How Ranniaptashka 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 name is Elena, and I am the brand's founder and designer. I am also a mother of three charming daughters who inspire me every day. My experience with a sewing machine started 18 years ago when our first daughter was born. She arrived prematurely, and there was nowhere to buy clothes for such newborns, so I decided to sew them myself, and I liked the result! With the birth of my second daughter, embroidery came into my life. I embroidered her clothes with her name and various patterns. Then I started making embroidered gifts for my loved ones: pillows, interior items, aprons, etc.

Finally, when our third daughter was born, I quit my main job (I was the deputy director of an agricultural enterprise), and embroidery became my job. My husband and children are my main inspirations, helpers, fans, and critics. The brand "Early Bird" («Ранняя пташка») got its name in honor of my two daughters who were born prematurely. At first, it was a hobby, and now it is a small family business that produces soft toys, personalized pillows, towels, table linens, and home decor items.

I believe that a personalized gift is a special sign of care and attention, indicating that it is not bought from a store shelf but intentionally created for a person. In addition, embroidery, unlike other methods of personalization, is not just beautiful; for many, personalized gifts become family relics and talismans. Embroidery always brings harmony and coziness. I registered my shop on Etsy in 2019. I added all my best products that were there by that time, but for a whole year, there was not a single sale in the store...

Favorite items

What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?

My favorite listings are always related to the people involved in their creation. They have some history. My first order was from a woman from Germany, whose family had two surnames associated with a goldfinch and a thistle. For a long time, we selected designs of birds and plants until we got what is now one of the goods sold in my store. For five years, I embroidered a huge flock of goldfinches. But I still love them and rejoice when they are ordered again.

Cloth napkins linen eco-friendly reusable napkins Housewarming gift Embroidered Goldfinch and thistle napkins

I also really love lavender. I can embroider it around the clock.

Cloth reusable napkins, Linen Dinner Napkins, French Lavender Dinner Napkins, Embroidered Lavender Napkins, Hostess Gift, Floral Embroidery

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?

The first sale was a year after the registration of the store. By that time, I had completed online training on how to run an Etsy store, and my listings became more structured and understandable for buyers. I was so happy when I received my first order that it seemed to me that there was light in the whole city!)

I constantly keep ads on in my store, I always carefully select tags, and I run Instagram. But the best advertising is the recommendation of buyers to their friends and relatives. For example, I have families of customers who collect my Easter baskets and give them to their new nephews, newborn daughter, son... And I am happy because I know what all the previous Easter baskets mean, they are also kept and delight their owners. My shop was closed for several months due to the war in Ukraine. I had to re-register it and re-open it in Poland. There are fewer orders than there were before the store closed, but I am grateful to all the people who found the opportunity to support me and my children. Thanks to their support, we survived, and I continue to embroider...

Managing Ranniaptashka

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?

The first selling listings for me were filled by a team of professionals from whom I took online training on Etsy. But I've been filling the store on my own for the past four years. I downloaded all the Etsy applications to my phone, and I use Marmalead and Alura to search for tags.

The future of Ranniaptashka

What goals do you have for your shop in the future?

I dream of an uninterrupted flow of orders, which would give me the opportunity to have my own workshop with my own team of like-minded people.

Advice for new sellers

What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?

I was very afraid to communicate with people in English because I knew it only at the school level. My first order was in German, which I never learned at all! And everything went perfectly. When I opened the store, there were a lot of things in it: personalized toys, pillows with a metric, towels, bathrobes, aprons, and napkins. There were a lot of goods in total, but few in each section. On the advice of the Etsy trainer, I removed everything except for the napkins and began to develop this particular section in the store. And sales went regularly. 

Now I am adding some positions, but I know for sure that the store is easier and better to open in a narrow niche. I really loved both my personalized toys and pillows, but I chose napkins! And it was the right decision. My advice to anyone who is hesitant to open a store is always the same: Just start! All your fears and doubts will disappear then by themselves! If you do something better than others, do not focus on market leaders; do not compare yourself with them; you are unique! And this is your greatest superpower!

Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.

Question: How much is your monthly revenue?
Now +- $1000

Question: What is your average profit margin?

Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?