7 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.
Inspiring Black-owned businesses on Etsy in the “Handmade Items” category:
Women-owned businesses on Etsy in the “Handmade Items” category:
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.”
|Pro Tip: With so many jewelry sellers on Etsy, it’ll take more than an original vision and quality to get in front of potential customers. If you’re looking to kick up your sales and boost business, consider investing in onsite and offsite Etsy ads. Ads are particularly lucrative for jewelry sellers, since you can sell handmade pieces for at least 30 dollars (Etsy ad fees are fixed, not a percentage of the amount you charge). To set up Etsy ads, check out this guide.|
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.
Out of ideas? Here are some personalized items that aren’t overdone — and how much Etsy business owners sell them for:
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.
|Pro Tip: If you’ve been searching for a way to make some passive income, Etsy can help. Digital prints of original artwork, workbooks, checklists and other materials can make you money every time someone downloads them, without extra effort.|
6. Say “I Do”
Thousands of weddings were put on hold in 2020, but with in-person ceremonies back on the calendar, this year is seeing a historic wedding boom. In fact, the number of couples tying the knot this year alone is double last year’s figure and 30 percent more than 2019’s. According to “The Knot,” 2022 wedding trends include more casual wedding details, cottagecore themes and “relaxed luxury,” 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, individuality, and a step away from the formal and outdated.
Wedding Etsy Shop Ideas
- Decorations: signs, cake toppers, centerpieces, table numbers, personalized menus
- Gifts and mementos: wedding favors, bridesmaids’ gifts, gifts for the couple, groomsmen gifts
- Clothing: dresses, lingerie and garters, suits, shrugs and boleros
- Accessories: hair accessories, bouquets and corsages, cover-ups and scarves, veils, bags and purses, umbrellas, shawls and wraps
- Jewelry: rings, cufflinks and tie clips, earrings, jewelry sets, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches
- Invitations and paper: invitations, save the dates, invitation kits, thank you cards, templates, place cards, greeting cards, address stamps
- Shoes: shoes and sandals, shoe decals, bridesmaid slippers, heel protectors
7. Bust Out the Cricut
Whether you’re selling them to businesses, collectors or individuals trying to add a bit of pizzazz to their laptops, stickers and decals are an unsung Etsy bestseller, with some sources even ranking it the number one-performing item on the platform. Though you’ll need original ideas and drawing skills that can’t be purchased, the upfront costs can be less than 500 dollars, and you can start small and scale up based on demand without buying materials in bulk. The secret to success? Find a niche — such as Asian snack stickers or pop culture icons — to stand out.
|Pro Tip: If you aren’t savvy with Procreate or trust your artistic skills, partner with a local illustrator and create distinct designs or characters that you can sell as stickers, custom rugs, prints and more.|
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.