If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that last spring, I launched an Etsy Shop called Scott Street Paper. Starting an Etsy Shop had been a goal of mine since grad school, but I knew full well that yet another side hustle would not mix well with the demands of class, a full-time job, the blog, and my (beloved) social life.
I graduated in December 2016, and around this time last year, I finally felt like I had caught my breath and was beginning to ask myself, “what’s next?” I decided it would be a good time to start the Etsy Shop that had been on my long-term to-do list, and went to work on the branding, setting up the shop, and choosing the initial digital downloads I was going to sell.
If you read my subsequent updates—here and here—you know that while I enjoyed working on projects for family and friends, I really struggled with designing custom pieces for strangers because I didn’t have as good of a read on what exactly their taste was and I felt like the Etsy marketplace was really undercutting my ability to charge what I believed to be a fair price. No joke, on my first custom project, I spent 12+ hours on a save the date, and only made $30. I left the project resenting it, and mad at myself for putting myself in such a position. I also realized that while I like doing graphic design, I like it better when it’s for part of a larger project—like here on the blog—as opposed to a standalone task.
When we last spoke about the Etsy Shop in October, I was on the fence about whether or not I was going to keep my Etsy Shop open. Soon after I wrote that post, I decided to put my shop on vacation—meaning I wouldn’t be taking any new orders and a note would show up at the top of my store letting my customers know I’d be back soon. For me, this was a good way to step back and see if I missed working on the Etsy Shop.
The fall was extremely busy for me at my day job—and it showed on the blog in terms of the number of posts I was publishing! Then, we rolled into the holiday season, which was equally busy with hosting and toasting. This year, especially during Dry January, I’ve had such a reinvigorated passion in creating great content—and it doesn’t feel like work. At all. Whereas my Etsy Shop always felt like a chore or another thing to just check off my to do list as opposed to something that was fun to do in my free time. So, I decided to close my Etsy Shop for good, and shut it down late last month.
That being said, I’m so glad I went through the process of launching an Etsy Shop and exploring whether or not this was something I wanted to pursue. Figuring out what you don’t like to do is just as important as learning what you do like to spend your time on!
I’m still taking on freelance projects for family and friends—and maybe even some blog readers!—so if that’s something you’re interested in, you can always email me [email@example.com] and if I feel like I have the bandwidth and energy to take things on, I definitely will. I recently did a wedding program for a friend from grad school, and it was so much fun to put together!
Good for you for getting rid of something that was no longer bringing you much happiness! I shut down my Etsy shop shortly after one customer purchased 30 of my hand-painted picture frames and cancelled her order right after I bought all the supplies. I always tell my students that finding out what you don’t like is just as important as finding out what you do like!
YES to all of this — and I am glad that I am not the only one that has had an undermining experience on Etsy. So many people sing its praises and I’m definitely glad I tried it out, but I think that going freelance is better for me.
Glad to hear you figured out what was right for you with the shop. I can imagine the shop + work + blog + life would be quite a bit to take on!
Yes! It was too much — glad my life is a little bit simpler now :]
It’s so hard to mix a creative hobby and business! It sort of makes it not fun anymore!
Yes! You want to have fun and not make it another chore!