Sunday, October 20, 2013

Etsy seller advice: Opening a shop

My very first sale - Feb. 28, 2008

When thinking about starting your own Etsy shop, there is a fairly large learning curve.

Etsy has lots of resources, mainly the SELLERS HANDBOOK. (

This pretty spells out everything you need to know. 

But just following the steps will rarely lead to anything long-lasting and rewarding.

The main point about an Etsy shop is that YOU are making everything. You are shipping it, you are photographing it, you are writing about it.


If there is something that you love to make, make it. 
If you love dogs, make dog treats.
If you love jane austen novels, make wall hangings with quotes.

If you decide to open a shop with an idea of "Oh yeah, this will definitely make money", and that is your only driving force, then it probably won't.

Having a passion for what you sell will come through in your shop, and buyers will respond.

Once you get past this main hurdle and have the WHAT of your shop all settled, there are few additional details to consider.

Here are my top three "elements of your shop" to consider. 

PHOTOS: Show, don't tell. 

Good, eye-catching photos are what drive buyers to click. They aren't going to read a long description to get the details of an item, they will quickly look at photos and decide if they are interested. 

If the photo passes the test, then they will read on and possibly get to the sale. 

SHIPPING/PACKAGING: Make it special. 

The relationship between the Etsy buyer and seller is a special one. It's not a factory  or shipping warehouse worker packing their purchase ... it is the person who made it .. just for them.

Try to show a bit more personal care when packing your items. This doesn't have to be over the top.

I generally wrap items in bubble wrap, tissue paper, and then tie up with ribbons -- business card tucked in the ribbon.

I know my sister (who has a vintage shop) includes a vintage scarf freebie in each order (because she has a bagillion of them!) 

I once got a package with a piece of candy in it. That made my day!!

It's all about making your customer feel special and making them want to buy from you again in the future.

SEO and TAGGING: Be seen.

Etsy has changed so much over the years when it comes to "being seen." 

Used to be, the most recent listings automatically showed up first in search. 

This was cool because you could simply "renew" your listings to get them to the top of the pack.

NOW ... it's all about relevancy. 
I really don't like it because I have to have ugly listing titles now .. packed with key words to be seen.

Here's a pretty good article about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Etsy shops:

I hope this helps if you are thinking about opening a shop, or are just starting out!

Questions?? I'd love to answer in the comments!!! 

- Emily

Friday, October 11, 2013

Advice for Etsy sellers

The Sale.

Photo by Etsy seller SeasAndPeas

When you first open your Etsy shop, it's such a novelty.
Getting a sale is the stuff of magic!
You jump up and down and scream in a really high pitch. 

Before, when maybe it was a fun way to make some extra cash, not getting a sale in a day was no big deal. In fact, it was expected. 

But after a while, that magic wears off, and like an addict, you get to where you depend on that "Etsy Transaction" e-mail.  And you need MORE and MORE sales to make you happy!

And now that your life and your livelihood are both wrapped up in that delicate little spot on the internet, you may start to freak out when you don't get that fix one day, or one week!

I used to be that way.
I was that girl.
In some ways I still am, but I am getting better.

You have to look at the big picture. 
Minor, daily victories are great, but the larger success of your business relies on your ability to see beyond every single sale.

You have to constantly innovate ways to make your product better, your customer service better, your time management better.

Taking some time to step back and improve the overall function of your shop will lead to more sales in the long-run.


Any questions from Etsy sellers about running their shop?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Breaking Bad = Good

The conclusion of "Breaking Bad" has had such a huge presence in pop culture in recent weeks.

I started watching it about a year ago. My husband (then boyfriend) and I would watch an episode with dinner. Then IMMEDIATELY have to watch 2 more consecutive episodes until it was obviously time to go to bed (or else he would be late for work in the morning!).

Jesse and Walt having a beer after a long night at work. 

It's rare to find a show like that. Not just that it has cliff-hanger endings ... but the characters were so complicated that you couldn't figure out how you felt about everything.

I've heard a lot about how it's so hard to watch and so violent and so traumatic ... but really, I what other directions could it take?

It's about cancer ... drugs ... infidelity ... murder ...  all the bad things in life.

