I launched my first Side Hustle 2 days ago: an Etsy Shop. A little cliche, I know – but I’ve explored several different potential business options the last few months, and this one seemed to fit my needs best.
I’ll go through my full option set of potential side hustles and considerations in a future post, but in the meantime, here is why I chose to go the Etsy route to start:
- Minimal inventory risk: by using a drop-ship vendor to fulfill my items, I don’t need to handle any physical inventory myself. This was critical to me given I live in a small New York City apartment, with literally no extra room to hold product.
- Ease of Use: It was incredibly easy to set-up shop and get my products up through my 3rd party fulfillment provider with just a few clicks.
- API Integrations: The integration with the 3rd Party Fulfillment Provider I’m using looks like it will work so that orders go straight through to print & ship with no actions needed from me. We’ll see how this goes if/when I receive any orders, but this gives me comfort that the business can run smoothly even if I’m busy at work or travelling.
- Comfort with Design & SEO: the core skills needed to launch a shop are 1) making products people want, and 2) making sure people can find those items. On 1, I’m comfortable enough with PhotoShop and Design – you probably can’t tell from this website since it just launched, but I spent a lot of time in High School designing websites and working on the Yearbook, so it was pretty easy to throw together a few simple t-shirt and merch designs in a few hours. Alternatively, it’s also easy/affordable to outsource the design portion if you have a few ideas. On 2, given my work experience in e-commerce I felt comfortable I’d be ok with the basics of SEO on Etsy.
- Established platform with a large base: there is a significant user base on Etsy to reach with the right products, and thousands of sellers who have used it successfully. Power (and trust) in large numbers.
- Low up-front costs: I did pay some costs in getting myself set-up right that I really consider as funding all of my side hustles (PhotoShop, Stock Images), but to sell on Etsy itself it only costs $0.20 a listing + 3.5% commission on each sale. There’s no monthly subscription fee, which is good in case this whole thing doesn’t work out for me.
- “Hands Off” mode: All the other side hustle ideas I had would require much more ongoing work (building/maintaining a customer base, customer service, fulfillment, etc.). If the Etsy venture works, using the Drop Shipping will mean minimal time for me once I have it up and running – adding new listings if/when I have time, and any customer service issues. By launching this one first, I can hopefully get it up and running quickly, and then move onto my next idea while monetizing Etsy. Or alternatively, if it doesn’t work I didn’t invest a ton of money so no skin off my back.
So after all of that thinking, I decided to pull the trigger on Sunday and launch an Etsy shop. Still working on the name (right now it’s a very generic “DesignedByKav”), but hopefully creativity will strike there.
Side Hustle #1: Current Stats (I’ll update these every month for all of my Side Hustles to give you full transparency into the economics of each venture and my progress towards my goal)
- Business: Etsy Shop
- Partners used: Printful for production & fulfillment, Adobe PhotoShop for design, FreePik for images, various for fonts
- Launched: January 14, 2018
- Current listings: 11 items
- Current traffic: 388 impressions, 2 visits
- Current orders: 0
- Current costs: $3.34 in total direct costs – $2.20 for Etsy listing fees, $1.04 for Etsy product listing advertisements (excludes indirect/overhead costs for PhotoShop and FreePik, because I consider these to be amortized across all of my projects)
Please leave any comments/feedback on the blog or Etsy shop below! As a side-note, I’m running a launch promo of 10% off my Etsy listings, and I do have some Side Hustle merch in there for those of y’all that are interested.