6 Creative Etsy Shop Ideas for Your Next Side Hustle
Whether you’re thinking of supplementing your income or maybe even replacing your current gig with a new creative business, Etsy might just be the best place to make your online entrepreneurial dreams come true. Unlike Amazon or other online shopping giants, items on Etsy must be one of the following: vintage, handmade, or custom-made. If this piques your interest, read on. We’ve cut through all the usual roadblocks and taken into consideration the most popular categories on the Etsy site to compile six Etsy shop ideas and useful tips to inspire your next side hustle. We’ll also point you in the right direction if you have no idea how to open an Etsy shop with a fuss-free guide to getting started.
1. Get Crafty
If you’re the kind of person who gets excited about craft stores, follow your bliss. According to eRank, the leading SEO website wholly dedicated to Etsy, 7 out of 10 of the top sellers on Etsy belong to the “Craft and Supplies” category and sell such items as crochet patterns, knitting patterns, yarn, beads and other supplies. That’s right: if you like the idea of crafts, but wouldn’t go so far as to sell your own crafts, sell supplies instead. Not only will you be supporting the handmade creations of others, but you’ll be building a pretty lucrative business for yourself.
2. Use Your Hands
If nothing satisfies you more than making a handmade item, double your satisfaction by selling your handmade creations on Etsy. After all, people shopping on Etsy are trying to find something new and unique, and what could be newer or more unique than something you just dreamed up? It also doesn’t hurt that the second most popular category on Etsy is “Handmade Items,” which may include everything from woodworking projects and personalized jewelry to bath bombs and leather bracelets.
3. Adorn Your Buyers
Speaking of jewelry, it’s the third top-selling category on Etsy, and may contain everything from handmade earrings made of bottle caps to antique bracelets. But try not to be too hasty when entering this popular marketplace. According to Amy Romeu, a crafter who regularly sells jewelry on Etsy, it’s crucial to check out the competition to learn how to best set up your shop. She says, “When you visit other sellers' Etsy shops, you can see what items they are selling, how they are photographing their jewelry pieces, what their prices are, what their listing descriptions look like, etc.” And while she is quick to emphasize that checking out the competition isn’t the same as copying the competition, she does say that seeing what is working for other sellers will save you “countless hours of work and money in materials wasted on items that won't sell.”
4. Get Personal
Personalization is popular across most Etsy categories, from jewelry to clothing to wedding gifts and beyond, and it’s one of the easiest Etsy shop ideas that sells well on the platform. What buyer doesn’t like to see their name in print? But like jewelry, be sure to do your market research first. Instead of recreating what others are doing, look for a new twist. With a 22 percent year-over-year increase, personalization is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
5. Be Witty
From digital prints to funny t-shirts to greeting cards, there are dozens of different ways you can share your wit with the world and make some money to boot. Digital prints are ideal for those with graphic design skills and it’s also a way to cut down on overhead costs. If you’ve always considered yourself a wordsmith and Twitter is your social media platform of choice, you might want to consider turning your best one-liners into your top-selling merchandise.
6. Say “I Do”
In early 2020 Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson predicted that in 2020, couples would seek out wedding details that reflected their personalities, happily discarding any wedding customs that didn’t. To put it plainly, it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to the wedding world. With a 171% increase in searches on Etsy for bridesman items and a 72% increase in searches for best woman items, the time has arrived for unique cake toppers, groomsmen gifts and other wedding merchandise that reflect inclusivity and individuality.
Get Your Etsy Shop Ideas Off the Ground
Feeling inspired? Check out this fuss-free guide to learn how to open an Etsy shop, which is conveniently provided on the Etsy site. And keep in mind that all your new inventory doesn’t have to take up your living room or clutter your kitchen counters. Use a smarter option like SmartStop—a storage service that can help you store your merchandise as your Etsy orders start rolling in.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health and VICE.