I am a potter, a painter, a children's book author and illustrator and also a teacher. While I am primarily self taught as a painter, I have my degree in Art Education from Buffalo State College. I spent a few years teaching art to children in public and private schools and might still be teaching part time if the last private school that I worked at didn't close for lack of enrollment.
I quickly lost my enthusiasm for teaching in public school due to the endless politics and ridiculous demands put on an art teacher, for example, being responsible for 400 or more students in a semester. (not kidding).
So I never pursued another teaching job after the private school closed and rather turned my attention to working in my own studio making art to sell.
I began selling my art on Etsy in 2008. Not knowing much about it, I just put my stuff up there and basically expected it to sell itself while I explored other avenues.
Well, if you're an Etsy seller, you know that didn't happen. Since then, my concentration with Etsy has been on selling my pottery (shop name -
) rather than my art. I have found that overall, selling functional art is way easier than selling wall art, especially online.
I sell both my art and pottery through other channels, particularly my website, which is where I prefer to make my work available, thus cutting out the middle man. Subscribing to my newsletter and purchasing through my website is the only way to take advantage of sales or discounts on my work, (so if you like my stuff, there it is :0). But I digress.
Etsy has changed in many ways over the years and like other platforms they continually will in an effort to keep both sellers, buyers and stockholders happy. Well, you can't please all the people all the time, myself included, and some of the Etsy changes have affected the sales in my retail shop in not so positive ways. I have just started selling wholesale through Etsy's new wholesale platform, so we'll see how that goes.
Anyhoo, in the years since 2008, I have learned a great deal and been asked to pass my knowledge on to a classroom of women at the library in
. I have done it twice now and can't say enough how much I enjoyed it. The library offers the class for free so I have a packed house (and a waiting list) of women eager to learn how they might be able to start a small business on Etsy or generate some extra income.
I don't offer any delusions of it being easy, but feel like I am really helping them to understand the possibilities and encourage them to go on and give it a whirl. The feedback has been so positive that we have added an Etsy 102 class where I will be able to get into more details about setting up a shop, like writing descriptions, taking photographs etc. Amazingly, the first class, though 2 hrs long, was only enough to skim the surface!
At some point, if I can find enough time from my other projects, perhaps I will put together a small book on how to get started. If you are someone who is interested in selling on etsy and might be interested in such a publication, please leave me a comment. I am also available to consult by telephone if you are a new seller and want an evaluation and some guidance now. Just shoot me an email through my