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Ideas for Money: If You’re Artsy, Consider Etsy

Are you artistic? Do you enjoy bringing beauty to our world? If you are an artist, a craftsperson, a designer, even a jewelry maker, your creations can become a source of income.   Your handwork may contribute to your greater financial security; it may help you diversify your sources of income.

It’s not an easy path but neither is your work easy to create.  More than anything else, the most important consideration when attempting to turn your artistic hobby into a source of income: continually focus on quality.

Think about your prospective customers, the individuals who buy handmade crafts on the Internet. What makes your work special?  Who already owns your work?  What do they love about your work?

While thinking about your prospective customers, think about the vast array of items available online.  People can buy scarves, why would they choose yours?

The most popular place for selling homemade creations online is Etsy.com. Etsy was founded with a simple mission: “to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.”  According to Etsy’s website, their vision is “to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.”

As anyone who makes handmade goods knows, the quality and caliber is far greater than mass manufactured goods.  That, combined with the huge market of people seeking unique, quality goods makes for strong business opportunity.

Many people have started full-fledged businesses selling their work on Etsy.  Some of Etsy’s most successful sellers, each earning six figure incomes from their Etsy sales, were featured in The New York Times (Dec 16, 2009 – That Hobby Looks Like a Lot of Work).  Their advice to those thinking of selling their handiwork on Etsy - build a brand identity meaning you’ll need to court design blogs or the news media.  They also warned that with success comes the need to produce the products.  Some top sellers speak of working long hours to fill their orders.

Turn your creative, hand-made work into profit.  Start your own business selling your creations.  Etsy accounts are easy to set-up and they are free.  Etsy is paid a small percentage of sales.  Ready to start?  It’s as simple as these five steps:

  1. Decide on your brand identity. 
  2. Create a free Etsy account (www.etsy.com).
  3. List your items on Etsy. Describe them in detail, and include pictures.
  4. Shoppers order and pay for your item; you are paid directly. Etsy is paid a small fee.
  5. Ship the item to your customer.


Practice your art while enjoying the income it provides.