Etsy Success Profile: Cooper + Belle Market

Think back to what inspired you to dive into the creative world of Etsy. That passion, zeal, and inspiration were so thick you could slice it. For Mandy Herron, her drive came from the need to escape the pressures of her full-time job in the financial industry. She continued to harness that passion as she transformed her hobby into a side business.

 

Curious what makes a successful Etsy Store owner? Check out my interview with Many from Cooper + Belle.

One of the reasons I am so honored to connect with Mandy Heron, owner of the Cooper + Belle Market Etsy store, is because she is so honest about the trials that face all of us as we navigate this business world.

 

That and I *adore* her momma and papa bear shirts. {Hang with me, I’ll share photos!}

 

From the heartening story behind Mandy’s business pivot to learning along the way to creating a core foundation to grow from, we are going behind the scenes to the real journey Etsy store owners face once they open their virtual doors.

 

Answering the Entrepreneurial Itch

My shop was founded out of a need to create, a desire to escape my day job, and an itch for the entrepreneurial spirit. When I got married in 2014, I moved two hours from where I had been living, I didn’t know a lot of people and needed a way to express my creative side. “

 

“I have always been entrepreneurial. My parents operated their own business as well as my brother who I have always looked up to, so it’s what I know. I honestly wouldn’t feel complete if I wasn’t doing something.”

 

That “something” came from her hobby creating candles and scarves. Naturally, Etsy came to mind. “When I think of a handmade gift, I immediately think of, ETSY.

 

“Etsy has created a platform that allows you to open a handmade shop with ease. I think no matter what, it will take a lot of time, hard work, and patience to be successful at any platform you choose. However, ETSY is such a great platform for the creative who wants a way to expose their work to the world.

 

After welcoming home a beautiful baby girl named Bella in the summer of 2016, Mandy quit her job in the financial industry to come home with her baby and began revising her Etsy strategy.

 

Inside the Etsy Success of Copper + Belle

Creating a Brand Name That Matters

“I started my ETSY shop under a different name when I was newly married and making candles and scarves as a simple hobby.”

 

Returning to her Etsy store after a few months maternity leave, Mandy determined the time for a rebrand. This move coupled with her new strategy focus.

 

Personally, I struggle when it comes to naming anything. You should have seen me when it came to pulling the trigger for The Savvy Etsy Marketer. I cringe thinking about it. Luckily Mandy had a different experience. Naming a company doesn’t get more heartwarming than the story behind Cooper + Belle.

 

“I renamed the shop inspired by our cocker spaniel, Cooper’s immediate love for our baby girl.”

 

To appreciate the significance of this love at first sight, you have to know more about Cooper and the anxiety Mandy had about introducing him to her new little one.

 

“Cooper is an older dog that’s never really been around kids. He had been badly abused as a stud, at a puppy mill before we adopted him in the fall of 2015. We didn’t know how he would react. I remember praying that he would be kind to her.”

 

“I was taken back for his affection during my pregnancy. He would fall asleep with his head on my stomach (he didn’t ever do that before and he doesn’t do that today). I had never seen a dog immediately love and care for a baby the way he did.”

 

“In branding the shop, I wanted to keep it simple, fresh, and modern. I want it to be relatable and recognizable across all forms of social media and beyond.”

 

Thus, the new brand Cooper + Belle was born.

 

Belle regularly makes appearances as a model because she is just too dang cute! As promised, there are those cute Bear t-shirts I mentioned in the intro. 

 

Inside the Etsy Success of Copper + Belle

Keeping Business Principals Simple

Sometimes we can all get lost in the gizmos and gadgets that distract us from what matters. {Hello social media!} It’s important for us to remain mindful to not let the tools pull us from some of the most important business principals.

 

“The golden rule always is a good starting point.”

 

Giving a fantastic reminder, Mandy lays out one of her core principals for how she operates her business:

 

“Treat others how you want to be treated. But honestly, go above that standard. When I buy a product I don’t expect a hand written note or my product to be wrapped and tied up with string. But that is what I do to go above and beyond.”

