The Rise and Fall of My Etsy Shop

The Rise and Fall of My Etsy Shop

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Bright Idea: Creating My Own Stationery Products
  3. Launching My Etsy Shop
  4. The Rise: Success Factors 4.1. Influx of Online Entrepreneurs 4.2. Leveraging My Social Media Following 4.3. Unique Products in the Market
  5. The Fall: Contributing Factors 5.1. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic 5.2. Increasing Fees and Shipping Costs 5.3. Market Saturation and Competition
  6. Declining Sales and Revenue 6.1. Yearly Statistics Analysis
  7. Balancing Priorities: YouTube, Brand Collaborations, and Etsy
  8. Not Planning for a Full-Time Business Venture
  9. Lessons Learned and Future Plans
  10. Conclusion

The Rise and Fall of My Etsy Shop

Hello everyone and welcome back to my channel, or welcome if you're new! In today's video, I want to share with you the story of the rise and fall of my Etsy shop. It has been quite a journey filled with ups and downs, and I believe it's important to highlight both the successes and the challenges faced along the way. So, let's dive in and explore the various factors that contributed to the rise of my shop, as well as the factors that led to its eventual decline.


To provide some context, let's throw it back to the summer of 2018. At that point, I had been on YouTube for a full year, and I was contemplating the idea of creating my own products to potentially sell. While initially, my interest in creating stationery products was purely personal, I soon realized the potential of turning it into a side business. Fast forward to November 2018, and I officially launched my Etsy shop. Over the next four years, I experienced both remarkable success and significant challenges, which I will discuss in detail throughout this article.

The Bright Idea: Creating My Own Stationery Products

Before delving into the rise and fall of my Etsy shop, it's essential to understand the motivation behind it. I had always been drawn to stationery products, and the idea of designing my own collection was incredibly appealing. However, I wanted to take it a step further and turn it into a business opportunity. While I had never sold anything before, I saw the potential in sharing my creations with others and potentially making a profit. I wanted to create products that not only met my own standards but also resonated with customers who shared my passion for stationery.

Launching My Etsy Shop

In November 2018, I took the plunge and officially launched my Etsy shop. As a content creator on YouTube, I saw an opportunity to leverage my existing social media following to promote my products and generate sales. The initial setup costs were relatively low, and I was confident in the quality of my designs. Little did I know what the future held for my shop.

The Rise: Success Factors

Several factors contributed to the initial success and rapid growth of my Etsy shop. Understanding these factors is crucial in comprehending the subsequent challenges I faced. Let's take a closer look at each of these factors:

4.1. Influx of Online Entrepreneurs

In 2018, there was a significant influx of individuals building an online presence and venturing into small businesses. This trend aligns perfectly with the timing of my Etsy shop's launch. With one year of YouTube experience under my belt and around 20,000 to 30,000 subscribers, I naturally saw the opportunity to expand my brand and venture into entrepreneurship. It seemed like the logical next step, both for me and many of my peers in the online community.

4.2. Leveraging My Social Media Following

Having an established social media following, particularly on YouTube, played a pivotal role in the success of my Etsy shop. With a loyal audience that had already shown interest in my content, it was easier to introduce and promote my stationery products. The alignment between my YouTube channel and the products I sold created a direct correlation that appealed to my viewers. This pre-existing connection allowed for a smoother transition into the business world, as my customers were already familiar with my style and preferences.

4.3. Unique Products in the Market

One of the key factors that set my Etsy shop apart was the uniqueness of my products. Before I began designing and creating my own stationery items, I struggled to find similar products in the market. My offerings filled a gap that many consumers were seeking, providing them with stationery items specifically curated to meet their needs. This unique selling proposition helped attract customers who were looking for something different and personalized.

The Fall: Contributing Factors

While the beginning years of my Etsy shop were highly successful, there came a point when the momentum began to slow down, eventually leading to its decline. It's essential to examine the factors that contributed to this fall so that lessons can be learned and shared with others. Here are the main factors that played a role:

5.1. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The year 2020 will always be remembered for the global COVID-19 pandemic. Like many businesses, my Etsy shop was significantly impacted by the economic uncertainty and changes in consumer behavior brought about by the pandemic. The demand for non-essential items, such as stationary products, decreased as people's priorities shifted towards essential needs. The decline in sales was inevitable, causing a substantial drop in revenue for my shop.

5.2. Increasing Fees and Shipping Costs

Another challenge that arose during the decline of my Etsy shop was the increasing fees and shipping costs imposed by the platform. As Etsy continued to raise its fees, it became challenging to maintain competitive pricing and a healthy profit margin. Additionally, the shipping rates, particularly with the partnership between Etsy and USPS, experienced significant increases. These higher costs made it more difficult to sustain profitability, especially when combined with the declining demand.

5.3. Market Saturation and Competition

Over time, the market for stationery products became increasingly saturated, with more entrepreneurs starting Etsy shops and selling similar products. While competition is not necessarily a bad thing, it meant that I had to keep up with the changing trends and preferences of customers to remain relevant and competitive. Unfortunately, I did not prioritize creating new and innovative products, which resulted in my offerings becoming overshadowed by others who were better equipped to adapt and stay ahead of the times.

Declining Sales and Revenue

A closer analysis of the yearly statistics provides insights into the decline in sales and revenue of my Etsy shop. Let's examine the numbers:

In my first year, from November 2018 to November 2019, I achieved remarkable results. With almost 70,000 shop visits, 1,500 orders, and $26,000 in revenue, it was a promising start. Direct and other traffic sources brought in the majority of visits, showcasing the power of my personal brand and social media following.

In the subsequent years, there was a gradual decline in both visits and orders, especially in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, even during the challenging times, my shop managed to generate revenue, albeit at a reduced rate. The combination of external factors, such as the pandemic's impact and my lack of focus on the shop's growth, led to a significant decline in sales and revenue.

Balancing Priorities: YouTube, Brand Collaborations, and Etsy

Throughout this journey, one important aspect to highlight is the balance of priorities. While my Etsy shop was experiencing fluctuations, my YouTube channel and brand collaborations were thriving. The income generated from these sources surpassed what I was making from the Etsy shop. As a result, my attention shifted towards these more lucrative opportunities, further contributing to the decline of my shop. Ultimately, time is a finite resource, and I had to prioritize where to invest my efforts.

Not Planning for a Full-Time Business Venture

It's essential to recognize that my Etsy shop was never intended to be a full-time business venture. Unlike many entrepreneurs who aspire to scale their businesses and make it their sole source of income, I always maintained a separate full-time job. Consequently, my focus and commitment to the Etsy shop waned as other opportunities arose. While there could have been potential for significant growth if I had dedicated more time and resources, it was not my priority or long-term vision.

Lessons Learned and Future Plans

Reflecting on the rise and fall of my Etsy shop, several lessons have become apparent. I want to share these lessons and insights with others who may be considering or currently running their own businesses. Firstly, it's crucial to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer needs. Stagnation can lead to irrelevance and ultimately, a decline in sales. Secondly, it is important to balance priorities and understand where to invest time and resources for optimal results. Lastly, recognizing the long-term vision for the business is essential in determining the level of commitment and the appropriate strategies to pursue.

As for my future plans, I have decided to gracefully bow out of the Etsy shop business. Given the current circumstances and the time and effort required to revive the shop, it no longer makes financial sense for me to continue. I am grateful for the experiences and successes I had during the initial years, but I am also content with shifting my focus towards other endeavors.


In conclusion, the rise and fall of my Etsy shop provide valuable insights into the journey of an online small business owner. While the initial success was exhilarating, the challenges and external factors eventually took their toll. Despite not achieving the long-term success and growth I initially envisioned, the lessons learned and experiences gained are invaluable. My journey serves as a reminder that entrepreneurship requires adaptability, resilience, and a clear understanding of priorities. As I move forward, I will continue to seek new opportunities and share my experiences to inspire and educate others in their own entrepreneurial pursuits.


  • The rise and fall of my Etsy shop, from its successful launch to its eventual decline
  • Factors that contributed to the initial success, including an influx of online entrepreneurs and leveraging my social media following
  • Challenges faced, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing fees and shipping costs on Etsy
  • Declining sales and revenue over the years, with a closer analysis of the yearly statistics
  • Balancing priorities between YouTube, brand collaborations, and the Etsy shop
  • The decision to not pursue a full-time business venture and lessons learned from the experience
  • Future plans and the conclusion of my Etsy shop journey

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