Sidehustle log 03: Launching Etsy

It’s January and the crisp, fresh start of a whole new year!

If this is your first time checking in to the sidehustle log, you can find the rest of the series here:

The snow is still piling up in the sub-zero degrees outside, and it is a great time to be spending the long, dark evenings on writing blog posts, producing content and setting up new things.

As you probably inferred from the above title, my little sidehustle has just entered the big online world of Etsy with its very own little shop! (Yaaaaaaay)

As I mentioned in my previous instalment of the sidehustle log (02: Christmas Market), I am an introvert to a fault and I really don’t feel comfortable with the salesperson persona. It is my hope that starting modest with a digital platform where interactions can be in writing will suit my style more in the beginning.

This way, I will hopefully be able to build my confidence and get a little bit of traction. With that, I will order more raw materials and get more batches going. Several soaps were given away as holiday gifts, so I really need to get cracking!

Keeping stock

Christmas soap
The Christmas soap is all gone to various friends and family as gifts!

Exactly because so much soap was given as gifts, that needs to be removed from the inventory. Since I wrote down who I gave what, I am able to calculate how much they should have sold for, had they been bought by someone.

This money I will transfer from my private account to the account I keep for my sidehustle. Anything else would not really be fair!

Also, there was one batch of soap that I was not really satisfied with. It still works and we will still use it around the house, but I do not consider it re-sellable. Lessons learned and all that. Good thing soap is something you continuously need a supply of.

I must say, it is strange and a little bit thrilling to see the fledgling beginnings of what I hope can turn into a reasonable sidehustle.

Shipping and marketing material

This is one of the biggest issues or perceived challenges for me was my wish for a zero-waste and organic business versus the need for pretty marketing materials to appeal to a larger audience.

I have decided to be a plastic-free small business, and to this I hold. This means that any wrapping or marketing material I consider will be paper. Either in the shape of a cardboard box for each soap, or a simple wrap-around containing the logo, the name of the soap and its ingredients.

Shipping materials are not really something I can make zero-waste, but I can at least try to make it more palatable by sticking to paper and paper tape for this as well. It’s in the small wins!

Paying it forward

Because I wish to encourage a society where we primarily buy local where possible, I went ahead and asked a friend who knows his way around wood carving tools if he would be willing to carve me a stamp for my business.

True, I could have just ordered a cheap acrylic stamp online which would have been perfectly serviceable. But A – acrylics are plastics, B – it would travel long distances, and C – I wanted to support my friend with his sidehustle.

If we want to have a vibrant, local community full of skillful, local craftsmen, then we also have to show that we support them by putting our money where our mouth is. We have a lot of voting power every day when it comes to where we choose or don’t choose to spend our money.

Onwards to 2018

It should come as no surprise that I hope to make some steady sales throughout 2018. On the other hand, I have no idea what to expect, so it is difficult to foresee what sort of ambitions would be realistic.

One sale per month? Two? Three? Ten? Time will tell, and of course it will also depend on my own dedication and time spent working on building the brand.

For now, I am happy to have launched it and hope something good will come of it. Keep you posted!

Have you recently started a new sidehustle? Or are you continuing to grow a current one in 2018?

Sidehustle log 03

10 Comments on “Sidehustle log 03: Launching Etsy

  1. Congrats on launching this! Im always wondering about waste free shipping too. I follow The Package Free Shop, they’re located in NYC but they ship internationally. I know the founder is a big advocate on zero waste so maybe you can check into how they run a business and ship waste free for ideas on how to do it? Best of luck!

    • Thank you! I will check out The Package Free Shop, thanks for the tip. I realise it is probably better to get a stall and try to sell locally on farmers markets, but I just find that thought so intimidating!

      • I have that same feeling with selling. Not sure how to do it without feeling too much like a salesperson, Etsy will be good to get a feeling on if you enjoy it too!

        • Exactly! I had hoped if it gets proper big(ish), I could pay someone else to sell in a booth for me. That’s years away though, if ever!

  2. I love that you’re supporting local as well. While I like to support all artists, everywhere, it does make a lot of sense to focus on supporting the local businesses and craftspeople because it’s so much better for the environment.

    • Yeah, I agree. I want to support so many people all over, but it just makes so much more sense to focus on your local community.

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