How Planner Mint 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 love of planning began as a very young girl when I would watch my dad fill out his Franklin Covey planner with all of his daily obligations and appointments. I can remember making lists of make-believe “appointments” and writing them out in cute notebooks.
Over time, those appointments and reminders became part of my real adult life, and I’ve utilized a planner ever since. I’ve always found a way to make my planners more fun and attractive by practicing different handwriting styles, using color-coded highlighters, and adding stickers.
In late 2015, I bought a Silhouette machine and taught myself how to make custom stickers.
In April 2016, I opened my Etsy shop and began spending most of my extra time after work designing and listing new items.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
My current favorite sticker style is the fillable trackers. These are one of our top-selling items because they are unique to our shop and offer some functionality to write in dates, times, or other information that someone may need to keep track of.
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?
Our first sale came a couple weeks after we opened. When you first start out and you don’t have any previous sales or reviews, someone has to be willing to take a chance on you.
Over time, potential customers can see that people are leaving positive feedback, which leads to more sales.
To attract customers to my shop, I try to use the best keywords that I can in my listing tags and listing descriptions. I’ve also recently been using Instagram and Facebook more to gain more exposure.
Managing Planner Mint
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?
In the early days of the business, I was doing all of the work - from designing, printing, cutting, packaging, and shipping.
A couple years into the business, things were getting a little too busy for me to handle and my husband took over all of the packaging and shipping (which fits well because he’s a postal carrier by day!). Most recently, my 16 year-old son started printing and cutting stickers to earn some extra money for a new guitar that he’s been saving up for. It’s been a win-win for our family. This gives me extra time to focus on designing and adding new items while providing him real-world work experience.
One of the things we’ve done recently to increase efficiency is importing all of our order data from Etsy into a spreadsheet that automatically calculates which items we already have in inventory and which ones we need to print. We print and cut everything in-house as orders come in and we also package everything ourselves. It’s also very convenient that my husband works at the post office because he can drop packages off when he arrives at work each day.
The future of Planner Mint
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I would love to be able to add another 500 stickers to the shop and reach 100,000 sales within the next 3 years. I also would like to focus a bit more on developing a social media presence.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Be consistent. Even when there are no sales, keep adding new items. Set goals for each day. For example, when I first started, my schedule looked a little like this:
Monday - Design 3 new items / Fill Orders
Tuesday - List those items / Post Office
Wednesday - Schedule social media posts for the week
Thursday - Design 3 new items / Fill Orders
Friday - List those items / Post Office
Saturday & Sunday - No work
Be customer-focused. This doesn’t mean that the customer is always right; however, if you made a mistake, do everything you can to correct it. In the long run, good customer service is what brings people back over and over again.
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
How much is your monthly revenue?
Between $5,000 and $10,000 per month
What is your average profit margin?
What is your shop’s conversion rate?