Zombie Apocalypse Survival Gift Guide Treasury on Etsy

It could happen, and you can find all the things you need right here on Etsy! Handmade and vintage zombie apocalypse survival kit! Awesome!

So you've got your twine or rope which has tons of uses. Either tying up zombies who you were related to in life and don't have the heart to kill, or possibly to tie up members of an opposing survival group. Maybe even to tie up a member of your own survival group who is getting out of hand. Tons of uses.

Brains? Well, this is something most other survival guides don't tell you about. But pick up some extra brains and you have a great diversion if you ever find yourself cornered by a zombie mob.

Gloves. Yes, I know these are fingerless and that may not be the best choice. But they look way trendier than ones that cover your fingers. Gloves are for warmth and when dissecting zombies. You need to keep their blood off of you so don't just dig into their bowels without gloves on!

You need to find an old farm house and if possible, one with an old truck that works to set up your survival base. Most zombies stay in the cities what with all the great shopping and culture and stuff. So you should be safe here.

A gun and ammo goes without saying. But also make sure to have backup like a baseball bat for when the bullets run out. And they will run out.

Water pitcher. This is for water obviously. You need a container to go back and forth from your hideout to the water source. Why not make it a lovely handmade pitcher? Useful and lovely!

Rocking chair. This may seem like an odd item on the list, but you will be keeping watch on the front porch a lot and it seems like a rocking chair is the best way to do so.

Lighter, flashlight, radio. I think these are pretty self explanatory. If you can't figure out why you'd need these, you're probably already a zombie.

Fashion. This may not seem obvious, but I have a couple of very helpful items here. One, something to cover your neck. It could be your last line of defense when a hungry zombie is about to rip out your throat. Upcycled skirt. What about all those times you may need to pretend to be a zombie? A cool upcycled skirt will fit right in with the typical tattered zombie wardrobe.

And last. Beer. This may not be a part of everyone else's zombie apocalypse survival kit, but it is part of mine. If I have to go, I hope my last stand is at a brewery or at the very least with a buzz on. The pain will be less, and maybe I'l be drunk enough to think the whole thing is just a video game.

Don't Quit Your Day Job- an exclusive interview with NeatThings

Find the Etsy forum thread here

Happy Friday all! Welcome to another addition of Don't Quit Your Day Job! Like Festivus, these articles are for the rest of us! Those of us in the trenches who want to hear from fellow forumistas about their experiences.

I traveled far for this next interview with the woman herself, NeatThings. I'd always wanted to go to Colorado and was happy to have the excuse of my fake pseudo-journalist responsibilities. She wasn't hard to find as her home has a giant billboard of her head shot on the roof. We sat down on luxurious designer furniture and after sampling one of her daily pharmaceutical cocktails, we got down to business.


Q: How did you originally get into the business of making things?

It's interesting, because more often I break things. I suppose being born with opposable thumbs contributed a lot. Then there was my design-challenged mother who cut my bangs too short, dressed me in cheap hand-me-downs, and fed us canned vegetables. (Which I don't really understand, because she was smokin' hot in the 60s.) Add to that dad's inappropriate sense of humor and love of pontificating and the natural outcome was a design-conscious humor company.

Q: What made you decide to sell your wares?

A desire to expand my wine and shoe collections. I started out on Etsy selling jewelry. I did okay, but once I launched something similar to my "Obnoxious Little Parking Notes" late in 2008, the shop exploded. Really? People were buying my screwed up sense of humor? Within 2 months, I had developed an entire line of greeting cards and given away all the jewelry to friends and family. 

Q: Tell us about your working situation:

I drove by a university and they threw in a BBA in Marketing and half of an MBA in the window. I spent 15 years working for other people until I realized I was the only person I could stand to work for. I started a consulting business in 2006, which I abandoned last year to work on this business full time. I'm also a humor writer. Not that this has anything to do with anything -- I just thought you'd like to know.

Q: When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams of quitting your day job?

No. I had dreams of doing something with my time other than harassing people and drinking too much wine. 

Q: Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?


Q: What are the most effective ways you've marketed your business?

I find that generally being annoying helps. I don't Twitter seriously. I don't blog really. I don't do anything that bores me. The best marketing is having an unusual product that people want to buy. 

Q: Walk us through your typical workday.

