How To Start An Etsy Shop While Working At Full Time Job

I think for almost all Etsy Sellers, you should expect your Etsy Shop to be a part-time, on-the-side gig. I don't see a ton of Shops on Etsy that are likely full time, unless you are living on a very modest income. 

Melinda and I work from home. We have 2 kids, age 3 months and 2 years, and we also live in California. So we can't live on Etsy income alone. My full time job is web designing for my own clients. My portfolio is www.jpwdesignstudio.com - and that is where most of my income comes from. Melinda also sells other kinds of artwork like woven wall hangings, but with 2 kids at home, we can't be working all the time. So we have to go with what pays the bills. 

Melinda Wood Designs and building other Etsy Shops is a part time thing for us. We spend usually 1 hour per day, and maybe 2 hours maximum.  I think that doing the Etsy Shop part time has been helpful to not stress out too much over building the Etsy Shop, and allowing it to grow slowly over time. I would love for it to be my Full Time job, but right now it doesn't bring in enough income to pay all of our bills. So having the expectation that it is only a Part Time gig has been helpful to not expect it to be wildly successful, but only account for a portion of our income.

So for anyone with a full time job, I do think it is good to only allocate about 1-2 hours per day of working on your Etsy Shop, and set your expectations to be realistic that your Etsy Shop will not grow exponentially, but will instead grow slowly over time. That way, each day you can make a few realistic goals and push yourself just a little further each month in trying to grow more and more sales. 

I have heard of some Etsy Sellers treating their Etsy Shop has a full time project. They only have 200 Sales, and they work on it 8 hours a day. I really, really encourage no one to do this. When you are first starting an Etsy Shop, there is no way to make a full-time living on it. You need to have some sort of income coming from somewhere else that is stable. And then, over time, build your Etsy Shop a little bit each day, in hopes that maybe one day you can transition to do your Etsy Shop more and more. 

But we've been doing Melinda Wood Designs, and 2 other Etsy Shops for 3 years now. And it accounts for 30 to 40 percent of our income. So for us, there is no way we can just jump right into Full Time work on Etsy, without putting a huge financial strain on our family. So, Etsy is still a part time thing for us. We only allocate 1-2 hours per day, and one day - if it makes enough money - I'd love to switch over and just do Etsy selling. But we're not there yet. And my guess is that you are not there yet either. So I highly recommend that you set the expectation that Etsy should be a long term, slow paced thing for you that you will grow a little bit each month, more and more, and continue to learn from it. 

Justin Wood

JPW Design Studio, California

Minimalist Website Designer