How Extrano 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 have loved DIY since I was a child. Each type. But my true handicraft adventure began when I discovered beaded jewelry. I learned this during my stay in the USA, where I came in 1995 for the Work & Travel student program. It was also then that I met people who were passionate about the same thing. I kept in touch with them after my return. They told me later that a new platform for selling handicrafts had just been created. And so, in 2009, I opened my (still existing) store on Etsy. Due to the hassle of shipping the finished goods overseas, I quickly went over to selling tutorials and patterns.

Favorite items

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

Each of the patterns and tutorials available in my store are things that I would like to use myself. They are created out of a passion for similar enthusiasts, not because of current fashion or trends. However, e-books are a source of great pride. I have published three complete guides on the three main beading stitches: peyote, brick, and crocheting with beads. hundreds of sales and fantastic reviews! They help to start the adventure with beading. I created them because I still remember how hard it was to find good base materials, both to start with and to develop my skills.

 Patterns and tutorials

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?

Less than a week, but I was already an experienced seller at other platforms like Eni Oken`s Jewelry Lessons. It was 2009, and many things were easier; Now I'm using organic traffic (customers coming from Etsy search). I am writing a newsletter for the store (there are about 500 people on my list, all of whom are interested in exactly what I do). I actively promote the store on Pinterest, where I have gathered over 13,000 followers.

Managing Extrano

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 log into the store every day: I check my messages, check the statistics, and correct the offers. When promoting on Pinterest, I use the automation offered by Tailwind.

The future of Extrano 

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

Develop a store and maintain regular sales in these economically difficult times, but also demanding due to changes on Etsy.

Advice for new sellers

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

I have a saying: "Get ready, learn the rules that govern Etsy, and then get carried away." Today, it is not easy to achieve success overnight; you need patience and perseverance. But if you believe in your handicraft, act! Every day, I help novice sellers from my country start up and run stores. I am the creator and administrator of the thematic group on Facebook, which currently has over 11,000 Polish sellers.

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

Question: What is your average profit margin?
100% - Etsy fees, as I sell digital products. Some of them since 2009 and they still bring sales! 

Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?
2-4%, higher when I regularly use the newsletter, lower when it comes to Etsy search, so you should look for your own traffic sources!