Ever since childhood, the idea of starting my own business has always been on my mind. From selling candy to my classmates to ordering an entrepreneur book from American Girl, I knew early on that I wanted to be my own boss. Fast forward to four years in college and several more years working on a career in film; the entrepreneurship bug bit me once again.
The courage to start my own business blossomed with the need to keep a special person’s memory alive. My grandmother was an avid knitter and I remember her knitting me these amazing sweaters. Later, when I got older she would give me her knitting materials. It wasn’t until she passed away that the need to knit began. I started French Soul Knittery because of my desire to keep my grandmother’s memory alive and because I enjoyed designing pieces and creating each piece with my hands.
November of 2013, I opened my shop on Etsy and I was equal parts nervous, frightened and excited. I have never done anything like this before and I have never put myself out like this before. During the process of preparing, opening my shop and finally becoming a business owner, I learned a few things……
- Preparation in key. It took me a month to design pieces, buy materials, create the samples, photograph, edit photographs and list my products. Its important to treat your online shop like any other business. Brick and mortar shops, before they open, they need to either create or obtain their products and prepare their business for potential customers – you should do the same. A month’s time may seem too short for some but that’s the time I took to prepare.
- Get Your Legal Things Together. At first I thought I can just create a shop name up and create an account and start selling – WRONG! Before you list your first item, you need to register your business with your state and obtain a license to collect sales tax. I’m happy I researched beforehand.
- You Can Build All You Want But The Reality Is – They Will Not Come, Unless You Work. I was one of those people who I thought “Once I make these awesome items, they will definitely start buying.” I was wrong again. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals selling the same type of things you are selling. It is your job to separate yourself from the pack and create items that will stand out, items that you can truly believe in. I truly believe that there is an abundance out there for everyone – that everyone can succeed but it takes work.
- As A New Seller, You Will Feel Frustrated. There will be times when you feel like you want to give up. You will be frustrated that after a certain number of weeks, you are not getting any sales. You will start questioning your work, you will start questioning your ability. As a new seller you will wonder if its worth it, putting all of your money into this and getting nothing out of it. I felt these frustrations. I tell myself a few words of wisdom everyday – “Anything that I’m passionate about is worth working hard for.” Trust me, you will feel elated when that email comes in and states “Congrats on Your First Sale.”
As a new seller, I realized that having a shop on Etsy is extremely harder that I anticipated. It requires an enormous amount of work that the thought of giving up may come to mind but you can’t quit. If this is what you want to do. If creativity is in your blood, then you can’t quit. There is still so much for me to learn but I’m enjoying the journey and I hope we can do it together.
Are you thinking about starting your own business? What are your thoughts or concerns?
P.S. Enter the giveaway here!