How RosRosettes 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?
Hi. Thanks so much for your interest in my shop. I custom-make bespoke rosettes for all sorts of events, awards, and occasions. As a dog breeder, exhibitor, and judge, over the years I have seen lots of rosettes. Just before COVID, a friend was let down for their dog show and asked me if I could do anything. I had never made a rosette before, but I had made kanzashi hair clips, so I used that technique to make a set of rosettes for her. They proved so popular that I was soon asked to do more. I suffered from depression and discovered that making them helped me relax, so I started doing it as a hobby just to relax and put a few of my creations on Etsy, never expecting anything in return! Well, things just went from strength to strength, and as one was sold, another five were ordered, and it just expanded from there. Everything is created from scratch; there is no mass production. The ribbon is sourced from British manufacturers. Other embellishments include Swarovski crystal, tassels, organza, and lace. In fact, anything I can think of is used in my creations.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
The Imperial Star with Kanzashi petals and swirls is my personal favorite. This one is so unique, and I can let my creative side go. It is loved by everyone as if there is something very special, then this stands out and is a super award for an achievement. I think it is loved so much by everyone as it is so unique and stands out as something special, and when you have worked so hard to win something, then it is great to have a rosette equal to that hard work.
Next would be the rainbow rosettes. These are very popular, especially with people in the LGBTQ community, or as a memorial for a beloved pet who has crossed over the rainbow bridge. I have a large selection, and the one I chose for this article features exclusive grosgrain/satin ribbon with metallic edging, rainbow ribbon, a stunning pompom center or crystal, and tassels. As with all my rosettes, they can be as simple or as dressed up as you like.
The Playboy rosettes are another favorite. Ever since the company asked me to help recreate the originals for a photo shoot commemorating their anniversary, I was blown away by how well they were received. It was a challenge, as I only had photos to go by and manufacturing techniques have changed over the years. This one is always popular for Halloween, New Year's Eve parties, and anyone who wants to finish off their playboy bunny costume. In fact, I do a few from TV shows, such as "The Prisoner," and several novelty-style rosettes. all of which are enjoyable to create and offer something unique.
Next up, it has to be the USA-style 1 tier and upwards. This display is for the second tier. The messages people want on them are so touching, everything from a child's first pony to a birthday celebration to table settings at a wedding! It covers all ideas. The UK version is classic and so popular, and I just love making them—the 4-tier version with star points. by far the one everyone loves. It's a large rosette and made from the best satin ribbon, so when anyone wins this one or gets it to commemorate anything, then they are so happy.
Last but not least, I get to be really creative with bling, organza, and velvet. Here is the ever-so-popular 5-tier, and I can make something up to 14 inches in size, which is bigger than a dinner plate. I have the most fun doing these, and seeing presentation videos, including the top Pyrenean at Crufts Dog Show, simply made my day. For these, I put some examples in the shop, but really, I get to chat with the customer, get to know them, and learn what they want—colors, something special, maybe a picture of a person or animal—anything goes. So each is a work of art in itself.
Budget-wise, I try to design to a budget, so if you can only afford a couple of pounds and you have a little girl who is getting a rocking horse for her birthday, or you just want a simple rosette for any reason, a joke, or a fun cause, Best Dad Happy Valentine! Hen party;
Or I can do something with a bit of sparkle, a lot of love, and a personalized center.
I also have a clearance line where I make something up as an idea, so these are mostly prototypes, but they are so much in demand as giveaways at charity events, fundraisers, pie-eating contests, or for the baby shower or gender reveal party!
My rosettes do not have to break the budget. When they arrive, only the person's heart is filled with joy. I chose all of the above because it covers all budgets and all occasions, and they are the ones I love making the most!
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 original listings for cards, bows, and hairclips were on Etsy in 2017, and I switched the shop over to rosettes in mid-2018, but it was just before the shop went from one sale to continuous, so around 2019, as I took the time to put a variety of rosettes in different categories, such as novelty, seasonal, UK style, and specials. Customers come for a variety of reasons, including the desire for something unique, such as a table setting for a wedding or, more specifically, a bespoke rosette to award or mark an achievement. Then, of course, there are the cheeky ones for fun events. Gender reveal parties, fancy dress, and best dad! And, of course, hen parties! People seem to enjoy this special award for whatever reason. Once someone has received their rosette, I find it doesn't take long. Maybe even that day, when sales go up again as people see my work firsthand and want me to make something special after seeing what I have made for someone else.
