Thursday, December 19, 2013
A few months back (late June to be precise), I shared that I had opened a shop on Etsy. I decided to call my shop "Kimzkraftkorner" because it kept things wide open... not just knit things but things I crochet or sew... what ever tickled my fancy. I wanted to call it "Kimskraftkorner" with an "s" but apparently that name was taken by someone previously. I liked that it was more similar to my blog name. Oh well!
I have been having a really fun time with my Etsy shop. At the encouragement of a friend on Ravelry, I opened a second shop to sell my knitting patterns. I am calling that shop "Kimzknits". I was encouraged to open a second shop just for patterns or else buyers might be confused. For example, if I had a pattern for a hat listed next to a completed hat, some one might think, "Wow, a hat for just a few bucks... I'll buy that!," but then be disappointed to only get a pattern download and not a completed hat! It's a bit of extra work to have two shops but I am not complaining. Things are going pretty well and, since I have a full time job, it's plenty busy.
My sales goal for "Kimzkraftkorner" was 50 sales. I only recently set that goal when I was approaching 50 sales and I was optimistic I'd hit that mark before the end of the year. I got sale #50 and #51 on Sunday. This appears to be the end of the Christmas rush for me. The sales goal for "Kimzknits" is a dozen pattern sales by the end of the year... just two more to go and I'll be there! "Kimzknits" has just been open for a few month. I really went into Etsy with no expectations; I was just HOPEFUL some one would find my items and like the looks of them. I have been very surprised along the way by a lot of things. One thing that has pleased me the most is folks who have come back for more orders... proof that folks are pleased with my work. Another thing that surprised me is how much fun I enjoy working with buyers, especially on custom orders. I've had folks contact me asking for pillows with a particular theme... butterflies, dragonflies, NFL teams, NASCAR, owls, French poodles... fun! I encourage buyer to look at "fabric by the yard" on Etsy or I help them find fabric to match their desired theme. If not Etsy, then other fabric sources on the Internet. It's very fun to help folks design their custom pillows to their specifications.
I was most excited when an Etsy seller contacted me and asked me to add a pouch or pocket to a pillow where a hot or cold pack could be inserted. What an excellent idea! I had to make a few prototypes and the first was an epic failure, but I kind of have it figured out now. The lady with the idea loves her pillow! The mini-pillow I sewed to be a hot or cold pack is filled with rice and can be chilled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave oven. I'll show you some photos here:
Recently, another lady asked me for the same type of pillow for her grandmother. Nice!
The most surprising thing about Etsy is what a supportive and social community it is. I was on Etsy for awhile before I discovered an area called "Forums" where folks discuss various questions. Sometimes the treads of conversations are just chit chat... "Woo Hoo! I just got my first sale!" and then folks will add to the discussion... "Congratulations! Here's to many more sales!" Others will ask questions about how things work on Etsy... "How do I refund someone if I over charged for shipping?" and fellow, more experienced sellers will jump in and give a helpful explanation of the procedures. I just did not imagine a place for selling would be such a positive, upbeat, and supportive environment.
I am glad I finally took the plunge! For years, I've gone to craft fairs and said, "I can do this! I want to do this!" but I always talked myself out of it... for fear of failure. fear of wasting money. This summer I just said, "Go for it! Don't over think it! Don't over research it! Don't hesitate... just figure it out as you go along!" And that is exactly what I've done. For the first few dozen sales, I think I learned something new each and every sale.
There have been a few stressful moments along the way. Just this week, a lady in Ohio was getting a little panicky that her package had not yet arrived. We looked at the U.S. Postal Service Tracking information and it looked like the package had gone to Cincinnati, gone to her home town to be delivered, and then back to Cincinnati! I could just imagine my customer trying to pack for a trip and hoping a last minute Christmas gift she'd ordered on line would arrive on time. I was so happy today when she sent me an e-mail to tell me the pillow had arrived and she loved And I was very relieved and very pleased.
I hope by sharing this it doesn't sounds like I am going on and on about how well I am doing... bragging. I am just excited and wanting to share. It's something very exciting going on in my life and fulfilling in a fun and unexpected way.