Building stock

I just thought you might like a quick preview of one design of bag that I’m making for sale. I’m planning to open an etsy shop in the autumn, so I’m spending some of my time now building up stock… Anne tells me that the recommended number of items is 100!  I’m unlikely to reach that heady height, but I see she currently has 44 items in her lovely etsy shop so she’s nearly halfway there.

Anyway, I thought some especially eye-catching items would be good, so I came up with this idea:

I think it’s likely to grab attention. I love the bling string bags, but they don’t draw the eye so much in a photograph. What do you think?

Leave a comment


  1. I think they’re great. I like solid bags myself, but they look fantabulous. Good luck with your Etsy shop!

  2. I love the bag, Jan – it’s practical, but lovely and colourful enough to cheer on a grey and wintry day, too 🙂

  3. Duffle

     /  July 6, 2014

    I love the bags too, I’m seriously in love with the blue one 🙂 looking forward to seeing what else you are going to make for your shop 🙂

  4. Rainbow bright Jan. I’m sure it holds plenty of appeal.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  5. They look great – good luck with the shop.

  6. Eye catching is the right word! You wouldn’t lose that one in the bottom of your handbag… But I think I might prefer something a bit plainer myself. Maybe only two colours….

  7. Very nice 🙂 Best of luck with your shop 🙂

  8. Lubbly jubbly. I am not disciplined enough to amass 2 items let alone 100 so I doubt you will see narf the first’s Etsy store any day soon 😉

    • I’ve got about 20 I think… I’m trying not to count… and I keep giving things away as presents… I’m not a good business woman!

      • I think that you would sell a whole LOT of your work on Etsy so maybe you could spend a few weekends in a row going nuts with the hooky and knock out some quality gear to waft enticingly. Could be fun and could be a good income supplement 🙂

  9. It is true that the more items you have, the more exposure you get but I find it very hard to keep the stock up to 100 in my handmade shop. It’s much easier in my vintage shop but, even then, the buying, photography and listing take so much time. If you have similar items in your shop you could do a sort of ‘generic’ description which you could slightly adapt for different colours, sizes, etc. and this will save you time.
    The most important thing (apart from getting found in searches) is to make sure your photographs are good and that you try to get a certain ‘look’ so that your shop has an overall brand or theme.
    I hope you didn’t mind the unsolicited advice. Although I’ve had my shops for years now, it is an ongoing learning process and I still don’t get it all right all of the time.
    Good luck with starting your shop and don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow start because it generally takes a while for people to find you.

    • Thank you – advice is very welcome… your shops look lovely – I like the sort of ‘linen’ background theme. I’ll have a rummage through my fabrics and try to find some that will be suitable for photographs.
      My mother makes étui boxes… I’ve never encountered anyone else who does before!

  10. How exciting! And a great idea to create items which pop with colour.
    Crochet Eye-Candy!

    • I have to confess that my own string bag has neither bling nor colour – it’s just plain dishcloth cotton and a mother of pearl button. However, like you say, I think the shop needs things that are eye-catching.

      • I am not sure how I would I would style it. You are creating a brand and image which people will come to know you for. I too love the sound of the bag you have for your self. Maybe you need little labels within the brand to enable you to sell both styles and so not to lose out on either market.

  11. Hi, Jan!

    (Cris here)
    I really like that bag, and I especially like that it fits in that little pocket (if I got it right)! Please note that I know nothing about knitting or sewing… All I did was some cross stitch way back… Last one I made was for the birth of my child and he’s turning 10 this month!
    Back to the bag (I’m so easily distracted!): I think it’s perfect for someone with a bold personality and who likes attention. I’m not like that, so I’d much rather have the blue one from the other post (love that one!).
    Summing up, and offering some unsolicited advice myself…
    What I mean is you have to decide who is your ideal customer (and this is really hard to do for us, at ArtisIgnis) and stock your shop accordingly. I find it hard to work on a piece that is contrary to my own nature, so our shop tends to be a reflection of what me and Pedro like, and this eventually became our brand. There’s a certain look and feel to our pieces that is getting recognized as being ArtisIgnis, and this is great because it is us.
    I think the number of items in a shop is a bit overrated… When we started out we had 6 items and we sold 1. It was the cork coasters, poorly photographed by me, Pedro is much better at photography! When we reached 20 items we couldn’t keep up with the sales and we were unable to increase the stock for over a year. Our actual stock of 40 items, give or take) is fairly recent.
    I say, just open up the shop and start getting a feel for it, get used to photographing to get a cohesive look on your shop, writing descriptions, play wit the tags, titles, sections, etc and see what works best… If you ever need to change everything it’s easier with 10 items than with 100!
    My other advice is read up on branding and marketing for Etsy shops. there’s a number of free ebooks I found online that i could send you, if you’d like.
    Oh! And experiment with packaging! The perfect packaging was a great challenge for us and I’m pretty sure it’s not perfect yet! You’ll get to make it really pretty, but you should also consider how much of your resources are spent on it (time and money). I’ve read in a bunch of different places that receiving a package from an Etsy shop should be like opening up a gift on Christmas morning!

    Oh my! I better shut up now! Sorry about the very long comment, I never know when to shut up when I get to speak of something that I’m passionate about!

    Hugs and the best of luck to you! If we can help in any way, just let us know.

    Cris (& Pedro)
    The ArtisIgnis Team

    • Thanks so much, Cris… receiving a package from ArtisIgnis really does feel like getting a Christmas present, so you have succeeded there.
      Links to the resources you mention would be most welcome – thank you so much for your thoughts.

  12. Yaaayyy!!!

    I’m on my lunch break at work, but I’ll see what i can find when I get home.
    Off the top of my head I can recommend you the following:
    – The Etsy blog (I searched for “branding”, here’s the link:
    – Etsy’s own Seller Handbook (
    – Handmadeology ( is a great resource for everything related to selling handmade
    – Marketing on social media (

    I have a pdf ebook, written by 16 Etsy shop owners, that helped us a lot when we first opened the ArtisIgnis shop, but I can’t find the source! It’s called “Revamping your Etsy shop” and it takes you step by step on every aspect of the shop. Googling it provided the following link:

    I think I have given you a lot of food for thought. I’ll see what else I have at home.

    Cris (& Pedro)
    The ArtisIgnis Team


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