by her Etsy store, Shaffer also has a website, which is a way for her non-Etsy customers to find them and grow their online brand. She does much of her wholesale business through the website, where it is easier to manage her orders.
So, how does Shaffer market and promote her online business? It happens 100 percent organically! Great photos and images help the social media marketing push, where happy customers share their purchases through tweeting and pinning on social media networks such as Twitter and Pinterest. This helps drive online traffic to both her Etsy store and her website. She also has an email marketing program she uses to market to her existing database of customers.
With talent, perseverance, and a lot of hard work, this artisan entrepreneur proves that once and for all you can really make your dreams come true. There’s no better time than the present – if you have always aspired to get your handmade goods in the hands of happy customers, you can make it happen!
[UPDATE: 7/2/16] The Three Bird Nest Etsy shop has ceased operations on the marketplace, and runs its shop completely from its website. While the company got its start on the Etsy marketplace, giving it a great platform to build its business in the early stages, it has outgrown it and for business reasons needed to leave the site. According to the Three Bird Nest website:
“The decision was made by Three Bird Nest to leave Etsy in order to better focus on their customers through their own boutique website & wholesale channels.”
There was some dispute by Etsy that the company was not in compliance with their policies, but the store claims it left the website on its own and wanted to be in an environment that supported its business practices.