I started selling on etsy in May of ’06. From sheer luck, I sold an original within 15 minutes or so of starting my shop. I was hooked. It was hugely exciting for me to find a venue that I could distributemy art worldwide, manage my shop how I wanted to, and not have to jackup prices to compensate for gallery fees. My shop looked pretty haggard in the beginning. I didn’t have a decent camera to take pics and no real idea how to drive traffic. Beyond a few random sales, Ididn’t have much activity.

My real turning point came from farting around on the forums. I made friends with a few etsy regulars and a couple of etsy admins. I saw how shops should look and I decided to step up my game and make my shop presentable. It became a goal to become one of the featured sellers you see on the bottom page of etsy’s front page.I bought a good camera, I recommend a Canon, and started getting some representational shots of my work. I got a number of items featured on the front page and eventually landed that etsy featured seller spot I wanted.

I’ve had lots of luck since then. I was noticed by someone from Domino magazine, who first featured me on their website and then their actual magazine. That’s brought hundreds of sales and more requests for custom work than I could handle. I was featured in a UK magazine called The Crack, Read Magazine, Time Out New York, and a magazine distributed in subways called The Metro. A number of blogs have done features on my work and I’ve been on etsy’s front page from treasuries a number of times.

Beyond being lucky, I have some tips!


-Have good pictures. I can’t stress it enough. It’s silly obvious,but etsy is a losing battle with bad pics.

-Be original. Don’t find successful sellers and try to jump on the bandwagon. Etsy is a small place and word gets around when copycats appear.

-Buy some ads. You can find decently priced ads if you look. Found magazine is remarkably affordable as is Bust.

-Be gracious. Your buyers didn’t need to give you their hard earned money, thank them for it, send them free stuff… just be cool.

-Make your packaging bulletproof. I’ve sent packages that look like they were caught in a lawnmower by the time the post office gets done with them, but because of careful packaging, have never had to replace a damaged item.

-Explain in your thank you message to customers your shipping schedule and when they can expect their package.

-Get a phone that you can etsy from. The Iphone is rad. I can relist items, post on forums, and reply to customer questions anywhere I am. It makes having an internet business possible without hanging out allday at your desk.

Stuff I don’t do but probably should:

-Have an avatar that displays your product. I always just have some goofy photo of me.


-Use social networking to get your work out there. I do things like start and Indiepublic page and completely forget about it within days.

-Write long, eloquent product descriptions.

I do make sure to atleast include dimensions though, which I notice that several shopsforget to do.

Good luck, everybody!


  1. I love this shop, very nice and original work, I am not surprised by the succes story!

  2. Just reading this one entry has made me decide to follow your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowlege.

  3. The advice about the iPhone is great. I asked for an iPhone just for my Etsy stuff and it was the best gift I have ever received. People say they don't have time for promotional things like twitter but when you have an iPhone it is as easy as texting. :)