After four years exclusively selling on Etsy, I've taken the leap of faith and started my own website! Etsy has been a great experience and I'm uber grateful for the business it has enabled me to build. Over 4,200 sales and a solid five-star rating; I couldn't be more proud. Etsy does have its limitations, however. They've basically controlled the bulk of my business since 2013 and have dictated what I can and cannot offer my customers. While that worked for a while, it has become more and more inconvenient!
A couple weeks ago I opened my laptop to check my Etsy shop activity. Unbeknownst to me, Etsy had removed 5 of my listings from my shop...not just any five. Five of my BEST SELLERS. No explanation. Just gone. Needless to say, I panicked. As I described it to my BFF, it felt like my husband had just announced he wanted a divorce. I immediately went into survival mode. My business is my financial lifeline. It pays my bills. Puts a LOT of food in my sixteen year old football-playing boy's mouth. I cannot lose business like I knew I would because of this. If Etsy was powerful enough to take away business from my shop, who's to say they didn't also have the power to shut me down completely at their own whim. I couldn't sit back and wait for that to happen.
The following hours and days were consumed and solely focused on creating a new stand-alone website. I didn't have the money to pay someone to whip up a site for me. I did it. All by myself. From scratch. It's not perfect and I'm not in love with it, but it's functional and hopefully soon-to-be profitable. It literally took every waking moment of a full week to get it to where it is today, but I'm grateful for the ability to have been able to do it on my own.
I'm a single mom now and my son is sixteen. With only 2 years left with him (essentially), I've been doing a lot of thinking about what my future looks like. I have some goals and plans that are going to require more financially than what my Etsy shop has afforded. I love to travel and visit with my close friends who live far away and that requires money. Not to mention I have college expenses right around the corner.
That said, the Etsy scare lit a virtual fire under my tail. I planned to eventually have my own website, just not quite this soon. It's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I'm hopeful that my business will grow by leaps and bounds and that I can offer all the things to my customers that I've been holding back on for so long.
Thank you to all of you who have supported me and my business through Etsy. I hope you'll continue to stop by from time to time at my newest location, PlushBrentwood.com. I'll be adding new items often so there will always be a reason to visit!