Tell us about the three shops you run on Etsy.
- LoveandDream was my first Etsy shop, for my fiber art necklaces and outfits.
- LoveandKnit is my knitting shop.
- ThreeBlueBee is my handmade supplies shop, specializing in natural crocheted beads.
Are there advantages to being a European seller on Etsy?
We’re all making our products to share with the world, and it’s a joy to buy something handmade from a different culture.
Tell us about your previous working situation and how you discovered Etsy.
I studied fashion in Istanbul. After my education, I worked for three big brands in Turkey; I began my career as a haute couture designer.
I knew that I was born for this job, but I always dreamed of working for myself. Opening a shop and selling handmade goods with my sister was my sweetest dream. One day I decided to listen to my heart’s voice and quit my day job. A short while later I came across Etsy while searching for something on Google. I hadn’t heard about the site before, but I immediately fell in love. I assumed that Etsy was just for Americans, but then a friend called and said, “Mine, I found a great marketplace for your work,” — and that it was global. That was the greatest news.
How did you transition into selling on Etsy full time?
I was planning to open a brick-and-mortar shop in Istanbul, but after I discovered Etsy, I decided to start with an online shop. It began with baby steps, and my business just got bigger and bigger. Now I don’t have the time or need for other jobs. I’m happy with Etsy.
What are your best marketing tips?
- As it has been mentioned a million times before, taking good photos is the most important thing. Adding a little brightness and contrast to your photos, as well as a plain background, can increase your sales.
- Joining an Etsy team will make you stronger. It’s a great feeling to know there are people ready to help you if you’re in need.
- Following the Etsy Blog and emails are great ways to keep up with the site’s merchandising direction.
What is the biggest challenge you face during your daily schedule?
Time management is the hardest part for me. I’m still learning how to use my time effectively.
…and the hardest part about running your own business?
If you are running your own business, this means you’re on the receiving end of all the risks and responsibility. Sometimes it can be a little scary.
What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
I’m living my dream and working at home for my own business. Now I’m the one who decides my working hours; I can work in my pajamas if I want. There is no boss who’s asking for more and more. I’m the boss! This doesn’t mean that I’m working less than I used to, and sometimes I really miss my team.
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
If you have original ideas, that’s great. But if you don’t, just think simple and start making basic things. You can’t find your own style if you follow somebody else. Be yourself: this is the key.
What goals do you have in store for the future of your Etsy shops?
I want to create clothing collections as soon as I solve my time management problem. It’s what I want to do most.
Thanks for sharing your story, Mine. Check out her work in the Seller’s Items below.
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