How Drifter Studio 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?

DrifterStudio is an Etsy store where I sell brushes and textures that help artists paint watercolor artwork digitally, on the iPad using the Procreate App. The main value in my products is actually my YouTube channel where I offer free tutorial videos.

Here is a video where I show you how to paint a cute watercolor cat Illustration, like what you might use in a children's book.

Brushes and textures aren’t really that useful by themselves, so most of my sales are from artists who watch my YouTube tutorials and want to either follow the tutorial, or simply support the channel. I try to showcase how easy and fun it is to paint on the iPad.

I have a borderline obsession with digital artwork and watercolor. I create my products by combining the knowledge I have within both of these interests. Creating brushes mostly just requires a deep knowledge of how Procreate works combined with hours of trial and error.

The textures I sell are actually far more complex because I need to use a lot of software and hardware to sort of ‘convert’ and actually sheet of paper into something that behaves similarly in the Procreate app.

Favorite items

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

My favorite listing is a set of brushes specifically for painting feathers, called Watercolor Feather Brush Kit for Procreate.

It’s also a pretty poor seller. I find that I really cannot predict what does well, I just have to try it. Sometimes my least favorite products are the best sellers.

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?  

Since I was already established on several other shop platforms, my first Etsy sales came within seconds of linking it with my YouTube channel.

When I originally started selling digital products, it took several years for me to make any sales at all. Here is my first product I have ever published.

Back then, selling anything online was the most foreign thing I could imagine. In fact, I remember that I really couldn’t imagine it ever working out. Why would anyone buy anything like this? 

I had to force myself to continue because, at that time, I was endlessly backpacking and I didn’t have other employment options that fit within my wandering lifestyle. 

I was sort of trapped in a weird situation because I genuinely couldn't function like a normal person in a normal job. To me, living on the road was the only life I knew how to live.

Managing Drifter Studio

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?

My products are digital, so order fulfilment is automatic (for the most part). My brother helps me with the chat/customer support so that I can have 24/7 instant chat support. Fortunately, we live in opposite time zones so it’s easy to maintain two 12-hour shifts. 

Each product includes extensive video tutorials and help documentation.

The future of Drifter Studio

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

Currently, the shop has exceeded every sales goal I had set. I am really surprised that so many people actually care about my niche products. 

I think I’d like to add bundles someday, but I’m not sure. 

I like simplicity and creating a complex shop experience with hundreds of products is not something I want to have. I guess I’m not really sure.

Advice for new sellers

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

You should give people a reason to buy your products. Show them, in crystal clear HD video, how buying your product will help them do something they always wanted to do. 

If you can show them how your product can earn them money, that’s even better.  

Offer 100% refund for any reason, this will eliminate risk on the customers part. 

If you are selling something new and original, this will really help your potential customers give you a chance.

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

How much is your monthly revenue?

You can see my total number of sales publicly on my Etsy shop page. The average sale is about $14 each.

What is your average profit margin?

99.8% - I only pay Etsy Listing fees of 20 cents.

What is your shop’s conversion rate?

About 2-6%. This is because I generate very high value traffic from my YouTube channel.