How To Run A Successful Etsy Shop: Advice From The Experts

Are you thinking about opening an Etsy shop to sell your handmade crafts or designs? Are you wondering if it's possible to run a thriving business through Etsy when there's so much competition on the online marketplace? Well, I'm so glad you found this post because it will make you feel well-equipped to open a super successful shop! These top tips have come straight from six wonderful creative bosses who are using the platform to grow their businesses in Bristol and beyond!

Keep reading to find out what's working for them and don't forget to check out all of their shops too - you'll find each of their links beneath their piece of expert advice!

Fiona Clabon Illustration

Fiona Clabon is a collage illustrator, creating colourful and playful collages using hand-textured, cut paper, which she makes into lovely prints, greetings cards and coasters.

Assorted Collage Coasters by Clabon Illustration

Be patient! When I first joined Etsy and uploaded my products, I naively thought that orders would just come flooding in. And obviously they didn’t! I’ve learnt that it takes time. Time to both edit listings, add a variety of photos, work on keywords etc, but also time to get your brand and business out there (as irritating as I find that phrase to be, it’s often true), and that’s where social media and networking come in.


Etsy sometimes feels like quite a saturated market; the challenge is to make your product stand out. So take some top-notch photos, show your product off at its best! Use Etsy Rank or similar websites to work on your tags, keywords, spelling etc. Also, use your own social media networks to promote your new shop – sometimes it feels like talking to an empty room with social media, but you do never know who may read it.


I’d also say, take some time to research what your competitors are doing. Analyse their listings. What do you think of their photographs? Learn from them. Have they missed anything from their descriptions? Take what they’ve done and better it. It’s definitely time well spent.


You can find Clabon Illustration on Etsy | Website | Instagram | FacebookNot On The High Street


Yay Rae Flay

Rae is an illustrator and maker of the coolest laser-cut jewellery, just look at this sparkly Jammy Dodger brooch!

Jammy Heart Pin / Brooch by Yay Rae Flay

My Etsy shop has only been in action since January, so I am still relatively new to the scene. I have learnt a huge amount in that time, but my top tip would be - join your local Etsy team and go to the meet-ups! There are a whole bunch of experienced Etsy sellers right on your doorstep and, most likely, they will be only too happy to help and support you. Since attending the Bristol Etsy meet-up in March, my circle of creative and like-minded friends has grown enormously and I'm now part of a designer/maker collective (Bristol Girl Bosses) all of whom met at that same March meet-up. It can be lonely being self-employed (even if just on a part-time basis) so it has been so valuable for me to have a group that can share advice and knowledge, sympathise with the bad times and enjoy celebrating the good.

You can find Yay Rae Flay on Etsy | Instagram


Webb & Farrer

Alex makes stunning fabric flower crowns that are perfect for festivals, weddings and generally feeling like a queen!

Webb & Farrer Dancing At Dusk Flower Crown

My advice would be to use good quality photos with a model or lifestyle scene if possible. I also read somewhere that the main thumbnail photo for your product should intrigue potential customers to click further into the item (for a 'close-up') and then they love your products and click into your shop to explore more.


Another thing I'd say is reply as swiftly as possible to a customer if they send you an enquiry. If they've asked for a bespoke design and you're able to put together a quick sketch or mock-up then it shows you're committed and fabulous at your job. Also, always mention if your product is handmade, where it's made and the name of the person who made it in each of your product descriptions... it's always nice to imagine the person sat in their workshop.


You can find Webb & Farrer on Etsy | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Emma Dee

Emme Dee makes beautiful couture bridalwear and sells handmade daywear and accessories on her Etsy shop, like this fab flip sequin bag!

Emma Dee Sequin Clutch Bag

My advice for anyone wanting to open an Etsy shop is to go for it! I know this is a simple… and slightly cheesy bit of advice, but it really is the best. Once it’s open you can work out what works best for you and what sells (and doesn’t, as the case may be), but if you don’t start somewhere you will never know where you could end up.

Also, mix things up a bit! If something isn’t selling, try a different description or take a couple of different pictures. It might just need a new take on it and someone could be inspired to make that important purchase.


You can find Emma Dee on Etsy | Website | Instagram | Facebook


To Be Adorned

Becca from To Be Adorned makes gorgeous vintage-inspired accessories for snappy dressers and colour-loving brides!

Blue Bridal Flower Crown / Birdcage Veil by To Be Adorned.

My tip would be to join your local girl gang! Whether that means joining a local Etsy team (Bristol's is brilliant), taking part in a Twitter chat, finding a Facebook group or finding fellow creatives in your area you can meet with IRL. Searching online or heading to local craft or artsy events are great ways to find these folks. Connecting with likeminded people who know where you're coming from is so important - you'll be able to swap ideas and learn a lot from each other, cheer each other on and encourage too! I've learnt so much helpful stuff from my local Etsy team, and am always encouraged by their successes.


One tip I was given by the Bristol Etsy Team was to check out Etsy Rank. It's a free website that will troubleshoot your Etsy store, clearly highlighting practical ways to improve your listings and their visibility. SEO here we come! It's helped me plan how to tackle my listings in the future and my views have already improved.


You can find To Be Adorned on Etsy | Instagram | Facebook


Rosies In Stitches

Rosie Moorman makes fabulous textile accessories, using recycled materials wherever possible. I love my little business card holder that I bought from Rosie's Etsy shop last year!

Leather Coin Purses by Rosies In Stitches

My main piece of advice would really be to just throw yourself into it. I’m a strong believer that anything done with half a heart is destined to fail, so make sure you’re as passionate about what you’re selling as you expect your customers to be. I always want to be excited about my work and what I’m making, and I don’t think I can expect people to love what I do unless I exemplify that.

You can find Rosies In Stitches on Etsy | Instagram


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