How MarysJewelleryBakery 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?
Hi! 👋 I'm a girl who loves cake and jewelry so much that I want cake dangling from my ears! I'm the proud designer, maker, photographer, customer service representative, social media manager, and P&P director at Mary's Jewellery Bakery. This isn't necessarily a rag-to-riches story, but more of a crumbs-to-ornate-cakes one. I've always been creative and crafty, but the real problem started when wacky earrings started dripping into mainstream fashion. I was on one of those suspicious apps and saw some earrings made out of resin to resemble cake pieces. They were £2 or £3 a pair, I believe, and I was a fresh university graduate with exorbitant rent and no job. A £3 pair of earrings was out of the question.
So I did what everyone else would do: I cried. Several days later, with real cake on my plate and fake cake earrings on my mind, I figured out the solution: if I bought the pieces myself in bulk from wholesalers, I could make the earrings, keep a pair, and sell the other pairs for £1 each, thus enabling a steady stream of bizarre earrings for myself without straining my finances further. It was a matter of months until I saw some polymer clay tutorials and immediately decided I, too, had to make polymer clay jewelry. So I did. It was the same with resin, only there I have always been laser-focused on galaxies. No other trend or aesthetic spoke to me quite like celestial pieces, so that's all I've made for a while: galaxies and miniature food! I like sealing my thank-you notes with little wax stamps!
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
This is like asking a mother to pick a favorite child! Fortunately, I'm a terrible mother, and I definitely have favorites and least favorites. This particular fox used to be my favorite, but nowadays 8 out of 10 orders are for this design, so I can barely look at it anymore.
Another best seller and a personal favorite: stained glass effect earrings! The sun and moon ones are always flying off my work table, although I prefer the rosette-looking ones.
I don't make much food jewelry anymore; it's never been that popular, although I still make myself pieces!
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 only took a few days. I posted about my new shop in an Etsy support group on Facebook, someone liked my donut necklaces, and bam, first sale! The next one, however, took a few weeks. As did the next. As did the next. It took quite a while to build momentum and trust, but now I'm among the top searches! I mainly use Instagram (@marysjewellerybakery) and Twitter (@marysonjatudor) to direct people to my work. I'm too old and stubborn to learn TikTok, and I'm too young to try very hard on Facebook anymore. I also run my own website.
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 think this pretty much sums it up, hahaha! Technically, my cat Misty is helping out by providing moral support and reminding me that I have to work because Dreamies aren't cheap! And I got my partner to help as well by doing post office runs when I couldn't. I used Vella for a while, but now that my shop is all setup, I've not been very involved on the back end. I only tried eRank and similar apps when I was starting out, but I didn't find them helpful. For shipping, Royal Mail Click & Drop integrates with Etsy seamlessly, so I've been using that since I started!
The future of MarysJewelleryBakery
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
Like anyone else, of course, I'd love for it to keep growing! I have recently opened a second business making cakes (shocking, I know! ), so all of my energy has gone toward that. Once I regain some balance in my life, I'd love to keep adding new work and new collections. There are only so many foxes one can make, even though that's what pays the bills!
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
This is a three-part answer. First, and most importantly, the best piece of advice I've ever received is something I live by in every business venture: compete on quality, not on price. There are always people out there willing and able to do it cheaper, but you decide the quality of your work. I'm one of the most expensive resin shops in my niche, and people are willing to pay whatever I charge because they know the quality they get is unmatched.
Secondly, follow your passions, not trends. My work is popular because people can tell it comes from the heart. The only time I tried to follow a trend (big hoop earrings), I had to put my own spin on it (make it galaxy!) because otherwise it just came out...bad. It was obvious that I didn't enjoy making them and didn't like the end result.
And third, this isn't easy. A lot of people start Etsy shops because they think it's an easy way to make money, but every market is extremely saturated right now, so you need a product that stands out. How do you get that? By pouring your whole heart into researching it and making it. Gone are the days of someone using a free font to make POD posters and raking it in. Shoppers are becoming overwhelmed with choices, which brings us back to my first piece of advice. You don't want to be the cheapest shop. You want to be the best-quality shop.