Monday, March 9, 2015

Three Years on Etsy

Use coupon code 3YEARS to get 30% off anything and
everything in the Watercolor Devo shop!
Having an online shop where I sell prints of my artwork has been a fun ride. Three is a good number, so here are three surprises, goals, and standards for Watercolor Devo.

3 fun surprises along the way:

1. My top seller. I created this for a family that was going through a massive transition. It was of the only pieces that I painted and repainted, dissatisfied with the first draft. I think that most of its popularity has nothing to do with the art, but rather the meaningful verse that applies to so many tough times in life. 

2. I've gotten to be a part of some very meaningful commissions. The Easter piece, her last words, several adoption books that introduced a child to their family overseas. What a lovely thing to put on a resume! Those tidbits are tucked in my heart like no bank account balance is.

3. How a new product line energizes all of the shop offerings. The introduction of mugs really added dimension to the shop. It was not the first non-paper item I've sold in my shop; I've sold cushions, placemats, and lanterns. But none were so practical and cost-effective. It also didn't hurt that they rolled out before Christmas!

Inversely, I've also been surprised at the items I was really excited about that kinda flopped. Marketing and shopping psychology still baffles me. But I keep creating. There is much that I've not listed online that gets a lot of likes in social media. That's just the beginning of several ways I'd love to improved my online shop game in the future. 

3 goals for the next three years:

1. Better defined product line launches, not just one-off pieces. I'd love to better define a rhythm and strategy as I unravel new items.

2. With that comes discontinuing items. It's hard to delete a listing that has a few likes on it... what if they come back for it and it's gone? But the reality is that stale is a bad flavor in our mouths, one that doesn't need to exist in my shop.

3. Email list. I reach out via social media, and though making an announcement on the proverbial playground can be effective, there's a lot of noise to compete with. I'd do better to keep everyone in the loop via a message that they can refer to when the timing is convenient for them. 

3 things that will never change:

1. Quality. I'm my own worst critic, especially when it comes to quality. I can't tell you how often I've heard, "you could sell it like that! No one will notice," or "you're being too picky." I have a box full of beautiful greeting cards with quite a popular design that could likely sell without a hitch, but the image wraps around a quarter of an inch to the back and I can't bring myself to do it. I've trashed some prints my mom has fished out and regifted! (I didn't think the color was a good match with how it's represented online.)

2. More art. I can't help myself. There will be art!

3. Art with faith... and other things. I'm not a fan of the secular/Christian divide. So I paint verses and I paint flowers. The sacred, the trendy, the mundane--God is in it all. Truth is in it all. That's why my tagline is "art devoted to Truth."

*Sigh* It looks like I have my work cut out for me! Thank you for these three years of discovery and sharing! Let me know if you think I'm needing a fourth for any of my lists here. I can scribble it down for the next year.

Keep painting,