1970s Brian Wildsmith illustration of an Owl now in the etsy shop.
A very colourful and large-size Noddy illustration from 1958 now in the shop.
While I've been having fun setting up the studio and shop over the last five months, my dear old etsy shop was neglected. Really neglected. Listings had expired. Orders had dried up. I'm sure everyone had forgotten about the shop. I had.
After the hospital stay, I decided to review the whole online selling thing. In the past I'd had two online shops: etsy and big cartel. My thinking was that if you had seen our vintage illustrations at a market, then you were a local and probably wanted to buy in $AUD. Hence the big cartel shop. But etsy has such a great reach, and the Australian audience is growing all the time, that you'd be mad not to be on it. Hence the etsy shop.
While I was lolling around in bed during the eight days in hospital, I had a lot of time to think. Besides sleeping, taking medication, having showers, obliging nurses with arms and ears for blood pressure and temperature checks, and waiting for doctors to turn up, there's a few hours to kill. After some deliberation I decided that two online shops was crazy for several reasons and the solution was to focus on etsy, and make sure my existing local customers knew all about it.
So over the last few weeks I'm been focusing my attention on the etsy shop. Changing the name - did you even notice? Improving the photography, even reshooting products that were already listed. Tweaking the descriptions, both the text and the way its structured. Using American spelling and measurements. Reviewing prices. Trying to get shipping costs to the USA as low as possible. Listing often.
Its a heck of a lot of effort, especially when nearly every listing is for a unique, one-off vintage illustration. Life would be much easier if I was selling soap or glicee prints from original artwork. Products that you can sell by the multiple. Then the effort would be an investment. (Hey, maybe I should think about that...)
However, grumbles asside, the attention on etsy seems to be paying off. More traffic to and through the shop. Seven orders in the last month. Not enough to retire on, but a very good start. One small step and all that stuff.
My focus now is to increase the quantity of listings (big cartel had 300 products in it) and improve the variety of products in the shop. So many of our products haven't been photographed yet, and without photos I can't list them!