In 2007 a friend introduced me to Etsy; I was hooked (and not only as a seller). Have you shopped on the site? Yesss honey! Independent designers. Local designers. Makers around the world. I could deliver a piece of Detroit near and far! I planned to hunker down, sell lots of jewelry, and be the boss! Yet, in all my excitement, it was at times overwhelming. If only Etsy could make learning to sell a bit simpler; offer a class maybe? We’ll get to that soon. Fast forward 8 years, a couple jobs, and 2 kids, I’m on my second Etsy store, selling wholesale, popping up around town, and teaching others about the wonders of Etsy. I attribute my growth to consistent work, lots of mistakes, relationship building, and the many resources made available at the BUILD Institute.
For a frustrating year, I tinkered with my business plan. Then voila! BUILD launched an 8-week course that helped to refine my plan and confidently move forward. The class provided the framework and push needed to take an honest look at the numbers. It was also a safe space to share info with peers while connecting with valuable mentors. I made great business friends, with whom I regularly collaborate.
Back to that Etsy class. Imagine my excitement when Etsy partnered with BUILD and I was offered the opportunity to teach the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program (CEP)! Based on my beginnings as a seller, it was a no brainer that others could use guidance navigating the platform. Although the site is template based, and relatively user friendly, the CEP class offers, business basics, feedback, and engagement in a real world setting. One student remarked “If I had not signed up, my shop would still be empty. The class created accountability, and forced me to do the work. I learned so much about photography as well.”
I consider myself an Etsy vet. As a CEP instructor, I absorbed great tips to refine my shop, and improve sales. They have a useful blog with loads of seller related content. The perks of teaching the class? I was able to meet real, live Etsy administrators when they came to visit Detroit. That’s right, there are people behind the site, really great people; it’s not just an app! #MetroDetroitEtsy