Wake up with the sun. Eat something. Drink gen mai cha green tea. Sit at computer. Brainstorm. Walk dogs. Sit at computer. Eat something. Sit at computer. Plan things. Walk husband. Eat something. Sit in front of television or book. Lift some weights. Do some yoga. Get naked. Sleep. 

Q: How does having a family affect your Etsy business?

Not at all. I keep everyone locked in a closet during the day and only let them out at dinnertime. Seriously, I don't have kids. They scare the hell out of me. Nobody like me should ever be responsible for malleable lives. 

Q: What do you enjoy most about having a day job?

Making smart people laugh full time.

Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Get those Christian Louboutins. 

Q: What advice would you give someone else?

1. Be yourself. If you don't know who that is, go live in a cave until you figure it out.
2. Explore all potential outcomes before making decisions. Assess risk/reward.
3. Buy me those Christian Louboutins.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share?

No. I don't like to share. I think I was absent the day they taught that in kindergarten.


Thank you NeatThings!

Business Tip of the Week- Being negative ain't so bad ya'll

It's been a rough time in Etsyville™ lately. We're all feeling a bit winded I think. And for those of you fighting the good fight on issues you care deeply about, or for those who wonder why they bother- this one's for you.

Being negative ain't all that bad ya'll. Do people call protestors 'negative nancys' or those who speak up against corruption 'whiners'? Nope. Well they may, but they don't get much press. Maybe in some weird fringe newsletters but not in the big publications.

But I digress.

Being critical is the basis for all scientific thought. Having worked in research for many years I can tell you that I never once heard a co-worker say, 'I love the lab.' In fact, most of us hated the lab. It was big, cold, the acoustics were awful and it regularly smelled like burnt agar and rat guts. So why did we go there everyday? We loved our work. We loved that we were discovering new things which one day, maybe just one day would save some bastard we didn't even know. Yes, even you. But we were still "negative" and constantly complained about our facility, were critical about our data, and showed up every day and night trying to make things better.

You had the guy who clipped his toenails in the lunchroom sink. You had the other guy who would bleach his glassware and get it all over the counter, which you'd always lean up against when you coincidentally weren't wearing your lab coat. Then there was that visiting scientist who would tell you how cluttered the lab was and how her home lab back in East Bumblefuck was so much better. And my favorite, the safety techs who wouldn't get that you had to put radioactive tape on your pens just so people would stop stealing them. They didn't see the humor or the necessity of your actions.

Etsy is like that too. To many of us, this place is just a lab. It's a place where we get to do our work. But we don't love it. It has things like bleach everywhere (treasuries on your profile). It has the guy who leaves the toenails in the sink (resellers) and it has the people who always say it's better somewhere else (AF promos). We even have the safety techs who don't get humor or necessity (the ones who report my threads so they get moved to Etc). We stay though because we love our work and this is a place to get it in front of people. Just like we stayed at the lab with its radiation, rat guts and arrogant researchers- it was where the funding and space was to do our work. 

And we liked the people we worked with. Why? Because they helped us improve. They helped us ask the the guy who clipped his toenails in the sink to kindly refrain rather than puking all over him in a show of defiance. The Etsy community is like that. I have had many kind souls talk me down from puking all over admin's desks to relieve frustration. You know who you are and I thank you. 

Bottom line is give the negative, critical people a break. And if you are one, don't beat yourself up. One can't exist without the other. If everyone were positive all the time you'd end up in a giant pool of positive goo. I imagine it to be like that stuff the bodies were submerged in during 'The Matrix'. And if everyone were negative well, it would be a universe full of Simon Cowells. And he's a multi millionaire who dates a string of gorgeous women, and has his every whim catered to. Who wants a life like that?

So good luck to all of you who are positive. In some ways I envy you because I'm sure you have a lot less stress. You see the cup as half full whereas I see that someone's just slipped the date rape drug into your drink. We all must exist together though and maybe one day one of us negative nancys will save your life. Or at least give you some advice and a supportive ear when your shop gets unexpectedly shut down. It's just business though, right?

Thread on Etsy forum

Business Tip of the Week- Sourcing ethical materials

Materials. From the french word, 'merde'. The Latin 'mater'. The piglatin 'aterialsmay'.

They are what we use to make our crap. We grow our beads and mold our yarn to create the most lovely little things that hopefully others will find cool enough to pay us for. Like a poet uses words or a prostitute uses a condom, we use clay and fabric.

