How Million of Stitches 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?
Million of Stitches was created in November 2018 after I graduated school and had some free time to keep up with my hobby of cross stitching. I had to pay back my studies, so I found Etsy as a way to make the extra money I needed at that time.
I started selling modern cross stitched items such as bookmarks, paper clips and picture frames. At the end of 2019, I realized how hard it was to find the material needed for cross stitching, especially because I wanted to give a modern touch to my designs.
I wanted an orange fabric, for example, and my local shop could only offer me the boring white and cream color. So, noticing the lack of material around, I decided to invest in fabrics, flosses and embroidery hoops and started to introduce these items in my shop.
I wanted to offer something very different, so I first started dyeing my own fabrics and flosses, even personalizing my own embroidery hoops. After a few months, I learned a lot about this market worldwide.
I opened a corporation in Canada under the name of Million of Stitches and was able to also offer the favorite materials for stitchers. Today, I source products from all around the world including the ones I still produce in Canada myself.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
My favorite items listed in my shop are these Cross Stitch Tote Bags. I source this unique fabric for this tote from a small shop in Istanbul, Turkey, and in Canada, I design and create the bag with an AIDA fabric so my customers can cross stitch what they want on it.
These tote bags sell very well in my shop. They are my favorite because one of my missions is to keep alive the technique of cross titching among the youth, and this is a very attractive item for them to start!
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?
It took me 2 weeks to get my first sale without doing anything. After a while, reading blogs and other Seller’s experience I found some ways to attract my customers. I try to list a product every other day to keep my store on top of the search.
I invest in the Etsy Adds, only for my most expensive items. I also offer discounts every week on Social Media. I am getting better with my photos (still have a lot to replace), but I notice when I replace a dark bad photo to a bright one, I start getting more sales for that product.
Recently, I am investing my time in making videos for Etsy. Having a video in my listing cuts the amount of questions I receive for that product and showcase my fabrics better than in the photos, as a result, concretizing more sales. As of today's date, I am at 25,500 sales.
Managing Million of Stitches
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 is only managed by me, but I use a few apps to assist me. I use Vela (suggested by Etsy for free). This app links to my shop and helps me mainly by placing the white background in my photos. Editing my listing/photos there is very easy.
I also use Mention, this is an app used to search online when the name of your store is mentioned somewhere. This helps me to interact with my customers and to know what they really talk about my brand outside of Etsy.
I handle my packages with Chit Chats Canada. They have the best rates to the USA (my biggest market) and an incredible service in partnership with USPS delivering my packages in a few days with tracking to my American customers. It is very easy to create labels (which I used to do by hand) in their website. I highly recommend offering Express Shipping, especially at Christmas time. I do use this service a lot with DHL at this time of the year. A few customers look for this option.
Tip: create an account with one of these companies for better rates and integration with your shop. You will save time and money.
The future of Million of Stitches
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I am proud to say that I now make a living doing what I love! This was my first goal reached in April 2021. My next goal is to offer digital products in my shop. In this way I can scale my sales and to create my own website. I rely on Etsy 100% right now.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
My first sale was to Israel and I almost gave up my shop right there. I spent so much shipping and the item never arrived to the customer. I had to stitch another phone case and send it to this person, and yes, spend again a fortune in shipping.
My message here is: Don’t give up if you encounter a similar situation in the beginning. Shipping is probably the hardest thing to deal with selling on Etsy or online on any other platform. The more you do, the more you learn.
Do not be disappointed if you have to cover 80% of the shipping compared to what the customer paid for. This is a learning process, and next time, this will not happen because you will get the feeling of how much you should adjust the shipping in your listing.
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
How much is your monthly revenue?
What is your average profit margin?
What is your shop’s conversion rate?