How Earle’s Folly 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 handmade invitations for a Bachelorette party and one of the invitees mentioned I should sell them on “Etsy”. Not knowing what Etsy was at the time (this was 2009), I did some research and the very next week listed my first item: a personalized pop up Bachelorette party invitation.

After a few initial sales and shopper feedback, I decided to start selling what shoppers were asking for along with their cards. Adjacent party products like confetti, straws, banners, and napkins sprang to life in my shop. We try to focus on personalized products with handmade details to really celebrate the individual.

All of our products are created with paper cutting machines and we source materials locally from USA-based manufacturers. 

Favorite items

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

This is like asking which of your children are your favorite! I love each and every product we craft (we now have over 500 items listed). But, I will admit the products I created during my first year open are still some of my favorites to make.

To share a few: Personalized Confetti, Flannel Party Tassels, and Final Fiesta Party Banner

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?  

My first sale came within a month of my shop being open, and for the next six months, I averaged around 5 sales each month. I initially laser-focused on obtaining reviews; my very first promotion advertised doubling a shopper’s order in exchange for their review (good or bad, I just wanted feedback). 

Currently we stay on top of the newest trends to entice customers with new products and use traditional online advertising methods.

Managing Earle’s Folly

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 employ 7 part-time team members that mainly manufacture and craft our products. 2 assist with shipping and packaging (an extremely important process to me). Out of all the challenges a small business owner accepts, managing humans might be the most daunting for me.. Leading with empathy is a mantra I hold closely to my chest during our busy season.

I use both Etsy ads and offsite ads (Google). I find the Etsy marketing tools and stats easy to use for my purposes. 

Shipping and fulfillment is one of the most important processes. We have a triple-check QC process in place to ensure orders are consistently packaged correctly and we address any shipping mistakes (because no matter what, they happen!) immediately. 

The future of Earle’s Folly

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

The only way is up and out! Growing horizontally continues to drive me forward and meeting all of our shopper’s party needs in one convenient shopping experience is the ultimate goal.

Advice for new sellers

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

Your product may be the most unique, beautiful, and well-crafted item in the market, but if you don’t service that product, you will not be truly successful if this is your dream endeavor. 

Research your market well and work harder, faster, and longer than any direct competitors. Respond to shopper’s requests immediately and establish their importance early on. 

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

How much is your monthly revenue?

We’re a seasonal party product shop, so I’d prefer to give a yearly revenue of 500,000

What is your average profit margin?

Prefer not to say

What is your shop’s conversion rate?