Jamie Gillen is an Etsy seller who operates Paisley Maizie and Simply Paisleys, two shops with a combined 20,000 sales. Growing an Etsy shop doesn't happen overnight. We talked with her about how she started, mistakes she sees sellers making, and what she does during the quiet months.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m Jamie Gillen and I own Paisley Maizie and Simply Paisleys on Etsy. I live in northern Indiana near Lake Michigan. I’m a wife and stay at home mom of 3 kids ages 9, 5 and 3 years.
HOW'D YOU START?
I started Paisley Maizie October 2011 because I had been laid off from a sales job and was going back to school and hoped that my shop would help pay for some of my schooling. I had a young toddler and I was taking photos a lot and my camera strap was just unbearably uncomfortable so I made a cover to go over it. I posted my very first camera strap cover to Facebook and got a great reply from friends and family so I decided to post them on Etsy and see what I could do!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST SEE REGULAR SALES?
Within just a couple months I was getting regular orders and saw the potential to make this my full time career! Growth was steady month over month and by my second November I was slammed with orders and barely keeping up with both school and the shop. Within a year I was making full time income and I withdrew from school and made it my mission to keep building my Etsy.
WHAT'S A COMMON MISTAKE THAT YOU SEE SEASONED SELLERS MAKING?
They become complacent. They feel like they have had some success with their products and they shouldn’t have to do anything but sit back and let the orders flow in. As a seller you have to constantly evolve, add new items, post on social media, engage your customers and strategically advertise to your market. One other common mistake with shops that do grow fast is not being willing to delegate, as I grew I’ve had to give up more and more tasks to an assistant and it’s been able to free up enough of my time to start my second shop which helped me to really grow in 2018!
CAN YOU GIVE ANY ADVICE TO SELLERS STRUGGLING TO GROW SALES?
Driving customers and in turn sales is something all new shops struggle with. The best way to handle this is to know your market and target it. Whether through Facebook groups, Instagram tags or even targeted ads knowing who will buy your items and making your content specific to them is key! When you have a quiet month this is the perfect time to reflect on what changes you can make to improve. Whether it’s adding new products, improving photos, re writing your descriptions or working on SEO there’s always something you can do to give your shop a boost or plan for the future!