The Etsy Blog

Etsy Success: Making Your Mystery handmade and vintage goods

Hi. I’m Kate Gatski, also known as the thesteelfork. My husband Ben and I make folk art sculptures, farm tables and home decor pieces with reclaimed farm machinery. You’ll find me on a hilltop in rural Pennsylvania. I am a second-generation crafter with a fascination for the business side of handmade. It recently occurred to me that our success may lie in our circumstance — we are natural makers of mystery.  

These days, the handmade world is awash with business advice. I sense a certain struggle for definition; who are we and how do we market that? The idea of selling “our story” often pops up. While I am all for a story, I can’t help but wonder if that’s really the answer. After all, can’t anyone tell a good story? Big, small, made here, made there?

In the spirit of the season, let’s consider the power of our own mystery. Let’s throw some garlic around our necks and go dig up our own suspense. Let’s turn our everyday chatter into something gripping — something that will have them diving for their wallets and leaping for their clickers. May I suggest we begin at the scene of the crime (I mean craft)?


“Some days it is all about funny little monsters, others I am covered in clay. Sometimes, I feel very Marie Antoinette and others I feel like I am in a strange land where unusual creatures lurk,” says AFancifulTwist.

12 Wonderland Inspired Candy Jar Labels by AFancifulTwist




Your place is heavy with intrigue. Let’s use it. In this creative locale of yours, what do you hear? Is there a window? Are you sitting, standing or moving around? What interrupts you? What surrounds you? What tools do you use? What does your safety gear look like?

Isn’t it true that all works of artistic genius leave room for their audiences? Well-crafted novels, catchy songs and singular works of art are the means by which our imagination can run wild.

In the words of Seth Godin…

“Great stories are subtle. Surprisingly, the fewer details a marketer spells out, the more powerful the story becomes. Talented marketers understand that allowing people to draw their own conclusions is far more effective than announcing the punch line.”

Sounds like a mystery to me.

Let’s think about, “Who done it?” Who got you started on your crazy artistic adventure? Do you work in the black of night or the broad daylight? Who is your accomplice? What drives you to madness?


“I’ve made peace with the fox. I’ve even forgiven him for hunting my favorite orange feline,” says tundradear.

Kitsune by tundradear


Use the details of your life to create a mystery. Consider wrapping it around your posts, tweets, descriptions, images and whatever else you use to promote yourself. Use your senses to describe your place; what do you hear, smell and touch? It takes a keen person, like yourself, to notice these things.

Is that you? Are you the one with the shop full of canary yellow and persimmon prints? It just so happens that your mom had a thing for Harleys and the dark side. Or perhaps it has something to do with your children who delight in fairy tales each night? Or was it the walk through meadow wildflowers in the gloaming?


“I am crazy about wool: its softness, warmth, the way it can be used to create different forms and ideas,” says Juliani.


Knitted fingerless gloves by Juliani



This is why you’re going to be so successful. You provide just enough information for your customers. You understand that it is the whisper, not the shouting, that brings people closer. You are in touch with your authentic self, and you aren’t afraid of it. You understand visual balance. Your images are simple and stunning.

You’ve got the tools to make some mystery right there beside your cauldron and sharpened knives. I suggest that we revel in this season and how it so naturally fits who we are as creators. Any good marketer can tell one heck of a story. What you have is even better, and more powerful. It is the mystery of the creative you.

The Seller Handbook | More Etsy Success Posts

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts says:

    So true! Great points in this article.

    5 years ago

  • ravensrealm

    ravensrealm says:

    Great advice. I'm trying to figure out the angle to move my Mercy Brown (vampire) obsession into a place where others can appreciate her. Your post is amazing, and timely. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • cemara

    cemara says:

    great post!

    5 years ago

  • StrandRedesign

    StrandRedesign says:

    Great article, Kate!

    5 years ago

  • theHaresNest

    theHaresNest says:

    hare approves of mystery a bit hare a bit there

    5 years ago

  • Khalyopi

    Khalyopi says:

    I simply love your style!

    5 years ago

  • DesignerKnits

    DesignerKnits says:

    great advice. thank you for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • SomeWheninTime

    SomeWheninTime says:

    Great article, advice.

    5 years ago

  • poppyswickedgarden

    poppyswickedgarden says:

    What fantastic advice for Etsy sellers and congrats on your sucess Xoxo Poppy

    5 years ago

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna says:

    Really nice post, with some solid ideas about how to inject one's own personality into their story as told in social media & art. Love it!

    5 years ago

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom says:

    great article : )

    5 years ago

  • poppycottage

    poppycottage says:

    love this....

    5 years ago

  • MaryFosterCreative

    MaryFosterCreative says:

    Thanks for this inspiring article.

    5 years ago

  • PassionFlowerVintage

    PassionFlowerVintage says:

    excellent advice.

    5 years ago

  • PassionFlowerVintage

    PassionFlowerVintage says:

    brilliant actually.

    5 years ago

  • PomelyGrove

    PomelyGrove says:

    Thank you so much for this article!

    5 years ago

  • mooshoopork

    mooshoopork says:

    yay! for mysterious goodness and for inspiration :)

    5 years ago

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany says:

    I really like this advice. It's a unique and positive perspective and it definitely got me thinking. Thanks! :)

    5 years ago

  • beadfreaky

    beadfreaky says:

    Thanks for cutting through the clutter. Great advice :)

    5 years ago

  • ImagineStudio

    ImagineStudio says:

    Thank you ! Fantastic advice and very inspirational!