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 the shop is relatively simple; the difficult part is keeping up with the orders! Due to the time, it takes to make some of the rosettes, I sometimes limit how many are in the shop for sale, so people can log in and see one or two listings, or come Friday, there are upwards of 40. Each one I can recreate, but I personally love to be artistic and talk to people. I get a better idea of what they would like and try to design something unique and special just for them. So once a few orders come in, I have to take the listings off to allow me time to complete the orders. But come Friday, I generally have them all listed again. Also, as I create, I take lots of photos, so the listings are really constantly being tweaked and improved as I can put better pictures on them. I believe it keeps the entire shop looking fresh and not stale with the same thing day in and day out all year. Last but not least, the recent Jubilee celebrations meant a slew of events across the UK, and Christmas is always busy for the "nice" rosettes. Halloween I do sets for fancy dress competitions and other Halloween events, so the shop is constantly changing and evolving.
Most shipping is done via Royal Mail with an account and click-and-drop. It's very simple, as it's all done online; a bag and a printout sheet go to the local post office, and the job is done. People can track their orders, and integration with Etsy and RM means everyone gets updated on progress, shipping, tracking, etc. automatically. Larger orders go through parcel2go, a UK company that gets prices from top couriers like DHL, UPS, and many others so I can pick and choose based on my budget, delivery speed, and so on. I actually use Etsy's in-house shipping option for anything going to Europe, as this covers the more complicated deliveries to Europe with customs, declarations, and so on.
The future of RosRosettes
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I would love to be able to offer a better way for customers to select what they want as far as colors and centers, but with upwards of 50 colors now plus the metallics, Etsy doesn't have the current capabilities for a more extensive set of options. I'd like to turn my hobby into a full-time business, and I've found Etsy to be the ideal platform for me, so as long as orders keep coming in, I don't think going full-time is too far away.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
I would say first and foremost, it has to be the pictures. I am no professional photographer, and everything is done on my mobile, including the videos. Try and get a good video as well. The first thing someone is looking for is to see what they would be buying, and that can be difficult when you sell unique bespoke items, as you can show them inspirational ideas and build something for them based on that. Next would be the description. Make sure it's very clear in the title. Use all of your search terms. If you are just starting out, it can feel like you are the pin in the haystack, and you worry you won't be found. As long as you follow this, then people will find you! Be YOU; be one-of-a-kind; have your own style and design; it's fine to draw inspiration from others, but take it to the next level by putting your own spin on it. It's the uniqueness that makes Etsy so special and the best place to sell. If people want mass production, they can find that elsewhere. They come to Etsy for that special, personalized something that no one else will have, so make that your strength. Finally Communication! Stay in touch, even if it's to say hi to your buyer! I've made many friends across the pond simply by selling rosettes! And even other manufacturers have helped me improve with hints and tips. Yes, that can happen! It's not all about competition; people will and can offer advice. Just be decent, honest, and genuine, and keep your customers up to date on how things are. They enjoy seeing progress photos or finished images to double-check everything is correct, especially when it comes to personalization with text!
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
Question: How much is your monthly revenue?
Answer: I would say 90% of my rosettes go to the USA; they are very popular over the pond. The remainder is split between my own country, the UK, and Europe, with a further 3% going to Asia or Australia, and 1% to the rest of the world.
Question: What is your average profit margin?
Answer: Anything over £35 going abroad is automatically eligible for free shipping. Except for the lower budget range, all shipping in the UK is free; this is purely so I can combine a set into one parcel and keep shipping and buying costs low. For everyone's peace of mind, everything is now tracked. If it is under £35 and going abroad, shipping is clearly shown, and options for express shipping are also available as the cheaper shipping solutions can take upwards of 5–6 weeks or more to get to you!
Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?
Answer: I am in the UK, so all prices are in pounds sterling. I think it shows the conversions automatically for the country you are in, so there are no nasty surprises.