Starting your Etsy Shop: Part One


You have an idea, you are passionate about something and you want to make some money off of it!  Etsy is the perfect place to start!  But, it can be intimidating to open a shop and if you are like me and are just a little cautious and like a good plan here are some guidelines for making that leap and starting your business through Etsy.

First off, starting a business is not for the faint of heart.  It has taken much more of my time and energy then I ever imagined but the rewards have been much more then I could have ever dreamed of.  Before starting my Etsy shop I spent about three months researching,  planning and thinking before making the leap.  In those months here are the steps I took for setting up my etsy shop.


Name – I think this is one of the hardest parts of the whole processes.  What do you name your business!?! I’ll be honest, Palms and Papers was not the original name of my business.  The first name I had was a name I had envisioned for an importing business I would love to have one day but when I went down the check list (coming up below!) I realized it wouldn’t work because it didn’t represent the products I wanted to sell and I went back to the drawing board.  I had a few days of brainstorming and wrote down about 30 names and ended up choosing Palms and Paper, which I’m happy to say almost two years in, I still love the name! 


RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH - remember how I said I did about three months of research, here is what I was researching & because I’m old fashioned I kept everything I found in a note book that I still reference today when working on new listings.

Start up cost : It’s easy to spend a ton of money when you are starting out and it’s scary to thing you may not make any of that back if your business doesn’t take off.  Before I even decided what I wanted to offer in my shop I set a budget.  Mine personally was $300 dollars.  That $300 would have to go to materials for my products, etsy start up coats, marketing products, and any office items I needed.  This wasn’t a lot of money after I started going but I knew I also didn’t want to be out a ton of money if things didn’t’ go as I was dreaming they would go. Since, I didn’t give myself a whole lot to work with, I had to do a lot of research on the thins I needed so that I invested in the right items.

palms and paper_starting your etsy shop

What to offer:  First things first, I wrote down a very long list of products I wanted to offer in my shop.  Second, I researched all these ideas – I researched my cost, how complicated it may be to do and what kind of prices I could charge for the final product.  Since I had a modest start up budget of $300, I knew I couldn’t do too much or anything higher priced and decided to go with five items to offer at initial opening.  The five items I choose were:

Envelope Calligraphy – this cost me nothing but the pens I needed for it so it was an easy thing to offer.

Kraft Bags

Watercolor Place cards

Vow books


Marble Tiles - these were the most expensive thing I purchased for starting up my shop. However, marble tile place cards were super trendy when I opened up my shop so I felt confident that they would sell and I would see my money back. (The second listing I sold was for 200 marble place cards so this gamble payed off)

[ Blog post on how I plan new etsy listings coming in April. Be the first to know by signing up for the newsletter]

Once these items were posted and started selling, I was slowly able to add new listings to the shop without braking my bank and using the money I was earning from the shop.

palmsandpaper_starting your etsy shop

Listing Set Up - Once you know what you want to offer, it’s time to set up your listing and this can seem a little daunting. When I started there were a ton of things to fill out on the listing page. Since I started, there are probably ten more things to fill out. While it may seem like a lot - FILL OUT EVERY OPTION ETSY GIVES YOU. You never know how people will search for what they are looking for on Etsy. There is a reason they give you all these options and while it may seem like a pain to spend an extra five min filing in stuff you think is pointless, fill it out anyways.

Back to the “research”, when filling in the listings I researched others who offered similar products to mine and looked at their sales, what key words they used, and their titles. I DO NOT encourage copying but do your research to see what works.

Once you have finished setting up your listings, take pictures of your products and hit the publish button - You are ready to start selling!

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