    5 years ago

  • LyBly

    LyBly says:

    Very nice!

    5 years ago

  • ZhongFuJewelryDesign

    ZhongFuJewelryDesign says:

    Interesting thoughts... I'll be mulling.

    5 years ago

  • PluckingPendants

    PluckingPendants says:

    love love love this! great advice! thank you

    5 years ago

  • junkyardglitter

    junkyardglitter says:

    I need this! Mysterious~

    5 years ago

  • AnodynePress

    AnodynePress says:

    "While I am all for a story, I can’t help but wonder if that’s really the answer. After all, can’t anyone tell a good story?" No. Not everyone can, in fact. There's as much art that goes into genuinely good storytelling as goes into a painting or anything else.

    5 years ago

  • thewildplum

    thewildplum says:

    Ingesting with two lumps of vanilla sugar. Thanks!!!!

    5 years ago

  • GrassyNest

    GrassyNest says:

    I found myself doing that, but backing off thinking it wasn't really 'professional.' Thanks for giving us an "allow" button for setting the stage and inviting people into each creator's world here.

    5 years ago

  • miznovember

    miznovember says:

    Thank you for this. I am always feeling a little insecure about my work being so random. But that is who I am. I am random. And I hope others can appreciate that fact.

    5 years ago

  • genisepark

    genisepark says:

    Thank-you for getting me to strap my thinking cap on again. Great insight.

    5 years ago

  • EvenAndy

    EvenAndy says:

    I need to tap into my mystery. I have to think about this. Great article!

    5 years ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 says:

    Seriously good advice: 'it's the whisper, not the shouting'. So well told. Thank you, Kate!

    5 years ago

  • rozzie

    rozzie says:

    Good advice... thx

    5 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage says:

    i love the mystery and uniqueness of etsy sellers!

    5 years ago

  • TerriMayStudios

    TerriMayStudios says:

    I love the way you write; beckoning.

    5 years ago

  • coolranchstudio

    coolranchstudio says:

    great advice & an inspiring read! thanks kate!!

    5 years ago

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques says:

    Love the advise.... Now to follow it!!!!

    5 years ago

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns says:

    Great advice!!! I'm going to put it to use!!

    5 years ago

  • Fedora

    Fedora says:


    5 years ago

  • hankietankie

    hankietankie says:

    i love the idea of 'making your mystery', it is at the very heart of a creators natural process. wonderful article & unique finds, thank you! XOX

    5 years ago

  • Serrelynda

    Serrelynda says:

    I need to work on this!

    5 years ago

  • birdie1

    birdie1 says:

    An interesting and informative feature ~ thank you! I'll be reading it a few more time to fully digest it.

    5 years ago

  • jensdreamdecor

    jensdreamdecor says:

    very inspiring article...thank you!

    5 years ago

  • AVIDesigns

    AVIDesigns says:

    That is so true. I never realy thought about my designs as a mystery,but your right. I will work on this in to my shop. Thank you

    5 years ago

  • 1AEON

    1AEON says:

    These are soo cool, love that they are all a little dark/grey ish! neat!

    5 years ago

  • BreatheCouture

    BreatheCouture says:

    So much creativity on Etsy! Truly something special for everyone. And so many wonderful One of a Kind items :) Great article!

    5 years ago

  • Weezawear

    Weezawear says:

    Great article!!! So true.

    5 years ago

  • PoisonGarden

    PoisonGarden says:

    Very nice article :)

    5 years ago

  • TheImmortalKey

    TheImmortalKey says:

    YES! :) Love this!

    5 years ago

  • ArtistBeingHuman

    ArtistBeingHuman says:

    Thanks so much! :)

    5 years ago

  • babyjives

    babyjives says:

    Wonderful article, you made me inspired to write more about why I am making and why I am here. I also think I may recognize you from a post you did on handmade in PA about my work a few weeks ago - if so, thanks! BTW I love your website and blog.

    5 years ago

  • HornCatCreations

    HornCatCreations says:

    I love the illustration in the very first *main* photo!

    5 years ago

  • princessdoodlebeans

    princessdoodlebeans says:

    Superb advice!! Thanks so much :D

    5 years ago

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods says:

    thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    5 years ago

  • LeapARTandVintage

    LeapARTandVintage says:

    mysteeerrrreeeus! great advice, something new!

    5 years ago

  • DaphneDays

    DaphneDays says:

    Beautifully written, and inspiring. I'll try to bear it in mind as I tend my table at craft sales this Christmas season.

    5 years ago

  • okiedokieartichoky

    okiedokieartichoky says:

    thankyou for the advice...taking it straight to the heart...then the shop :)

    5 years ago

  • oatkacreekstudio

    oatkacreekstudio says:

    great article and wonderful examples that illustrate mystery - thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Talula

    Talula says:

    I've always considered my creations to be a bit on the "mysterious" side... and it has worked well so far! Thank you for a great article!

    5 years ago

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump says:

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing it with all of us! : )

    5 years ago

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar says:

    You spin a fine tale!

    5 years ago

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign says:

    I believe that I have a mystery/story to tell, but I am not good with words so I bet I will just sound crazy! ;) I also think that the mystery theory is why macro photos are so popular. You can see one part of the photo, but the rest is up to your imagination and it leaves you wanting more!

