Any Guelmann | Episode 392
Any Grulmann is a potter who moved from Brazil to Brooklyn to Seattle. For Any architecture was first, photography next, metal and clay forever. Any aims to produce work that’s devoid of purpose. If Any’s art can be used as a tool for social and political change, she says that she will have failed.
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Is it better to have the basic store or the pro store on Etsy?
There is no pro store. You can have a website, an external website that is connected to Etsy through the eCommerce website. We talked so much about the pros and cons of having your own website. That would be a way to have your own website but still rely on the eCommerce tools of Etsy. That is my personal opinion. I find it a little pricey if you are just starting out. If I was just starting out I would focus on keywords, good photography, good descriptions on Etsy first before you invest in trying to get people to your own website.
What do you think of people using other platforms(Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to direct people to their Etsy store?
I think whatever does it. Honestly you can use your Instagram to direct people to your Facebook and people can shop there. You can use Instagram to get people to buy directly from you and they can send you money through Paypal. I think the more the better honestly. It is a very saturated market. It is going to be difficult to be super successful only through Etsy search results. If you can get a social media following and sort of funnel that interest to your Etsy shop you are going to be that much more successful.
What is the most important thing to do for the shop? Is it photography or is it the key word?
I think that it is photography because it is good photography will help you in multiple platforms. Right after photography I would say key words. When I say key words all that means is SEO: Search Engine Optimization. You need key words because that is how people find you on Etsy. You need key words because that is how people find you on Google. You need good tags because that is how people find you on Instagram. So figuring out how to describe what you are selling and what you are making is important for any platform.
How should you make your descriptions? Should you be poetic in your describing or should you be straight forward?
It is so funny that you ask that because I have had this conversation on Etsy so many times. I think it is a combination of both. I think the description is a great place to kind of convey your brand. So if you are little bit quirky you can make your description sound a little bit funny. If you are super stylish and you have a sleek brand you can use wording in your description that would match that. However, you can be as poetic as you want and that is a brand thing but you still need to tell people how big the freaking mug is.
Is Etsy supposed to be a bargain place or should we price it however we want to price it?
Ah, how much time do we have? This is a huge question. My personal opinion is that Etsy should not be a bargain website. Etsy’s buy audience is not the same as Amazon’s for example. If you want something inexpensive and quick you go to Amazon. If you want something that is handmade and maybe personalized and you know it is going to cost more and take more time then you go to Etsy. But there is a limit for how much a person is going to pay for a bowl or a mug.
We have looked at lot at the seller. But what does it take to be a good customer?
On Etsy a good customer is not looking for absolute perfection. They are looking for something unique that looks handmade. That doesn’t mean the customer is willing to overlook the quality. That is a mistake that maybe some sellers make sometimes. Handmade doesn’t mean your buyer is going to overlook all sorts of flaws. But I think a good handmade buyer understands uniqueness and is willing to work with the seller.
What is one thing that you appreciate about life now that you didn’t before you had brain surgery?
I think I appreciate time and I don’t know if this a function of having survived the brain tumor or this is a function of having survived New York City. But I have time now that I didn’t have before. Time to make plans. This might be because you get way too involved the way your life is at the moment and everything is an excuse and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to make plans and all of that. I decided I was going to leave the tech industry and stop working at Etsy and become a potter and now I have time to think about that. And I love that.