A few thoughts on the less glam side of running an Etsy shop. In the first year, getting used to deliver ON TIME was a big deal. I remember when certain products started getting popular and we had 10 orders in. I could hardly breathe I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Just a constant state of worry.
Now we have 50 orders in all the time and actually at the moment it’s the “worst” as we have over 70 in. Don’t get me wrong, we are so grateful, but it’s hard as we are a very small family business and not machines. Our hands hurt. This shop is like a baby to me, sometimes it deprives me of eating, showering and any spare time really. I have so many roles to juggle that I don’t really have a life outside of this creative bubble. Designer, maker, customer support, social media, product styling and photography, supply checkups, Etsy shop maintenance, packaging, invoicing… Our biggest obstacles are restock issues, those can hinder our work significantly.
Also I’m sick and tired of being blatantly copied, but I hardly speak about it and I stopped caring about it as life is too short and some people and attitudes just never change. Sometimes there are periods when we have no time to make new products, so whenever I feel like I’m nearing a possible burnout, I usually divert my energy into designing. A small business can also feel like mini mass production as we are making the same products, it’s repetitive work. It’s important to break the cycle by introducing something new. Less glam side is also the way my home looks when I take product images, it’s just a horrible disaster zone. Of course seeing other makers’ beautiful mess online is such a relief to me 😀 .