I am very excited to announce that I have opened an Etsy shop. My shop name is the same as my blog: Dear Mrs Reese. I have put this off for a while, but finally decided to take the plunge. I started a few months ago making dresses for the shop and last month finished up the last one. I only have four to start with.
My business plan is to start small and proceed slowly. I just don’t have time to manage a large inventory right now, but if things go well, I might build up to that.
I chose to start with the Round Neck Top pattern from That Darn Kat mainly because she graciously allows others to sell items made from her patterns (also because these dresses are very quick and easy to make). At this point, I am not interested in drafting my own patterns and finding pattern makers that allow you to sell items made from their patterns is very difficult. (If you know of any please share!).
My next step is to start selling items made from Oliver + S
patterns. They do allow you to sell items made from their patterns for a fee of $6 per item, so I will have to price these items a little higher.
While we are talking pricing, I have a few thoughts. If you go to my shop, you will notice that I have priced things a little on the low side ($8-$12). I struggled with this decision for a while because I understand the argument that having extremely low-priced items makes selling similar higher-end items difficult and I don’t want to make things harder for other sellers. However, I priced my items low for two reasons:
1. I figure that since I am starting with no recognition and no money or desire for advertising, having low-priced items is a good way to get the shop up and running.
2. One of my reasons for starting this shop is that I would like to make hand-made clothing more affordable for everyone. I have come to believe the mantra that “handmade is better”, not just because of what you get when you buy handmade (a higher-quality, longer-lasting product), but also because each time you choose to buy handmade, you are choosing to not buy clothes made by underpaid workers. (There is a great editorial on this topic in the Autumn 2010 Ottobre) However, no matter how socially responsible you are, if your budget is tight and you have to choose between a handmade dress that costs $58 or a made in China dress from Target that cost $10, you are probably going to pick the $10 Target dress.
As my shop grows, I hope to keep this in mind. I hope to eventually offer a range of items. Some higher-priced items using more expensive fabrics for those who want a cute, one-of-a-kind outfit for a special little one. And some lower-priced items using less expensive fabrics, for those who want to shop responsibly, but cannot afford “boutique” prices.