How Hermit Grub 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?

When we got our first hermit crab babies, we began searching for quality hermit crab food and found little besides the toxic pellets sold at pet shops.

I discovered a few small shops on Etsy selling homemade hermit crab food, and became inspired to start my own shop with the goal of making it healthy and fun at the same time. 

Sourcing organic, human grade products was important to me, so I began researching online suppliers and buying in bulk to create Hermit Grub’s exclusive mixes. The complete meal mixers set Hermit Grub apart, as they contain ingredients from each major food group needed to create a well rounded diet for hermit crab nutrition.

Favorite items

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

My favorite item listed in my shop is the Best Sellers Bundle. This bundle includes eight best selling meal mixers in one bundle. This allows hermit crab parents to provide a variety of complete meals while discovering their hermit crabs’ personal favorites. 

Another favorite item is the Choose Your Own Variety Pack, which allows customers to choose individual ingredients in a smaller size to test out and see what their hermit crabs enjoy the most.

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 organic sale took about three weeks. After learning more about advertising and SEO words, it quickly began to gain traction and has continued to grow ever since. 

I advertise with Etsy ads, Google and Facebook. Getting involved on social media platforms was a must, as it allowed me to become an active influence in the hermit crab community.

Managing Hermit Grub

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?

As Hermit Grub grew, it became harder to manage on my own. I was working seven days a week and realized I couldn’t maintain the workload on my own. 

I hired my sister and she is now working for me part time, which has allowed us to continue to meet customer demand. 

I use the Etsy stats page as well as google sheets to manage listings and track inventory and QuickBooks to track expenses and taxes. 

I have a designated room at home where I create and pack orders and make daily trips to the post office to ship out completed orders.

The future of Hermit Grub

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

In order to continue to scale the business, I am now looking at co-packers and manufacturing to pack orders more efficiently while maintaining the quality and personal touch Hermit Grub is known for.

Advice for new sellers

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

My advice for new Etsy sellers is to find what you are passionate about and then get your store opened in order to start gaining exposure as soon as possible. 

I would suggest taking high quality pictures to gain credibility with new customers, making sure to use bright and natural lighting if possible, as it best showcases your product’s features. 

Staying organized is crucial to keep your business running smoothly.