How StoneWonDesigns 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 Joshua Stone Owner and Founder of StoneWon Designs. We design and manufacture space-saving decor and multi-functional furniture. I opened up my Etsy shop in 2018, initially making and selling elevated dog bowls, planter boxes, and shelving. I started with building shelves and buying gifts and some pet products. This lasted for a brief time until we hit our stride and began designing multifunctional pieces, such as cutting boards, stove covers, and flip-down coat racks.
We source all of our hardwood from a local lumber supplier and build everything in our shop in Mckinney, TX. We have a few items that we paint, but 90% of what we create is made from solid hardwoods and does not have any stains. I have always been a fan of natural beauty and nature, so we like to use actual hardwood lumber. We use hand-rubbed clear finishes to bring out the natural beauty and unique characteristics of the wood grains.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
It's hard to choose just one favorite product, so I like to choose a product from each category. My favorite kitchen product would be our Ashland Stove Top Cover. The gorgeous characteristics of the ambrosia combined with the dark brown of the walnut make this a truly one-of-a kind piece. Aside from its beauty, it gives your kitchen much-needed additional counter space, protects your stovetop from cats and pets, keeps children from turning on the stove, and can be used as a cutting board and food prep area. All of our stovetop covers and noodle boards have a matching sink cover that comes with a mesh basket for cutting fruits and veggies over the sink.
This is our Ashland sink cover that matches the stove cover
The Multi Material Mixed Hardwoods Hook Rack is my favorite wall decor piece that we offer. This flip down coat rack is such a unique and functional piece and it showcases all the hardwoods that we offer. I love that it is functional but looks like a piece of art when not in use. This is a consistent best seller for us as well as an Etsy best seller.
Our newest item in our Ashland Series of products is the Adjustable Height Ashland C Table. This is new, but it's already starting to get some sales, and I think it will be one of our better sellers in the near future. Aside from the wood combination, I love everything about this table. There really isn't anything like it, and I think customers will appreciate the creativity put into making it. Everything from the sliding height mechanism to the knobs is handmade from wood, and each one has its own identity.
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 think I got my first sale within a couple of weeks of opening my shop. Sales were pretty random for the first year. 2020 is the year we really took off, and now we get lots of sales daily through utilizing ads, social media, and returning customers. Organic growth plays a major part in it as well. We have a decent-sized following on Instagram, and we like posting videos on YouTube, which gets people over to our site as well. We have several products that are Etsy editor picks, and that brings us attention as well.
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?
When it comes to managing my shop, it's just me. I do have 2 full time employees and a part time employee that helps me fulfill orders, build products, and other daily tasks. I couldn't do this without my two full-time, all-star employees, Jacob and Trevor. I also outsource things like bookkeeping, payroll apps, and help with some of our marketing strategies.
Etsy Shop apps and tools that we use
Erank and Marmalead are essential tools for keyword research, sales maps, ranking, and much more.
Gusto: This is the app I use for my payroll.
Aweber- for collecting emails
Canva: pictures and photos with text
Splice: for Instagram and TikTok videos
All other videos are VSCo-.
The future of StoneWonDesigns
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
Our goals for the future: We want to keep designing and bringing in new best-selling items. I think we need to continue to cut costs where we can and hopefully build this business into a nationally recognized brand. It is really hard to plan the way things have been going these last couple of years; all I know is that we made it through COVID and this past year, which makes me think we can make it through anything.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Take the time to look at other successful Etsy shops and how they list and word things. Be original and don't copy other people. Use other sellers as inspiration, but you need to find your niche or your audience and speak to them through photos, details, and social media. Don't open up a listing that has bad photos; take really good photos. If you can't, then outsource this and have someone take the photos for you. You should walk your customers through the buying process through your photos - etsy gives all that realestate to pictures for a reason. Also, don't expect people to read the details; they won't. Answer any questions a customer may have through your photos by using Canva or some other program to add text to your photos. Your videos can be used to answer any other questions people might have about your listing. Lastly, don't overcomplicate the listing; a confused customer doesn't buy.
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
Question: How much is your monthly revenue?
Question: What is your average profit margin?
Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?