Momtrepreneur and Etsy are teaming up to inspire mothers to start their own business and open their own Etsy shop. For readers interested in opening a shop, Etsy is offering a special discount that allows you to open your shop with twenty products for free! To help you get started, please check our previous posts #ProjectNewYear or search for Etsy.
Author: DeKrantenkapper: Dutch for ‘Newspaper Barber’ consists of two sisters. Lotte had so many ideas working with textiles, trying to build her own business. And Janneke just couldn’t detach herself from her computer while designing. But somehow we didn’t make any progress being sole makers, there was something missing. When Lotte asked Janneke to design a Birthday calendar for her, co-working lifted us up and gave us a new direction. How special it felt to be able to work with your sister and face so many adventures together. Almost three years later now, we have learned and experienced so many great things. Our business is blooming.
The Importance of Branding
We have experienced a successful shop is a mix of different qualities, all followed by the very first thing noticed by viewers: branding. Great products are of course the most important ingredient for a stunning shop, but nobody would notice them or care to spend time in your shop when it is not communicating a solid brand, a clear vision or a certain feeling. We are fortunate to have complementary skills. One of us is the creative force and the other one has the business sense. If you’re working alone we recommend asking others, with different skill sets, to comment on your shop.
The Process of Finding Your Branding
The best process for us is to just go with the flow. We believe a brand must be as close to you as it can be and has come to you naturally. This way it will be authentic, it will make you stand out, and will be easy to maintain. It may require a high level of concentration, though, for it is so easy to get distracted by all the other things that are a bit of you too. Discover what fits you best of all and stick to it.
Once you’ve done this, you can do quite a lot within the look and feel of your brand. For example, we wanted to make darker photos of our products related to the winter season. We were hesitant at first, because our entire shop was so bright. Eventually, we noticed that even these darker photographs communicated our brand quite well and we were amazed with the results. At those times, it’s great to have someone else there who understands you and your brand and can genuinely keep you on track.
Top 5 Tips for creating an Etsy shop with strong and cohesive branding:
- Keep it real
As mentioned above, keep it close to yourself. Communicate this visually. Etsy (and the entire internet) is all about images.
- Brand everything!
Have fun designing all kinds of labels, wrapping paper, thank you cards, address stickers and other paraphernalia. Your brand should be reflected on every single thing that passes your hands, from your Etsy shop, to your packaging, and of course your products.
- You rock
Make sure your ‘about’ page tells your story, and the conclusion of the story should be that there is no one else in the world that can sell and make your goods better than you. If someone were to buy a letterpress postcard from you, tell them how you’ve held a life-long fascination for those upper- and lowercase lead characters. Don’t be afraid to get nerdy about your product.
- Be selective
Be selective with the products you offer and make sure they form a cohesive shop.. Of course you can venture into different product groups, but make sure they fit the overarching story you want to tell your customers. For us, our shop began with paper goods, hence the name (meaning ‘Newspaper Barber’), but after a while we also really wanted to try some screen printed products and decided to apply this to pencil cases and stationary. Your shop can grow and change, but keep the visual story straight.
- Stay on top of your brand, always
Maintain your shop’s’ front page. Keep it tidy and ordered, and make it easy for your viewers to feel welcome.
Branding on a Limited Budget?
Approach everything creatively. Build a photo studio with a cheap roll of paper and aluminum foil reflection screen. For packaging and labeling, use things that are at hand rather than spending lots of money and turning the internet inside out for that one-of-a-kind packaging material. You can make simple things purchased from local stores quite special yourself.
Also: be flexible. Don’t stick to your pre-planned photographing session if the light isn’t working. Start working when the light’s good! Try to look at the things surrounding you in a different way and recycle anything you can use. We punch every scrap of cardstock that is left over from the production process into a nice little card shape, and when people want to test their stamps on them they’re in awe about the rounded corners on the beautiful card we have ready for them. Branding really is all about those small details.
All that inspiration, but no shop?
Momtrepreneur and Etsy are teaming up to inspire parents to start their own business and open their own Etsy shop. For readers interested in opening a shop, Etsy is offering a special discount that allows you to open your shop with twenty products for free! To help you get started, please check our previous posts #ProjectNewYear or search for Etsy. Get 20 free listings when you open your first Etsy shop. After that, it costs only $.20 to list an item for four months.
Perhaps you want to get some feedback from like minded on your ideas. That is possible! On Etsy we have created a special team for you parents who are reading this #ProjectNewYear. Go to team Mother’s Finest and meet those moms and dads who have ideas too, just like you.
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