Ever since I picked up the skills in Adobe Illustrator, I became obsessed with trying out with different designs. I started off with designing artworks for T-shirts under my brand, Conceptitude.
I actually opened an Etsy store some time last year to sell my T-shirt designs. I decided against selling the physical T-shirt because the postal charges by Malaysia National Post has increased over 200%. Besides T-shirt designs, I also put up some business card designs. Months have passed after I listed my designs and my sales was zero, so I closed the online shop. I thought to myself that I should just stick to my Zazzle store for my T-shirt designs, which is doing very well.
Last month, I was itching to start designing and making things that matter. I want to make something people can use and be happy about it. Then a thought came to me. I’ve been designing and making rubber stamps locally, so why not sell it worldwide? Rubber stamps are light and small so it wouldn’t cost a lot to ship it to my customers. They will think it’s reasonable to pay for it.
My partner suggested that I re-consider Etsy and so I did. On June 23rd, 2014, I opened my Etsy store which is specializing in custom-made self-inked, pre-inked as well as index rubber stamps. I named the store after my online paper and stationery e-commerce store, My Paperclip.
Then I started spending time working on some designs and uploading it to the store. I barely had 4 products listed as I was still working on providing information on the shipping and return policy as well as coming up with more designs. On June 29th, 2014, that was when I heard my first “Ka Ching” from Etsy app on my smart phone. I mean, I’ve been hearing that sound from my partner’s smart phone but this is the first time I heard it from mine so I was pretty excited.
My first sale on Etsy was from a lady in Canada. She’s probably a handcrafter as she wanted her stamp to say Handmade with Delight. In July, more sales came in. One lovely nurse practitioner from Australia who ordered pocket stamps for her work use. After that, I received a custom-made order from a business lady from United States who wanted her stamp to be similar to her business card. It took me quite a while to re-trace the sunflower logo from her business card but it was all worth it because she loved it!
Another person from Australia ordered a wedding stamp and a baker from United States ordered a stamp that says Baked with love. Just two days ago, a lovely mother from Japan ordered two name stamps for her kids and one for her friend’s kid. Japan! I have never dealt with anyone from Japan before. I love Japan a lot. Their culture and technology just amaze me.
I’m sorry I took the time to talk about these first few customers but these are important people that trusted me even though they could see my store was new and I had no sales and no reviews to prove if I’m trustworthy and reliable. First few sales are always the hardest and most people have no sales for months after putting up their store, just like what happened to me when I first tried Etsy.
Yesterday, my first customer told me that she has received the item and it works great. That was a happy moment for me and I look forward to more happy moments from my customers. It really pushes me to provide the best for them. Nothing means more than putting a smile on someone else’s face with your product or service. That’s precisely why I always tell myself that customer experience is my utmost priority.