A few months back Freya asked for a batch of polymer clay (playdoh for grown up’s) so that she could make and mould some of her favourite characters. We didn’t mind as it meant she would be spending less time on the normal mindless activities of teenagers. Little did we know that her new found hobby would begin to grow into a small business venture.
After a few weeks of her happily squishing and rolling blocks of colour into recognisable items she rapidly began to run out of space to store them. So I suggested taking them into school to share with her friends. This was the beginning of her exciting new venture. School friends were starting to commission particular charms and figurines and were paying her donations towards the purchase of more clay.
It didn’t take long to see that she had run out of polymer clay and had over 100 items, and Freya was bursting with new idea’s that she wanted to try out. So a new batch of colour blocks and eye pins were purchased so she could continue. I sat thinking about her hobby, it was clearly giving her a lot of enjoyment. Friends and family were commenting on how much they loved their little “chibi me’s” and charms, so how could we expand this for her? I have dabbled with eBay in the past as a small business and frankly it had a habit of not always being financially viable, so I wanted to avoid that route for her.
That was when a friend told me about Etsy. It’s an online listing site for hand-crafted items that are for sale. This looked more like it. So I did a bit of reading up on listing fees, listing durations and commission costs for the website. I was more than impressed that it would work out far more viable than a seven day listing on eBay, so I signed up for a free account and got to work
creating the shop, Luminesence76. Not a creative name, I know. We are still working on that and are open to suggestions.
Anyway that was about six weeks ago, and although revenue is slow going, the shop and listings are getting visited every day and several items are getting favourited. We even have a few followers. Exciting isn’t it? Wait though, it gets better.
In order for Freya to carry on making the miniatures and putting her idea’s into a 3D shape, she needs more supplies. To get more supplies she needs to sell more items. So I suggested having a Facebook page that links to the shop and vice versa. She quite liked that idea, so yesterday I got to work on that for her.
It turns out that my job here is to manage both listing sites, taking photographs (I’m slowly getting the hang of taking close up shots), creating the listings, promoting both pages on as many social network platforms as I can (well, the ones that I am signed up to anyway), chatting with potential buyers, general admin (sticky notes with commission requests) and of course the most important part, blogging it!
Within two hours of Freya’s page going live she had already received two commissions for five unique charms. That is four times more revenue than Etsy. Thank you Facebook world. I wonder how she would feel about a Google+ page!!!
So what’s the next step? Well, Freya is going to teach me how to make them too because I have idea’s spilling out at all times of the day and frankly I think she is getting fed up with my constant text messages. I would like to start on a geocaching range, either as charm bracelets or mini figures that can be attached to the travel bug dog tags. I think there may be a market for that, albeit a limited one, but worth a try don’t you think?