Catholic girl living in Seattle and making rosaries by hand. My beads and other fun holy medal gifts can be found in my shop http://prayers4theresa.etsy.com
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'll never be an Etsy Featured Seller
It's been long aparant to me that I will never be an Etsy Featured Seller. Even if suddenly there was a run on rosaries and religous gifts (possibly the panic of 2012? LOL!) I'm pretty darn sure I still would not be a contensant in the running to be an Etsy Featured Seller. There's one major thing holding me back from this Featured Seller dream - I don't make mass produced items. I can't twitter the phrase "sold and relisted" very often.
I will admit I get jealous of those who can sell and relist their most popular items. These are also the people with the numbers of sales that I can only dream of. But I also hold a great deal of pride that I offer items that can't be found anywhere else. I don't make normal "jewelry". I make items to inspire prayer - and invigorate Faith. I don't see how making cookie cutter duplicates would possibly be appropriate since Prayer and Faith are such uniquely personal things.
Out of the 11 different items I make, there are exactly two things which can be reproduced fairly easily as long as I can continue to get the parts needed - and those would be my Mini Medal Brooches and my Holy Medal Cell Charms/Zipper Pulls. Everything else is One of a Kind (OOAK).
I love being able to offer my customers OOAK items. No two rosaries will be alike. No two bracelets will be alike. No two beaded fobs will be alike. I can try to make "matching" pieces if someone wants more than one item but they will probably only be similar in color. Where's the fun and art in makng duplicates?
I have one customer who has purchased at least 10 fobs from me this year (and she has already told me she is ordering 12 more this Christmas) and each and every one of her items is truely unique and different from the rest. She gives some as gifts but, funny enough, she keeps most of them for herself to adorn her own collection of purses - so no matter what bag she has with her that day she has her Holy Medal charms jingling merrily with her. So while a lot of them are in various tones of blue they are each still individual and special. And she knows that no other customer of mine will have another one just like it.
My beads are as unique as my customers. My customers are not carbon copies of each other so why should their products be? I specifically buy most of my beads from other Etsy sellers "destash". They don't want or need the beads anymore so they sell them. While it may not be wholesale pricing when you're just scooping up 10-20 random beads, having a good selection of beads means more to me than saving a penny or two. I make up those pennies when I buy my findings in bulk.
I enjoy the creativity of making items using random assortments of mismatched beads. It keeps my crafting fresh and new to me. I don't get bored of making the same thing over and over again.
So I'm gad I'll never be an Etsy Featured Seller. I'll take quality over quantity any day. I'll take imperfect and different over carbon copies. I'll take unique and made with love over mass produced.