How SteadfastRebels 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?
Steadfast Rebels actually started as Delightfully Kristi. I (Kristi) had a couple different Etsy shops over the years, but always simply as something fun to do on the side. In 2020, however, I was overwhelmed with the COVID crisis and my job as a preschool teacher and decided that there was no better time to try running my own business full time. I started out by selling mostly handmade face masks and jewelry. The shop was going well, and knowing that we’re both makers, we decided at the beginning of 2021 to turn the business into a joint effort, and Steadfast Rebels was born. The decision on what to sell and how to create our products is easy; we just follow whatever inspires us and wherever our interests lie. We’ve always been DIYers and makers, so our problem is usually finding the time to make all the things we want to make, not really coming up with products or ideas.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
We both really love our screen-printed t-shirts. As of right now, we only have two designs in the Etsy shop, but we have several more designs that we sell at in-person markets that we are working on adding to the shop. The shirts are our favorites because they are Derek’s original design concepts and art that he drew, made into screens, and printed onto the shirts himself. It’s really satisfying to see an idea come to life like that! They aren’t selling well in the shop yet, but they do sell well at markets!
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 within the first week. It helped that I (Kristi) was making face masks at the beginning of the pandemic, but several of our early sales were also from friends and family who wanted to support us. I think at the time there was also a big push to support small businesses and to buy masks from independent makers without taking away from the medical supply. Currently, we attract customers through the in-person markets where we are vendors on a semi-regular basis. We’ve also been working on building our following on social media platforms, especially Instagram.
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?
Currently, we do all of the management and operation of the shop ourselves. We use the Etsy Seller app for communicating quickly with customers and occasionally printing a shipping label, but really, we do everything ourselves. We are lucky to have a large basement that we have turned into our studio with all of our tools and machines and even a little packing and shipping station setup with a label printer and everything we use for mailing orders.
The future of SteadfastRebels
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
Our eventual goal is to have both of us be able to work for the shop full-time so that we are totally self-sufficient and working only for ourselves. The dream is really to be able to create and make cool stuff together for as long as we can and as long as it’s what we want to do.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Do it! Seriously, it’s what we tell anyone and everyone who will listen. Nothing is going to be perfect; there will never be the perfect conditions to get started, so just start and see where it takes you!