 

Truthfully, we weren’t talking about deep business philosophy. That is just the mindful business owner Mandy is. We were actually talking about ways storeowners can get good reviews from customers. Mandy finished her comment with another great reminder, “Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for a review! It’s that simple. You can’t say, ‘Why doesn’t anyone review my products?’ if you don’t ask them to rate your services. It’s that simple.”

 

Boom.

 

Inside the Etsy Success of Copper + Belle

Marketing Lessons from the Most Valuable Source

When asked what the biggest marketing bust was, Mandy brought home truth. “Is everything an option?” I know I can relate!

 

“But seriously, my biggest lessons have been through trial and error. You can’t succeed if you don’t try.” {That right there deserves an Ay-men!} “I try to use social media to draw most of my traffic. Instagram and Facebook are great simple outlets that I can post daily onto.”

 

Related: 13 Instagram accounts that will promote your store for FREE!

 

Another ringer: consistency. As we all know, nothing good happens magically overnight. Day in and day out, we need to keep strategically investing time and energy into our businesses. The whole farming metaphor about reaping and sowing comes to mind.

 

Mandy focuses on balancing being a full time stay at home mind with building her business, “I like to dedicate about one to two hours per day to my shop. Some weeks that is just one hard day’s work. Other weeks that means I spend every naptime working. Obviously, live events or holidays have a lot to do with how much I need to work.

 

Authenticity Shines Through

“Don’t get caught up in being something you’re not. People are less gullible than you give them credit for. Be unique, don’t copy, and mostly be kind!”

 

For Mandy, this is realized in part by focusing on quality in everything she does. “My main focus is on candles as research has shown that candles we buy from many popular retail stores are full of harmful chemicals, petroleum, and lead that we shouldn’t be breathing in on a daily basis! My candles are made with passion for health and quality containing no harmful chemicals, dyes, lead, or petroleum.” They aren’t just good for you, it’s a better product as well. “They also last about twice as long as the candles you would buy from a major candle company.”

 

“Every product in my shop is made by me and has been made with a lot of love and passion for what I do. I also want my products to inspire people to help themselves and help others.”

 

“While I focus mainly on candles, I also sell shirts, earrings, scarves, and pillows. I know not everyone in the world can have a candle. But I want to relate to a certain type of customer, women. I think women want to have fun accessories for themselves and their homes.”

 

“I am constantly changing, improving, and evolving as a business. I try to stay current, engage, and make an effort daily to stand out from the crowd. But, I also try to keep things simple. The more complicated I get the less authentic my brand gets as well.”

 

Ultimately, Mandy finished off with an important consideration for Etsy business owners, “Be true to yourself. If you wouldn’t use it then how do you expect someone else to?”

 

Constantly Growing and Learning

“It has taken me about two years to figure out packaging that expresses the quality I put into making my actual product.”

 

While she has come a long way to shaping her business, Mandy has big goals on the horizon. “I am still ironing out details but would like to eventually create a sustainable program to help women and children in developing nations.”

 

Advice to New Sellers

“I think a lot of people think ETSY is ‘easy.’ It’s not.”

 

When expanding on that, Mandy touched on her struggles navigating SEO, as well as other skills essential to Etsy. “Some people come naturally at good SEO, marketing, photography, and so on. However, it takes most of us a lot of work, research, and time to even get our first few sales. Most ETSY sellers make less than $100 a year. So it’s not easy and will likely not be an overnight success. It will take time, patience, and hard work to be successful.

 

Related: Use Google’s FREE Keyword Tool to help refine your SEO because we all need a little help finding those keyword gems.

 

See Cooper + Belle Market Etsy Store for Yourself!

Because we are all curious what goes on behind the scenes at successful Etsy stores, check out this success profile. With delightful products, a baby model and an occasional cocker spaniel showing up, this store is too good to miss! Check out Cooper + Belle Market for yourself.

Etsy Store: Cooper + Belle Market

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How did You Determine Your Etsy Store Name?

As I mentioned, I really struggle with naming thing. It’s honestly one of my least favorite activities out there (heaven forbid coming up with one when I have kids).

 

Because so many storeowners just like you struggle with this, leave a note in the comments how you narrowed in on your store name.

 

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