Today is a really big day for me and my business. I'm very proud to show you my new online shop! Come take a look.
Here you'll find all of my PDF sewing patterns for dolls and toys, plus specialty supplies and tools just for softie makers. Both of my books are in the shop as well. And the best thing of all is that it lives here, on my blog. See those tabs up top, along the navigation bar? Click the one that says, "My Shop," and you'll be there.
Why Open Your Own Shop? What About Etsy?
Exactly a year ago I wrote a post called, "Should You Have a Unique Online Storefront or Are You Better Off on Etsy?" in which I made a strong case that while Etsy sales can make up a part of your business, an Etsy shop alone shouldn't be the whole of your ecommerce strategy.
I've been selling my work on Etsy since July 3, 2005 and my shop there is still open and thriving. As I mentioned in Friday's podcast interview with Etsy, I've ridden all of the waves of change on the site, and I will continue to be there.
Here's why: new customers find me on Etsy in great numbers.
Let's look at how the people who viewed items in my Etsy shop over the last 12 months ended up there:
- 19,700 came in by clicking a link from this blog
- 61,342 came from within Etsy.
That means I brought in 1/3 of the visitors and Etsy brought in the other 2/3. Etsy is doing a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to getting noticed.
What about Google?
- 545 people found my shop this year by searching for "sewing pattern" in the Etsy search box.
- 455 people found my shop through a Google search.
The internet is a very big place and it is increasingly hard to get found. By participating in the largest online marketplace for products like mine I am helping myself to get found. I need all of those people who search for "lovey" on Etsy to find my Lovey Dovey. It's just that simple.
At the same time, having an Etsy shop as my only shop all these years has proved problematic, too. That search for "lovey" turns up 11,743 items on Etsy, only one of which is mine. The result of being literally one in over 11,000 is that buyers on Etsy often often say, "I bought this on Etsy!" instead of "I bought this from Abby!" Knowing this is the case, I've asked myself who's business am I really developing?
The Blog as a Business Hub
I love my blog, While She Naps. For me this space is an opportunity to explore what I'm truly interested in, to be a journalist and a critic, to write about the business of being a designer and creative entrepreneur from an honest, inside perspective. The writing, editing, rewriting, researching, interviewing, and opportunity chasing I do to create the articles that I post here give me a thrill equal to the thrill I get from designing a new stuffed animal.
A big part of that thrill is rooted in the fact that you are here.
You are reading and talking to me, and to one another, in the comments. You are listening to the podcast (that last show was downloaded 100x an hour for the first few days!). You are teaching me things, pointing out ideas that would never have occurred to me on my own.
This blog is now more than a sewing blog. It's a business-to-business community. And I'm so thankful.
While She Naps needs to truly be the hub of my business. As I write more books and ebooks, create more patterns and stock more specialty tools and supplies, it should all live here where I live. Opening my own shop is a big step toward that goal.
I'd like to welcome you to Abby Glassenberg Design and I'd like to say thank you to all of you for being here. In celebration I've set up a discount code just for you. Get 15% off your entire order when you enter the code NEWSHOP at checkout. All patterns are instant downloads. If you've been thinking of getting a pair of hemostats, or one of my books, or Ruby the Reindeer, now is a good time.
Cheers to new horizons. Thank you!
Edited: Okay, there were a few glitches with the coupon code and with shipping options this morning. I'm still learning! I've resolved both issues completely now. Thank you for your patience!