Etsy is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell handmade vintage unique items. I’ve read a number of articles where people were using Etsy to help earn additional income. It’s a platform to be able to make crafts and sell them online. Last year I bought my daughter a touchscreen Chromebook and I remember telling her that wouldn’t it be nice if you can use your Chromebook for more than just school. She started playing around with some creative apps and really got the hang of making some cool designs. She’s a bookworm and loves to read so she thought about designing some bookmarks. She made one, then made two, then three, and so on. She became so passionate with her bookmarks and I said why don’t you try to sell them? One year later, I’m proud to say that my daughter just opened an Etsy account for her bookmarks.
Before she opened her Etsy account, one thing we made sure was that she was the one to do the research, understand what goes into selling, where to sell, how much to sell, etc. You don’t open an Etsy account and expect people to find your store and start buying. That’s not how it works. We taught her that she would need to market and advertise to see if there was any interest. She opened an Instagram account to post her progress and network with other creative makers. She gave free bookmarks in the beginning to advertise and she received positive feedback from them.
A number of months into creating new designs building her inventory and marketing even more, she eventually felt like she was ready to make the move to Etsy. We had to teach her about how to price, calculate shipping costs, fees, operational costs such as materials, printing, and so on. Even after opening an Etsy account, there were still things she needed to learn within it. After a year of designing, I can proudly say that her Etsy store is open. She is selling pre-designed bookmarks, custom bookmarks, and custom graphic designs.
I previously wrote about teaching our kids early the topic of finances. As I see my daughter taking a hobby and creating something out of it, it just emphasizes the need to expose our kids early. I had no idea my daughter had the passion, the will, and the desire. Once she started on her journey, there was nothing stopping her as long as she had the time, resources, and support.
There are a few things to take away from this that I learned
You don’t know until you try
There’s always the question of should I or shouldn’t I? Can I? Could I? My daughter wouldn’t have known her potential without trying, without putting in the time, without taking the chance. She has a total of three sales and she is absolutely grateful for that. You should have seen her reaction when she received her very first order.
Start with an idea
If you have an idea, that’s half the battle. If you have the interest to create and sell, if you have a business idea, if you have a skill, if you have something that will help others, if you an idea that’s a start.
Where there’s a will there’s a way
What’s an idea that you have you want to explore? Do you want to take a hobby and build a business out of it? Do you have a skill that you can monetize? If you have the will and the drive, you will find a way. The way can be difficult and challenging but if you have the will you will find the way.
Support the dream
Don’t destroy someone’s dream rather show support for it. You wouldn’t tell a child their dreams are far fetched. Nothing is impossible so don’t close any doors.
There’s always something to be learned
Whether you’ve created a successful business or failed to start one, tried to explore new opportunities, tried to learn something new, or whatever it may be, there is always something to be learned. It took my daughter a year to understand just the basics of creating something and being able to sell. She learned things through trial and error.
Do you have a desire to make additional income? What ideas do you have? Etsy is just one example of a platform that my daughter used to sell her bookmarks. It took her over a year to prepare because she had other priorities as a student. If she had time to commit fulltime, I can’t imagine where she would be today. If you are looking to create additional income, these are just a few points I wanted to highlight. Just opening an Etsy account isn’t the goal. The goal is to create a sustainable business. Along the way, she is gaining experience that will be with her. If you are interested in following my journey, email subscribe to get alerts of latest posts or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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