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When I opened my Etsy shop in 2015, I didn’t expect to become rich or have hundreds of sales a month. I was actually in my second year of grad school, working full time and a newlywed so I didn’t have too much extra time to invest in my business. I decided that as long as my Etsy stuff didn’t take too much time away from my husband, I would allow it to be part of my life. The great thing about an Etsy shop is that there is not a big initial start-up cost at all depending on what you’re selling so you can invest as much or as little time as you want. I decided to incorporate our shared hobbies into earning money on Etsy.
My husband and I love to go to flea markets, antique shops and yard sales and find one of a kind items. We loved it so much that we bought too many items and our house quickly became cluttered! We started posting these items on Etsy and some of them sold quickly. Sometimes it was even sad to see a cool piece go! But it was a good feeling to know that it was going to bring joy to someone else. I love when people message me with a note or picture on Etsy about how much they love their new item. At one point, we had a listing for a vintage medical bag and a couple out East bought it for their son who was graduating from med school – so cool! We made a rule that we would only buy items that we loved and we wanted to display in our house. That way, if it didn’t sell, we weren’t stuck with some item that we didn’t really want. We also agreed that we wouldn’t buy too many of one specific item. We got really excited about buying vintage cigar boxes and license plates but we got to a point where we had too many so we stopped.
The coolest thing about shopping for these items was that sometimes we were lucky enough to hear the stories of where the items had been or what they meant to someone. One older couple gave us an antique at no cost because they loved the appreciation we had for the history behind it. We probably talked with them for over an hour about their collection.
We also listed several handmade items. At one point my husband was getting several custom orders at once which was exciting. I would work with the client to get the dimensions and design figured out and talk price. My husband would do all the handy work of sometimes designing from scratch and building beautiful custom pieces. Some of his best work included a storage bench, dining tables, and a wine cabinet. Unfortunately, we had to start turning away business because we do have full time jobs in IT. People told us we should do Etsy full time but Andrew and I agreed that it’s better to keep it as a hobby.
So, we didn’t make millions or anything from our Etsy shop but we were able to buy some nice woodworking equipment for my husband and some awesome craft supplies for me! Of course, we also use some of the money to go out hunting for antiques! We usually make about 5-10 sales a month which is a great pace for us.