What would you do if Etsy featured your shop? I mean other than jumping up and down and squealing like a school girl at a Justin Beiber concert? We all wish for it, but do you know what it actually means in terms of work? Could you handle the sudden extra volume?
I found myself in this fabulous predicament twice this year, and it has honestly been difficult. I am in no way complaining, but being unprepared has made this a real learning experience. Obviously, every business is different, but this has been my experience.
In October I had a nice sized feature in the Etsy Finds email…
…and, early December, I was recently featured in the rotating promotional spots on the Front Page.
….as well as being the first picture in Kids Browse.
I feel like I have won the Etsy lottery, and I am ridiculously flattered. Never, ever underestimate the power of a good photo.
What being featured has meant for my business:
1. Insane increase in convos…both legitimate and spam. Keeping up with this has taken a lot more time than I ever anticipated. I have had some of the kindest people convo me just to say congratulations and they love my picture, along with downright rude convos. The good has far outweighed the bad.
2. Insane increase in views. Seriously, it astounds me how many views I’m getting daily, and it still makes me giddy.
3. Insane increase in everything. Take your current work load (including creating, listing, shipping, customer service – the whole shebang) and multiply it by 10. Overnight.
4. Sales have gone through the roof (relative to my shop and usual sales) and I have actually had to turn some requests away. This has been hard for me as I’m a people pleaser to a fault.
5. Although a lot of sales is wonderful, it has also meant I spend nearly 6 hours a day crocheting – that’s on top of my full time day job and raising children. This has been especially hard this month. I have put myself in a position that has prevented me from enjoying any festivities with my family. I feel like I haven’t slept in two months, and frankly I’m starting to get a little cranky.
6. It has forced me to rework some of my processes, from shipping to communication, and even slight alterations in my patterns.
7. I have had to raise prices on my popular sellers. It made me nervous of course, but I have had no shortage of sales.
8. I have pushed myself to the limits…mentally, physically, emotionally. I know it sounds dramatic, but this truly has been an adventure!
I absolutely would not trade this experience for anything in the world. It has been wonderful and frustrating and confusing and so rewarding all at the same time. There is no guarantee I will ever be featured again, but I am going to implement a plan of action in case it ever does. Even if I’m not featured, the holidays are busy for me, and there are things I plan to do to help alleviate the stress.
1. I will remember that it is ok to say no. This is incredibly difficult for me, but there are times when no is the best answer – for both you and your customer.
2. I will work throughout the year to create stock. My elf and mermaid sets have been my most popular items this year, and also take the longest to make out of nearly all my other items. My goal is to stock about half the amount of items I sold this year before each set’s busy season (summer and winter).
3. I will set clear, realistic ordering and shipping deadlines for both my customers and myself, and I will stick to them unless I deem it comfortable for me to take on more. I eat, sleep, and breathe this business, but I am not willing to sacrifice all of my family time for it. Sticking to #1 and #2 will make this much easier.
4. I will be making my packaging more efficient. I need it to take less time, but still be a presentable extension of my brand.
5. I will not underestimate my business. It is small potatoes compared to some, but it has become huge to me. I need to treat it as such and expect the best from it.
So what would you do if you were featured right now? Would your shop be ready?
What steps do you currently take to prepare for the holidays?