How MDS 3D Makers 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?
I am sure our story is similar to a lot of other sellers out there. Through curiosity of 3D printers, we purchased one, not really knowing what we would do with it. It wasn’t long after tinkering and the idea came about: “Hey let’s start and Etsy.”
We picked a rough time to start - right as the pandemic hit. We thought for sure the business wouldn’t last, but we started printing door openers of all shapes and sizes and we did a great deal of volunteer work with printing visors at that time.
Somewhere in that chaos, we had a customer that said, “Have you guys thought about getting into polymer clay cutters?” After a great deal of research into polymer clay and LOTS of trial-by-error, we launched our cutters.
We create all of our designs in-house, a great deal of them are inspired by everyday shapes.
We also get a great deal of inspiration from the amazing makers community. Seeing what these jewelry makers come up with is both inspiring and amazing.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
That’s a really tough one to answer. We both love the scallop and whimsical shapes the most I think. They also seem to be the top sellers. Though we create shapes for designers to use in every occasion, we certainly think a lot about bridal parties who are looking for flowing and elegant styles.
Some of our new releases are also great!
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?
Starting out with masks and door openers really helped to springboard our shop. We were making sales within the first week of opening. It was a fairly seamless transition into cutters from there.
Attracting customers is all about creating a quality product and having solid customer service. We get a great deal of repeat customers and though polymer clay is exploding right now, the community is still rather small and tight-knit. We certainly don’t rest on reputation alone though. A great deal of time is spent on our social media channels.
Managing MDS 3D Makers 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 wife is amazing to say the least...and I am not just saying that because she will read this interview. We are a husband and wife team, but to say it is 50/50 would be a lie.
She handles communication, order packing, photos, social media, and keeping me inline (her toughest job by far).
We have our shop setup in our home, which can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing that she doesn’t have far to commute, and a curse because it’s very easy to work LONG hours.
The future of MDS 3D Makers Studio
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
We’ve never really discussed long-term goals. We have set a ton of short-term goals though. We want to continue to provide quality products and top-notch customer service.
Growth hasn’t been as large of a focus as sustainability. We love doing this, we find a great deal of joy in creating unique designs for our customers.
One of the best parts is when a designer reaches out with an idea and we get to create a custom cutter for them.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Take your time, listen to your customers, and be authentic. We have all been on the other side dealing with companies and we know how it feels to receive poor customer service.
You could have the best products in the world, but if your service is poor - you will fail!