How CraftsByCoriXaayr 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?

Hi!  I am Mandi, the owner of Crafts by Cori Xaayr. I started this shop at the urging of friends who play Final Fantasy 14, after I had designed my own jewelry based on the lore of the game. Final Fantasy 14 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by the Japanese company Square Enix. The name of the shop is actually from my in-game character for FFXIV. Her name is Cori Xaayr.

My Etsy journey actually began in 2015. I had learned how to make wire jewelry and do wire wrapping, but that Etsy store never gained any traction. It was called a monogram mule. I ultimately closed that shop down, but I recently re-opened it on Etsy and am in the process of re-adding all of my listings. In 2019, I combined my love of FFXIV with my wire-wrapping and jewelry knowledge to create the products I offer today. I still offer the original products from my first Etsy shop at the in-person events I attend.

I source the materials for my art through various channels: Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Michaels, Jo-Ann, etc. I make the majority of my products by hand, but I do offer several items that are produced by a print-on-demand partner like Printify or Printful. All of my products with glass cabochons are painted by hand, and all of my resin products are hand-poured by me. I also do wire-wrapping. I decided what to sell by looking at the market on Etsy and trying to fill a niche. I did not see many people offering the things that I was planning to sell.

I have recently begun expanding to other franchises and games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. I offer 3D-printing services locally, and I’ve begun the process of building listings on Etsy that include things I have 3D-printed, of which I do have commercial rights to reproduce. Some images of the things I have 3D-printed are below, but I also have more images on my social media.

Favorite items

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

I would have to say that my favorite products are the job stone bracelets, pendants and resin products.  I enjoy painting the cabochons, and I enjoy seeing the end result of the resin once those products are cured and painted.  I believe that my FFXIV items are selling well because there is not a huge market outside of Etsy that offers the same types of items.  I do not have any data for the Dungeons and Dragons products as of yet, so I can’t say for sure which of those will be my favorite.


FFXIV Job Icon Bracelets
FFXIV Job Icon Keychains/Large Pendants
FFXIV Job Name Pendants


Glass Tabletop Gaming Portion Tokens
Hexagon Dice Box
"CHOOSE WISELY" Polyhedral Dice Phone Case

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?

I believe it took a couple weeks before I received my first non-friend or acquaintance sale through Etsy.

I currently attract customers through several means:

  • I pay for Etsy Plus.
  • Etsy forces me to buy into off-site ads.
  • I pay Google for extra advertising.
  • I network with like-minded friends and other gamers through several Discord servers.
  • I attend in-person events and have a booth at a local flea market throughout the year, where I have QR codes and business cards.

Managing CraftsByCoriXaayr

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 the sole proprietor of my shop and manage it entirely by myself. The only tools I use in addition to the Etsy platform are Google Ads, Printify, Printful, and I rely on e-mail communication from Etsy to let me know when I have received an order. I also keep track of my print-on-demand items and ensure my customers receive adequate communication when I notice something is out of stock or delayed.

I manually fulfill and ship every item that I physically make myself, including driving it to the post office. For items that go through Printify or Printful, those platforms handle shipping and fulfillment for me. I have my account linked to my Etsy, so any sales I make in person also get synced with my inventory on Etsy. I could honestly use some help with the in-person events, but my business isn’t large enough to hire help. (If you live close to me and you would be interested in volunteering, I would gladly accept the help and let you choose something from my shop as compensation.)

The future of CraftsByCoriXaayr

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

On Etsy, my main goal is to maintain and grow my current level of customer engagement. I want to continue expanding on the items I offer and include more franchises. My ultimate goal is to have a full-on retail gaming and hobby shop location. I am currently doing flea markets for in-person sales, and I will be attending the Asheville Comicon on September 23 in Asheville, NC. I will have a vendor table at that event. I will also be attending the 10th Anniversary FFXIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas from July 28 to July 29, 2023, but I will not be selling items. I will be handing out mystery bags that will contain a number of items from my shop. I will be running a sale on Etsy during that time frame, too. Code FANFEST23 will give shoppers 20% off the entire store between 7/28/2023 and 8/1/2023. I have actually already started selling locally under a new business name, Muletown Hobbies and Games. Images for both of my business cards are below, but I do not have any social media built for them yet.

Advice for new sellers

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

My advice would be to have a plan and stick with it. Don’t take the "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" approach. Know the market of the people you want to target, and make something you know they will love. I have found that the sales I make on Etsy do not necessarily translate to sales in the real world, so if you’re the type of person who has a very niche market like I do, you might not have the same success if you want to later include your items for sale at craft fairs or conventions. The opposite is also true: if your product is selling well locally, it might not do well online. You have to know the market for the items you’re offering.

Start small.  Make a few items and list them. Ensure you are using all of your tags and that your descriptions and titles are accurate. Include lots of pictures of your products, including live models if you have to, to show the scale of your product. Every day, add a new item and make sure that listing is absolutely immaculate and ready to be presented to your customers. Don’t change anything about your listings once they’re published for at least 30–60 days to give the algorithms time to find your items.

Be willing to make sacrifices. Etsy cannot sustain my lifestyle by itself. I still have a full-time job. I’ve had to sacrifice my weekends and time after work to try and make the dream of owning a business and doing it full-time a reality. (I also really like health insurance.) This does not mean that you cannot spend time with your family and friends, but it does mean that having an Etsy shop can absolutely be a second job. I no longer have the same amount of time available to devote to playing the game that inspired me to make my Etsy shop.

Don’t quit your day job. You might think that having this Etsy shop and making money will be your gateway out of having to work for someone else because the allure of making your own hours is massive. But until you can have the same level of comfort with the money you make at your day job, don’t quit it. Keep the day job and do your Etsy things after work or on the weekends. If you’re successful enough and put in enough hard work, maybe one day you can make your Etsy shop a full-time gig.

Sales take time. Unless you’re getting out there and networking with people who share your passion or spreading the word about your business through advertising, you will not see much movement in your shop. If you don’t get people going to your Etsy pages and viewing what you have, your ranking will not improve in Google and Etsy searches. You have to spend money to make money, and if you’re not willing to support your own business, you will not succeed.

Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.

Question: How much is your monthly revenue?
Answer: Around $1000/month, sometimes more.

Question: What is your average profit margin?
Answer: This depends on the product sold, and I honestly don’t keep track of these numbers.

Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?
Answer: Between 1 and 2% on average.