How 85thAvenue got started

Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?

I’m Haley Allen, owner of 85th Avenue. I design and make handmade apparel and accessories. I started out making graphic tees for myself and slowly started selling them to friends and family. I found that there was a small market for motocross and racing apparel, which is what prompted my idea of starting an Etsy shop. I knew I couldn’t be the only one looking for racing-themed apparel and accessories. I started selling on my Etsy shop in 2019 during my last year of college, and I actually got my first sale while I was sitting through my college graduation. I have since expanded my product lines, and I couldn’t be happier with how my Etsy shop has grown. I have customers in all 50 states and even a few other countries.

Favorite items

What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?

My favorite and best-selling items are my motocross-themed apparel. I personally think it’s so fun to wear clothing that represents the things you love. I find that my customers like to buy new apparel when heading to a supercross race, or they buy racing-themed baby bodysuits as pregnancy announcements. It’s so fun to see everyone wearing apparel they bought from my shop.

Motorcross-themed apparel
Fast One Birthday Bodysuit, Baby's 1st birthday, Racing Birthday, Motocross Birthday

Getting sales on Etsy

How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?

It took a couple of months to get my first sale. I didn’t have very many listings and hadn’t quite gotten the hang of things yet. I started adding more and more listings and learning all that I could about SEO. I am still consistently learning more about SEO and refreshing my listings often. I recently started adding videos to some of my listings and updating my listing photos to ensure I have high-quality photos, which has helped tremendously.

Managing 85thAvenue

How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?

I manage my shop and order fulfillment on my own. I have a room in our basement that I work out of. I use Canva and Cricut Design Space to design, and I cut most of my designs out using my Cricut. I have recently started using screen printing and DTF transfers as well, which has been very helpful in freeing up time to work on other areas of my business. I make orders as they come in, and I try not to keep too much inventory on hand. I personally make, package, and ship the product myself. I print my shipping labels right off of Etsy, package up the orders, and drop them off at the post office. I use Paper and Spark spreadsheets for my accounting, which I would highly recommend! You can easily import your Etsy sales into the spreadsheet, and you can use the spreadsheet for other sales channels.

The future of 85thAvenue

What goals do you have for your shop in the future?

My goal is to continue gaining more customers and growing. I love working with new customers and making their ideas come to life. One of my main goals is to start getting involved in local vendor shows. I would love to make this my full-time job.

Advice for new sellers

What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?

Just go for it! Be patient and keep working on your shop even if you aren’t seeing sales right away. It takes time. You might have no idea what you’re doing, and you will probably make a lot of mistakes along the way, which will come with a few bad reviews, but just keep going and don’t give up. The more you grow and learn, the more your Etsy shop will grow. Learn all about SEO and figure out which keywords to use for your products. Make sure you have high-quality listing photos. Customer service plays a huge part in being successful on Etsy as well. Keep the line of communication with your customers open and respond as quickly as you can.