Challenges and Frustrations with Starting an Etsy Shop

A couple months ago, I reached a goal I’d been working towards for about the last year: I opened an Etsy shop! I started knitting about a year ago now, and built up my skills over the last several months, learning something new with each item I made. And then finally, I opened up my Etsy shop in October :).

I started out with just four items because as you can imagine, it takes time and money to knit things! And my photographer friend has been taking the (beautiful!) product photos for me, so I coordinated with her schedule and worked out a day for her to trek out to this side of the Bay. Once we did our first session, I wanted to knit several more things before we arranged another time for her to come out for another photo shoot.

I aimed to have 5 more items Etsy-ready for our second shoot, but the 60 inch long infinity scarf I made took way longer than I had anticipated. And then came Election Day, so…you know… And then I had just a couple days left before our shoot, and I only had 2 things done. I was making good progress on my third product, but then I decided to buy the original color yarn I wanted, rather than the ombre shade that I had gotten online. I just wanted it to be perfect, so I thought it was worth it.

And I am glad I got the color I wanted. But I ended up staying up until 4:00am that night finishing up the product before my friend Alex came to photograph. And it was Thanksgiving weekend and the new Gilmore Girls episodes had just come out! I hadn’t felt that tired struggling to meet a deadline since grad school (nor do I want to repeat that any time soon). I’m happy with how the product turned out, but I actually had envisioned the measurements to be quite different…I just didn’t take the time to knit a gauge swatch when I really should have (lesson learned!).

But I’ve had some good news since then! I’ve made 2 sales, I’ve been re-posted on Instagram by SF Etsy (the Bay Area Etsy team), and I was invited to do a craft show (which I can’t attend), and my friend Gwynessa and I are planning a pop-up craft show in the Mission at the end of January. Small steps :).

I am itching for more though, and wishing I could already have a shop with a wide selection of items ready to go, and enough of an inventory to participate in the holiday craft fairs. But I’m not quite there yet. And I’ve started and almost finished knitting 2 more items recently that I’ve had to undo for various reasons. AND it’s the holidays and adding expensive yarn to my list of things to buy adds up quickly.

On top of knitting for Etsy, I’m also knitting some gifts and making a sweater (my first one!) for myself, and then there are my endless sewing projects.  There’s just not enough time for everything!

I thinking I’ll feel better once I get a couple more things up on Etsy. Until then it’s just relishing the small successes 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *