Saturday, March 6, 2010


by Marian Cates

I was inspired by Yoola's story, as well as the lovely creations on display in her Etsy shop, Yoola's.

I want to tell you about how I achieved successful sales figures through mental stretching.

Many Etsy sellers have successful designs, in terms of high views, many fans and some have even been featured on Etsy’s home page. But somehow ... this still resulted in low sales. Until not so long ago, I was one of these sellers.

My most successful item was my “knitted wire pomegranates” (see above), which I called "poms." My "poms" appeared on numerous front pages, numerous blogs (small and big), personal interviews, feature articles, and even Etsy blog articles. Still, my sales continued to be low.

I thought of several directions that might lead to financial success. One idea was to develop smaller pomegranates that would be less expensive.

I started creating the smaller poms, which I called "mini pom beads.” They did sell better than the larger poms had. But I still wasn’t generating as much income as I wanted to.

I debated for several months about another idea I had -- that of offering free tutorials. I decided to try it.

To my delight, it wasn’t long before the tutorials became popular! Then I started getting questions about supplies. This led me to develop kits to go along with the free tutorials.

And with these tutorials and kits, I realized my dream of having my shop be a financial success.

And it’s so fun to think that I got here by offering something for free!

(See Yoola's crocheted metal ring below on the left.)

NOTE: This story is based on an Etsy blog. 

Bulldog by Marian Cates

Bulldog by Marian Cates
Click for prints, canvases & various products

Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates

Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates
Click for prints and canvases & products

Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration

Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration
Click for prints, canvases & products

Robin Hood by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration