Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Green Garden Stamps - 1 Year Anniversary and Lessons Learned

Large folk art flower

2010 was a wonderful start for Green Garden Stamps. I opened shop in February with a vision in mind, changed course several times, learned tons of lessons, and by the holiday season I felt like GGS advanced from it's shifting sea legs to an established and growing business.

If you've read previous posts, you know that I really wanted to make one of a kind stamps. It was part of my original vision and intention for the shop. Sometimes, though, what you think you want isn't what will actually work best, and this was one of those times. Now that I have switched over to made to order stamps, I am thrilled! It's made things easier for me as a seller because I only have to photograph stamps once and I can just re-list sold items. In turn, that frees up time to focus on carving new designs. The artist in me wanted OOAK, but in reality, that only works with higher end items. For a low-mid price range the sage advice of seasoned Etsy sellers is to make/list items you can make over and over again. I'm so glad I took this advice as it has taken my business from a place of working harder than necessary for inconsistent results, to simplifying my process and gaining in sales and exposure.

Large iris stamp

I must admit, there was a bit of stubbornness involved in why it took me so long to recognize the obvious and follow suit. "I want to be different!". Well, yes, different is good. But I already am different just in the way I carve and the sorts of images I design. I wonder if my stubbornness would have lasted longer if I hadn't made this stamp.

I made this stamp before I opened up the GGS shop. Since I was at the time focused on OOAK stamps, this one was too "used" to sell so I made some gift tags with it. In my mind, the tags would become the repeatable product. After the second, third, forth custom order came in for the stamp itself, I finally succumbed to creating my first made to order listing. Now it's my most popular stamp to date!

Large tulip stamp

I guess the great lesson learned, the same one learned in all of life, is to roll with it. You've got a great idea, you put it into action, and only then will you be able to know what works for it and what works against it.

I PROMISE dear readers that I will be more consistent in my posting from now on announcing new designs and other fun things. Cheers to spring right around the corner and green things growing again!

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