Risky Business

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Originally, I didn’t know if all rope light could be cut and still work (it can). Then, I thought that if one end was cut off, only one side will work and the other will be dead and need to be thrown away. Turns out, you can cut and splice together all rope light. How cool is that?!

You just need the right accessories. Unfortunately, The Home Depot does not have all the supplies I need. I search online and find 1000bulbs.com and pretty much order one of each of everything. Unlike my in-store purchases at HD and my frequent online purchases on amazon.com (Prime membership, of course… free 2-day shipping? c’mon), it takes a couple weeks for everything to come in.

Two weeks! Don’t they understand that I need to make these signs now??

In hindsight, it was probably for the best, because while I’m eager to launch my Etsy shop, I really don’t have a clue about Etsy.

So, as with everything, I research.

For the basics, I need a name. Rope light signs seemed a little too boring. And on the nose. Plus, I also purchased some really cool flex tape light with a remote control and 16-color options! (That sign will surely be my most expensive sign.) I want something simple but original. My last name is Stetson. Most people call me Stets. Stetsigns pops in my head and sticks. Maybe not the most fun name, but it’s definitely me. (Later, I change it to MagicalMerryStetSigns, and finally, MagicalMerrySigns.)

I need to know everything about my product, so all the details and measurements. (There was one tip that said in addition to giving exact measurements, to give items that were similar in size, so the consumer could easily imagine it.) Hand in hand with that, is pictures. Tara is a photographer, and she graciously offers to take pictures for me. So besides taking wonderfully lit photos, I know to also get some that show off the actual size of the sign.

Then there’s the business side of it. This is my weakness. I need to explain my shop policies, whether or not I offer refunds/exchanges, and what types of payment I accept. I’m hoping that I can basically mimic other shops for this part of it.

Top Ten Tips for Starting an Etsy Business (https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/top-10-tips-for-starting-an-etsy/22664153555) tells me to be patient. “Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles didn’t get her first order until four months after she started her shop in 2011.” … good to know. I will not get defeated (…until I reach the 5-month mark). It also stresses the importance of networking and promotion. So I have to really be on Etsy and like other people’s shops, favorite items, comment on blog posts, and of course… start my own blog (here I am!).

The article, 5 Things to Consider Before Starting an Etsy shop (http://www.handmadeology.com/5-things-to-consider-before-starting-an-etsy-shop/) tells me to do my research. Lots of research. This includes knowing everything there is to know about the product you’re selling, knowing your competitors, knowing your target market, and knowing how much you should be selling your product for. Ay ay ay, that’s a lot of information I need to know!

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