My name is beth, I'm an artist, and Etsy shut down my shop.
Although I have a full-time job, I have spent the last few years supplementing my income through Etsy. My primary products are stickers and apparel.
In my recent Etsy shop journey, I've faced some ups and downs that have left me reflecting on the choices I made and the lessons I've learned along the way. I want to share my story with you and hopefully provide some insights into what not to do on Etsy.
Starting out, I was full of enthusiasm and determination. I had my own designs, including watercolors, that I believed would sell well. I followed the advice of finding small niches for a new store and avoiding trademarked content like Disney or Pokemon. However, I soon stumbled upon an opportunity – the music industry.
I noticed trends around artists like Taylor Swift and Zach Bryan and thought it was a golden opportunity.
I took care not to violate trademarks, but I was unaware that song lyrics and related content were also subject to copyright protection. It was a harsh lesson to learn, and I had to remove all music-related items from my shop.
Despite this setback, I continued to push forward. Some items, like a sweatshirt featuring "cruel summer," were popular and selling well. But my optimism took another hit when I received copyright notices from Universal Music, leading to the removal of these items. It became clear that I needed to be more vigilant about copyright issues.
Etsy Closed My Shop
Then, I received an email that shook me to the core – my Etsy shop had been permanently closed due to repeated copyright violations. I had been warned about copyright concerns, but it didn't register until it was too late. The closure came as a shock, especially when I was experiencing a surge in sales and revenue.
In fact, I was at the point where I was considering quitting my full time job.
I appealed the decision, explaining that I had removed all copyrighted content, but Etsy's response was final. I couldn't open a new shop, and I couldn't make purchases on the platform. It was a significant blow to my entrepreneurial aspirations.
Next Steps and Lessons Learned
Now, I find myself at a crossroads, wondering if the universe is trying to tell me something. Is this the end of my Etsy journey? Is being an employee the path I should embrace? I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that I need to keep trying.
I'm currently exploring the idea of opening a Shopify store, but uncertainty remains. Regardless of the setbacks, I'm determined to learn from my mistakes and keep moving forward. Maybe it's time to shift my focus back to my YouTube channel, even though that path also presents its challenges.
In the end, my Etsy shop journey has taught me valuable lessons about copyright, persistence, and resilience. Failure, though difficult to accept, is an essential part of any entrepreneurial journey. I hope my story serves as a cautionary tale for others venturing into the world of e-commerce, reminding you to tread carefully and stay informed about copyright laws.
So, as I take a break, refocus on my job that pays the bills, and plan my next steps, I want to thank you for reading my story.
Hear from another CustomStickers.com customer who built an Etsy shop earning $100k+.