How Haley Madison Design 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?

The inspiration for my shop started when I created decorations for my daughter’s first birthday. I wanted unique items that you couldn’t find at retail stores. After designing the invitations, posters and decorations for my daughter’s party, I had many friends reach out wanting to have the same special touch for their events. 

I started my shop with 1 computer, 1 printer, and 1 hot glue gun. I realized that the key to growing my business was listening to my customers and accepting custom requests. This was my guide to knowing exactly what customers were looking for. 

Over the past 7 years we’ve purchased more computers, printers and cutting machines. We’ve also grown to have 4 employees that keep everything running smoothly so we can ship fast while still offering high quality items, all 100% handmade in the USA.

Favorite items

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

One of my favorite products is the Adult Birthday Sign. I love seeing all the milestones that are being celebrated for a special someone. I originally created this poster for my own mother, and I absolutely loved hearing my dad telling me all her qualities and how much he admired her and wanted to make her feel special for her 50th birthday. 

This poster has been selling well and consistently throughout the years and I think it’s because it is fully customized to highlight all the things that make the person special to their loved ones.

Another favorite is our Woodland Banners. This particular banner was a request by a customer. We worked together on the design and it has been one of my top sellers. 

This is what I think has been the key to my growth. I love working with my customers and bouncing ideas to create the perfect items for their event.

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 opened my shop in April 2014, two weeks went by and I had zero sales or emails. Then finally, I got the notification that I had made my first sale! I will never forget how grateful I felt that someone had chosen my product. 

Over the years I have used Etsy’s advertisement and most of my traffic comes directly from Etsy shoppers. I have a lot of customers that come back every year and that refer our shop to their friends. I also have traffic from Pinterest and Instagram. 

Managing Haley Madison Design 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 shop consists of a team of 5 employees. I run the shop by designing products, purchasing materials, doing all customer service and oftentimes packaging and shipping. 

I have 3 employees that handle the crafting, keeping items in stock, keeping inventory organized and shipping daily. Lastly, I have 1 employee that takes care of the finances: bookkeeping, taxes and payroll. We also use quickbooks for bookkeeping.

Also - I have a degree in Digital Design and I use Adobe Creative Suite to design my items. 

The future of Haley Madison Design Studio

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

I hope to keep growing! I’m so grateful that I get to do something that I love. I’m also grateful that my business has grown to be able to create jobs. My employees are amazing, we like to keep it fun and stress free. 

I hope to own a warehouse one day and continue to create more unique decorations for birthday parties and baby showers.

Advice for new sellers

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

You also have something to offer! It’s easy to feel discouraged when you see others doing the same thing as you and maybe even better. But keep in mind that you too, have something special that is exactly what a customer is looking for. 

Keep going even when it gets hard and you have to deal with situations that are out of your control. Figure things out as you go, keep learning, listen to your customers and be open to creating new things.

Be inspired by other successful shops but stay true to your own work and creativity.

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

How much is your monthly revenue?

$15,000 - $20,000

What is your shop’s conversion rate?