After months of hard work, I was finally able to launch my very own Etsy shop called Bondi to Basic Designs. My store offers a variety of travel-related stickers and prints, but I’m also planning on putting up some more paper goods in the future like Bookmarks, Notepads, Washi Tape, Greeting Cards and possibly an enamel pin or two!
I wanted to take you along the journey with me on what my creative process was like, how and where I get inspiration and how I started the shop on Etsy.
In this blog post, I will be getting into the nitty-gritty of starting an online shop This post probably won’t be as in-depth as I’d personally like it to be since I myself am still experimenting with the whole structure and system of my Etsy shop, so I’ll just be going through some of the more general questions and advice on starting an online business. It’s not easy, that’s for sure! But hopefully, this post can be helpful to some of you in some way if you are wanting to start a shop of your own!
Why I started an Etsy Shop?
I am a pretty creative person, I love photography, writing, editing and just being in a creative mindset. My blog, Bondi to Basic, has been a creative outlet for me for a couple of years. The blog was blooming at the end of 2019. It was doubling in traffic on a monthly basis and I was getting a lot of satisfaction from blogging.
Then 2020 happened. As you can imagine, 2020 was not a good year a travel blogger (It wasn’t a good year for anyone, but I’m just talking about my blog in this instance) I completely lost motivation and I haven’t posted a blog post in a while.
After a couple of months, I needed a new/different outlet other than blogging and photography. YouTube somehow blessed me with its algorithm and started showing me people using pro-create and creating the coolest stickers, prints and artworks. I was instantly hooked!
I bought myself an iPad Pro with the Apple Pen and I haven’t looked back! I practised for months, getting better and better over time. And after a couple of months, I really wanted to share my work and see if people were interested in buying my work. I have always wanted to start a little shop for myself, so opening an Etsy store and giving it a try was a no brainer for me.
My Creative Process
As mentioned I use the app Procreate on my 11 inch Ipad Pro! The stylus I use is the apple pencil, and I use it for all my digital drawings! These three are my basic digital art essentials I highly recommend getting them if you’re thinking of making stickers for your shop (or if you’re just thinking of trying out digital drawing in general)!
You will need to get used to the features of Procreate, and I highly recommend following a couple of online tutorials by Art with Flo. She shows you step by step how to make designs, showing you lots of functions and tips and tricks along the way. When I first got my iPad I did 2 tutorials a day (Prime lockdown entertainment) and my skills improved tremendously. Once you got the hang of the app you will love it for sure, it’s super practical and efficient!
In terms of inspiration, I draw things from literally everything! But my number one passion is still travel and Australia. So the majority of my drawings are based around travelling, Australian Wildlife, Australian cities and other things that are near and dear to my heart. For example, during the lockdown, I have become a bit of a plant mom. So my very first sticker sheet that I have designed (And that is available for purchase) is a sticker sheet called “Ask about my Plants‘
If I was super stuck and really wanted to draw something, I would browse Pinterest for inspiration! Literally, anything that inspires you should also be the things that make you want to pick up a pen and start drawing!
Tools needed for a Sticker Shop on Etsy
At my shop, I currently sell Kiss and Die Cut Stickers, Sticker Sheets and well A4 prints as well as Digital Prints.
I produce all my stickers myself using a printer and a sticker cutting machine! I did not have a printer, so I had to purchase one for the shop. I decided on a Canon TR7660. It’s an inkjet printer, and it’s important to consider the supplies you’re getting that would suit the machines you have at home (eg. sticker paper specifically made for inkjet printers would NOT suit laser printers)! I have found this out the hard way!
As for the sticker cutting machine, I have the Cricut Explore Air 2. The machine is not the cheapest, but it is very versatile and worth the investment if you are serious about starting a business. It takes a bit of time and effort to figure the settings, but I find the machine easy to use and the product comes out amazing. If you are only wanting to sell die-cut stickers, then you can opt to just cut them by hand. You will not be able to make sticker sheets at home though (Unless you outsource the printing)
I still do recommend doing your own research when it comes to printers and other machinery that you may use to create your products! If you’re using printers, keep in mind that laser and inkjet printers may produce different quality products! I also recommend looking through videos on the Silhouette machine and Cricut machine to compare their functionality and see which suits you best!
I also use Canva, which is a free graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. I use it to make Pinterest Pins, Instagram Stories, Etsy shop banner and more.
Testing out the quality of the products is probably one of the most aggravating obstacles I’ve ever come across in starting out my shop. But it is also one of the most important things to do! It takes a lot of trial and error before a product is ready to go live.
But as the saying goes; practice makes perfect! And designs somehow do look different on paper. I have found so many little errors when printing out trials products, that it is defiantly worth all the ink and paper (I hate wasting resources like that, and I limit it as much as possible, I promise)
But printing products and cutting them out on the Cricut machine is a vital part of the process!
My art prints I got professionally printed. I wanted to make sure that the quality would be perfect. I didn’t want to risk getting any bad reviews. I opted to go with Canva’s printing service. I am very happy with the cost and the quality of the prints, so I think I will be using them again.
Setting up your shop | What platform to choose
After getting the product ready, it is time to find a suitable platform to sell them from. For me, there were 3 options:
- Sell on Bondi to Basic
- Start a new platform/website
- Sell on Etsy
I ended up going for an Etsy shop. The reason is that they are a massive platform that attracts a large number of visitors. They one major disadvantage of Etsy is that they charge $0,20 for each listing, sales, new listings, payments etc. They love charging for each little step in the process, that it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I am concerned that it will add up. I will have to do some calculation when I have been online for a couple of mints to see what their feeds ad up to.
However, for now, Etsy is simply the easiest and less hassle way of selling my products and showcasing them to a large number of potential buyers from day 1.
Starting a new website would be too expensive. I would have to pay for a domain and start from scratch with SEO and ranking.
I might implement it within my blog at some point, but I am not sure you, my current audience, would be interested in my products. I mostly blog about travel and I don’t want to lose my audience my selling stickers sheets and printables. I might still incorporate them in my blog, but for the start of my online business, I opted to go with a new platform.
Starting out an online store can be super risky, but it all comes down to taking that leap and actually starting. Whether you think you’ll be making a mistake in choosing either platform, at least you know you’ll be learning something!
I am not going to show you step-by-step on how to set up an Etsy Shop. If you are super interested, please leave a comment below, and I will see if I can write an extensive guide on how to set up an Etsy shop.
Bondi to Basics Designs
After all of this, I have now opened op my Shop: Bondi to Basic Designs. It would mean the world to me if you’d check it out. You do not have to buy anything, that is not needed, but check it out and leave some feedback below, that would be incredibly appreciated.
For those of you who’s support my Etsy shop or blog, you have my eternal gratitude!
PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA? THEN CHECK OUT SOME AWESOME TRAVEL TIPS HERE:
- Western Australia
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- 10 Epic places to check out the Sydney Opera House
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- Whale watching in Sydney’s Harbour
- mini-guide to Bondi Beach
- Sydney by night | all Must do’s and see’s
The best Sydney Travel Itineraries
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