As big of a proponent for shopping locally as I am, I also am a big online shopper. Luckily, local Etsy shop owners allow you to shop from your sofa while still supporting local small businesses. The best part: These local Etsy shop owners I chatted with are living the dream of being their own bosses. Some still have other jobs, but for most, their Etsy sales have allowed them to be full-time small business owners.
As a new stay-at-home mom, Jennifer Alexander knew she loved her time with her daughter but needed something else. Within the first three months of opening her shop, Alexander expanded after exceeding the number of orders that she had hoped for annually for her embroidered and vinyl products. After continued expansions and riskier equipment purchases, Jenn Loryn Designs had delivered products to happy customers in 49 states and five continents. The products change seasonally, so check back for different items throughout the year.
After leaving their handmade “BAR” marquee sign behind at their wedding venue for others to use, Ben and Barbara O’Morrow were contacted by the venue with custom order requests. A business was born. A new job opportunity for Ben brought the O’Morrows to Charlotte and Barbara took over the shop full-time when they realized their Etsy shop was producing more income than her job at an advertising agency. Their products are both metal and non-metal and they accept custom orders.
Want to enhance a wedding registry gift with something elegant and special? Cue Beth Schultz’s Etsy shop. You’ll find personalized etched glassware as well as customized pillows with a loved one’s handwriting. By day, Schultz is an HR Analyst, but her passion is giving her customers the ultimate service experience and freedom and to make their purchases as special as possible.
Jazmin Rode opened her shop in March 2015 after realizing a passion for design through her work on her blog, Frugality Gal. Although the original intention for the shop has shifted from organizational printables to art prints and personalized stationery, Rode is thrilled with the direction the shop is taking. Her best advice to aspiring small business owners and creatives is to pay attention to SEO (search engine optimization) so that search engine users can find your products easily. For my fellow Type-A’s and those trying to be more organized, Rode recommends the (hella cute) personalized planner.
Owner Krissy Sternberg started an Etsy shop after her friends asked where they could buy the baby hair accessories she was making for her infant daughter. Over the five years Sweet Sienna Designs has been open, it has evolved and she now sells hand-painted welcome mats. Having sold more than 400 mats, the shop allows this stay-at-home mom to scratch her creative itch while still spending time with her kids.
PS: Don’t forget to think outside of the cubicle and chase your dream, too.
Photos: Courtesy of featured businesses.