How mrsLcards 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?
Hello, I am Carol, the owner of Mrs. L cards. Mrs. L Cards began as a hobby way back in 2010. I was working as a full-time graphic designer and had a few ideas for greeting cards, which I designed "just for fun". I was already aware of Etsy as a customer, so I looked into opening up a little shop and selling them there. Within 1 day of adding some cards, I had sold 1 to a customer in the US. I will never forget waking up to see the order and panicking somewhat as I now had to fulfill it!
For a few more years, Mrs. L Cards continued as a hobby, so utilizing Etsy was quite sporadic. I designed a few more cards, took a huge leap of faith and joined the online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com, sold a few of my designs to local shops, and then it all changed when I designed a 7th-anniversary card for my husband. I collected all the places we had visited together over the past 7 years to form the number 7 and popped a photo of it on Twitter. Things kind of exploded at that point and my nights were all taken up with designing personalized anniversary cards. I developed this idea into an anniversary print and a birthday print. Slowly, a business was developing from my hobby.
In 2012, I was made redundant twice, and I took this as a sign to really go for it with L-cards. I had enough orders to pay my way, and freeing up full days to concentrate on a business was just amazing. I had so much to learn, and I learned a lot on the job. Since then, my greeting card range has grown from 5 designs to almost 200. I have designed notebooks, mugs, Christmas baubles, tooth fairy bags, personalized prints, and more recently, letterbox gift sets relating to health, fitness, and travel, three things I am really passionate about. I create all products myself in my little studio at home (this was once our dining room!) and if it is not possible to make them myself, I try to source materials as locally as possible.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
At the moment, it is my travel kits, especially my New York Kit. My husband and I visited New York for the second time in September 2019. I love New York so much, and it inspired me with the idea for the travel kit, which I began working on at the end of 2019. 2020 had other ideas for travel, so this idea that I felt so passionate about had to be shelved for almost two years. Bringing it back to life was just the best thing ever. These kits are now selling great; they kept me so busy this Christmas, and I am excited to create more. I already have one for Paris and Edinburgh, but I have lots of ideas for more.
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?
As I mentioned at the start, I amazingly got my first sale within 24 hours of listing an item. I try as best I can to stay on top of search terms and keywords. I also relist items as much as possible. I am currently researching Etsy ads and am about to do videos of many of my products.
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?
Over the years I have had part-time and freelance staff, but currently, it is only myself. I don’t use any apps to run the store (apart from the Etsy app, obviously). I have an online business account for shipping with Royal Mail, and all Etsy orders are automatically linked to it. When orders are shipping, this online account links back to Etsy to notify customers their order has been dispatched.
The future of mrsLcards
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I definitely want to build my Etsy shop more and reach more customers overseas. I also want to develop more of my products as instant downloads, which will help me target customers overseas. Brexit had a massive impact on selling to Europe, so perhaps downloads will help overcome these problems.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Just do it! Getting started is often the hardest hurdle to overcome, and once you have listings, you will learn as you go along. Try to take loads of great photos that indicate size, materials, uses, etc. Think about the best keywords for your products and change them as the seasons change, etc. And show your personality; there is a lot of fish in the Etsy sea, so you really want to stand out.