One of the best things about our annual Craft Party get-togethers, aside from the opportunity to catch-up with old Etsy pals, as well as making new ones, while crafting up a storm, is discovering inspirational Etsy seller stories from around the globe.
One such story was shared at the Athens Craft Party courtesy of Nausika, Captain of the Greek team. She’d introduced a couple of her friends to Etsy last year, when they were going through a tough time due to the economical situation in Greece, and helped them set up their Etsy shop, Aluminiopassions.
A year on and amazingly, Kosmas and his wife have moved into a new house, financed by their Etsy earnings.
What a heart-warming story! We caught up with seller Kosmas (pictured in his new workshop, above) to find out more…
What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?
Due to the financial crisis here in Greece, I had a hard time finding a steady job and didn’t feel I had the prospects of finding employment in my line of work. A friend of mine was already an Etsy seller and suggested I should try it! I thought it was a good opportunity to try and do something on my own without investing a lot of money in to it.
How did you decide what to make? Had you created with aluminium before?
I studied aircraft engineering at a technical school where we used a lot of aluminium. So I was familiar with it and its properties (it doesn’t rust, it’s lightweight, formed and treated relatively easily, has a nice look like silver and is affordable). After graduating I crafted various items out of aluminium and about seven years ago I used to make several items for friends (mostly keychains) as gifts.
Tell us a little about your life before Etsy – how has it changed?
My previous job before opening my Etsy shop meant working for 10-12 hours a day, staying away from my wife and home and not having any time to do something I liked! Now I can spend the whole day with my wife, we work together and enjoy plenty of quality time . We now own our lives!
What are the best things about working for yourself?
Being your own boss for me means making your own schedule! I don’t need to set the alarm clock to wake up, I can work in the comfort of my home even in my slippers! I can say when to take a break or keep working! That’s what I love about my Etsy shop!
What has been your proudest Etsy moment?
I am very happy to admit that for the past few months, through my Etsy shop we were able to rent a new house and pay our bills! And all this within a year of being an Etsy seller! This makes me really proud!
What advice can you offer to people starting out on Etsy?
First of all, join a local team to get support! Invest time and effort to participate in the Etsy school projects that run in teams. This is what I did in the beginning by joining Etsy Greek Street Team! It’s a way of getting advice from those who have achieved on Etsy before them.
Invest a lot of effort in taking great photos and making great items! Then, if all goes well, they should invest money in materials and tools needed for their craft.
Visit Kosmas’ Etsy shop: etsy.com/uk/shop/Aluminiopassions.
How has Etsy changed your life? Share your stories below – we’d love to hear!