Over the last few years my wife has made amazing, glittery, handmade wreaths from ornaments. The kind of ornaments you might see on a Christmas tree. These wreaths are used to decorate the door of a home, the wall of a kitchen or living room or to spruce up a drab hallway.
Like so many who I’ve advised and helped over the years, she’s struggling with moving from hobby to business.
As a hobby you get to have a lot more fun and enjoy your craft. Oftentimes you really don’t have to worry about making money or having clients.
I spoke about this here on YouTube.
Recently, my wife opened an Etsy Shop. She’s been selling wreaths by word of mouth to friends and family. She then opened up a simple WordPress website. Then she added a way to pay via PayPal. These were “ok”.
Now that she has an Etsy Shop she’s able to take her hobby and if she chooses, grow it even further into a business.
Like any platform,it will take a while to first setup your Etsy Shop. Uploading your inventory, adding pictures, adding descriptions and more takes time.
However, once it’s all setup, in my opinion, that’s where the “fun starts”. You can see trends, see traffic, see which items have been viewed more and etc.
We debated, should Ron’s Wreaths be its own ecommerce store and build on Shopify or should she be in marketplace like Etsy. We opted for Etsy - in part, as many of my wifes friends and associates have their own stores on Etsy - which is built for “hand crafted” products.
Hours after Ron’s Wreaths went live on Etsy she made her first sale. Not to a friend or relative or member of our church - but to a stranger! It’s a good thing when you’re able to sell beyond a close knit community group!
What’s the lessons learned here?
- There’s so many powerful and easy to use platform available for just about anyone to “start” and launch their business.
- Anyone with a skill and a dream can, for low cost, test and start their small enterprise.
- The big brands, like Etsy, Shopify, Microsoft, Wix, Squarespace, Google, Facebook, Intuit Quickbooks, Zoho and so many more are billion dollar companies making it easy for very small businesses to start and grow.
- eCommerce is the future. Sure, it’s already a billion dollar industry, but thanks to Covid and the resulting “shelter in place” there’s so many new opportunities for new businesses.
- New business owners MUST also enjoy the “back office” work that goes into running a successful business.