Ever dream of taking your crafts and turning them into a business? Many people have on Etsy, a website that allows crafty types to sell their wares and make a little money. Little money being the operative word, as most sellers on Etsy barely make $100 a year.
Not in the case of Alicia Shaffer, owner of Three Bird Nest web store on Etsy. She started selling her homemade items on Etsy with the goal of making $100 a week to help pay for extras for her children.
Now, as reported on WNIC News, Alicia Shaffer makes $65,000 a month from selling socks, scarves, headbands, and jewelry on Etsy. Shaffer has become one of the most successful Etsy sellers. In just three years, her store sells around 3,000 items a day.
Shaffer started her store by making headbands for a brick-and-mortar store. Seeing that her headbands sold out constantly, Shaffer decided to start selling them on Etsy. Her expectations were modest at best. Her success didn't happen overnight, and the items she creates can be found on other Etsy stores, but one thing that stands out is Shaffer's passion for her work.
"I love textiles, fabric, fashion, designs, and seeing how different colors and fabrics pair together," she was quoted as saying on Yahoo! DIY.
Her success comes from treating her creation as more than a hobby but as a business. When she became overwhelmed with orders, Shaffer tapped her friends for help. As she saw her business grow, she realized that she needed to focus on her brand and started employing business tactics to get her brand in front of as many eyes as possible. She employed professional models and photographers for her website design, taking it up a notch from the rest of the DIY tribe.
To have a successful business on Etsy (or anywhere), she advises that you need to eat, sleep, and breathe your brand.
Surprisingly enough, she has no background in fashion. Shaffer said to WNIC that she figured everything out through trial and error. Shaffer also designs for a wide range of women, which broadens her potential customer base.
"She's a mom, a student, a daughter, a bride, a woman going on a first date," she said
Her business has been so successful that her husband, Demetrious, retired early from his post as a fire chief to run their home. The couple have three children and live in rural California.
[Photo: Three Bird Nest]