I had already signed up on etsy as a customer a long time before I ever started this venture. And so one night, I took pictures of what I had left and opened a shop. On a whim. Not something I would advise others to do. But, at the time, I didn't have anyone that I knew that did this sort of thing, and no one that I could turn to for help. So I took some pretty crummy pictures, one of my best friend's helped me come up with my original name – Charmingly Adorned – and then I waited. I figured it would be months before I had my first online sale. But it wasn't, it was less than two weeks later. (And believe you me, I jumped up and down and did some screaming. Then I called just about everyone that I knew.)
I would like to say that my shop took off then and there. But it didn't. Not hardly.
But some really important things DID happen. I continued to make sales in real life – friends of friends were starting to ask about stopping by my house to see what I had, ladies at school asked if they could take a bag of my stuff to church with them and sell things for me. I found that I had a wonderful supportive group of women in my life.
And, one night, I was reading blogs, hopping around and I stumbled on Crystal B's blog. I knew about her from reading the Nie Nie Dialogues and Chris had actually bought one of her necklaces for me for Christmas. She had written a post about her book club and what they were reading and it happened to be a book that I loved. So I commented. And then she visited my blog and commented on mine and from there, we began emailing each other and struck up a friendship that I wouldn't trade for the world. She made the third purchase out of my etsy shop – a necklace for her daughter – and encouraged me to keep going.
So, I had sales. I had started building a following. I had a mentor.
I worked for the next few months on crafting a style of my own. Learning new techniques. Reading articles and watching how-to's on youtube.
My online sales were building and I started doing give aways and advertising.