So it is only natural to want to insure our materials are of the greatest quality and sourced as humanely as possible. After all people who buy handmade want ethically created items otherwise they could just go buy stuff at Target.

Then again no material is sourced without an impact. Even if you grow your own soap, it is still sucking up valuable molecules from the environment. You think yarn comes out of a box? No! A seed is planted and baby yarns are harvested to get the finest and softest skeins. We are killing baby yarns to make the hats that the buyers want.

Remember, matter can neither be created nor destroyed. So you really aren't destroying anything regardless of what you use. Unless you are god, the molecules you rearrange in the creation of your own items will continue to be rearranged long after your demise.

So go ahead and kill the baby yarns, slay the soap seedlings, fish for the gold... cause one day it will go back into the earth and be fertilizer to grow the vegetables you'll have on your table. And without vegetables there's not enough fiber in your diet which can cause you to get really backed up. So thank the person who rapes the beads, harvests baby skeins, and strip mines the soap. Without them you'd be full of shit.

Then again some humans in fact emit methane which is a cause of global warming. So the bottom line is, you are the problem. Kill yourself and save the planet. It may not help your business, but stop being so selfish you twit.

Etsy forum thread

I want to heckle Wayne Rooney like Stephen Hawkins :)

In the 'Did you ever wonder' file...

Who invented the term 'shit load'?  And what is it exactly?

I found myself wondering about this today.  I said, 'I have a shit load of work to do.'

And really, why does a shit load mean a lot?  Was it named after someone's particularly large shits?  Like is it descended from viking times when some large warrior named Thorgrim had a particularly humongous excrement and his clan said, 'What a huge load! Oh my goodness Thorgrim leaves extremely large loads of shit in the latrine! Don't go to the bog after him!'

And over the years, as it happens, rather than referring to it as 'Thorgrim's large load of shit' when describing something massive, it was shortened to 'shit load.'

Because obviously most people's shits aren't anything to really worry about I would've thought.  If your boss said, 'you've got a shit load of work before you go on vacation' and then dumped a regular sized turd in your file, you'd think, 'oh, that's not so bad. At least it's not an elephant bollocks load.  That would've been troubling.'

Awesome art on Etsy!

In the 'What's crossed my mind today' file...

So I've been thinking.

I am starting to become convinced that some men only have children to prove they have had sex with someone else.  Probably a woman if I'm being honest.

But seriously folks, do you ever walk down the street and see a woman with a child and say, 'God in heaven who slept with her?  She's got a face like a bag of mashed up twats!'

If you do say that, you're probably a woman as men don't think like that.  You know the old joke- 'What's the fat bit around the vagina called? A woman.'  We're sort of mobile vaginas to them.

Mobile vaginas.   Good band name.

I've just discovered something very dangerous

The photobooth application on my iMac allows you to record video with special effects.

Here is what I felt absolutely compelled to do.  *Warning*, while I am able to sing, this video doesn't exhibit that in any way whatsoever.  Keep the volume down near the end so no cats start mating in your backyard.

My third vblog.

If you woke up in the middle of the night and heard a baby's laughter, would it scare you?

Anywho, without further delay- my third vblog.

My totally useless business tip of the week dudes

'Networking. It's always brought up in subjects on how to improve your business. You've got Chambers of Commerce, guilds, teams, knitting circles, Alcoholics Anonymous- all ways to get to know people, have a chat and branch out with your business. It's great to find nice folks who will know you, support your product and business, and maybe even become a friend.

But here's the tip that others don't often talk about- Anti-networking. Anti-networking? What's that? Well, I'm glad you asked, and I'm glad I'm here to tell you. Anti-networking is all about having negative connections. Think of it like the Jersey Shore. Can anyone believe those folks are really like that? Well, having lived in New Jersey for some time I can say yes, yes they are. But are they really networking and growing their brand while generating all this disgust? Yes! You too can generate that disgust.

Sometimes people being angry with you or swearing vengeance upon you is the best thing that can happen for your business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should go around with a spray tan and teased hair to improve your business. I'm just saying that you need to embrace the good with the bad. The yin and the yang. The dunkin and the donut (the krispy and the kreme for all my fellow tar heels). Sure, it's great when people are your buddies. It's so warm and fuzzy to have people know the true you and like you for who you are, and help spread the love about your business.

