How I Run My Etsy Shop While Raising a Family

Balancing a family and making money in any way at the same time can be difficult. It has always been a priority for me to stay home with my children. At the same time, I like being creative, and there have been times when my family could use a little bit more income.

I started my Etsy shop back in 2008. Now, Etsy is totally different now than it was then. It is now a publicly traded company, and not everything sold is handmade. I feel like I cracked the code how to get a lot of sales over ten years ago, but now my sales mainly come from simply being a seller for so long. People ask me for advice about Etsy pretty often, but I’m not sure how relevant my journey to get my first sale is today.

Anyhow, at the time my girls were pretty involved with dance and gymnastics, and I learned how to make hair bows for them. That lead to tutus, and then birthday outfits. Nowadays, most of my Etsy sales come from making birthday outfits for little ones. I’m still a 100% mama made shop, and I fit completing orders around family time. I truly love it.

These are a few of the items I offer for sale in my Etsy shop, Joyfully Made. I make everything to order, and therefore have a make time of 1-2 weeks at the moment. While I could probably get more sales if my quoted turnaround time was faster, it gives me peace to know I have plenty of time to receive supplies with current supply chain issues. That peace is worth it!

Around 2010-2012, my shop was at it’s peak. I was selling over $50,000 worth of items per year, and after a couple of years of this, I knew I had to scale back. I was staying up until 3-4 am each night to fit work in around homeschooling and my children’s outside activities. I was doing way too much!

Now, I spend around ten to twelve hours per week on Etsy things, which is a good balance for my family. I don’t make near as much as I used to, but that’s okay. Family is always the most important thing!

One of the things that has helped me the most is to scale back what I offer for sale. Most of what I make is streamlined to shirts, fabric, thread, ink, and specialty paper. This way, I do not have to spend a lot of time procuring supplies.

Okay, so now onto my schedule. This is what my schedule looks like on an “Etsy Day.”

7 a.m. – Answer any messages that came in overnight. This is what my schedule looks like every day, whether I plan to work on orders or not. Otherwise, I try to answer messages as they come in throughout the day unless the question is involved and I need to do some research. I also possibly share a listing or two on social media.

8 a.m. – Workout, dinner prep, breakfast.

9 a.m. – Start homeschooling my younger children.

12 p.m. – Eat lunch.

12:30 p.m. – Work on shirt and onesie designs on my computer.

1:30 p.m. – Press shirts and flour sack towels.

2 p.m. – Sew skirts/dresses to complete outfits.

3 p.m. – Get my two-year-old down for a nap. Quiet time, and tie up any loose homeschool ends!

5 p.m. – Dinner time.

6 p.m. – Print out labels and pack up orders.

6:45 p.m. – Order onesies/shirts/packing supplies that I need for upcoming orders.

7:30 p.m. – Family time.

Once per week I take a trip to our local fabric store to purchase fabric, thread, and elastic. We usually tie this into our grocery shopping trip to save on gas. My husband takes the completed orders to the Post Office for me.

And that’s about it. Sometimes I make a new item for my shop, or I need to spend extra time updating my listings. This doesn’t happen too often. When it does, I fit it in wherever I can.

So yes, I believe it is absolutely possible to sell on Etsy and take care of your family at the same time. A schedule is key, along with figuring out ways to streamline your shop.

I definitely don’t own the fastest growing Etsy shop, but I recently passed 5,000 sales! I am really happy with the place I am now when it comes to Etsy.

If you have any questions, please ask away!

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