Q&A: My Typical Work Day and Some Great Selling on Etsy Resources

 I hope it goes without saying but just in case you need the invitation I want you all to know that I love getting emails and questions from you guys (fun, serious, whatever).  

A few weeks ago Krissa of the super adorable Etsy shop  Mish Mash Clothing sent me an email asking a bunch of questions. I hit on a few of her questions in my last post about my Etsy journey but I thought this one was kind of fun and to be honest I was kind of curious about the answer myself.
I stumbled across your blog today, and had a look around. I see that you are a very successful Etsy seller, and I have a few questions if you have the time.… I would like to know how you divide your time. Do you set a certain amount of hours per day or per week that you work?

First I have to say I spend A LOT of time working. A LOT. My hubby and I both work from home and we both work a lot. We both set our own schedules. And while we could do things in the middle of the day in the middle of the week most of the time we keep normalish work hours. Where he works on his ‘day’ job (social work-y stuff) and his music, I work on my shop and the blog. I see the blog as part of my business but I also see it as something separate. When I need to cut something it’s always the blog side that gets cut. I’m not writing this as ‘advice’ by any means I just thought it was a fun question and I know a lot of people are curious as to what the day of someone who does Etsy full time is really like.

Typical Work Day (I do this or some variation of this probably 4-5 days out of the week)

9:30 am Wake Up – Check email, shop and blog. Respond to questions, relist items that have sold, comment on treasuries I’ve been featured in, respond to blog comments and submit to link parties that weren’t
up the night before while drinking juice and eating a granola bar

11-11:30 Make or consult my “to do today list” start cutting or sewing or getting things ready to ship (printing labels packaging yup that takes a whole lot of time too). If I have new items I’ll photograph them as well.

1:30 have some lunch, tidy up the kitchen minimally while lunch is cooking, and take my What I Wore pictures. After food is cooked I usually eat while I continue to work or while I check/respond to computer stuff again.

2:00 get back to product making. At some point I start packing items up that are ready to ship. People don’t realize how much time this part actually takes (and that’s after you’ve gotten someone to buy something and made the item)

3:30 go to the post office on my way to the gym. if it’s a cardio day I read during my workout

6:00 get home, shower, and start making dinner or stop at the market (or fabric store) to pic stuff up. While I’m making dinner I start submitting to more link parties and check/respond to computer stuff again.

7:00 eat dinner, watch tv, and submit to link parties (this is kind of my down time). I never just sit and watch tv. Even though I consider this down time I’m still on the computer, or doing hand sewing or something else that is kind of relaxing and mindless but productive.

9:00 get back to work for real. About half the days during this time I’ll write blog posts, write shop listings and do other computer stuff that I can do while sitting on the couch. The other half I get back on the sewing machines.

12:30 submit to the last of the link parties, print shipping labels for the next day and make sure the blog is set for tomorrow. Make my to do list for tomorrow.

1:00 – 2:30
get in bed and read. I love reading plus it helps me to shut my mind off (I usually fall asleep between 2 and 3:30). I’m not going to lie I wrote my times down last week to prep for this post and I didn’t get in bead before 2 am. That’s totally normal for us and half the time when I head into read my hubby is still on his keyboard making his tunes.

The weekends I usually work half days which means probably a couple hours of actual sewing, cutting, making the product type work and a couple hours (to many hours) of computer stuff and a post office run. Even on an off day I probably work at least 3 hours but a lot of times that’s late at night. But I normally do less product making on the weekends.

A couple nights a week we’ll go out to dinner or do something during the evening. But I usually still work for a couple hours after I get home. Sometimes we play like 6-10 ish or 9-12:30 ish. Yup we’re night owls.

I tried to do a kind of half day during the week where I’ll go do what I want like shopping for fun, or shopping for supplies or make something for myself or try out a new recipe for the blog. But I don’t stick to it that well.

To me I work a lot so that when something fun comes up I can just do it. If my family or friends want to go out for lunch or watch the nieces or go do something fun 99% of the time I’ll do it. I do regular craft days with my friends and my husband I go out a lot. But then again I’m someone who likes being busy and since there’s always plenty to do work-wise, when there’s not much going elsewhere on I’m usually working. But again I really do enjoy it. And if people come into town I usually will do a week full of half days. After all if I wanted I could just take less orders, it’s my business I can do what I like. Like right now I’ve been on the computer for like 4 hours and am getting antsy and even though I’m pretty far ahead on work stuff it sounds appealing to do a bit of serging while listening to my Divergent audiobook (and it’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday). It helps that I really like watching my shows and listening to books while I work ;)

Top Tips?

So I know I said that I was going to write a top tips post but I sat down to do it and after about 2 hours of typing and thinking, I was totally overwhelmed and felt like I had barely touched on anything. I figured if I’m overwhelming myself then what hope do I have in getting my ideas across to some of you who are just barely starting out. So instead of trying to cram a bunch of tips into one manageable post I’m going to hit on one topic at a time and make sure to do etsy tips regularly (like once a week). Definitely let me know if you have any specific topics in mind.

And for those of you ready to dive right in here’s a ton of reading material for you.

  • Etsy’s official tips blog post I’d start here. It’s chalked full of many links on many topics. 
  • And also be sure to check out Handmadeology’s great post full of tips with lots of linked articles under each tip for more info. 
  • And last I found this Newbie Guide to be helpful when I was starting out. This looks like it’s the newest version (still 2.5 years old) but some of the info will be helpful. I know there’s a lot of info. 

Try not to be overwhelmed just read a little here and there. If you have any questions or suggestions of topics you’d like me to talk about feel free to let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.

Comments

  1. You are one busy girl!!! I love your shop. When the time comes and I have a little one to buy for, I’ll be checking it out. But have to say, I hope my boys want to wait another 5 years or so before they decide to start families.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy getting a glimpse behind the scenes of other home-based shops :) You’re absolutely right about packaging/addressing taking a LOT of time! Sometimes, all the “other” work (photographing, packaging, prepping for shipping) takes me longer than the actual sewing does!

  3. thanks guys. Michelle it’s crazy right, how long packaging takes?

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