Tag Teaming Success: Etsy Profile on Simply Pallets

When you think of a thriving Etsy enterprise, you’re likely not thinking of pallets. That is unless of course, you happen to be privy to the explosion of pallets in the home decorating and wedding space.

 

Matt and Alyssa tapped into that market by accident.

 

Bored at work, Matt sent Alyssa a link to a DIY pallet wine rack. Little did he know that fast forward a few chapters in his life and pallets would become the foundation to their thriving enterprise. Nope. This was a much-craved home improvement project for the evening.

 

And that’s exactly what he did.

 

He had the wine rack built that evening, followed by a quick success post on Facebook. Next thing he knew, friends and family were gushing over the piece. It was the initial spark behind the new DIY team.

 

There are a lot of couple teams on Etsy. Check out this profile on one of the top sellers – a married duo shaking up the world of handmade toys. 

 

The following weekend Alyssa and Matt tried their hand at two new pieces. The first, a table, sold by Monday. The second, a refurbished globe, was set aside for a family member.

 

More importantly, the couple realized that they could make money from their new hobby.

 

While Matt thrived in the building, Alyssa quickly realized that wasn’t her gift. Instead, she brought the paint out. Pushing past the first terrible flower attempt, she found her groove bringing an elephant to life on the palette.

 

Two Etsy sellers share their story on how they grew their store to a full time business.

 

From that point on, we knew we both had something special.

 

If you know many Etsy sellers, it’s likely that you have heard similar stories. So many sellers start their stores out of enjoyment for the craft. When you can find these stores, you are in for a wonderful experience. These crafters care about each and every product that goes out.

 

What’s unique about these two sellers is how they gave their store everything they had. After dating for a mere six months, they packed up their bags and made the out of state jump to North Carolina. Without jobs lined up, the two got busy building pieces.

 

If we had regular jobs when we started we probably would have given up after having months without a sale. We would have just kept collecting our regular paychecks and forgotten about it.

 

In fact, they were so dedicated to it, despite living in a small space, they converted a guest room and a small porch into a workspace. Later they were able to get into a garage.

 

Their dedication, grit and living in a small space doubling as a studio paid off. Today, their business Simply Pallets is thriving.

 

Here is my interview with the dynamic duo on how they achieved Etsy success, their journey along the way and tips young stores can take to chart a similar path to success.

 

Don’t worry. Their advice doesn’t include packing up and moving states, although it did work for them. Might just be something to taking a big risk.

 

Reaching the $1,000 a month milestone:

Simply pallets soared past the 1k in a month mark after 7 months.

 

We opened in July 2014 but didn’t have a listing until September. Then we didn’t have a sale until November. From November to December 2014 we had 11 sales. Then from November 2015 until December 15th we had 752 ORDERS- about 800 products sold!

If we had thought about it as opening a small business right away we may have pushed harder and gotten to the $1k per month mark sooner.

 

Treat your Etsy store like a business on Main St. and you can succeed.

 

The Etsy Misconception to Avoid

Two Etsy sellers share their story on how they grew their store to a full time business. “Etsy isn’t a real business.” Ouch. How many times have you through that, or worse, thought it? Alyssa and Matt encounter that all the time. Can you imagine the chill or frustration of not being taken seriously when you are putting 40, or even 90, hours a week into your business. Alyssa and Matt knew the challenges going in and took it seriously from the start.

 

We truly believe we only overcame this because we had to. If we had regular jobs when we started we probably would have given up after having months without a sale. We would have just kept collecting our regular paychecks and forgotten about it.

 

We didn’t have that option so we kept pushing forward.

 

We didn’t think about it as a small business until we had consistent sales, and it took other people even longer than that. If we had thought about it as opening a small business right away we may have pushed harder and gotten to the $1k per month mark sooner.

 

Takeaway: If you are looking to turn this into a business, you need to put some serious elbow grease in upfront to momentum!

 

Why Etsy:

Etsy seems like the default platform for handmade products. In 2014 it was the only handmade site we had ever heard of, which made it seem like our only option. Looking back, we don’t know if there would have been any other site that could have given us the tools and audience that would allow our store to grow.

 

We joined Amazon Handmade when that started in October 2015. We also get a few inquiries on our Facebook page every now and then.

 

95% of our sales are on Etsy.

 

Gaining Traction

The hardest part was figuring out what it was that we needed to do. For example, some people say you need at least 100 listings, some people say you need the best titles or descriptions, SEO alone, or just amazing pictures.

 

It took us about 6 months to realize that the best stores have a combination of all of those things.

 

What Everyone should know about Market Research on Esty!

 

You don’t need cute titles, you need good search terms- and they better be in your descriptions too. You need great pictures, but not necessarily all-white backgrounds. You need lots of listings, but you need to vary your search terms or it is pointless.

 

You also need TIME. You need time to build up a reputation. You need to show Etsy through sales and reviews that you are worth pushing up in the results. Etsy is not a set it and forget it venture. If you want to make money from it, you need to be motivated every day, and you can’t slack because you don’t get a sale for a while.

 

We had zero sales yesterday and it stunk, but we have had over 150 this month.

 

 

Never stop learning and don’t give up. That’s how you will gain traction.

How do you get your store to stand out?

We try to stand out by having a lot of different inventory. We have read articles that tell you to try for a small niche but we don’t. We have beach decor, animal art, wine racks, shelving units, custom signs, etc. By having different types of products with different search terms we try to draw people to our store, then we hope our story makes the sale.

 

We gain repeat business by providing customer service and as much of a personal experience as you can using the internet. We answer messages promptly, make products quickly, and take care to package products in a way that presents well and keeps items safe in transit.

 

Two Etsy sellers share their story on how they grew their store to a full time business.

Two Etsy sellers share their story on how they grew their store to a full time business.

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

When we first started we put in about 40 hours a week, whether we were building or listing. During Christmas last year we easily put in 90 hours per week, and now we put in about 30. Our first Christmas rush made us really efficient, so together we can put out 50 orders a week in half the time it took us before.

 

{Not enough time in the day? Here are 5 resources to save you time and money.}

Takeaway Advice for Others

 

Create an Etsy store because you love to create, not because you think it is an easy way to make money. It is not easy, but once you gain consistency it is an extremely rewarding job that can allow you to live a life full of freedom and adventure.

 

Two Etsy sellers share their story on how they grew their store to a full time business.

 

Create an Etsy store because you love to create, not because you think it is an easy way to make money.

 

Note: Matt and Alyssa are celebrating their wedding this summer!

 

 

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