    5 years ago

  • LilliansGarden

    LilliansGarden says:

    What a delightful read and wonderful points. Thank you so much for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr says:

    Love the article!

    5 years ago

  • AndrewGableArtist
  • fullcircleimages

    fullcircleimages says:

    What a great message. You always hear so much about using vast quantity of details and descriptions and elaboration, but it's refreshing to hear someone speak of the value of mystery. Love it!

    5 years ago

  • artofjane

    artofjane says:

    I loved this article.

    5 years ago

  • perebags

    perebags says:

    Fantastic article! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot says:

    Kate, the mystery is what we do not and do. Thank you for this inspiration and Nancy Drew sleuth. For me, it is the search for the shadows in my peripheral. Why things disappear and then reappear, and how does the light come on only sometimes in the bedroom. Oh yes, and when the phone rings, how come I hear them before they hear me. The Little People Sprites know.

    5 years ago

  • PaperPicker

    PaperPicker says:

    thanks for sharing your bit of mystery.

    5 years ago

  • prettystardesigns

    prettystardesigns says:

    love this! so true about whispering bringing people closer than shouting as well!! thanks for sharing :)

    5 years ago

  • OceanPatch

    OceanPatch says:

    Very inspiring...I whispered.

    5 years ago

  • JordanRou

    JordanRou says:

    Great ideas and examples! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • LeshasWorkshop

    LeshasWorkshop says:

    Very useful for me right now while I struggle with multiple networking venues - I appreciate the words of wisdom...and mystery!

    5 years ago

  • AJthePurple

    AJthePurple says:

    Really great article! It's a good idea - adding a more personal touch with a bit of even makes the reader/listener/buyer add in their own personality when they have to make their own conclusions. Thanks for the story :)

    5 years ago

  • dahlilafound

    dahlilafound says:

    this is beautiful advise. I feel conspiratory. :-) dahlila

    5 years ago

  • dahlilafound

    dahlilafound says:

    Beautiful advise. dahlila

    5 years ago

  • RGrantham

    RGrantham says:

    incredibly deliciously said!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 years ago

  • VidaDoce

    VidaDoce says:

    Great advice! Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Indounik

    Indounik says:

    Beautifully written. Here's to being a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    5 years ago

  • sevencatsco

    sevencatsco says:

    Thank you for the article... definitely food for thought!

    5 years ago

  • SewMuchMoreDecor

    SewMuchMoreDecor says:

    Thanks for sharing :)

    5 years ago

  • Gamut

    Gamut says:

    I am reminded of my grandmother who kept a thimble in her apron pocket. "Just in case..." she would say.

    5 years ago

  • patspottery

    patspottery says:

    OK, you really got me thinking now!!

    5 years ago

  • 1022SeaShellAve

    1022SeaShellAve says:

    I can remember being 7 and gathering seashells thinking, this will be my work someday. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of that moment, and for giving me permission to use that memory in my life today :)

    5 years ago

  • gypsyeyesjewelry

    gypsyeyesjewelry says:

    Yes indeed, a little mystery is quite intriguing.

    5 years ago

  • TesoroDelSol

    TesoroDelSol says:

    This has been one of my favourite posts thus far. I'm completely motivated and inspired. :)

    5 years ago

  • RabbitfishJewelry

    RabbitfishJewelry says:

    Great article, only I'm not sure I completely understand it. I think it will bear further reading. Perhaps I am overthinking it? Maybe I should read it before the glass of wine. Regardless, I love Etsy's articles and their commitment to helping all sellers achieve success. Etsy could simply be a forum for folks to peddle their wares, but the community spirit of the place is a real plus in my book! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • Calilyhk

    Calilyhk says:

    Thanks for sharing! Just love your article!

    5 years ago

  • RPriestEllgyCo

    RPriestEllgyCo says:

    Great article, especially since I do have some odd creative habits that by sharing would make my work more personable.

    5 years ago

  • JoannaBoyes

    JoannaBoyes says:

    Great expansion on the usual idea of narrative. Very inspiring. Thank you :D

    5 years ago

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta says:

    Great angle on the storytelling advice we are hearing so often these days!

    5 years ago

  • silentlanguages

    silentlanguages says:

    lovely article -- thanks!

    5 years ago

  • spontaneousstyle

    spontaneousstyle says:

    Inspired by this, thankyouverymuch. Bonus points for the use of the word 'gloamy'; my vocabulary has expanded!

    5 years ago

  • xoxsmiley

    xoxsmiley says:

    I'm inspired! Super article!

    5 years ago

  • postroad

    postroad says:

    The sound an acorn makes when it falls within the trees...

    5 years ago

  • saraleighs

    saraleighs says:


    5 years ago

  • BirdcageBohemia

    BirdcageBohemia says:

    Really, really good advice. Not to mention it extends the creativity you use for your craft into your business and makes the whole experience of being a seller much more enjoyable. Why work so hard when you can't have fun in the meantime? We should all always be in character!

    5 years ago

  • TheSteelFork

    TheSteelFork says:

    thanks for all your wonderful comments. I treasure them. thank you so much!

    5 years ago

  • akcArt

    akcArt says:

    Super! Interesting article!

    5 years ago

  • drifted

    drifted says:

    one of the most brilliant post. Accept the mystery.

