How SelenaJewelryBijou 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'm Olena; I'm from Ukraine, and my shop is "SelenaJewelryBijou." Selena is my creative pseudonym, which was formed from my first and last names. I create jewelry from baked polymer clay. I left my job as an accountant in 2005 because our two beautiful children appeared in our family. The daughter is older than the son by 1 year and 7 months. I was constantly with my children until the moment when my eldest daughter went to school in 2012. Now I could return to work, BUT... I no longer wanted and could not be an accountant (due to the specifics of this work in our country). My husband introduced me to polymer clay. At first, I tried to sculpt some simple flowers and berries. After a year of continuous practice in modeling, I decided that I could start selling some of my products. For several years, I successfully sold jewelry on the local market, only in Ukraine. Then I realized that I was ready to offer my products to an international buyer.

Favorite items

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

Nature inspires me; sometimes I just walk down the street, I see a flower, and I want to make it. As an example, consider marigolds. In the autumn, a lot of marigolds bloom in the flower beds of the city. These flowers have different colors, and I still have not been able to accurately convey the color of this unusual flower.

Marigold Collection

Also, inspiration sometimes comes from individual orders. So there were earrings with pansies. "Joker poker face"

Pansy earrings with  "Joker poker face"

I adore all of my listings. One of the best-selling items are tangerine earrings and garnet earrings

Mandarin earrings tangerine jewelry
Pomegranate earrings garnet earrings

Very popular jewelry with sunflowers and berries.

Sunflower Collection
Berries Collection

Maple leaf jewelry is very popular in the autumn.

Maple Leaf Autumn Collection

And, of course, jewelry with gingerbread men and poinsettias is very popular for Christmas.

Ginger Bread Men Collection
Poinsettias Collection

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?

I registered my shop on Etsy in November 2015, when it only had 3 products. When the store fully opened in January 2016, it became visible to customers. In Ukraine at that time, there was very little information on how to work on Etsy and how to attract customers. While I was slowly gathering information from various blogs and websites, I had my first sale three months after the store opened, in March 2016. 

Managing SelenaJewelryBijou

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?

My husband helps me run the store. Marketing, sending parcels—previously he made jewelry from dry wood and crystal resin; now he does not have such an opportunity. Now that there is a war in our country and our family has moved to Poland, we could not take all the equipment with us.

Previously, we could offer our customers several shipping options, including express delivery. Now, in the realities of the current situation, I can only offer buyers standard airmail by state mail (thanks to the Polish Post). I have not yet been able to deal with express delivery from Poland, although many buyers are willing to pay extra for express. especially during the busy holiday season. Sometimes the children help with the transportation of parcels to the post office for dispatch.

The future of SelenaJewelryBijou 

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

I have been wanting to open an individual online store for a long time. I don't plan on leaving Etsy. Just on an individual website, you can offer more information for buyers, post news, and offer tutorials.

Advice for new sellers

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

If you decide to enter the international market, then your products are of decent quality and safe for others. Use only materials of excellent quality. In my work, I use baked premium polymer clay called "Cernit," which is ideal for making my creations.

Be unique and creative. A unique description, not long, indicating all sizes (and whoever reads this at all)—this should be in the listing.

New stores Etsy has been at the top of the search list for a while—don't miss this opportunity to attract a buyer with a beautiful photo.