Monday, April 9, 2012

So...You Wanna Start an Etsy Shop? Part TWO - Creating a Brand

Once and awhile I like to post comments on the community forum boards on Etsy.
Sometimes I try to help shop owners who are discouraged,
feel like they are not selling anything,
and are asking for help.
Sometimes I'll leave a little comment on an Etsy forum letting other shop owners I'm here for them - that I will take a look at their shop and give them a "shop critique". I asked several other successful shop owners to do this when I was a newbie, and it really helped.
Last week when I offered my help on an Etsy forum board I got 9 messages from Etsy shop owners asking for a fresh perspective, a fresh eye, and some help with their Etsy shops.

I've come to realize that alot of shop owners who don't have the sales they would like are making a few really simple, easily fixable mistakes.
If a buyer enters your shop and gets confused by the lack of direction they will probably head for the "back" button on their browser. Lack of branding is incredibly unprofessional and makes you look like you have no clue what you are doing. Branding is important for any small business owner and should be given some serious thought.  Don't worry! I'm here to help you through this branding process...and it is actually really fun!

You are not just starting an Etsy shop, you are starting a business.

You are creating a brand.

Put alot of time and thought into what your brand is. Your shop should be a reflection of that brand. Sit down and spend a few days really plotting out the message you want your brand to send. Your shop name, design, and packaging all fits together creating a clear brand. Even shop owners who are starting out small should consider this.

Sometimes it takes a while to discover your clearest direction. I changed my shop design and business card a few times over the past few months since I opened shop. During the process I still knew what my branding would eventually be, what I was "working towards" - Ellarye Boutique is all about kraft paper, twine, chevron, washi tape, floral, bursts of color, couture meets handmade, a personal, romantic, shabby chic look. Whew!

Every time I changed my shop design I pulled little pieces of what I liked and didn't like into my next design. Is it ideal to change your branding several times when you are just starting out? No. It's confusing, expensive and time consuming. But what I have now is the epitome of what I wanted and I could not be more happy with my branding. Sometimes it takes awhile of getting to know yourself and your brand before you can really move forward confidently with design. Thats okay, too! Remember...this is your personal business journey. There are no rights or wrongs.

Starting out, I would recommend spending a few bucks and investing in one of the fabulous designers on Etsy who sell shop branding - banners, avatars and business card packages. These are incredibly affordable ($10-30.00) and give you the best foot forward. Here are some great Etsy designers who can help you brand yourself -

Graphic Confections


Honeysuckle Art

Sunny Bae

((Of course if you are clever with design and photography you can create your own branding!))

Next Step?

If you are ready for the next step and want to expand your brand into a blog and a complete business package here are my three top picks for blog and business design -

Danielle Burkleo - my blog/branding designer, totally worth the investment.

The Wonder Forest - I'm in love with this designer's use of whimsey.

Adelines Daddy - this guy is a design genuis. Love his work.

Branding is a fun part of starting a new business. Don't rush into it and make sure your branding and shop design are as unique, cool and clever as you are!

if you want to know more about me, click

thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. I love your Blog, and particularly this article, how do I find part one?