    5 years ago

  • elizenazelie

    elizenazelie says:

    one of the best etsy articles ive read

    5 years ago

  • greenpicklesshop

    greenpicklesshop says:

    Great article! Thank you! x

    5 years ago

  • seiamicisandco

    seiamicisandco says:

    Wow, I absolutely loved this. Beautifully crafted and very compelling!

    5 years ago

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry says:

    Kate! I love this... Sometimes we get wrapped up in "how do I" and we forget to be creative where it counts the most - plus it's so much fun to imagine and share our world of delight. Thanks so much for reminding me!

    5 years ago

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie says:

    Kate, love your shop! Great ideas to ponder.

    5 years ago

  • chantalmarieliving

    chantalmarieliving says:

    Excellent article. Sharing our thoughts and feelings makes our art so much more compelling. There is heart and soul behind every creation.

    5 years ago



    Great Info thank you so much for sharing!!!

    5 years ago

  • StudioMeco

    StudioMeco says:

    very inspirational and well written

    5 years ago

  • ME2Designs

    ME2Designs says:

    Thank you for sharing and reminding us that we are our creations, and each has its own special tale!

    5 years ago

  • NestingBluebird

    NestingBluebird says:

    Beautiful article, thank you! Cultivating mystery is a practice I cherish in all aspects of life. In my experience, creativity itself is inherently mysterious and unknowable... a form of grace.

    5 years ago

  • maricotona

    maricotona says:


    5 years ago

  • gnoom

    gnoom says:

    Storytelling is in our roots. I switched from writing to jewelry making, and I have recently re-discovered storytelling as a way to describe my creations... It's fun to create your own world and your own feeling of mystery and to pass it on.

    5 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Great tips I've always struggled to find how to tell my story through my items.

    5 years ago

  • DreamsKingdom

    DreamsKingdom says:

    it's a great source of inspiration

    5 years ago

  • GracefullyGirly

    GracefullyGirly says:

    Psst, Can I tell you how much I just love what you have to say?

    5 years ago

  • underanewlight

    underanewlight says:

    Thank you for sharing! this is a great article! story telling is breaking the gap between sellers and buyers.

    5 years ago

  • Lonraigh

    Lonraigh says:

    I am so torn! On one hand, some successful sellers insist that you must pour keywords like bread crumbs on a forest path to lure google into your lair. On the other, I want to write about why I love history and mythology and how it inspires me to create. Maybe I'll try being truer to myself, and write less like an advertisement on the shopping network.

    5 years ago

  • CalliesCraftCottage

    CalliesCraftCottage says:

    That makes so much sense because I feel like that about some of the crafts I make. Now I just have to figure out how to get that across.

    5 years ago

  • WalterSilva

    WalterSilva says:


    5 years ago

  • poplovedesigns

    poplovedesigns says:

    Inspire and intrigue are wonderful tools, and besides, isn't that what shopping indie is all about? <3 Andrea

    5 years ago

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart says:

    Great advice, I love the descriptive writing that helps to describe so many wonderful products...ahhh, the power of the pen!

    5 years ago

  • Jungle

    Jungle says:

    To be honest as a buyer, these types of descriptions really put me off. They make me feel like the seller doesn't know their product well. I feel like they have a product, and want to sell it with imagery. I'm more drawn in by descriptions that highlight the workmanship quality, creative process behind it, and how the item fits it's use perfectly. Eg - the softness of the wool, the fabric and feel of a garment. Why an artist has used a particular imagery in their work. The double-stitched seams in a cushion. The volume of a bag, etc. The things that make me buy an item when I see it in real life.

    5 years ago

  • MademoiselleG

    MademoiselleG says:

    So right! I just love mysteries...And that's what's fun about create unique items, each of them has its own story to tell.

    5 years ago

  • MademoiselleG

    MademoiselleG says:

    And thanks for featuring my print! ^^

    5 years ago

  • nowonder

    nowonder says:

    Great idea. I like the Seth Godin quote.

    5 years ago

  • fergusod

    fergusod says:

    Does anyone find it hard to get people to buy. My prices are not very high considering my time and expenses. Maybe it's the way I present it?

    5 years ago

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds says:

    So well written, great insight.

    5 years ago

  • cocokato

    cocokato says:

    beautiful selection!

    5 years ago

  • vintagegirldezigns

    vintagegirldezigns says:

    Very thought provoking...I love a good mystery!

    5 years ago

  • mykky

    mykky says:

    Thanks for the advice! I love your work btw. =)

    5 years ago

  • AnnieSechrist

    AnnieSechrist says:

    What a beautiful writer you are! That was the first thing I noticed. And then, I realized you are also quite the marketer of your own mind. I am excited to see what bubbles out of your cauldron next!

    5 years ago

  • lilwildflower

    lilwildflower says:

    I love how it sounds like you are talking directly to me...TheSteelFork, I think I heart you. :)

    5 years ago

  • realfaery

    realfaery says:

    Thanks! Very nice articule indeed!

    5 years ago

  • canvaspics

    canvaspics says:

    I struggle with this...thanks for the insight.

    5 years ago

  • tundradear

    tundradear says:

    a truly inspiring post Kate! thanks so much!!

    5 years ago

  • ButtonTreeShop

    ButtonTreeShop says:

    Really amazing advice!!! I think sometimes I come on a little too strong and this has definitely given me something to think about. ... I wish I could write as well as this!

