ETSY? Never heard of it…  That’s what I said to my son’s American friend, whom I met in Pasadena (CA) seven years ago.

In 2010 we visited Pasadena for the 3rd time. Pasadena is a lovely town with an old city centre with typical late 19th century houses, but also with the contemporary shops and many nice restaurants to cater to the needs of the modern resident. My son is a astrophysicist and has worked at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena for several years.

Our last visit in Spring 2010 was also a kind of farewell, because my son would return to the Netherlands later that year.  During that last stay, my son invited some colleagues and friends to meet his parents. That evening I carried one of my small handmade bags with me which got quite a bit of attention. One of the female guests struck up a conversation about it and asked If I also sold online. I told her about the first steps I had made on the web and how it didn’t really seem to take off. The options offered on European selling sites were limited and my bags got little attention.

“Well!” the dear woman said: “Why don’t you sell on ETSY!” Being a total ETSY noob, she was kind enough to walk me through her own account (she sold baby booklets and blankets as a hobby beside her day job). Intrigued I  researched ETSY online for the rest of my stay in the US and as soon as I got home, I made an account to showcasing my bags & purses.

I started selling from October 2010 (Rinarts shop) and spring 2011 I opened up a second shop for my small accessories (RinartsAtelier).

Now 7 years later, I am still very enthusiastic about selling on Etsy. It is easy to list your items, your transaction income is transferred automatically to your bank account,  and all the statistics and financial information you need are easy to get to from your private account. Lately Etsy has started to give advise and tips about selling an photography, which also helped me a lot.

I have inserted some old pictures of my first creations from 2009-2010. Many bags and accessories later, my leather craft skills as wel as my photographic skills have improved quite a bit. If you check out my Instagram now, you can see I have learned a lot about taking photo’s during those years. However taking good photos is still a challenge, maybe I will write about this in a next blog.

ETSY? Never heard of it…

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