But I think it's all the bad things that make you realize the good. And in the end, that's what it's really about: Family, loyalty and friendship.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pretty Petal Studio - Autumn 2013 shoot


Photography by Pretty Petal Studio:
Florals by Candlelight Floral Designs:
Models: Kate and Lalania
Hair pieces by Whichgoose:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Giveaway winner!

The giveaway winner (as chosen by my niece Ella at random) is ......


Congrats! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing info :)

Thanks to everyone for entering!!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's a ...

It's that time again! Oh, yes indeed :) 

I am giving away one pink and purple rose hair crown known as "paradigm" seen here:

Wedding flower crown, Pink Bridal hair accessory, Floral headpiece - PARADIGM


Please comment on this blog post with your e-mail address. This is how I will contact you if you are the winner. I will not send any correspondence to the e-mail.


On August 13, my 6-year-old niece, Ella, will pick a winner at random.

Good luck!!! :) 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The goose and the golden egg.

I don't know if I've written about this in the past, so if this is a repeat, feel free to click away.

What does my business name mean? Where did it come from?

I've been asked these questions a few times, but not as many as you might think with such a weird business name!

Here's the big secret: It randomly popped into my head. Not even kidding.

BUT, it turns out there is a deeper meaning.

I now sometimes even claim I had thought about this and planned the whole thing out :)

I like to say my business name, Whichgoose, harkens back to the Aesop fable about "The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs."

You know the story:

One day a farmer sees that his goose has laid a solid gold egg. He is so excited. The next day it lays another ... then another ... pretty soon the guy is rich.
He decides he wants all the eggs right now and cuts open the goose. Alas, there are no golden eggs inside and he can have no more because he killed the goose. Sucker.

So what does that have to do with my shop???

I think that in life, we tend to value the "eggs" in life (the material possessions that are fleeting) over the "goose" (or the means to get the eggs that come only with patience).

I think that finding out "which goose" is the most important to you is the struggle of finding true happiness.

For me, it's my creative energy and an outlet that allows me to make a living doing what I love!

If I start to value to money or the rewards of a popular business over the creative force that started it all, only ruin can come.

Hope this wasn't too "out there" -- just rambling :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top photo tips!

Welcome to my photo studio!! 

I know I've shared this before on Facebook ... but really, good Etsy photos can
come from a very low-tech set up.

You don't NEED a fancy lighting system or backdrops
to get a pretty good end result.

This is just a basic overview of how I do it -- but there are many ways to make your own set-up... Just find the pretty light!

Hope you enjoy :) 

Here's the "product photography" set up:

1.) This white backdrop is a large sketchbook. I tape one piece to the door and lay the rest on the ground to get a nice large backdrop. 

2.) Pillow to sit on since you need to crouch down low to get fancy angles.

3.) **THIS is the most important bit *** See that line of the sun and shade? Find this in your own doorway in order to determine what time of day is best to take photos. This division for me happens around 10 a.m. You want the paper to *JUST* be in the shade. This gets you a dreamy lighting that always looks nice.

Here's the "styled photo/model photo" set up: 

4.) This is my tripod ... and I need to crank it up all the way to get the head-shots. I also use a remote shutter (wireless) that is not pictured. This allows me to be able to get shots of myself without a timer or photographer. 

5.) This is the angle -- more straight on --- like a 90 degree angle from the tripod to the door to the backdrop. And the backdrop here is a BIG piece of canvas (you can buy a roll at the craft store.) 

I had to put a couple nails in the door to hang it, but that's the only evidence left after my photo shoot is complete!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013

(Photo by Girlhula via Flickr).


It's a bit of bad time of year for me, what with taxes and a whole year of being responsible for my income spreading out before me.

BUT, I try to remain positive and concentrate on the whole "fresh start" mentality.

Here is my shortlist of goals for Whichgoose in 2013.

1.) Blog more (obviously!)
2.) Be on top of social networking in general.
3.) Get a real photo studio set up with back drop (no more white sheet on door.)
4.) Set aside at least a few hours per week to DO NOTHING.
5.) Spend less.
6.) Save more.
7.) Be grateful everyday.
8.) Get some awesome photos.
9.) Keep innovating.

I wish I could think of one more for an even "10" but I can't!

xo -Emily