Danita of Danitashop was able to leave her full time day job after having her daughter. Her Etsy sales gave her the much needed push to take the plunge into selling full time instead of going back to her day job. Danita now enjoys spending her days with her daughter, having the freedom to work full time in a creative way, and is well on her way to being able to completely support herself through Etsy. In the New Year she hopes to sell more original paintings and continue to grow her Etsy business.
When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
When I started selling on Etsy, I first saw it as a new way to expand my online art business. At that time I was selling mostly on eBay and I had a day job that I hated. You see, I’m a visual person, and having to be stuck inside a windowless office during the day doing office related stuff started to take a toll on me. I felt oppressed and I had the urge to look for a career change. Then I got pregnant and my little baby came along. She was the perfect reason to leave my job, as I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her instead of an office. I pledged to succeed with my art and dedicated a great effort to Etsy and my online presence. Luckily for me, the effort has paid off and I’m not looking back!
What was the deciding factor resulting in pursuing Etsy as your full time job?
As I mentioned earlier, the birth of my daughter was a huge turning point on my career. But there were other factors: I started getting lots and lots of hearts; Etsians were sending me encouraging emails; and I was free to create with my style because it was better received here than in other places I sold. All these things encouraged me to make Etsy my main venue for selling my work.
Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
Well, I struggled A LOT to convince myself that I was doing the right thing, and that I was going to succeed at it. I used the money from my maternity leave to purchase my own computer and hoped for the best.
What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
My blog and Flickr! Since I started posting my blog and my Flickr account, people started following my antics and this generated more traffic for my Etsy store. Giveaways are a great way to keep people interested, as well as constant posting and emails showing off my latest works.
What have you found to be unsuccessful promotion?
Hehehehe… I wish I knew the exact answer to that question. If I ever do, I’ll bottle it and will start selling it here on Etsy. What I do know is that if you do not continue to update your Etsy shop, people start wandering off and it’s really difficult to pick the momentum again.
Would you walk us through what a typical workday might entail?
I’m a Mom by day, an artist by night.
- Typically daytime involves playing with my daughter and taking her to school.
- When it’s time for her nap I usually answer emails and try to work a bit in my art.
- When my husband arrives home from work, he takes care of our daughter and then I can focus on my work, preparing my materials and getting ready to start.
- I never know what I’m going to be creating next, I sort of let my inspiration surprise me and hit me.
- Once my husband puts our little girl to bed, he helps out printing, packing and preparing the photographs for the next listing. This allows me to keep on creating until the wee hours of the night… Fortunately, I’m a night owl, but I have the deepest circles under my eyes!!!!
What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
The freedom to do what I feel like doing without having to answer to anyone but myself. It’s really nice to be able to decide what I want to do next, and when I want to take a day off or don’t feel like working but would rather watch TV or read a book. I don’t need to fill out forms or ask for permission with 15 days notice.
What I miss… The human interaction. Unfortunately, this is a lonely job, and I miss chatting with my co-workers about stuff and hearing the latest office news… That’s why I love to read emails from customers and have found great friends and communities online that way!
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?
GO FOR IT. It will be worth it and you will kick yourself later for not doing it sooner.
What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year?
Grow, grow and grow! I want to position myself as a stronger seller in the original art field. Right now, prints are a best seller, and I really want to be able to sell more originals here on Etsy.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Not much really, just want to wish the best to Etsy, I love this place!!!!
Thanks to Danita for sharing her story and business with us! Check out the related items below to see some of her work.
You can find some of our previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.