    5 years ago

  • the21stmuseum

    the21stmuseum says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This is one of the best pieces I've read re Creative self, and I chanced upon this at the perfect time. Thanks! =)

    5 years ago

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    AutumnLeavesJewelry says:

    Love your writing and find it inspiring

    5 years ago

  • BabongoHome

    BabongoHome says:

    Excellent. Thank you so much. Perfect timing :)

    5 years ago

  • WoodPigeon

    WoodPigeon says:

    Very true! Thanks for the great advice.

    5 years ago

  • Jewelyett

    Jewelyett says:

    What great insight and clarity. Mystery- I can use that!

    5 years ago

  • LadyFranCreations

    LadyFranCreations says:

    Great minds think this article and love mystery....and intrique...Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • LazyTcrochet

    LazyTcrochet says:

    Very interesting. Something to think about for sure!

    5 years ago

  • spooktacular

    spooktacular says:

    Very Inspirational..Appreciate it!

    5 years ago

  • EponaJewels

    EponaJewels says:

    Thought provoking article! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • LUCIUSjewelry

    LUCIUSjewelry says:

    Great article, thank you for getting me to think about marketing in a different way!

    5 years ago

  • RobotsAreAwesome

    RobotsAreAwesome says:

    My robots don't allow for mystery... they reprogram my DVR if write something to cheeky about them. ;)

    5 years ago

  • sugartreecreek

    sugartreecreek says:

    I love this idea.

    5 years ago

  • iloveswift

    iloveswift says:

    Spooky never sounded so nice. Thanks for the advice, Really loved it!

    5 years ago

  • paulbead

    paulbead says:

    I can and will use more mystery.

    5 years ago

  • amazingbeads

    amazingbeads says:

    This is so inspiring. Thank you. I have to try and adapt it for myself now.

    5 years ago

  • ron987red

    ron987red says:


    5 years ago

  • BaysideGems

    BaysideGems says:

    I am with fergusod who asks the proverbial question- "does anybody know how to get buyers to buy" after all , isn't that what we are all trying to do? So...?

    5 years ago

  • HillCountrySilver

    HillCountrySilver says:

    Cleverly written advice! You should write and sell books on Etsy. Some of my best customers have said that they were drawn to my jewelry because they loved the stories behind the items...great advice; thanks for he eloquent reminder!

    5 years ago

  • StarryHomeCrafts

    StarryHomeCrafts says:

    It's all in the way you choose to look at the everyday things in your life.

    5 years ago

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy says:

    So eloquently put~ Thank you! Heidi

    5 years ago

  • ToadstoolsNTreestump

    ToadstoolsNTreestump says:

    Ideas for facebook & blog posts are germinating in my head as I read. The trick is to find balance between the prosaic stuff like size & materials & why you made your choices and the mysteries that add flavor and personality to your shop and listings.

    5 years ago

  • aisha123

    aisha123 says:

    Mystery is great and I sometimes try to name pieces to create interest (mystery). Good advice. It's hard to be unique in a sea of talent. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • joleecaldwell

    joleecaldwell says:


    5 years ago

  • TutusChic

    TutusChic says:

    It takes courage to be oneself and share it but it is who we are as creative artists. Different and interesting!

    5 years ago

  • marszy

    marszy says:

    Well taking the time to actually read these articles from etsy is helping me a lot, I've had help on my banner, my shop, its appearance etc and its all been helpful. This article takes me back to the simplicity of our crafts. Meaning its always that unique spark we all have that grabs the attention of others. Its not forced or "shouted out" at you like you mention in this article. I like the sound of a "faint whisper"; just enough to tantalize the senses to cause ones curiosity to arouse - thank you for the advice as always I love this: "Use the details of your life to create a mystery. Consider wrapping it around your posts, tweets, descriptions, images and whatever else you use to promote yourself. Use your senses to describe your place; what do you hear, smell and touch? It takes a keen person, like yourself, to notice these things..........It is the mystery of the creative you"

    5 years ago

  • PrettyCoolClothes

    PrettyCoolClothes says:

    well said!

    5 years ago

  • sesenarts

    sesenarts says:

    Oh to move away from the mundane and ordinary...

    5 years ago

  • LazyGlamour

    LazyGlamour says:

    So much to learn from you all!

    5 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Good advice - thank you.

    5 years ago

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou says:

    I am going to look over my work, revel in my skill of writing and see what may lure those mystery seekers. Thanks for your article! hcg

    5 years ago

  • AstridNicoleEtcetera

    AstridNicoleEtcetera says:

    With all the 'in your face' marketing advice out there, this was a refreshing view. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • IvoryPumpkin

    IvoryPumpkin says:

    Your article really validated the kind of person I am and, how I create. I'm not a talker and when I do speak I'm kind of quite. Nice to know that not every marketing ploy has to be in your face.

    5 years ago

  • vanessamoore

    vanessamoore says:

    Great article thank you! :-)

    5 years ago

  • skybluemaine

    skybluemaine says:

    Okay, this is the way I think. I need a housekeeper but can't afford it. So, each time I take on a certain task I give myself an identity to do the work. Sometimes I am Anna, sometimes Francoise, sometimes Greta, sometimes Doris, and so on. A student of languages I choose different identities and language to get myself through boring or challenging tasks. Since reading this Blog it has occurred to me to assume different identities to get through the grind of re-conditioning my items, describing, listing and shipping. Thanks for the insight. Very helpful. Annie (not really!)

