I’ve spent a good portion of this weekend thinking, brainstorming and soul searching.
Not by chance, rather, in an attempt to prioritize some of the many projects I have going on at the moment. Mind you, all of this comes second to caring for my two beautiful babies. For the past month I’ve been contemplating shutting down my Etsy shop. The reality is that I can make more money freelancing/branding/designing for other companies. And so, I find myself torn between running my Etsy shop and focusing on freelance. I’m quite stubborn, which is why it’s taken me a year to really sit down and decide between the two. Part of me thinks I should focus on freelance, but I would hate for this decision to be driven by financial gain. After some research, I’ve found that the successful Etsy sellers are those who have quit their day jobs to focus 100% on their products, marketing, etc. Makes sense since no one should spread his/herself too thin.
It took me a while to realize that selling a service is MUCH different than selling a product. With freelance work, you are solely selling your time. When producing a product, you have to factor in overhead, volume and profit. This is rough, but if I sell 10 hours of my freelance time versus 14 products, I end up with the same profit. This was a hard pill to swallow. However, I can sell a large quantity of product for a larger profit. As my Etsy shop starts to pick up momentum, I plan to add more product lines in order to attract even more customers. It’s amazing how word of mouth can really help with sales. People really love a handmade item and are willing to pay top dollar for quality. Right now I have 2 pages of items, though, I should have 5-6 for a broader reach. In addition to my baby blocks, and without giving too much away, I plan to add wall art and felted lighting fixtures. I am still in the creative stages, but very excited to expand.
I know that in order to make this work I will need to focus on marketing my products. Take this packaging redesign for example. This is one of many attempts to shape up my Etsy brand/image. The biggest challenge has been with keeping my Etsy image consistent with Obsessivision’s main brand. On Etsy, my main audience is 20-40 something parents who are looking for unexpected, handcrafted nursery decor with a touch of whimsy and a vintage twist. These were the qualities I had in mind when designing my product packaging over the weekend. Coming from a branding background, I know that presentation is everything. I want my customers to get excited when opening a product that they had a part in creating. This must be why I’ve been leaning away from freelance work. When you handcraft an item for someone, you know they will cherish it for years to come.
My block method:
Each and every block is cut and sanded by hand. I customize the letters in each name to display a variety of typefaces and represent the entire color palette. Images are first placed on the top of each block, leaving a few left over. One set of six blocks contains the entire alphabet, unless a client requests otherwise. Block sides are printed on textured ivory stock with archival inks. After cutting the paper squares by hand, I affix them one by one (with acid free glue) until all blocks are complete. This part takes the longest, but I need to ensure that there are no bubbles, gaps or shifts in the paper. Always a perfectionist, ha.
To view all block styles and other products >
Feel free to share my shop with any moms/dads to be. Makes the perfect baby shower gift!
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