How MiniMoms 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?
My journey into this niche began in 2009, after becoming a mother. My interest in early childhood development led me to explore various educational strategies, revealing the significant impact of specialised toys in a child's early years. Inspired to make a difference, I started crafting unique and sensible toys, initially for my own child, which sparked the idea for MiniMoms.
The decision to sell developmental toys and books was driven by my personal experiences and studies in child development. Recognising a gap in the market for toys that were not only fun but also educational, I saw an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the early development of children.
Every product in my shop is handcrafted with love and care. Initially, I began by creating all the items myself. As demand grew, I formed a team of creative mothers who shared my passion. Together, we design and craft each toy and book, ensuring they are not only engaging and fun but also educational. We prioritise high-quality, safe materials and work collaboratively to bring our creative ideas to life, ensuring that each product carries a touch of personal craftsmanship. We ship our toys all over the world using different postal services.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
One of my favourites is a quiet book that encompasses various themes for early learning. This book is special to me because it embodies our core mission of blending education with fun. Each page is designed to engage a child's senses and curiosity, making learning an adventure.
This item has been a bestseller, which I believe is due to its unique combination of educational value and playful design. Parents are increasingly looking for toys that offer more than just entertainment, and this book fits that need perfectly.
Another favourite is our set of crocheted fruit and vegetables. These toys are close to my heart because they're not only adorable but also safe and soft for the littlest hands. They represent the care and attention to detail that go into all our products.
These toys have also been popular among our customers. I believe their appeal lies in their handmade quality and the safe, natural materials we use. They offer a personal touch that mass-produced toys simply can't match.
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 journey to my first sale on Etsy was both a period of learning and patience. It took approximately two months to make my first sale. This initial phase involved a lot of trial and error, understanding the Etsy platform, and figuring out how to make my shop stand out.
Currently, attracting customers to my Etsy shop involves a multifaceted approach:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Utilising Etsy's SEO is crucial. I carefully choose keywords for my listings to ensure they appear in relevant searches, both within Etsy and on external search engines.
Social Media Marketing: I'm trying to use social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to showcase my products. These platforms allow me to connect with potential customers, share behind-the-scenes content, and build a community around my brand.
Quality Photography: Eye-catching and professional photographs of my products play a significant role. Good visuals not only attract attention but also give potential customers a clear and appealing view of what they’re buying.
Customer Engagement: I focus on building relationships with my customers through excellent customer service, engaging with them in the shop's reviews section, and occasionally running promotions or discounts.
Etsy Ads: I also invest in Etsy Ads for increased visibility, especially for new or seasonal products.
The combination of these strategies has helped me build a steady stream of customers for my shop. It's a continuous process of learning and adapting to changes in consumer behaviour and market trends.
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?
Managing my Etsy shop, MiniMoms, is a dynamic and multifaceted task that I approach with a blend of personal involvement and efficient use of technology.
Initially, I managed all aspects of the shop by myself, but as the business grew, so did the need for a team. Today, I work in a small workshop alongside a small group of talented mothers, each contributing to different facets of the business, from product design to customer service. However, I still oversee the overall operations to ensure consistency and quality in every aspect of our work.
I rely heavily on Etsy's suite of seller tools for listing management, analytics, and customer communication.
I use Excel, which helps keep track of expenses, profits, and tax obligations.
Unfortunately, our country is currently at war, and optimising the delivery process is not an easy task. We try very hard to optimise it to ensure efficiency and customer satisfaction. For packaging, I prioritise eco-friendly materials, ensuring our products are not only safe in transit but also aligned with our commitment to sustainability.
We have established a routine where orders are processed and shipped within a specific timeframe, and I always keep customers informed with tracking information and expected delivery dates.
Overall, managing MiniMoms requires a balance of personal touch, collaborative effort, and effective use of digital tools. It’s a process that is continually evolving as we find new ways to improve efficiency and the customer experience.
The future of MiniMoms
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
As MiniMoms continues to evolve, my goals for the future are centred around growth, innovation, and deepening our impact.
One of my primary goals is to expand our product line. This includes introducing new educational toys and books that cater to a wider range of developmental stages and learning styles. We want to offer a more diverse selection to meet the varying needs of children at different ages.
Improving the customer experience is always at the forefront. This involves creating your own website for easier navigation, implementing more personalised customer service, and exploring new packaging designs that reflect the quality and care we put into our products.
I am committed to increasing the sustainability of our products and operations. This means sourcing more eco-friendly materials, minimising waste in production, and implementing environmentally conscious practices in every aspect of our business.
Expanding our global footprint is another key goal. While we have customers worldwide, I aim to increase our international presence by exploring new markets, optimising our shipping and logistics for global delivery, and tailoring our products to cater to diverse cultural contexts.
As the business grows, so will our team. Investing in the professional development of my team members and potentially bringing in new talent to broaden our expertise is a priority.
In the long term, I envision MiniMoms not just as a shop but as a brand synonymous with quality, educational value, and a deep understanding of early childhood development. These goals are steps towards that vision, ensuring we continue to provide value to our customers and make a positive impact on children's learning journeys.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
My journey with MiniMoms has taught me invaluable lessons that I believe can benefit any new seller on Etsy.
Here are some key pieces of advice:
- Understand Your Market:
- Before you start, research the market thoroughly. Understand what products are in demand, what your competitors are doing, and identify your niche. This will help you create products that stand out and cater to specific customer needs.
- Focus on quality:
- Ensure your products are of high quality. This not only attracts repeat customers but also encourages positive reviews, which are crucial on Etsy.
- Invest in good photography.
- High-quality photos are essential. They are the first thing a customer sees and can make or break a sale. Ensure your photos are well-lit, clear, and showcase your products effectively.
- Optimise for Etsy SEO:
- Learn about Etsy's SEO. Use relevant keywords in your product titles, descriptions, and tags to improve visibility in search results.
- Be active on social media.
- Utilise social media to promote your products. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook can drive significant traffic to your Etsy shop.
- Provide excellent customer service.
- Build a reputation for great customer service. Respond promptly to inquiries, be clear about your shipping policies, and handle any issues professionally and courteously.
- Use Etsy’s resources:
- Etsy offers various resources and tools for sellers. Familiarise yourself with the Seller Handbook, join community forums, and consider using Etsy Ads for additional exposure.
- Stay patient and persistent.
- Success on Etsy doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient, keep refining your strategies, and don't get discouraged by slow periods.
- Keep learning and adapting.
- Trends and algorithms change. Stay informed about new developments on Etsy and in your market, and be ready to adapt your strategies accordingly.
- Balance Creativity and Business:
- Finally, balance your creative process with business acumen. Keep track of your finances, inventory, and time to ensure your store remains viable and efficient.
Starting an Etsy shop is a journey filled with learning and growth. Stay true to your passion, be consistent, and always look for ways to improve. Good luck!