Monday, March 28, 2011

{ what finding your yeti has to do with improving your Etsy sales }

When I first started my shop I only had pieces that I thought would sell.  When I went to create a piece I would always think "Will this sell?" or "Who would want to buy this?" And you know what happened-no one bought anything. I sat there in front of my Etsy shop staring at the 0 sales and wondering what I was doing wrong.

One snowy night me & my boyfriend heard this loud noise outside our apartment and I joked that it must be a Yeti trying to get inside. Me & my boyfriend found this hilarious and he proceeded to throw one of our newly baked muffins into the blizzard. Laughing so hard I asked "Why did you do that?" he answered "Because Yeti's love muffins and now he will leave us alone"

I often make my boyfriend sketches that represent "our stories" and I was so excited to show him my new creation: a muffin loving Yeti. He was one of my favorite creations & I absolutely fell in love with the simple pencil sketch. So I created cards for my boyfriend as a gift and he said "Hey you should sell these on your Etsy shop" I laughed and said "Who would want to buy these? It's only funny to you and me, I mean it really makes no sense." But I loved them so much, so I listed them not expecting anything (I mean what are the chances of other Yeti loving individuals out there).

The next day I got an email saying I had made a sale (at first I thought my boyfriend was being cute) but no it was an actual person(and not family either) who paid actual money for my item. What had changed? I created something I loved and didn't worry about anyone else. I rediscovered why I started my shop in the first place. I found my Yeti, so to speak.

So what is your Yeti? Do you worry about if your product will sell instead of just creating what you love?
I would love to hear your stories & share your experiences (and muffins if you got them)


  1. Everything in this post is so true! Everything I've listed in my etsy shop that I thought would sell hasn't sold once but the dinosaur ring and my wood paneling cupcake wrappers I made because *I* wanted them have been selling like crazy!
    I wish my little bunny ring would sell though. I love that ring. I made it in honor of my little girl's favorite stuffed animal, her Bunny, so it has a lot of heart in it. No one else seems to think so though! Maybe it'll pick up around easter. (

    PS I love your blog and shop! Everything in there is adorable and all of your tips on here are fantastic. I did get a little confused when I tried to leave this comment though. I follow you on tumblr and when I got to your page there wasn't a spot for comments! I'm glad you linked it back to here, otherwise I wouldn't have had any idea you hail from blogspot.

  2. so glad that my advice has helped and I wish you continued success in your shop (I personally love the cupcake holder)

  3. I love this story! Stick to what you love, not what you think others will love. :)

  4. wow. you are so right!!!! I've done the same thing-- posted a photo I loved (that wasn't technically "good") and it sold. Meanwhile, I've got cupcakes upon cupcakes (cupcakes are soooo 2010...) that have yet to sell!!!

    Great post. Thanks for the reminder!!

  5. I have your shop as one of my favourites on Etsy, so I glad that I have found your blog. I love your style, such fun and so uplifting. Also you are sharing so much information. Thank you.

  6. first: thank you!
    It's great story!
    I know this. I have so many times this experience that only if I really love what I do? whit out thinking how world response to me.
    I don't wait for response. I take my responsible to my doing.
    But now with all my knowledge I start some thing so different from all my life and I what can I say?
    I start like little child (I was )who looking for good words, looking for some one who will say you are OK.
    It's looks simple, but for me it's take time to find my Yeti!
    Thank you again for some tips how to look him :)

  7. Thanks so much for all the great responses who knew a yeti could inspire so many

  8. Hey Michelle,

    Lovely post. It`s SOOOOO true, I remember years ago someone telling me `make what you love and kindred spirits will find you and buy` and I totally believe it. Why waste time making stuff you don't even like just to drive sales.

    The yeti card is awesome, such a cute story!


  9. Great post, very inspiration. Makes me want to got and make something and post it.

  10. You can teach more with a story than all the marketing techniques combined. This is beautiful and spot on!

  11. This is absolutely 100% true, in my experience. It seems like as soon as I start thinking "will this sell" rather than "do I love this, does it speak to me, am I really excited about this piece," the sales dry up. And I get more sales when I am stocking my shop with items that inspire me. Great reminder!

  12. It is such a relief to hear this. I have just opened an Etsy store and will keep this in mind. I make jewelry and have often heard that you should look at what people wear, and then make something similar. The thing is I generally don't like what people wear or what's in the stores. That is probably why I make what I make. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. I am an actress, and love doing films. I create films, raise budgets, and dabble in television too. But when it comes to getting sales on my Etsy (Abovo Originals Trading Post) I have found it near difficult. I am selling what I love, and have always loved...vintage inspired bath/body/perfumes. I work every day all day on the product, packaging, working on making a "story" to bring the shop and items to life. Nothing is working. I'm not wanting to close shop and walk away, but there comes a point when it just gets embarrassing having no sales. I wonder if I should use cheap products to create mine, and sell for cheaper. I wonder if prayer works. I wonder why it's successful for others and not me- -because I LOVE this stuff. I dab it on all day every day, layers and layers, and people in life think it;s great. But...on Etsy? Nada. Need help here at the Trading Post. Write me if you have any more advice on my shop specifically...(Abovo Originals Trading Post) on Etsy

  14. Thank you so much for writing this i was sitting the last two days just thinking of product ideas that would sale to start my own Etsy shop and thinking of things that were truly not me just to try and get a product line.

    Thank you again so much for the reality check

  15. Well let me first say you should be proud of having 8 sales and only being open for less than a month it took my shop a lot longer to even have one so it does take time But there are some things I believe you can do to hopefully get even more. In no way am I a expert and these are just my opinions so please take them as such because I want you to find success with your passion;
    1) I think your stories are great and really give the product background and they convey your passion for your product but on the item descriptions I might shorten them or put them at the end of the description
    Be very specific in what the customer is getting How may oz., how it's packaged, be as descriptive as you can so the customer knows exactly what they are getting
    2) Use the macro setting (the tulip) on your camera when shooting your products right now the pictures are a bit fuzzy and that is huge in getting traffic to your shop The better the images the more likely people will visit and the more treasuries you will be in Also with the photos make sure all 5 spots are used and that all 5 pictures are of your product
    3) You have a great logo use it in your banner The banner right now doesn't look like the rest of your shop
    4) Make sure you take advantage of the feature option on your shop
    5) Maybe add a location so people can find you if they are shopping locally This helps A LOT
    and my last bit of advice is Market like crazy start a Facebook page, write a blog, use Twitter

    I hope these suggestions were helpful and good luck

  16. Great Story... I just opened my etsy shop (about a month or so ago), and I've had one sale (from a friend)..... Years ago when I started making jewelry, I was making what I thought other people would like and my heart just wasn't in it.... Today, I do make what I love, but other than my mother telling me she wants something, I haven't had any luck getting sales. I have had people favorite items, I've even been in a couple treasuries so I guess that's a start... but sometimes it does get frustrating and I wonder if I'm the only one who loves what I make... I do look at other etsy artist and see how they describe things... I'm trying to get a new camera to get better pictures.. There's nothing (besides dancing and reading) that I like more than creating something... I just started a facebook page, twitter and a blog.... I guess I just need to give it more time.