Someone had recently told me about this new website Etsy.com and I was checking it out. I had been making cards for friends for a while, and had been taking pictures since I had enough Bazooka bubblegum wrappers to exchange for a camera that shot 110 film with no flash. I poked around and read Etsy's policies and steps to set up a shop selling my very own handmade items. It was a no-brainer: Probably an hour later, I had fraskedesigns.etsy.com set up, stocked with cards and prints, and ready to go.
It took a few weeks for me to get my first official sale. Then momentum started picking up, best-sellers started proving themselves. My Fenway Park Red Seat photo was the clear favorite, followed by You Are My Sunshine. As the months went by, I added and refined the products in my shop. I started to list more prints and less note cards. Increasing my Red Sox themed prints definitely helped with the traffic.
Fast forward to November 2010, Etsy has proven itself as an international go-to resource for handmade, and it has really made a positive impact on my life in so many ways. As an artist, it has offered me an outlet to share my work with the WORLD as well as those in my back yard. Thanks to Etsy, the store Magpie - a great local store selling handmade wares in Somerville - found me and asked to sell my prints and cards in their awesome brick and mortar location. This gave me the confidence I needed to start doing craft shows as well as approach more stores to see if they too would like to carry my work.
As a consumer, I have become even more aware of the importance of buying handmade, and the hard work that goes into the production of every item listed. And let's not forget the amazing people who have entered my life thanks to Etsy! I found the amazing group Boston Handmade, and have made some great friendships through that association.
It has been such a wonderful experience to connect with other artists and crafts people in the area. I have learned so much from getting to know these amazing people and immersing myself in the handmade culture. It has also helped me to push myself as an artist and small business person. While my small business is still basically a micro-business, I feel like I have taken great strides to integrate my art into my life and to find a way to share it with others. I wonder what the next four years will have in store!