How BBIllustration 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?

My Etsy shop started with just one print that a friend wanted to buy and has grown to over 500 listings. I expanded the product range based on what was selling and just went from there. It can still be very hit-and-miss! I illustrated everything myself; paper goods are all printed in house, and then I source UK suppliers to expand into products such as homewares.

Favorite items

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

My favorite items are probably tea towels. I’m very proud to support UK suppliers , and my tea towels are printed on the most luxuriously thick 100% cotton in a factory I know and trust. I always get lovely feedback from people saying they’re so surprised and pleased with the quality. I started by turning a few of my most popular print designs into tea towels and then went from there. My best seller is still the A-Z of Chickens tea towel!

Chicken Tea Towel, A-Z of Chickens Tea Towel

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 was straight away, but only because a friend had requested a print, and I used that as an excuse to open a shop! After that, it was very slow and quite disheartening, but I stuck at it, kept developing new ideas and products, and slowly, slowly, things began to pick up.

Managing BBIllustration

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 am a one-man band! In really busy periods, my husband sometimes helps to pack orders (he’s also my accountant, which is very handy!). I post everything via royal mail. The best piece of equipment I ever invested in for my business was a thermal label printer. I used to hand write all the addresses, which, as I'm sure you can imagine, took ages! I also used to outsource my prints until I invested in my own fine art printer, which is also a great piece of equipment, and I wouldn’t be without it now.

The future of BBIllustration

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

I would like to keep trying new products and expanding my range of designs. I think it’s probably time to retire some of my older designs to make way for bigger and better things!

Advice for new sellers

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

Just stick with it. Success doesn’t happen overnight. I worked a lot on my SEO and also my social media following, which helped me direct traffic straight to my shop. It can be disheartening to start out and not make any sales, but we all have to start somewhere, and you can make a real success of it if you put in the hard work!