Etsy Success Stories: Liz Harry
Working for some of the biggest musical icons of all times would be the ultimate goal of so many people.
So it shows the amount of satisfaction that can be gained from being in charge of your own destiny when you’ve moved away from clients such as Queen, The Arctic Monkeys, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J – to sell on Etsy.
Liz Harry’s artistic talents are so unique and skillful that she didn’t even bother finishing her university course – she set up her own design studios and found herself quickly in demand for her graphic design skill. She worked primarily in the music business, working with artistes and their labels. Yet despite how prestigious this undoubtedly is, it wasn’t giving Liz the artistic freedom she craved.
“When you work on these projects what you’re actually doing is interpreting a lot of other people’s opinions,” she said. “And what I really wanted was to do something where I could express my own creativity.”
Marketing on Etsy
Fast forward six years and Liz now has a thriving Etsy shop, where her unique and quirky designs appear on everything from keyrings to stationery.
With more than 20,000 sales under her belt, Liz is able to now work at her Etsy store full time, as well as acting as a brand ambassador for a number of big name brands. And she has some excellent advice to help others who are looking to either set up on Etsy or to help grow their store.
“Etsy is actually a very simple platform, easy to set up and easy to list your products. What is really important after that is how you market your products.”
Liz found Instagram was a massive asset in creating awareness and in driving customers. “Instagram was definitely a huge instigator in getting my work noticed,” she said.
Benefits of Kickstarter
At the same time she also used Kickstarter, a crowd funding platform where she was able to raise funds by people ordering items ahead of them being produced.
Kickstarter exists to help bring creative projects to life and works across a whole range of artistic disciplines – from comics and illustrations to design and tech, to film, food and craft. People can back a range of projects by pledging money and helping the creator reach their goal.
“Kickstarter is a great way to get a design collection funded without financial risk, which is a real benefit to small businesses,” said Liz. “It also gave me a real indictor of what people were interested in so I could produce those items in bigger quantities and then sell them in my Etsy shop as well as to those who had preordered them.”
Challenges of Selling on Etsy
Liz is well aware of the challenges that can face Etsy sellers if you don’t keep up to their strict rules. A long-time star seller – which means you benefit from added exposure- she has temporarily lost her status.
“To be a star seller you need to do three things,” she said. “You need to respond to a DM within 24 hours, you have to have five star feedback for at least 95% of your reviews and you need to dispatch items within the right timeframe.
“Over Christmas I missed responding to a DM and that immediately affects your status, but that should come back very soon, however these are really important factors that people need to be aware of.”
Expressing Personal Experiences Through Designs
Liz artistic skills are very evident by just looking at what she produces, but she also find that’s being inspired by personal experiences has helped her engage with her customers. “The work I do is very much around mental health and that seems to have struck a chord with so many people,” she said.
You can see that in the inspirational messages that are used in her creations – such as a Hamsa hand which says “your future is in your hands” or a crystal ball design which states “the magic is already in you.”
Support from the Etsy Community
What Liz has also found helpful is the support of the Etsy community at large.
“Around 95 % of my followers are female and I also find that everyone operating in the illustration or artistic community are really supportive of each other,” she said. “There is plenty of room out there for everyone and it definitely pays to try and collaborate.”
Liz may no longer be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, but she is definitely in a happier space. “What I do now is expressing my own inspirations, based on my experiences,” she said. “I can completely say what I want to say through my designs. And that’s a fantastic place to be.”
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