How Huckleberry Hearts 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’m not exactly sure when I started my Etsy shop. I think it was around 2016. I didn't think I was going to be successful. I honestly just wanted to test it out and see if I could sell a few designs.
A few weeks later, I was at lunch with my mom, and I heard that cha-ching sound. My first sale! A wonderful, nice woman bought one of my digital pattern sets. She left a very kind review and told me how happy she was to be my first sale. From that point on, I was hooked!
I made a plan to add at least one clipart or design set every week to my shop to build up my store. I didn’t have any real direction on what to make, or what people wanted. I just made designs, and put them up in my shop.
Over time, I researched what sold, and what didn’t. I messaged customers who bought my items and asked them why they bought it, if they liked the design, what they were going to use it for, etc. Over time, I developed a system and an artistic style that works for my customers on Etsy.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
Right now, my favorite items are my clipart bundles, like The Big Clipart Bundle and the Mega Crafting Bundle. Of course, this changes all the time.
I seem to like my newest items, and as I look back at older designs, I like them less. I guess that's a good thing. As an artist, when I look at artwork I’ve made in the past, I cringe a little inside. I see how I could have made it better, and maybe that means I’m growing as an artist. Also, my most favorite designs seem to be the least popular. And the ones I really don’t care for are what people buy the most!
Some of my most popular sets from my shop are my Whimsical Rainbows Clipart and my Beautiful Watercolor Clipart.
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’m not entirely sure how long it took for that first sale to come through, maybe a few weeks or maybe a month. I can’t remember now.
Most of my Etsy traffic comes from the site, either from search or from ads. About 25% comes from my Pinterest and Instagram accounts, and from email campaigns.
Managing Huckleberry Hearts
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?
Right now it’s just me, and I’ve always been the only one doing the artwork. On occasion, I do hire part-time help for things like answering messages and emails, listing products, social media, help with my website, etc. Since all my products are digital, I don’t need to worry about shipping.
The future of Huckleberry Hearts
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
Right now, my goals are to continue to grow my shop, the number of items I have available, and to expand the types of designs I offer. I’m also looking into a way to offer full access to all my designs for a monthly subscription.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
My advice is to not place too much pressure on yourself in the beginning. It takes time to develop a following, to gain trust from your buyers, and to find your place. Enjoy the process, learn what you can and apply it. Over time, you will be much more successful if you grow slow and stable, as opposed to trying to make a full time income right out the gate.
Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your customers. Ask them why they chose your shop, what they liked about your product, and how they intend to use it. You would be surprised what you can learn from your own customers. And customers like to talk about their purchases, they want to help small business owners. This will build a strong following for you as well.
And finally: Test, test, test! If you don’t know how to price your items, test it out. See what price points make the most sales for you. Of course you don’t want to undersell, but sometimes the best way to learn is to try different ways. If you don’t know the right pictures to take, or how to advertise, just try different ways and track the progress. Try different email campaigns and track which ones generated the most sales. Over time, you will develop a strong system that works for your business.
Etsy, or any other business is a long game. Sure, some shops seem to start out real strong and are popular. But if you want a business that lasts and continues to bring in steady revenue, you must plan for the long term. So don’t get discouraged, good things take time.
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
How much is your monthly revenue?
On average, about $1200/month from Etsy. Etsy isn’t the only platform I sell on, plus I do freelance commercial work as well. But, it is a very steady income that I can always count on.
What is your average profit margin?
What is your shop’s conversion rate?
On average 5.1%