1. Wonderful post as usual.

    I have a question about etsy shop names. Should artists who work in standard 2-D mediums use their own name or is a shop name preferable?

    This is always a question I have wondered about regarding etsy.

    • This is an interesting question I’ve been posed a few times, and I would say that it comes down to what direction you ultimately see your work going. If you want to be known as THE artist, one who ends up in galleries and makes a name for themselves, then by all means use your name. However, if you see your work as an art brand that eventually adds to the product line (OBEY, TokiDoki, Ecko, etc.), then a well crafted brand is a good option. That said, Ecko is actually his last name, or his new last name (street name), so that is an option. Also, you could do end up doing a brand like “Sailor Jerry by Christian Audiger” if that’s your thing.

      Lots of choices and it really comes down to personal identity and where you see yourself headed. The main thing we need to consider is that we hope to go beyond the walls of Etsy at some point, so do not let the marketplace dictate your identity. Your brand is bigger than that space, or it will be.

  2. Hi there! My first time in here! Its a great post :) Will definately have a look around as I suspect there are many good tips and thoughts to be found :)

  3. Dave, love this series! You say having lots of listings is important on Etsy. I have just started creating and listing my watercolor illustrated cards there. How many listings should you have to see some traction?

    • I don’t know if there is a set amount because it’s all going to relate to the particular keywords and categories your work fits into. The point of having lots of product serves two purposes. First, the more listings you have, the more likely you are to come up in search with people looking for pieces like yours but don’t know you exist yet. Second, the more stuff you have in your shop, the more serious you look. I would encourage you to ramp up though. I had one fan open up an Etsy shop and then post nearly 100 listings in the period of a couple days. She was hoping the massive influx would bring her some awareness, but she got very little interaction, and no sales in the beginning. It was discouraging to her because she invested so much energy in that week to get going. I think it burned her out, and now her shop lays dormant with no listings and very few sales. It’s probably ok to upload multiple listings at once, but make sure to trickle it out over time, letting the fish nibble as you add more work.

  4. Hey Dave,

    Great post…. lots to think about. I wanted to share something with you that happened to me recently that I did not realize or think about. I had Amy, one of my friends who is a photographer and art director reshoot all of my work early this Winter. I was looking for a white background and very stylized shots. The shots came out gorgeous.

    Although my new store looks great and her work is beautiful, what I noticed is that my sales dropped. I thought it was slow or people were just not shopping, but one night at 3am I noticed when I typed in a google phrase of one of my products that the images come up too. (ex: Rustic Vineyard Wedding Invitation). I clicked on images only to find my old photographs – which then were traced back to blogs who praised and reviewed my work and pinterest, tumblr, twitter and instagram.

    I went through each listing and the new pictures were not there – but all the praise and the old pictures were – and people came to my shop because of the old pictures. Why, wait – what have I done, I thought – I have better pictures up now – I’ve spent a fortune on this… so.. my point is, its not just about your titles and your tags and your adwords and search ads – your pictures, if changed can seriously disrupt your sales.

    I’m keeping my beautiful pictures but I can tell you that my peak season this year was not very peak at all – and what I had up compared to the sad photographs of 2013 were so much better. Just a thought when you go to reshoot and stylize the scarves. I also changed a lot of my titles which impacted my sales. (in a negative way).

    • Definitely good advice, Jenn. We are talking a lot about what wild make an interesting photo. Definitely not going to do just a straight white background. Not sure where we will go yet, but it is a big consideration for us.

  5. I love that you are focusing on building a brand not an Etsy shop. That has been our goal from the start, we actually were on Ebay 1st then our own website then Etsy. I hear many Etsy folks focus on the front page, teams and a whole lot of etsycentric goals.We have always been about our brand. Our photos (I take them) are a work in progress but a big part of our branding. No white backgrounds. We work with tribal textiles white just does not speak natural, sustainable or tribal. Your Mom is very lucky to have a knowledgeable person be able to come in and objectively analyse her business. I will observe with great interest.

  6. Great post Dave! I’m very interested in this series and will be following closely. It’s come at the perfect time for me as I’m getting ready to set up my online store. I’m not sure yet if I will go with Etsy, or one of the Australian options such as MadeIt or Hand-made. I’m currently weighing up the pros and cons. I’ve been reading your logo handbook and developing ideas for my logo and branding. It’s getting exciting! Thanks so much for all your help and encouragement.

  7. Great post, Dave. I’ll definitely be following along. There’s already some great advice!

  8. Excellent advice, and I just purchased your book – looking forward to reading it! You’re spot-on with your advice about number of items; it also depends on what you’re selling. With my product, more is better because people tend to know what they’re looking for; But with a product like your Mother’s, I can see too many choices being overwhelming to a buyer, perhaps? I wish your Mother much Etsy success!

  9. So very interesting. We will be following your advice as we are renewing our shop on Etsy.
    We have a shop since 2008 we made OOAK dolls and accessories . We then continued to designing and making bags, the shop was always in the background but we didn’t work on it. We mainly sold locally .in the last month we started working again on the shop we added some a new listings trying to see how will succeed , so what you’re writing about is very very important to us !
    some people told us that we should have changed the shop altogether and start a new shop from the beginning.
    We don’t want to lose the name of the shop as we are already known locally .
    Looking forward to your next post thank you so much!

    • I’m glad you’re getting some good value from this series. We’re going to be ramping up a lot more in the coming weeks now that we have the basics of naming taken care of. I’ll do my best to bring as much quality information as possible. Thanks for your support.


  1. […] I mentioned in the last update, we were leaning toward some sort of name that reflected the artistic nature of Michele’s […]

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