Quit Toying Around – One Handmade Toy Company’s Path to Success on Etsy

Do you ever wish you could skip growing up, remaining forever in the young abyss filled with toys, excitement, and adventure? That’s exactly what one married Etsy team did.

 

Ok, that might be an exaggeration. But in all fairness, this duo’s life currently revolves around handcrafted wooden toys, little ones, and stimulating imagination. High-quality toys spiced with the adventure of business spelled out a recipe for success for this Etsy shop.

 

Insert Little Sapling Toys, a family woodworking company designing modern wooden toys in Huntsville, Utah. Kimber and Nick Christensen combined their unique gifts, along with a lot of grit and dedication, to turn a hobby into a thriving enterprise over the last eight years.

 

While the day to day varies drastically from the youthful escapades, this dedicated couple has built their business entirely around promoting early development, spurring imagination and inspiring little ones to explore new possibilities. Yes, a toy can do all that and more.

 

Let’s be serious here for a moment. How could you not want to play with this?

 

 

Case and point, he looks like he is off to the imaginary races!

 

The Beginners Guide to Instagram

 

This company isn’t toying around either. Their commitment to inspiring little ones with creative toys that mom and dad are confident are good for them has spurred this shop to be one of the largest sellers on Etsy. Additionally, they are carried in retail shops around the country.

 

Not too shabby if you ask me. 

 

Inspired by their spectacular craftsmanship, suburb marketing abilities, and downright playful attitude, I wanted to dig into more of the incredible success story of Little Sapling Toys.

 

Here’s what Kimber Christensen shared about her and her husband’s charming store that is captivating hearts and minds of little ones all around the country.

 

{You’ll discover my comments, thoughts, and commentary along the way in parenthesis.}

 

What Spurred You to Start Your Store?

We started Little Sapling Toys in 2008, just after we had our first child. When you have your first kid, you can be submersed in this completely new world of options for everything from pregnancy, birth, babying, and beyond.

 

With Nick’s woodworking background and my desire to run a business, we quickly noticed the lack of well designed wooden toys and put a plan in place to fill the void.

 

Thus, Little Sapling Toys was born.

 

Do you have that unique skill set? Find out if your product will sell on Etsy.

 

Tell Us a Little About Your Toys

Teether from Little Sapling Toys - Check out their profile of how they grew their store to the top seller on Etsy!

We’ve pioneered wooden teethers to where they are now. Today we have the largest selection of personal shapes and states. We can personalize almost all our products and our customers love to add a name, message, or memory to their toys. Our standards for quality are very high, and we stand behind all our products with a lifetime warranty for craftsmanship.

 

Why Etsy?  

When we launched with our little line of toys, Etsy was relatively new and unknown. We were selling to boutiques, literally door to door, and it was a natural next step.

 

Once we listed on Etsy, we were able to transition to full time almost immediately. Today we also have our own website through Shopify.

Want this kind of success? Start with finding your ideal customer.

How long did it take you to reach the $1k a month mark?

We put our first listing up in August of 2008. By November, three months later, we were over $1,000 a month.

 

 

What was the hardest part about getting traction in your store?

It constantly changes, so the hardest part is constantly working on a variety of marketing aspects so you can have constant sales.

 

The biggest misconception is that Etsy will provide you with traffic and sales. You have to put out the product, branding, marketing, etc. to be successful, just like with every other aspect of business!

 

What’s the Best Marketing Channel?

Currently, it’s Instagram, but I think it’s just going to be a blip in the life of our marketing.

 

{Now that’s a great reminder to not invest too much stock into one marketing channel, especially given that they have ALMOST 30,000 followers. On a side note, if you’re not following them on Instagram, you need to be. Not only do they execute brilliant growth and engagement strategies, it’s downright adorable.}

 

I love seeing babies teething naturally on their personalized teethers! ?? little Ruby! PC @annekarp

A photo posted by Kimber Christensen (@littlesaplingtoys) on

What’s Been the Biggest Marketing Bust?

The most surprising bust was late last year, we did a giveaway with Etsy and saw nearly no followers, traffic, or sales.

 

{Ouch!}

 

How do you get your store to stand out?

Quit Toying Around – How these toys led to massive success on Etsy {And how you can get there too}

When we started, I knew that being as professional as possible was the best way for us to stand out. I fought to get our pictures the way I envisioned them; with that classic white background. Back then there weren’t tutorials or professionals to help.

 

I even hired a Photoshop expert and she basically told me to give up.

 

But, I trusted my gut and eventually figured out how to get the pictures just right. Of course, we’re still professional, but it takes more to stand out on Etsy these days. We have a lot of products at a large variety of prices. We also have great reviews because we put a lot of effort into our customer service.

 

{Can you imagine having a professional you admire tell you to “give up”? You have to admire perseverance. I’ll say it paid off as her photos are top notch today!}

 


How many hours a week do you put into your store?

I work about 60 hours a week and I love (almost) every second of it.

 

{Thus putting the myth to rest that “Etsy is easy.”}

 

Top 5 Resources to Save you Time and Energy.

 

What are the secrets to working as a married team?

We started the business because we were a good team and wanted a life working together. Our secret is loving our time together, being honest with one another, and having different skill sets with good gut instincts.

 

To make it work, you need to embrace the challenge and communicate. Make sure to outline clear and defined roles for each of you.

 


 {These two have a lot on their plate! A big family, a thriving business and working together.} 

Tips for Someone Starting Today:

Read all the information Etsy has available for sellers, you really can’t beat it!

 

Check Quit Toying Around – One Handmade Toy Company’s Path to Success Massive on Etsy {And how you can get there too} out these superb toys for yourself! 

 

 

Eager for more stellar insights from Etsy store owners rocking it? See how this apron store is bringing in between $2k-$6k a MONTH.