If you love creating, crafting, or designing . . .
then you’ve probably thought about starting an Etsy shop at some point. Turning a hobby into extra money or even a career is a dream for many!
Today, I’m so excited to share with you how my sweet friend Cece Lively started her Etsy shop Lively Designs and the recent adventure of selling her T-shirts at Joanna Gaines’ (YES! that Joanna from Fixer Upper & Magnolia Market!!) Spring at the Silos Event!
Tell us about your business Lively Designs. What do you sell?
I make and sell custom tees and graphic tees for kids and adults!
How did you get started selling T-shirts?
I was frustrated as another side business slowed down. As a single mom and teacher, there is always too much month at the end of the money! So I spent some birthday money on a machine that would help me make some crafts. That turned into designing some stencils for shirts and people went crazy over them! After getting enough questions on how to order one, I opened up an Etsy shop and have been going big ever since!there is always too much month at the end of the money!Click To Tweet
Why did you choose Etsy as your selling platform?
Etsy is pretty robust and already has a name for itself. I was able to list items, give the attributes for each item and ship all from one location.
What has been the biggest learning curve to selling on Etsy?
Just because one item does well, does not guarantee another will! The trends for internet shoppers are interesting to say the least! But chances are if a few people like it locally, a lot of people will like it online!
Do you have any advice about selling successfully on Etsy? What is something you wish you knew before setting up on Etsy or when you first started?
Create a good price point is key! Also, advertising your shop and using the keyword search terms for your listing is a great way to make sure your item shows up when people search for it. Stick with it! You may not be an overnight success, but you are sure to drive some business your way!
How long has it taken you to start making money with your Etsy shop?
I created a reasonable profit margin so that I would make money every time a shirt sold.
However, in the beginning, I funneled every penny back into the shop! From October to now – 6 months – and the profits are really starting to grow!
What makes your shirts stand out against other Etsy shops/handmade T-shirts?
great question! There are so many great makers out there! And so many of them make graphic tees of some sort! I am not afraid to do a custom tee – 1 or 2 of anything. Most print shops have a minimum of 12-15 to order. With me, there is no minimum. I think i found a niche there!
You were recently invited as a seller at the Magnolia event Spring at the Silos! How did you get into the event as a seller?
I am still reeling from the event! it was an invitation only event with 60 vendors there. I honestly have no idea how they found out about me and invited me! I was just elated to have been given the opportunity!
Tell us about your experience as a seller at Spring at the Silos.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend! Set up started Wednesday and tear down happened Saturday after we closed at 6. I met so many people during the process! It was amazing to meet so many people that follow me on Instagram or had purchased from me on etsy before! I sold over 700 shirts during the weekend and even sold one to Joanna Gaines!
How has Spring at the Silos affected your business?
Amazingly! after the sales over that weekend, I came home to about 100 orders on Etsy! so fun!
Did you see an increase in sales on your Etsy shop after the event?
Yes, a huge spike!
Have you done other in-person sales? Craft fairs/farmer market?
I did a small market locally during Christmas that went very well. It was a great way to test the waters! The Magnolia was my next big market!
What is the advantage of selling at a farmers market/craft fair event? Spring at the Silos?
Instant feedback and a guaranteed crowd! Also, getting to meet lots of new people and network!my daughter and I come home, make dinner, we read, bathe and she heads off to bed. When she goes to bed, my second job begins-usually until 1amClick To Tweet
What have you learned about yourself, your business, life…etc. since starting your business?
I have learned that I need lots of help organizing! ha! Thankfully I have friends who encourage and organize for me! It is so important to manage your work/life balance. I teach full time during the day, my daughter and I come home, make dinner, we read, bathe and she heads off to bed. When she goes to bed, my second job begins-usually until 1am. No rest for the weary! So far, the hard work is paying off.
What is your best advice for someone thinking about starting a creative business?
Create a business plan! I did not have one to begin with – business grew so fast and I had no idea how to plan for that, but would have been more prepared with a business plan in place. Luckily, I have been able to think pretty fast on my feet!
What are some resources that have made a huge difference in your business? (Books, online courses. websites, podcasts, etc)
I read a lot of the Etsy forums, asked a lot of questions from other Etsy sellers, and really used social media as my platform to share designs. If they did well, I added them to the shop! To this date, I have probably sold over 4,000 tees since October. Not bad if you break that down! And most importantly, I am having fun doing it!
Where can we follow you and buy one of these awesome shirts?!
(Ashleigh’s edit: You should DEFINITELY check out her store. I seriously WANT all the shirts!!)
I am on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/cecelivelydesigns
I am on Instagram : @cecelively
…and of course, i would love to offer folks a discount!
use this code: LIVELYGIRL to get 15% off your order total!
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