I started Buenahelena on a whim in 2006. I was working as a (highly underpaid) teaching assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Art and my friend had started an Etsy shop to supplement her waitressing job. (Oh what a recession will do to even the college educated!) So I opened Buenahelena, goofed around with some ideas then went off to grad school. I'd work on Etsy in bursts over my breaks, but let it alone for weeks at a time. It's no surprise that from 2006 -2008 I averaged a meager 9 sales per year.
This summer with one year of teaching Art in public schools under my belt, I decided to jump into Etsy seriously and wholeheartedly. I spent the summer making new items and editing the branding and story of my shop. That August I joined the recently formed Rochester New York Street Team and attended their first face to face meeting. They are my turning point. The team and its members push me and feed me. Since joining in August of 2009 I have sold almost 20 items and made it into a treasury and a gift guide. Nearly doubling my total sales from 2006-2008! In 2010 alone I have already surpassed those yearly totals of 2006-2008.
Two weeks ago I committed to an item-a-day challenge from fellow street team member/founder Just Ice Jewelry. Putting up an item a day led to more exposure and last week I sold 4 items, a number that I would normally reach in 3-4 months. I also made new connections as challengers hold each other accountable for posting items by giving away items when we forget to post. On Friday I was picked for a treasury by ThingsOldeAndNew. That treasury went on the front page Saturday. According to Google Analytics I average about 25 views to my shop a day. On Saturday I had 226 views. Ten times more than average! On Craftcult's Heartomatic site I received 5 new shop hearts and 17 new item hearts within a few hours, instead of the normal few weeks. This treasury led to a reserve order of 5 items.
My sweet free gift from Karol's Vintage Art from the IOTD challenge.Check out her shop!
Thank you RNESTers! From 5 items every six months, to a possible 5 items in a day! I won't calculate that mathematical leap, but just sit with it today and be content. Maybe teacher's gonna buy herself a new pair of shoes...