But some people are made into legends by those who dislike them and try to thwart their every move. The Jersey Shore folks are a unique example. But think Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. Batman and the Joker (or the Penguin, or that stupid thing that Uma Thurman played). Sometimes a nemesis is exactly what your business needs. And if nothing else, maybe one of their other personalities will be your friend and buy something from your shop. 

Plus, the more time you spend working hard, the more time they have to spend rifling through your garbage which apparently is what makes them happy. In that way you are being generous and kind by cultivating a nemesis. You might even be able to get community service hours for it.

So don't fret if someone is talking trash about you on twitter, writing how their cat could kill you on their blog, or even leaving pumpkins with daggers in them on your doorstep- it's all good for your business in the end. 

When you find your entire shop bought out and 'suck it' written in all the feedbacks, just think, 'hey, thanks my personal Darth Vader.' Cause really, what would Luke Skywalker been without Darth? Just another kid getting groomed by a short, green weirdo.'

Etsy forum thread to discuss

I don't like peeing my pants

But this video forced me too.

Youtube song

My small business Etsy tip of the week!

Original thread on the Etsy forum

After so many of you beat down my door (about 2 or 3 to be fair) to offer a regular installment to help you improve your business and overall wealth, I'm going to start posting my tip of the week. It may not be anything revolutionary or earth shattering, but that's only because I want to fit in with the rest of the forum advice.

So without further delay- my tip of the week:

'Be yourself. Yes, you. Those little voices in your head aren't always right, but they'll quiet down a little of you do as they say. How does this relate to your business? Well, if you want to sell customized jars for folks to store their urine in- just go with it. You may not have instant success, but all you have to do is find your target market. I suggest group meetings at local mental institutions. 

In all seriousness though, inject your personality into your shop. Yes, yes, you've heard this from me before. But I'm saying it again cause you probably weren't paying attention that time. You probably got all distracted by the new and improved broken site change that Etsy had just rolled out.

You must be yourself so buyers will know you are the artist. They aren't buying mass produced items which they can get at their local Target. They are buying a piece of you. And by all means price yourself accordingly. Charge a fair hourly rate for yourself. All the other professionals who sell themselves do. It's smart to heed their long standing business strategy.

And if you don't want to be unique and would rather just play up to Etsy trends, by all means do that too. That's still you inserting your personality. It's just that your personality wants money and lots of it. I'm down with that.'

Three questions remain unanswered...

Scientists say that only three questions remain unanswered in all of human history. After years of research all possible explanations for everything have been discovered save three small items- 'Why are we here?', 'How were we created?', and 'What exactly constitutes a Business Topic on the Etsy forum?'

Dr. Emily Cockworthy of Cambridge in an interview yesterday said, 'We really worked our backsides off, and I think we've done a good job. 3 questions out of infinity is a gosh darn good record.'

The public though does not seem satisfied. At a rally outside the headquarters of the 'You could not make this shit up' Society, organizers were voicing disappointment with the work completed by the greatest minds of the world. 'We really can't believe it. After all this time, you'd think it would be clear who created the universe and what exactly makes a Business Topic on the Etsy forum. How can we look our children in the eyes and say "I don't know" when asked these questions?', cried Mike Hunt, spokesperson for the group called Flag Until Creation is Known (FUCK for short).

Funding may be the issue. Apparently even $20 million is not enough to continue the study of these three questions. 'We simply don't have the money and we're doing the best we can,' stated Dr. Veronica Dribblethwaite, member of the group of 'They' (who came out with the groundbreaking study 'they say...') She then quickly drove off in a wire wrapped Mercedes. 

At the time this went to print she couldn't be reached for any follow up questions, and was last spotted in Tahiti with the CEO of Ebay.


Report just in!

Sources say that being on the FP does indeed help with sales. Though details are sketchy at this point, it appears that being on the FP daily leads to increased views and often sales.

"We can't state at this point at what level it helps, but we're certain that it is better than not being featured," says John Dingleheimer of the Front page Association of Research Technicians (FARTs for short). 

Sally Sizzlestick, a marketing director from Omaha said, "Sure, there is no guarantee of sales. But 9 out of 10 say that when they expose themselves, people take notice. And the FP is a lot of exposure."

Specialists urge the community to not make hasty decisions to get on the Front Page. "The FP is cutthroat. And we've got enough trouble on our hands with all the yarn bombing and sneak attacks going on in the community," Sheriff Mad McMadder stated at a press conference late Friday. "And let's not forget about the massive amount of sellers who fell off the face of the Earth this past spring. We still have missing persons reports out."

