Here's to knowing things...

A while back I had a friend email me with some questions regarding opening an Etsy shop. She asked me because I have one. But I haven't had it that long, and it's really just a hobby for me, so I felt like I couldn't really answer her questions well.

Then I had an idea. Why not ask some fellow shop owners {all of whom I love dearly} to help with the questions.

My dear friend wanted to know just a few things. Like what my top amazing moments and experiences on Etsy were. Along with some of the ugh moments and experiences. And some tips for those thinking of opening an Etsy shop.

I asked these questions to the amazing and thrifty sisters of Maydae {Stephanie May & Stormie Dae}. Seriously- these sisters could out thrift anyone and have an amazing eye for finding the things we all wish we could find! Stephanie May of Maydae also has a shop called Fibbie that she runs separately where she sells darling vintage kids clothes and wares. I also asked the beautiful and talented Kayla from Anchored by Love. Kayla sews just about anything, but her shop is adorned mostly with purses and bags. Serious talent going on between these three shops, you guys! I feel so lucky to call them friends and family :) (Maydae and Anchored by Love write blogs as well- check them out here: MD & here: AbL)


Kayla from Anchored by Love

Here is what Stormie Dae had to say {that rhyme was unintentional- I love when that happens!}:
 ~ Let's see...ugh moments. I think we've had a few:) My biggest one was the first time I mailed something breakable - and it broke. Now, bubble wrap is my BEST friend. Anytime we mail something fragile, I spend a lot of time and care wrapping it and testing the box (which sometimes means dropping it from a height) to make sure it won't break. When someone buys something from your shop, you have to keep in mind that they are really excited about it - just like you would be - and generally (especially if you are selling vintage or anything one-of-a-kind) - if it breaks, there is no replacing it. Luckily we have had some awesome buyers who understand and have given us a lot of grace when something has, unfortunately, not made it intact - and also luckily, we haven't had that issue in a long time.
Tips - I don't have a lot, but I would say to make sure you think through your policies and put them on your profile. Things like how you will handle returns, your shipping methods, etc. Give your buyer as much information as they will need to make a purchase from you - and cover your butt in the process.
Stephanie and I have spent a lot of time learning as we go. We put off opening our Etsy shop for a long time because we felt like we didn't know how to do it and where to begin. One day, we decided the best option was just to start and go from there. You won't and can't know everything right off the bat without experiencing some of it first-hand. So my advice is to just jump in, change things as necessary and have fun!

Stephanie May shared this:
~ Top Amazing! moments/experiences on Etsy:
The customers! We have met SO many wonderful people through Etsy - and we love getting to hear their story behind why they are buying a particular item. It makes it so personal and I think that is what Etsy is all about! We have had customers from so many amazing places - everywhere from France to Sweden to Turkey. It's always exciting to ship packages to far away places:)

Top Ugh. moments/experiences on Etsy:
Soon after we opened our shop, I was packing up a set of 6 drinking glasses that we had sold, and accidentally dropped one on the floor. It shattered, and I had a mini-heart attack. I contacted the customer right away, and she was so wonderful! She said that she believes that broken dishes mean good luck, and was excited to receive the others. She pretty much made my whole week with her response!
Anytime an item has to be returned, it's never fun, but luckily, as Stormie said, we have been very blessed with fantastic customers that are always forgiving and understanding!

Top Tips for those thinking of opening an Etsy site:
Photos, photos, photos! Good lighting, crisp, clear images, and different angles are SO important. Your shop will get so much attention with high quality photos, but if you have low quality photos (blurry, dark lighting, etc...) it can really hurt your sales, even if you have a great product. It doesn't mean that you have to have a super-snazzy camera either - if you can only make one change to your photos I think it should be to take them in natural lighting. SO important.
I also agree with Stormie - just jump in and do it! You could wait years (literally) trying to "be ready" to open your shop. You never will feel 100% ready, so start today!

And Kayla had this to say:
~ I would say to anyone opening an etsy shop, don't get discouraged! It's probably going to take a little while before people (besides your friends/family) discover you! I opened my etsy shop early this past year, and didn't have any sales for a while. Until one day I got on Etsy and had over 200 notifications. I later found out that one of my pieces was featured in the Etsy Finds newsletter that they send out everyday! I was so pumped. I ended up selling just about everything that I had in my store within a couple of days. It was awesome. So don't get frustrated or upset if nothing happens for a little while because you never know who could be watching!

See? Can't you just feel the overwhelming sense of talent and wisdom? These woman know what they're talking about- just check out their shops and blogs and you'll know!

Thank you, Maydae and Anchored by Love to taking the time to answer these questions. I know someone out there will gain from what you've shared!

love & advise,


  1. What incredible responses - you guys made me laugh and think. I've always wondered about making fragile things, I love the honesty about your ugh. moments! Thanks Elise for coordinating and following through, can't wait to share with my mom!

  2. You are so welcome! Great post Elise:)