    5 years ago

  • tagyouritbykari

    tagyouritbykari says:

    Wow! I really will consider adding the mystery to my shop. Such a great article, I am glad I took the time to read it and that you took the time to share with the rest of us.

    5 years ago

  • LaCageDoree

    LaCageDoree says:

    Great pointers, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • SuZefashion

    SuZefashion says:

    Thanks, great article!

    5 years ago

  • watflooswing

    watflooswing says:

    intriguing and inspiring!!!

    5 years ago

  • RobinMariaPedrero

    RobinMariaPedrero says:

    Super!! My mother told me the birds were singing just before I was born at 5 am...and they named me Robin...I like the sky, and I paint lots of birds, including crows!

    5 years ago

  • brookeelissa

    brookeelissa says:

    Great ideas and examples. Good tips for a new seller like me!

    5 years ago

  • HandPaintedPetals

    HandPaintedPetals says:

    A terrific article; thank you for the info! Things like this get me fired up!

    5 years ago

  • ColleenAttaraStudio

    ColleenAttaraStudio says:

    Love this post! Your words are things I already know deep down inside and but love (and need) to hear. I just moved my studio from my home into a cottage on a 234 acre farm in Bucks County, PA. My repurposed art had some mystery, but the cottage and surrounding area are full of it. I will play more with that. Best of luck in everything.... Colleen

    5 years ago

  • larkspurfunnyfarm

    larkspurfunnyfarm says:

    Thank you for sharing this - great way to look at what we do in a differently light and spirit. Will be taking your words to heart and practice. Many thanks.

    5 years ago

  • OldNNew4U

    OldNNew4U says:

    Thank you for opening my eyes to a new idea. Now I just have to solve the mystery... there are many clues, and quite possibly more than one solution. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • hitree

    hitree says:

    i like i like!!

    5 years ago

  • TheBunnyHole

    TheBunnyHole says:

    A wonderfully written article that had a nice feel. I very much enjoyed reading it. But I must confess, I'm a little lost (after reading it) as to what I was supposed to gain from it. Just how does one add mystery selling crafts online???

    5 years ago

  • feliceshappydesigns

    feliceshappydesigns says:

    i love the idea that thier are so many people willing to give insight into thier success. clouds give way to a little sun today

    5 years ago

  • monapaints

    monapaints says:

    Our customers are not only buying our work, they are buying a little piece of us....thank you for sharing your insights!

    5 years ago

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead says:

    Insightful and original! Thanks ✿

    5 years ago

  • socalsteelman

    socalsteelman says:

    Wow that was so insightful.

    5 years ago

  • Wraptureshop

    Wraptureshop says:

    How I love these Etsy articles . . . thank you for more great thoughts.

    5 years ago

  • andrearodgers

    andrearodgers says:

    Amazingly well written and packed with welcome info! Thank you

    5 years ago

  • CraftedByMei

    CraftedByMei says:

    oh wow, I have never really thought much on this subject prior to this. Thanks for all the info!

    5 years ago

  • 12anglesart

    12anglesart says:

    great advice thanks.

    5 years ago

  • gemboxjewelry

    gemboxjewelry says:

    well said, I myself love browsing through shops and reading descriptions- pictures are impotant but it might be the flair in the descripion that sells...?

    5 years ago

  • darrylblack

    darrylblack says:

    You certainly have the'gift of the gab'-I was totally absorbed in your for thought for sure.... Thank you

    5 years ago

  • drellajones

    drellajones says:

    Great food for thought.

    5 years ago

  • Julieriis

    Julieriis says:

    Something different to think about - Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • FatHenWildWool

    FatHenWildWool says:

    This is a great article. Instead of coming at handmade from the "Baby Big Businesses" angle you come at it from it's root reason for existing, that we've got to express our unique selves, and that it can't be seperated from our lives. The trick is to be honest enough when we get to talking about our work/life and to find the vocabulary to get there. Thanks x

    5 years ago

  • FatHenWildWool

    FatHenWildWool says:

    Great, we're all doing it because we need to do handmade to express our own unique selves and lives. The trick is getting the vocab together to tell it like it is...

    5 years ago

  • kt40

    kt40 says:

    great great read this morning really got me inspired!

    5 years ago

  • BurtonLeatherCo

    BurtonLeatherCo says:

    Great advice... now onto putting it to good use.

    5 years ago

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    AmberHeartOfTheFinch says:

    Fabulous! Everything has a tale to tell...

    5 years ago

  • doodlink

    doodlink says:

    I LOVE a mystery and a great post! Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • CoastandCanvas

    CoastandCanvas says:

    Enjoyable read and you are totally right . I need to be more mysterious

    5 years ago

  • MetamorphDK

    MetamorphDK says:

    Great article, thanks! I am a bit strange and now I will not try to hide it anymore ;D

    5 years ago

  • SnowFlowerJewelry

    SnowFlowerJewelry says:

    Beautifully Written

    5 years ago

  • wwcsilverjewelry

    wwcsilverjewelry says:

    Great Story a little mystery always makes everyone want to hear more. I see we are not far from each other. Nice to know someone so close to me is so talented.

