I went from making zero dollars online to running my own Etsy business full time in less than a year, but did you know I have a bachelor of science degree in Biology? (Go Hoosiers!)
I always love to start with that lil’ old tidbit of info because it usually sparks a response such as “Whaaaaaaaaa? How did you end up selling handmade party goods on Etsy?”
Well buckle in, friend, because it’s been quite the ride for me!
“I’m not Creative”
Ohhhhh how wrong I was. I used to walk around saying that ^ all the time. See, I grew up in a family that loved creativity. My mom, your average scrap-booking, birthday card-making, cricut-toting creative spirit constantly tried to get me involved in whatever she was making. I wouldn’t have it though.
“I’m not creative” I would say as I gently laid down my scissors and scrap paper. It was easier for me to just assume I *didn’t have it* rather than confront how much I loved it – because I dreamed of a life filled with black blazers, heels, and science. (Woohoo women in STEM, amiright?) So I waltzed back over to chemistry textbook and dove in to make that dream happen.
But (shhhhhhhh….) wanna know a not-so-secret?
I honestly think I am one of the most creative people I know. Because creativity, to me, doesn’t just mean sitting down and crafting whatever popped up on your Pinterest feed yesterday. Oh no, girl. It means so much more.
Creativity and inspiration go hand-in-hand. And I am no stranger to inspiration: from when I was young in my backyard cleaning and decorating my playhouse to decorating my actual house today. My creativity never stops being expressed, and sometimes I get actually nervous to go to sleep or shower because the amount of ideas I’ll have can be actually paralyzing.
But hey: I learned to lean in. To the creativity. To the inspiration.
That lesson came when I was a senior in college. I had a huge decision to make.
Move across the country, away from my friends, family, and my then boyfriend (now turned husband), and leave the world as I knew it behind to chase my dream of being a PhD evolutionary ecologist who studied climate change and it’s impacts (which I’m still very passionate about)…. or… find something new. Rather, create something new.
It was hard, but I chose to create.
I started with a podcast: the Multipotentialife podcast – dedicated to helping creative people juggle #allthethings they loved to do. Because every creative person usually comes with a myriad of things they care about. I was no different.
It kinda flopped, the idea never took off. It was mostly because I didn’t do it *correctly* because hey, if you want to build a business online you have to do it with some *ahem* strategy. So I leaned into something new.
A home renovation/DIY blog – dedicated to the new home I had just purchased with my husband. It was rundown, dilapidated, and needed lots of work. What I found – I love to decorate, but I don’t love to renovate. They are actually quite different things. So it flopped because actually doing the work? Hah, it wasn’t for me.
And, then. Parties by Tanea was born. A blog about hosting those small gatherings that mean so much to be. Gatherings with a theme, particularly. More points if the theme is some sort of fruit.
Eventually, after reading all the guides, listening to the podcasts, and really doing the work: I started to get views. & then those viewers, they started to ask me for help decorating their parties.
My lightbulb moment: ETSY.
Cha-Ching – Learning how to Make Money on Etsy
Did I know anything about Etsy besides the fact that I once bought a handmade keychain from there? Nope.
But was I committed to my dream of running a profitable online business? Yep.
I didn’t know how to make money on Etsy. Not the first clue. But I took a chance, leaned in, and thought – hey. Maybe this could work?
I was resourceful, soaked up all the free info that I could, and just went for it.
I put 10 listing up on Etsy in June, two weeks later they had sold.
July: my little cutie themed items were best-sellers.
December: I was making enough money to leave my part-time job as a pizza delivery driver.
January: I took my Etsy shop full-time and quit my delivery job.
June: I’m now making enough to support myself full-time, pay for courses and coaching to learn more, and I’m ready to start teaching other people how to be rockstars on Etsy.
Growth isn’t Easy but it is Rewarding
Like I said, I didn’t know how to make money on Etsy. I majored in biology, not business. & the interesting thing about being an entrepreneur is that… I never saw it coming?
My dream was to make money online but I never imagined what life would be like when I finally arrived here.
To put it simply, entrepreneurship is not what I expected.
For me, the strategy behind everything seems intuitive. But the mindset, ooooooof. I struggled (and continue to struggle) with feeling like my ideas are enough, my products are worth purchasing, the reviews I get are worth the 5 stars.
But I’m re-learning that my ideas are worth chasing. So here’s my next idea:
Helping women who want to create a profitable and successful Etsy shop chase that dream. I’m leaning in!
So you might see a wee bit of a shift in my content coming soon. Parties, of course, will still be an integral part of my content. I’ll never stop talking about them because I love them so much. & I’m going to continue to make new products for my Etsy all the time! I’ve got some great ideas coming your way soon, actually.
But I’m going to lean into my desire of helping women be successful on Etsy. Because I feel called to do that right now, I know how to make money on Etsy, & not to mention – I’m super passionate about building a life I love. That life, for me, is about freedom. & if Etsy can give me freedom, I can help you get freedom with Etsy, too.
So if you have ever thought about starting an Etsy or already have one – check back frequently. I’ve got some goodies coming your way soon!
Have questions about how to make money on etsy or me, personally? Just reach out and ask, sister! I’d love to answer.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my story – this community means everything to me.