Monday, January 12, 2015

Multiple Revenue Streams for Etsy Sellers

Multiple Revenue Streams for Etsy Sellers: How crafters and collectors can turn their passions into profit from the Strategic Promotion for Success Team on Etsy #SPSTeam
Photo courtesy of Felt Art by Mariana
Do you want to quit your day job and make money doing what you love by turning your hobby into a business?

Whether you are a crafter or collector, being able to transform your passion into profit is just one of the many reasons people open shops on Etsy. Opening a shop is a great first step, but unless you are one of the lucky few, it’s unlikely that you will be able to make a sustainable living with your Etsy shop alone.

Etsy can be a great way to reach customers worldwide. However, there are many options artists and antiquers have for connecting with loyal, local patrons.

Craft Fairs

Most communities offer a variety of different craft fairs, both large and small. They can be held at parks, schools, churches and more. Vendors are usually charged a flat fee for a booth space. To help you choose your first craft fair, research and visit different fairs to see if there are items similar to yours and in the same price range and look for lots of happy customers browsing the booths.

Craft fairs usually require you to set-up your own space, be in attendance during fair hours and process your own transactions. If allowed, it can be helpful to have a booth with another crafty friend. Then you can split fees and work your booth together. It’s also worth participating in the same fair more than once. Customers who visited your booth without making a purchase the first time, may remember your product and be looking for you the next time.

Farmers Markets

Weekly farmers markets aren’t just for foodies. A lot of farmers markets also accept a limited number of antique and craft vendors. Although you will still need to set-up your own space, the time commitment and booth fees are often less than craft fairs. Again, customers will begin to seek you out if you are a regular vendor.

Consignment Shops and Boutiques

Local businesses are frequently willing to sell vintage and craft items on consignment. If you have a favorite fabric, yarn, bead, book or antique shop, plant nursery, or fashion boutique, talk to the owner about consignment options. Gift shops at local tourist attractions may also sell the work of artists on consignment.

Consignment fees are usually a percentage of the item price and can be higher than the fees associated with online sales. However you do not have to spend time setting-up a display, promoting, shipping or processing customer payments.

Cooperative Shop or Gallery

If you live in a larger town, you may be able to find a cooperative market or gallery. Cooperatives usually maintain a permanent shop location with regular hours of business and are stocked with items created by their members. Members of the cooperative are typically required to work a certain number of hours at the shop each week and either pay a flat fee or percentage of their item sales to the cooperative to help fund the group’s business location and marketing fees.

There may be an application process to join the cooperative. This ensures that the products sold are a high quality and help the group maintain a diversity that is pleasing to customers.

Teach Classes or Workshops

If you know enough about a particular craft that you are able to sell your handmade products, you have a skill that others may want to learn more about. It can be as simple as offering knitting, sewing, crafting lessons to individuals or small groups at their home or yours. Local craft supply shops may also be willing to pay you for your teaching services.

There’s no get rich quick plan for turning your hobby into a successful profession.

It’s truly a labor of love that takes time, effort and a little luck. Creating multiple revenue streams in addition to your Etsy shop can help you reach your goals and dreams.


My name is Ellen and I LOVE to design and create things. I find it deeply satisfying to start with nothing more than an idea and finish with a tangible, beautiful, functional piece of work. I enjoy learning new techniques that I can incorporate into my creations. I practice a variety of different art forms, but find I always have at least one knit, crochet or sewing project in progress.


  1. So nice to see all these marketing venue ideas gathered in a concise article. Thanks Ellen!

  2. Comprehensive and informative! Nice job!

  3. Very interesting!! And inspiring, too!! Thank you, Ellen!