    5 years ago

  • TheErstwhileUrchin

    TheErstwhileUrchin says:

    I won't hesitate to say this is the best Etsy article I have read. Ever. I've waited a long time for it. There is rarely any mystery to anything anymore and people are overly anxious to provide too much information anytime, anywhere. It's essential that the buyer of handmade goods be given a clear picture of what they are buying and what a shop's policies are. But there is an air of mystery in purchasing from a unseen artist weaving their concoctions together in the privacy of their home or studio.

    5 years ago

  • SadieKayBoutique

    SadieKayBoutique says:

    Sharing bits of our own mystery is so satisfying. I'll be thinking more about this! Thanks

    5 years ago

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery says:

    Great advice! Much to think about...

    5 years ago

  • blackbirdtees

    blackbirdtees says:

    This is such a wonderful perspective on creativity. There is most certainly a story in the spaces between words & descriptions. Love thesteelfork & I love a good mystery!

    5 years ago

  • MagicandMud

    MagicandMud says:

    Thank you so much for this post...such wonderful advice!

    5 years ago

  • GoodOldDaysTreasures

    GoodOldDaysTreasures says:

    Very interesting blog. I never thought about the alluring power of mystery in relation to sales.

    5 years ago

  • bySula

    bySula says:

    I love your work. I always meet people and wonder what’s their story. Some people say “my life is boring” (and I’m one of them) but when you put your story into words or express them through your art you can be amazed how inspiring you can be to others.

    5 years ago

  • NorthwestBridal

    NorthwestBridal says:

    This really got me thinking, thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • candacewrightjewelry

    candacewrightjewelry says:

    Thanks for sharing.....I needed to hear these words!

    5 years ago

  • designrabrooks

    designrabrooks says:

    Yes, some great advice, thank you

    5 years ago

  • chisel2stone

    chisel2stone says:

    Great and unique advice! The mystery is my favorite part of my work. Starting with a rough piece of soapstone and never being quite sure what I will end up with. Rather than considering it bad planning, I prefer to give in to the mystery of the creative process. Thanks for the advice!

    5 years ago

  • RipandStitchDiva

    RipandStitchDiva says:

    How true! Thanks for the advice.

    5 years ago

  • Artwolf

    Artwolf says:

    A little Mystery and magic always adds to the enjoyment. :) Linda

    5 years ago

  • gototes

    gototes says:

    Everything is always better with an interesting story (and mystery) behind it to bring out creativeness and inspiration!

    5 years ago

  • sancynam

    sancynam says:

    Thank you Steel Fork! The "tried-and-true" version of marketing oneself has always seemed limiting and daunting to me, I definitely appreciate your perspective on this.

    5 years ago

  • HappyBugDesigns

    HappyBugDesigns says:

    You have inspired me! My bio was plain, and a bit sad, talking about being laid off again and how I hoped Etsy would be just what I needed to survive. A friend told me that it was too much doom & gloom for a HappyBug, but I didn't know what to do. This has inspired me to revamp my bio, and let the real me shine through. Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • PrettySelfContained

    PrettySelfContained says:

    That was wonderful! Thank you, what you have said really confirms for me what I already sub-consciously was grasping at and now feel I have a better hold on. I heard it last night: "Just do what comes naturally." and don't be afraid to let the world see whatever that produces and allow them room to make up their own mind about it. You know what you think, let them think what they think. Thanks again

    5 years ago

  • alexiaruzoa

    alexiaruzoa says:

    Thanks, Kate. This is the exact advise that I needed. I feel inspired and ready to stay true to my dreams. =)

    5 years ago

  • BlueKimonoStudio

    BlueKimonoStudio says:

    This is really cool. Thank you. Having just been through a summer of branding exercises, working on technical issues like improving my photos, and lastly building up a pretty much useless Twitter following because everyone says to, your post is a breath of fresh air. Let's do things that feel natural to us. That come from the deep authenticity we each have. That should rise to the top.

    5 years ago

  • WiseSewcialTies

    WiseSewcialTies says:

    One of my favorite mysterious shops made a comment,SadieKeyBoutique! She has lovely photos. Good advice. A mystery is devouring and much more interesting then knowing it all. Life would be dull if it were known what would occur with no curve balls or sinkers. Happy Sales to you.

    5 years ago

  • BachsCrafts

    BachsCrafts says:

    It's the "whisper" not the "shouting" that gets their attention...just like in my classroom! Great advice!

    5 years ago

  • LittleRedShoeDesigns

    LittleRedShoeDesigns says:

    This is a breath of fresh air, after receiving so much (strictly) business advice. Bravo & merci! :)

    5 years ago

  • DesignedFromTheHeart

    DesignedFromTheHeart says:

    Great ideas! If everyone would look into their soul and see what moves them it's bound to inspire others if they share their thoughts.

    5 years ago

  • SwankUnderpinnings

    SwankUnderpinnings says:

    Fantastic article, Kate! An inspiring look at the art of being an artist.

    5 years ago

  • PlaceMichel

    PlaceMichel says:

    I often think of the appeal of Jackie O. She kept so much of herself private, and that only increased the interest in (obsession with?)her.

    5 years ago

  • saraes26

    saraes26 says:

    Wow! Fantastic article, especially given the climate now where everything is connection through social media and making sure that you're brand and marketing is out there all the time. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • happylittleknitter

    happylittleknitter says: me thinking of all the senses that get wound up in your crafting. thanks for giving an unusual nad much needed perspective.

