field trip

Etsy Jam Episode 5: Field Trip

In this episode, Richie and Gordon take a special field trip to a top secret location in Cleveland. This may be a good episode to watch the video version down below:

This week, we want to talk about why people are selling on Etsy, why people are trying out this entrepreneur lifestyle and what it means to them.

But before we get into that, we had a pretty good conversation in our Facebook Group about quotation marks when searching in Marmalead and whether or not you should put quotation marks in your searches.

Do quotation marks matter in search?

The strategy we like to use is to reverse engineer what’s working for the top listings for a given search that a shopper is doing. If your shoppers aren’t gonna be using quotation marks when they’re searching, I would recommend not doing it. However, if you really think that your customers are doing that (and you can always ask your customers to verify), then I would do it. Otherwise it will change the results and then you’re going to be modeling after something that isn’t what’s working. With Marmalead, research the way your shopper is gonna be shopping and you’ll get the best results.

What Etsy is actually doing when you use quotation marks in your search is that it’s making sure those words appear in sequence together in the title or tags of that listing. So, the example in our Facebook Group was “art for bathroom”. If I search for that without quotations, Etsy is going to find things that contain the word ‘art’ and ‘bathroom’ but not necessarily in that order and not necessarily with ‘for’ in between them. So if I’m using quotation marks, the search results I’m getting is going to be smaller because Etsy is gonna make sure those words are in there and they appear in that order.

Why are people passionate about being an entrepreneur?

8. Love of crafting and not enough space in my house for everything I make. – 3% of the votes.

We definitely relate to that too. Because the whole reason we started Marmalead is because we keep going to the Cleveland Public Library with the MakerSpace, making stuff with that 3D Printer and found the laser etcher. We want to make stuff but we couldn’t just fill up our living room with coasters (our wives wouldn’t approve it! 😉 ) so we intended on keeping making stuff with the laser etcher and selling them on Etsy. It’s the love of making stuff. Now we’re making Marmalead and other projects as well that’s related to Etsy.

7. Living abroad and other career options are limited. – 3% of the votes.

In this day and age, where everything is so mobile and so remote; it’s cool that people are able to make a living or any kind of income no matter where you are in the world. I could be living in France working remote and able to do this and support myself and possibly my family too. I think that’s awesome.

6. A passion for upcycled stuff and being green. – 6% of the votes.

Being good for the environment. A lot of these places that sell stuffs like China etc. are all on mass production. Not only that production of those things is not great for the environment, but transporting those things all over the place too. You have to think about cargo ships, planes, and all the fuel it takes to move the stuff around as opposed to more unique one-off items that are often times reused of other items that people have made on Etsy. Upcycling something into something it wasn’t even intended to be and breathing new life into something that didn’t have that before.

5. Supporting my family. – 6% of the votes.

Etsy is providing these people incomes to be able to support their families. That’s fantastic! If you’re able to have a shop that’s doing well enough to support a family – let alone yourself – that’s amazing. Give yourself a pat on the back!

This is something that we recently took the plunge. From working a day job and moving into a spot where Marmalead is now our full time job and all the joys and challenges that come along with that. I can really identify with this; this is why I’m doing it, too. Part of the reason why I’m doing Marmalead is to support my family. I feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to have this opportunity and work with everyone.

4. Flexibility at work due to illness, unable to work a typical 9 – 5 job. – 8% of the votes.

Selling on Etsy affords you the flexibility to be able to work your own hours and accommodate yourself in ways you couldn’t necessarily do in a 9 – 5 job.

We definitely talked to at least a handful of sellers that are doing this. Either they have somebody in the family with an illness or they have an illness themselves. Really unfortunate circumstances but this is a way to make it work on your schedule and be able to do what you love and do something you enjoy a lot more while overcoming some of the not-so-great things that life throws at you.

3. Side income. – 10% of the votes.

More people are finding side income through Etsy and I’m sure some of these people that are using Etsy as a means of gaining side income. They possibly have the hope of one day growing that into a full time job and being able to support their families with it so they can spend even more time on it. Obviously if you’re doing this in your free time, it’s something you enjoy doing. It’s something you love.

Sometimes it’s really surprising. The things you start on the side really grow into something that can be full time. Marmalead is not something we planned on either, this is just something that we stumbled into. We came across a need for ourselves, and we thought that other people may have the same problem, too. Once we started, we realized we had a real passion for it, for the product, for the community, for everything. We just followed it, followed the opportunity, followed the passion… it’s very cool.

"For those of you doing this as side income, keep an open mind. It might be a lot bigger than you think."

2. Selling on Etsy helps provide them freedom from their day job. – 29% of the votes.

There’s a lot of people here that this is their goal. This is freedom to them. This is the ability to make their own decisions and not having to answer to a management. Instead, to have a meaningful relationship with customers and help their customers through things. The goal of gaining freedom from their day job and being able to do this full time.

1. Able to spend more time with family. – 35% of the votes.

Gordon: This really rings true for me too since I have left my day job and doing this full time now. I’m at home a lot of times and that means I can spend more time with my daughter and my son. Just being there as they grow up and do things for the first time. Whether it’s just smiling, or laughing – the first time he’s doing these things – I realize, I was at my job and missed some of these things. My wife was at home with the kids fortunately, so she’s able to be there and see those things but I missed out on a lot of that stuff. Working from home now gives me the ability to at least have breakfast with my family every morning. So for me, this absolutely is up there in the top reasons why I enjoy being an entrepreneur. I’m able to spend more time with my family that I might not get otherwise if I have a day job.

Richie: Having a 3 year old and a 3 month old at home, it was really tough with a day job to see them during waking hours. Those of you who have kids, you know when you leave early for a day job, the family tends to be asleep. When you get home, around dinnertime, it’s just dinner – bath – then bedtime and you don’t really get to do a lot of the hanging outs, the reading books, taking them to the park, and doing those first-time-experience-type things with them. So it’s really meaningful to be around for that kind of stuff.

Closing words:

Regardless of what brings you to Etsy, there are others here for the same reason. Maybe you’re here for one of the reasons or several of the reasons mentioned above. But the nice thing about Etsy is, you fit in. Pretty much wherever you come from, whatever your motivations are – you’re going to fit in and you got a place. It’s pretty cool.

In this episode, Richie and Gordon take a special field trip to a top secret location in Cleveland. This week, we want to talk about why people are selling on Etsy, why people are trying out this entrepreneur lifestyle and what it means to them.

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