How DYAStudio 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 shop is called DYA Studio (based on my initials), and I sell modern abstract art as both downloadable files and physical prints. I initially started the shop to put to use artwork that I had already created for a previous business venture (my husband and I had started an organic cotton t-shirt brand; we were doing silkscreen printing, but the artwork I made was of drawings and abstracts). I scanned all of my original artworks at really high resolution and edited them so others could use them. At this time, I was also a contributor to a stock image company (Shutterstock), but I hadn’t really found much success on that platform. I first started selling my art as clipart, digital scrapbook paper, and just a few art prints after seeing how other artists were selling their works on Etsy. After some experimentation and education about SEO (I purchased Melinda Woods Designs' "How to Sell on Etsy" back in 2016; I don't think much of it is relevant now), I started selling mostly downloadable art and stopped selling digital papers and clipart.

Favorite items

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

I love all the artwork in my shop, so it's hard to choose! But my top 5 listings would be:

Minimal bird print
Blue grey abstract watercolor print

Blue watercolor abstract painting square print art download
Navy Blue abstract watercolor print

Deer sketch print, pencil sketch art

These are a mix of older and newer art, so I love them as they show the progression and changes throughout the years. Selling physical art prints has been a new venture for me, so I think the prints are selling well for now. The digital downloads sold well in previous years but not so well more recently. I think people are wanting to connect with artists in a more personal way and become collectors too. So far, offering the printing service has been good.

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?

When I started in 2016, my first sale took over a month, and it was for clipart. It took over 2 months to make my first downloadable art sale (and the customer bought 3! I was very surprised and super happy. To be honest, I don't do much to attract customers to my shop except for adding new art and pinning it on Pinterest. I recently gave my shop a little refresh by updating the shop banner, adding a video, and adding more current photos in the about section. I'm not sure yet if this will affect the conversion rate, but I think it will as it is showing more current work. I also have a website for showcasing my work  and an Instagram account for connecting with other art lovers; however, most of my traffic comes from within Etsy and Pinterest.

Managing DYAStudio

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 shop is a labor of love that I manage on my own. I am raising two little boys at the moment, who get my primary attention, so running the shop is done around family time. I don't currently use any tools or special apps (except for the Etsy Shop app). With my printing service, after getting many sample prints, I finally found a professional print shop based in California to fulfill my US-based orders. I am hoping to offer this service in Australia too, where I am based.

The future of DYAStudio

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

My short-term goals are to continue creating art that appeals to collectors and art lovers and to sell it in my shop. I would also like to open up a separate shop focusing on only physical art prints and move my current art print listings over to the new shop, as I think this would be a great offering (and I think this is good for SEO too). My longer-term goals are to maintain the connections I've made with customers and art collectors and to build my own confidence as an artist and business owner. I hope to grow my revenue at an organic pace and to keep experimenting with my art and learning from others.

Advice for new sellers

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

I think consistency is really important (and hard when you are raising a family!). But a lot of small steps can lead to big things. I got two art licensing contracts directly from art directors who reached out to me on Etsy. Because I ran this shop, my work has also appeared on HGTV Canada and in the blogs and Instagram accounts of other interior designers. It has helped with my confidence, not only as an artist but as a business owner. Having a shop on Etsy and treating it like a business also translates to sharing your work and offerings, learning about messaging (branding, SEO, and social media), and being intentional. Offer products that you want to see in the world; research other sellers who sell something similar; and learn from them. And be a good human when it comes to customer service.