    5 years ago

  • SiklosPhoto

    SiklosPhoto says:

    love the story, the writing and the observations. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • spiritcleanslate

    spiritcleanslate says:

    I read this article twice, because it was what I needed to hear. I wanted to get there....and I did. It came to me, I made a decision a week ago to revamp my shop, and tools. Not knowing what I wanted it to be, this inspired me in the right direction to find my mystery. Thank you, and I can see you standing on a hill in PA!

    5 years ago

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist says:

    interesting! and i think you are onto something good :)

    5 years ago

  • AThousandJoys

    AThousandJoys says:

    simply lovely! i think i just felt the spark ive been waiting for, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • FrutinobyMinghini

    FrutinobyMinghini says:

    Inspiring article! Great Advice, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • orchidandreptile

    orchidandreptile says:

    This is really wonderful advice and food for thought. Thank you for the inspiration to create a story.

    5 years ago

  • ColleenH1964

    ColleenH1964 says:

    This was extremely helpful advice. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • LadyOfWindsor

    LadyOfWindsor says:

    Couldn't agree more. Thank you for the article.

    5 years ago

  • NoniBam

    NoniBam says:

    You definitely got me thinking... Now I have to connect to my inner self and find the right words. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    5 years ago

  • kathyoinspirations

    kathyoinspirations says:

    I'm inspired by your words...thank you!

    5 years ago

  • designversation

    designversation says:

    Thanks for reminding me of Seth Godin's post and providing great examples related to product descriptions. This article has me thinking about rewriting my "too long" product stories and leaving the finish open for interpretation. Susan

    4 years ago

  • lindz4345

    lindz4345 says:

    Very good article!

    4 years ago

  • tripperdungan

    tripperdungan says:

    Wow that was enthralling. You really practice what you preach. I'm inspired by your words.

    4 years ago

  • MaxEffectJewelry

    MaxEffectJewelry says:

    Great posting....something to think about.

    4 years ago

  • ModernShop

    ModernShop says:

    Excellent advice!

    4 years ago

  • amermaidintheattic

    amermaidintheattic says:

    Great and very inspiring article, I think you've really got something there...the Etsy shops I like to browse around most are the ones that are intriguing in more ways than just the product itself. I always wanted to be a 'femme fatale', I think I shall start exuding an air of mystery, and my Etsy shop is a good place to begin! :)

    4 years ago

  • HappyMoonDesigns

    HappyMoonDesigns says:

    This article gave me many things to think about.I am having a hard time with putting myself "out there",I worry alot about what other people will think,so,I guess I need to do some heavy thinking on how to tell my story,as hard as that may be...

    4 years ago

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy says:

    Yes! Wonderful points and very true sentiments!

    4 years ago

  • RecyclaBow

    RecyclaBow says:

    Well said! I definietly feel some creativity stirring around in my brain!

    4 years ago

  • audreytolove

    audreytolove says:

    i like your article! very wonderful idea

    4 years ago

  • amberearrings

    amberearrings says:

    Great advice, you are so right Mystery is surely a intriguing aspect and in my opinion, a sexy thing too.

    4 years ago

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls says:

    What a wonderful article Kate! Asking ourselves these questions as we describe our work will really help make our stories heard! Thanks so much!

    4 years ago

  • prendasbyenid

    prendasbyenid says:

    This article is very inspiring!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    4 years ago

  • herbalphoto

    herbalphoto says:

    I am a bit late in reading this, but the information is great. I will definitely try to cultivate a bit more mystery.

    4 years ago

  • AmistrVintage

    AmistrVintage says:

    Great ideas! This article is useful. Thank you so much.

    4 years ago

  • FantasyJewelryGoddes

    FantasyJewelryGoddes says:

    and that fox pendant is cute too, I have to admit that like Juliani says she likes the feel of wool....I love the feel of the glass pendants I use lol.

    4 years ago

  • LarkyPark

    LarkyPark says:

    Lies. All lies. Jus' jokin - loved the reminder that we need to allow our customers to draw their own conclusions...

    4 years ago

  • littlelilybamboo

    littlelilybamboo says:

    "It's the whispering, not the shouting..." I love that.

    4 years ago

  • MeerkatArt

    MeerkatArt says:

    I'm new to Esty, so just read this post. Help information composed beautifully, love the quotes.

    4 years ago

  • Mojina

    Mojina says:

    Very helpful article. I am definitely put your advice on practice. Thank very much!

    4 years ago

  • AlicesPocket

    AlicesPocket says:

    LOVED this. thanks so much for this beautifully written post. so inspiring!!!

    4 years ago

  • LittleShopofElleSee

    LittleShopofElleSee says:

    I like it! A hint of mystery! Thanks so much!

    4 years ago

  • AzaferraJewelry

    AzaferraJewelry says:

    I come from a background where creativity was not appreciated. (You know; "get a real job"!) So it took a long time to allow myself to let it out. I painted commercial signs for quite a while,but felt the need to do more tactile work. I've never thought of the mystery angle as such, but maybe what I do think is the same thing in different words: I see all these beautiful elements and putting them together is a puzzle. The pieces (gems,etc) tell you where they go, you just have to listen. I find I hear them better in the wee hours of the night!

    3 years ago

  • teapotandsnail
  • CleopatrasJewelry

    Eleri K from CleopatrasJewelry says:

    BEAUTIFUL article. So inspiring.

    186 days ago