I'm delighted to announce that my Etsy Shop is now open for business - hooray! One of my most frequently asked questions is 'do you sell your jewellery?' the answer until today has always been a shameful 'no!'. Between working full time, writing my blog, running jewellery workshops, home renovations and being pregnant there never seemed to be a spare moment to sit down and get it off the ground. I have to admit since not returning to full time work to be a mama I've struggled with the idea of not working, I've had a job since I was fifteen so losing my financial independence has been hard to get my head around. I was thinking of work I could do around childcare and in a lightbulb moment, I finally thought 'it's time to start an Etsy shop!' and so it began...If you need a push to get your Etsy shop going in 2017 then you need to take part in the Etsy Resolution. Starting at the end of the month Etsy will be offering a four week online bootcamp offering you all the mentoring and skills to build your confidence and get your shop open. I think confidence is what holds so many of us creative types back but 2017 is the year to get going and stop worrying!
I found the most daunting part in starting was deciding what to sell, I have made so many projects over the years that pinpointing the right items to sell was tough. I looked at my most popular tutorials and then pulled the pieces that I have made for my friends and sisters, quite naturally a collection came together before my eyes. It needed some updating but I could see what I was working towards. I went supply shopping and pulled out my best jewels and then started to create.
Beginning with the materials, I pulled a moodboard together so there was a consistency with colour and styles. Using all the extra childcare available over Christmas I worked over three days to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Compared with writing tutorials it was brilliant to be able to work when and where I needed too. As I didn't have any reliance on daylight I could work at night once Stanley went to bed which gave me plenty of family time in the day. Once complete I laid the finished pieces out on a white board so I could see the collection coming together and fill in any gaps.
When it came to photographing the jewellery I had a definite 'this is what I should be doing moment'. The sun was shining, the window was open and I spent a day photographing everything that I had been making - it was such a good day. I used my flatlay board, some grey fabric and lots of flowers to create scenes. I had looked at lots of Etsy sellers to understand the range of shots I needed, so took a mix of wide and detailed. If photography is something that puts you off then my tip would be to shoot on a bright bright but not too sunny day, try lots of different angles to see what looks best and keep the background clear (no plug sockets or bits of paper). The less you have to edit the better.
I'm not the most technical person in the world nor the most patient so I was dreading the uploading photos. This turned out to be one of the most fun (and speedy) parts of the whole process, I loved seeing the listings grow and seeing my shop come together. The process of picking a shop name and adding products couldn't have been easier. I loved the copy feature which meant I could copy each listing and just change the images and some of the text. It took me about two hours to upload my 10 products but (I was checking my phone, getting snacks in-between!). I still have some tweaks and want to add a proper about section but I had to go and collect Stanley so ran out of time. I love that now the shop is open I can still make amends and keep improving and learning as I go.
I'm really excited about finally having a place to sell my jewellery and being able to turn my hobby into a business whilst being totally flexible to my life and childcare. I love being a mum but for me I need to feel like I'm working on something that is independent to the family to retain a sense of my own identity. If like me you are feeling a little lost - you might just be entering motherhood, having a career change or looking for an alternative from the 9 - 5 slog (been there!) then make sure you join the Etsy Resolution. For years I've been searching for a way to express myself creatively and I finally feel like I've found my path. I know that starting is the hardest but make 2017 is the year that you can, there's nothing stopping you so lets do this together and have fun! You can see my full collection here.
This post was written in collaboration with Etsy, all thoughts and experiences are my own.