How Moehrenkunst 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 founded the company “Moehrenkunst” (which is translated to “carrot art”) in October 2018. Like most creative people would say: I’ve been drawing and making art for as long as I can remember. Somewhat in the middle of 2018 I found out that there is indeed a small & affordable machine that can produce stickers and sticker sheets. I was thrilled!
I always loved using and collecting stickers myself but sometimes didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them. So why not design and produce them all by myself?
My family saw how fun this was and encouraged me to start selling them. So I sat down, designed my first ever sticker sheets and officially started my business. My Etsy store opened on December 31st, only an hour before new year’s day - and I got my first order right away!
In 2020, I was able to start my very own website to sell my products on.
After all, Etsy is a fantastic platform for beginners but once your business starts to grow, you may want to become more independent, especially financially.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
I already have a Books sticker sheet and it’s one of my all time best sellers, so I can only predict that the Reading one will be extremely popular as well. The Cozy Day sheet is also one of my best sellers - art products that are related to a cozy, warm, autumnal feeling always are the most popular on Etsy in general.
I really love these illustrations because they are very detailed and just give me a relaxed and home-like feeling.
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 was on the day I started my shop: it was a girl from Hamburg, Germany, and I still remember her complete address haha! I was so happy and overwhelmed when I got my first order.
From then on, my orders got more frequent and bigger as my shop grew. I started using Etsy’s marketing campaigns and also began to post on Instagram. Social media can really help to draw attention to your brand but Etsy is such a powerful platform itself that I am still getting 90% of my first time customers from their website alone.
I always focus on optimizing the tools that Etsy offers, such as keywords/tags and the product titles. There is nothing more important than mastering these tools to get sales and visitors.
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 from the beginning, my boyfriend Thorben and his brother Tim helped me to open and maintain the shop. Tim already had some experience with starting a business and was/is also a real Pro at using and understanding marketing strategies. Thorben is an all-rounder, helping me with basically everything: stocking up materials, maintaining my website, optimizing Google Ads etc.
I would never ever be where I am now without their help. I guess I wouldn't even have started a business until this day.
We meet on a monthly basis to discuss the next steps and what we can do to optimize the business in the long term. I call this the “monthly-Moehren-meeting”!
During the last year, I was financially able to hire some people to help me. I would never be able to handle my sales alone, like I did in the beginning.
All in all there are now six people working for Moehrenkunst, including myself.
I am the one who is illustrating and designing the products. I also do customer support, manage the Instagram account and look for new products to make, like Washi Tapes, other stationery products or even mugs.
My mom is the one who’s packing and shipping all of my orders, and my boyfriend’s dad and cousin are producing all of the sticker sheets. So everything is and stays completely in the family-and-friend-area, giving the whole business a really nice atmosphere I think.
About the tools: the only real tool I need for my shop is my iPad/or any other digital drawing advice. I bought my iPad Pro for drawing purposes only and I never want to go back.
Depending on the business type or the skills that you have, you’d of course need a different setup - maybe a good computer, Adobe software or something like a drawing tablet. If you’re not creative, just look for some cool premade art on creativemarket.com for example.
But don’t forget to buy a commercial license before selling other people’s art!
The future of Moehrenkunst
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
We are planning to add a big variety of new sticker sheets to the shop of course. There are sticker shops on Etsy with hundreds and thousands of products but if you really illustrate every product yourself, this is absolutely impossible.
That’s why we currently only have about 70 products available - but it is our main goal to grow our product palette and add more product groups to the shop.
It usually takes 10-15 hours for me to make a new sticker sheet from start to finish, so I hope that we can slowly but surely build up a bigger stock of products. I am aiming to add two or three products every month during 2021.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
I would really encourage every new seller to take their time and read about tips and tricks on the internet. There are tons and tons of articles on the Etsy seller’s forum to read through and learn about the features that the platform offers and how to properly use them.
Also: even if I got my first sale right after my shop opening, i know that this is a rare case. You have to be very, very, very patient. People are always more likely to buy from a shop that already has a big amount of sales and reviews. It’s pretty much exponential growth.
It took me about a year and a half to get to 10k sales and right after hitting this number, my sales started to increase even more.
So trust the process! Take your time to build up not just a shop, but a whole brand. Find your style, be consistent and don’t be afraid to invest in good materials.
Quality > Quantity, right?