From 0 to 1000+. The Commendable Story of this Etsy Store You’ll Want to Bookmark!

We, as an Etsy community, consist of people of all sorts. Of all age groups. And it doesn’t matter how long it’s been for each of us since we started a small business, we all have seen our ups and downs and have risen up after every fall, and have words of wisdom to share with the rest to follow. We might have our own personal ways to deal with it all, but we all end up scraping by, somehow.

We came across Deanna from One Oliver on Etsy, who hasn’t been on Etsy long enough but her journey as a small business will certainly inspire you to begin your own, if you haven’t already. If you’re going to take something away from this post, we hope it’s the way she treats her customers. Read on!

One Oliver's shop on Etsy
One Oliver's shop on Etsy
Your work is lovely! Please tell us what your shop is about and how you came up with the whole idea.

Thank you! One Oliver is about celebrating all of the moments in our lives! We provide hand-illustrated greeting cards, personalized cups and party favors, and quirky party decor. We began selling just paper banners with silly phrases on them and just kept saying “yes!” when someone asked if we could do something a little different.

How was it like when you started off on Etsy? Please describe your initial days.

When I first opened my shop, I was living in a 2-bedroom house with 3 other girls – oh and we almost never had heat. I can recall doing everything on as low of a budget as I could when I started. Hole puncher? Didn’t have one – I used a push pin. Shipping supplies? Couldn’t afford them – I reused whatever supplies we had around the house. Mail delivery? No way – we lived in the middle of nowhere. All packages had to be personally driven to the post office. It built character and appreciation for when I was finally doing well enough to afford to simple things!

Deanna in her studio
How do you advertise your products? What do you think works the best getting more customers?

I, of course, have social media accounts where I post consistently – Facebook and Instagram. I also attend local markets and craft fairs with my items. I think the best way to grow your customer base is to encourage word of mouth marketing by offering the absolute best customer service and experience. Some of my very best clients are referrals or repeat buyers that were just so excited about receiving their goodies in the mail!

Life is the ultimate challenge, you know?! Every day we are presented with obstacles that test our skills, patience, and dedication. I think if you wake up every day and remember that everyone has obstacles, we’re all in it together, that you’ve gotta stand back up when you get pushed down, and that you’ve got to help others around you up, you’ve got a great foundation for success.

How do you push yourself through low times? We’d love some advice on this!

It’s a crazy world of online commerce! It’s going to be slow sometimes, no matter what industry you are in. Instead of getting yourself worked up over not having any sales, prepare yourself for when they come back! Take some time to work on your shop photography, create new products, or research other makers or bloggers that could be a great cross-marketing opportunity.

Deanna's studio
How do you manage your time? Any schedule in particular that you follow?

I could certainly use some work on this myself! The best advice I have for those of us that work at home is to do your best to put aside uninterrupted time for your work. I’m always sure to get up early, start any house projects that need to be done like laundry or dishes, and then close the door to my studio and pretend I’m not even at home!

Tell us about your team and the helping hands behind your shop.

I actually launched my greeting card line after confiscating a little book of doodles my girlfriend, Katie, had been working on. They were so cute and I knew that I could turn them into great artwork! So now, she produces the majority of the base illustrations for my greeting cards, and I digitally recreate them, color them, and print! Katie has also been known to lend a hand sleeving cards, packing orders, and running to the post office. It takes a village!

What are some key lessons that you think other entrepreneurs should try to learn on how to make a customer happy?

I think, as small business owners, it’s important to make sure the customer has the best possible experience while staying true to your brand. We have to wear like, 35 hats on any given day! If a customer has an issue, it’s important to look at it from their point of view and treat them like a human! Big box stores have robots that handle customer complaints, but we are humans dealing with humans. Think of the customer service you would like to receive, and offer that to your customers.

Cards illustrated by Katie and Deanna
What is the one thing that you’re offering as a shop owner that others aren’t? What sets you apart?

I do pride myself on the transparency I have on my business. I’m not looking to give away all of my secrets, but I am willing to help another maker in need when I can. There is enough business for all of us, and I think when we help each other build a stronger product, we are working together to build a stronger marketplace.

It’s a crazy world of online commerce! It’s going to be slow sometimes, no matter what industry you are in. Instead of getting yourself worked up over not having any sales, prepare yourself for when they come back! Take some time to work on your shop photography, create new products, or research other makers or bloggers that could be a great cross-marketing opportunity.

According to you, what habits do you think make people not succeed in life?

Life is the ultimate challenge, you know?! Every day we are presented with obstacles that test our skills, patience, and dedication. I think if you wake up every day and remember that everyone has obstacles, we’re all in it together, that you’ve gotta stand back up when you get pushed down, and that you’ve got to help others around you up, you’ve got a great foundation for success.

Personalized cups for one of the customers
Lastly, one advice that you’d like to give to our readers. What would it be?

Running a handmade business is hard. You have to be the accountant, the marketer, the maker, the customer service person, and the boss. Chances are, people will have no idea “what you do for a living,” and your family will wonder why you ditched the 9-5 lifestyle to take on a job that requires 24/7 attention. However, if you have enough nerve to stand up against all the people that might think you’re crazy, you’ll get a chance to stand with an amazing community of doers, makers, and entrepreneurs. We’ve got your back, and we want to see you succeed!

Loved the post? Check out our previous conversation with another successful Etsy seller here. Let us know what you think about this shop in the comments below! We’d love to know your opinions.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

Posted by GemMartUSA | August 30, 2018
This successful Etsy seller made it through with the help of her family! Know how.
Our next small business owner enlightened us about the power of family and of unity. Their success knows no bounds. Want to know how? Meet Tia from AllThatsRustic on Etsy,...
Posted by GemMartUSA | July 2, 2018
This Etsy shop is all kinds of creative! Meet the seller.
Who said a successful business only needs a big investment and for you to go all in to start off with? It isn't a truth lesser known that while you...
Posted by GemMartUSA | June 1, 2018
6 Lessons to learn from our favorite girl bosses
Whether you are just venturing out or have been at it for some time, being an entrepreneur/girl boss is not an easy feat; and sometimes, there will be occasions where...