The Etsy Shop


The snow has been relentless.  A steady stream of flakes falling from gray skies with no end in sight.  Covering freshly shoveled sidewalks in the course of a half hour; erasing any signs of the back breaking work my husband (and my very kind neighbors) have done …


We’re going on two days now.  And for those two days I’ve taken refuge inside. I see no reason to pull the car from the garage so I can slip and slide down the side streets of Chicago. My loving husband has bravely faced the elements, walking to the grocery store to replenish our cupboards …


and my supply of wine.

Winking smile

Needless to say, it’s been a slow start to the New Year …


And aside from some mini dramas out front as neighbors attempt to dig out their cars … and a Project Runway All-Stars marathon on Lifetime … the inmates are beginning to get  restless.


Starting with this inmate.


So I decided to take all this errand-free time to focus on the Etsy shop.  Because, quite honestly, I’ve never really sat down to draw up a strategy.  It’s not like the shop itself is inactive.  On any given day of the week I’m busy painting mason jars … or distressing mason jars … or sewing a pillow … or wrangling bubble wrap and shipping tape … or juggling a stack of boxes as I make my way to the Post Office.


The mere fact that I have a steady stream of orders should be viewed as a testament of success.  Or, more accurately, a predictor of even greater success …


It’s my Sally Field moment.



What has remained inactive, though, is my shop’s marketing plan.  And that’s because there is no plan.  I’ve been working on the “if I build it they will come” business model.




So as the snow blankets Chicagoland, I’ve been looking into some basic ideas on how to grow my Etsy shop.  I decided to start with the 100 items rule.  A much smarter and more successful blogger and former Etsy shop owner than I suggests stocking 100 items … that the most successful of Etsy shops have achieved this magical number of items for sale.


My plan is to add  a new item each day, starting on the first of the year. Some listings will be new (like the painted and distressed jars in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White below).  Some listings will be variations on the old (like the gold painted mason jar set above).







And some will be pillows – where it all started — like the Joy pillow  I added to the shop today …







Three new items down, 67 to go …




If you have any ideas of items I can stock, please feel free to speak up.  I’m serious …


I was thinking about maybe offering a custom drop cloth curtain service.  And maybe some drop cloth Christmas stockings.  And drop cloth napkins.  And, of course, I’ll be painting jars in even more color combinations …


I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  Now I need to take a break to watch the snow fall …


Linda signature-orange_thumb



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  1. says

    Nice! I’ve heard that you all have a little snow. We just have cold, crappy rain.
    I have toyed with the idea of an etsy shop because I have so many smalls to get rid of. (They don’t do as well in the booth.) I heard that 100 thing too–Shabby Creek or Jennifer Rizzo. So I’ll start filling boxes and when I get to 100….maybe as soon as school’s out!

  2. Sharon H says

    yes, but at least you HAVE an Etsy Shop! I don’t even have one, although I think I should….and people keep telling me I should…sigh, it just takes time as well as determination, and then of course the ‘effort’… Someday I will. Maybe. Ok, one of these days. Soon….heavy sigh
    Love that pillow, by the way ;))

  3. says

    Hi Linda! I love your creations – been awhile since I managed to leave comments for all my bloggy friends :)
    suggestion – i made some drop cloth banners for Christmas – just a rectangle strip of cloth – frayed all 4 edges and then painted a word on with stencils. I plan to make a few for spring and offer in my etsy shop but I think you could do them too! They are easy and can use up scraps of drop cloth and they are cute and can sell at a low price point. I didn’t sell any on etsy but i did in some brick and mortar stores. You have a bigger following on etsy than I do – I don’t have a steady stream of sales due to my lack of energy directed to the shop the past 6 months! I think you would sell yours! Another thing that would go very well with what you already sell is painted canvasses and old frames. old frames can have drop cloth pennant banners added, they can be painted to match the mason jars, they can have drop cloth ‘photos’ framed in them! Just some thoughts I had!

  4. says

    hi Linda, it sounds like you have good intentions for your business in 2104! I don’t have an etsy shop, but I do have a website and a small business [painted glassware] and I had to laugh at your words about wrangling tape and bubble wrap~as thrilled as I am when I receive and out of town order, packing glass for shipping can be challenging! You have elevated painted mason jars to a new level, I look forward to seeing new creations in 2014!

  5. Gwen says

    Somewhere I heard do what you do and do it well. For now you are “in”. Spread that word!! For Golden Wedding Anniversary party decor. Oh those gold jars in the table centers!!! I think its the jars that are what make me keep looking at your Etsy shop. And then poof! There weren’t many!! You know, new ones. Could you get a bridal magazine to add you as ideas for simple yet unusual center pieces. Maybe tie the drop cloth to the jars somehow?? Like have runners for tables at a reasonable price with a thin line of the jar paint and if its an ombré set then this drop cloth has three colors so is a bit more? Keeping prices reasonable, after all it is a drop cloth, yet high enough for profit, makes it desirable. Valentines day jars. Do your drop cloth pillow with just a line around edge of pillow with your trademark center like joy pillow but say love. I think if its all mismatched its just too much. But I’d look through 100 items that centered around your strengths: jars painted like no one else ( there’s new glazes and waxes…,??) and adding the drop cloth items as you said, to coordinate with jars, like napkins, table runners, and then expand your pillows. I think if you go custom drapes of drop cloths, how do you stock your shop? But standard size, but do something to make them unlike anyone. I found a shower curtain similar but a better color like a PB ticking which would be too well make me go cross-eyed…so she did hers with rows of gathered strips of close narrow ruffle rows. Now how about your drapes of drop cloths. What is YOUR signature going to be that is not a Suzani look. It needs to go with your chalk paint jars and pillows… Just my business plan…since you are now small, not junky stuff, keep showing me unusual jars and then photo them HOW /what event/where to use them via the five pictures. And use your pillows and drop cloth items in the photos so people see how great the items all go together. Tap into home use (what will I do with my three jars? Show me in the staging photos). I’m kind of bossy huh. I used to be a teacher, hmm. I guess I just got so enthused over your shop as when it opened I wanted new stuff and it kind of went stagnant? Wedding orders? So ride the jar ride as long as you can. I don’t own any yet and I have Bunco in October. Now what could I find in your shop in the $20 range? So maybe have smaller jars too or a big jar too. I don’t think I’ve seen a big jar done. And it’s the Ball that I love. Not a pickle jar. Just as you are doing them.

  6. says

    Hi Linda,
    I read the 100 items blog too, that’s hard to do but a good goal! I actually have an idea that might work for you, I loved your “car in a jar” but couldn’t find anything close to it at the local stores. So, how about jar “kits” that mirror all your great ideas.

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