Etsy Sellers: Do you stay with a very specific style?

I posted on the Etsy forums earlier today, hoping for a little bit of insight as I think I’ve been struggling over the last while with my shop..

Joanna from rainbowofcrazy says

Lately I feel like I’ve been struggling a lot more with what direction to go in with my shop. My ultimate goal would be to do this completely full time, or to even just be able to get a decent part time profit, and while I actually do try to work as much as I can, I don’t feel like I’ve found the right kind of style or that I haven’t found the right focus yet.

Is it wise to experiment and to try all sorts of things to find that sweet spot, or to really concentrate on one or two very specific styles? I know a lot of successful art shops tend to stay with a very specific style or theme with their content but I still feel like I’m struggling to find mine. Sometimes I feel like my own shop is just kinda randomness thrown together and I don’t know if there is quite a proper direction with it. Would it be too overwhelming to create as much of everything as you can, or would a shop just feel like too unfocused? On the other hand, when you really want to achieve more success with a shop and want to do even better, is it wise to stay with just one style, when you don’t know for sure if that is what people will want?

[…]Sometimes I feel like when I create a new painting that I’m really just rolling the dice and hoping to get that right number.

Here’s the thread I had started, and I’m so grateful for fellow Etsy sellers because they’re always full of lots of insight.

Amanda Dezenosky from admeaz0123 says

I had a similar issue. While I was pregnant I did a lot of experimental work. I knew I wanted to decorate jewelry boxes but I kept running out of ideas. Then my daughter was born and ideas flooded me. Being on maternity leave, I do a lot of magazine reading haha! So what I would suggest to you is to take a few days at least and just focus your thoughts on things that you like. Look at magazines, go on websites you like and book mark/tear out pages of anything and everything you like. When you have a decent collection, look it over and see what you find. I did the same and I noticed the commonalities in the things I liked and it helped me to identify my taste and style. Plus, focusing on how you find your shop to be kind of random sort of traps you. Put your shop aside and don’t even think about your items for a day or 2 and instead turn that energy into looking into new ideas and when you go back you’ll have clarity. At least I hope so because it worked for me! Good luck.

 

Alona from MoonlightDesigns2 says

I understand exactly where you are coming from. I spent the first year here trying to sell all different kinds of styles that I had been selling at craft fairs and not much sold. So I concentrated on the items people were buying and listening to their comments and feedback which put me in the right direction.

It is trial and error for some of us as I found what sells in my Etsy shop is different than what mainly sells in person. I also quit thinking I only had to sell one of a kind pieces, once I started repeating certain styles, maybe in different colors too, I started selling more. I am in this business full time, it’s my job so this has worked great for me. I also do custom pieces which can be fun and gets me somewhat out of a “style” rut.

 

 

There was a lot of really helpful input but I’ll try not to make this miles long (: I definitely don’t feel like I’m the only one struggling with this but I do feel like I need to refocus and re-evaluate where I want to go and how I want to go about it. I want to really figure out what I want to create, and to really focus on branding. I’m leaning towards creating a second shop to shift some things over (particularly the black and white skull work) but I think this may take more time and thought to figure out. I feel like I’m a lot more than what’s in that shop right now and I really want to express that in my art.

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About Jo @ Rainbow of Crazy

My username came from that very random day several years ago when I was told that I was a "walking rainbow of crazy... twinkling with the spectrum of a thousand different colours." That name makes me smile to this day and will always remain with me! http://www.rainbowofcrazy.com https://rainbowofcrazy.wordpress.com

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Artwork and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Laura Elizabeth

    Hello, I’m currently considering setting up a folksy/etsy shop and have found your post reassuring. I’m afraid that I have no advice to offer, only to say that your words resinated with me.

    I have so many different styles when creating jewelry and work in a lot of different mediums; this has led me to wonder whether I am even ready to start a shop, or whether I should be waiting until I can brand myself more coherently… I love the creativity of being able to learn new skills and this often leads me astray :o)

    For what it’s worth I think you have a distinct style. I love your pendants and can spot your painting style even though you have different characters. There are a couple that stand out to me as very different, like the Red-Riding Hood one (which happens to be my favourite so far), but I like that; it’s a bit like finding a hidden gem… but that’s just me.

    • Hi Laura, thank you SO much for your reply. It’s really reassuring knowing that I’m not the only one that’s struggling with this kind of thing. I really do want to experiment more now and to really find my style. If I can say, I think you should take the plunge with your craft! It’s definitely hard at first to design this plan for yourself and branding is definitely tough; but I think getting your feet wet and putting a few items out there might help you get a feel for where you want to go.. I remember seeing lots of posts on the Etsy forums with people doubting whether they should open a shop yet or not, but it really doesn’t hurt to try, even if you don’t have everything 100% figured out yet. Plus there really isn’t a point in some kind of grand opening. Most new Etsy shops start off with minimal traffic (if any) so the sooner you can start, the sooner you can *really* start building a following.

      I took about a month of just plain research on the ins and outs of starting up an Etsy shop.. but it’s definitely the time I’ve spent actually trying to run it that’s helped me really think about where I really want to take it now.

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