Updates from law enforcement are expected early next week, but until then members of the community are advised to stay indoors and cover windows with granny square afghans. If you must venture outside, please do so in designated Etsy teams and make sure you wear bright orange cowls so you can be seen at night.


My renewing strategy

There has been some debate as of late as to whether renewing is good or bad, whether it helps or hurts, whether it's commie or capitalist.

I'm not going to get into the middle of all that messy debate. I figured as a member of the Etsy community who cares deeply about other people and their feelings, I want to share with you my strategy. While I have not been as successful as others who may have better advice, they are too busy to help you. I have done better than a lot of others who would probably give crappy advice. So take it from me with a middle of the pack shop, or else you'll get it from someone worse than I am.

So let's look at renewing in a whole new light. Let's not think about it as trampling others to get to the top- a low grade form of throwing money at a problem to fix it. 

No, let's look at it in a more rational, sensible way. Renewing is simply cutting the line. But it's not a bad thing in this instance because you pay for it. And if it yields results you have more money to pay to keep yourself at the head of the line. And that's the American way.

Before you poo poo this analogy, please be patient and think this through. America is based on the free market system. Yes, as each decade passes the market is less and less free, but we can't argue that America was founded on principles of property ownership and unmitigated, obscene profits.

The crystal clear example of this is Walt Disney World. Obscene profits. And line cutting all day long. And guess what- it's the happiest fucking place on Earth! Everyone is willing to hand over $8.00 for a hot dog (which in case you didn't know is just intestine stuffed with lips and assholes) and why- for the privilege of taking part in the epitome of the American way. 

Paying a lot for sometimes little reward, waiting in line, and perhaps even faking a disability to get to the front- it's just like Etsy. Except the only disability one can have on here to help them out is that they are unable to actually make things themselves and are forced to make a living selling someone else's. Sure, it's against the rules, but do we want to forbid the downtrodden? The disabled? That is more communist than any ideas presented elsewhere.

In conclusion, my strategy is simple- I cut the line when I can and when necessary. Do I cut the line for the Snow White ride? No, cause it kinda sucks and I'm in no rush to get on it. Do I force my way to the front on Soarin' or Test Track? You bet your arse I do. Firstly, they are awesome rides, and b, it's the American way. 

My strategy on Etsy is the same. If I'm fighting a category where the items and photos are you know meh, well why would I need to renew constantly? I'm easily better than they are and folks will walk down the line to find me. But dudes, if you are in a category that is awesome and competitive, like the Toy Story ride, well I'm sorry- you've got to fight for your right to be seen. And if you don't fight, well then you're Switzerland and you'll probably end up full of war criminals.


My second vblog

I could've just written this but it's more fun to use the camera on my iMac.  

Want to test a prototype of my potential new product line?

My first video blog post

Or as I think it may be known, a Vblog, which totally sounds like a KGB agent name.

Knot- the beginning... of the end?

I plan to tell you a bit about me and how I came to be a professional hooker.  Yes most folks bestow pity upon those who must sell themselves for money.  And I would like you to feel sorry for me.  I have a disease called ‘some managers don't like me’ syndrome.  I’m not sure where I caught it or who gave it to me.  If I could find the fucker I’d give them a really dirty look.  My life would be so much easier were I able to submit to the demands of others regardless of how unreasonable.  Alas, I cannot.  ***Note- to all the people I have worked for and with who I adore, this isn't about you*** :)
I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in the 70‘s and sometimes I think that’s exactly when my problems began.  For those unfamiliar with the city it is basically a suburb of NYC (not really, but it would’ve been if the engineers of I-95 had designed a straight line instead of a Formula One track connecting the two cities).  
New Haven is also home to an institution almost as legendary as myself known as Yale University.  I used to work there. But that’s a tale too boring to talk about.  Point being I have been surrounded by greatness for most of my life (minus the stint in Port Charlotte, Florida where I was surrounded by death and golf).  So it only stands to reason that I should end up depressed when I realized that greatness doesn’t actually follow me everywhere.  
In fact, there is some seriously un-great shit out there which I step in regularly. And as someone who radiates ‘legend’ to all those who I meet, the un-great shit really can’t stand me.  Now, I’m not saying some of the people I've known have been un-great.  No, they’ve also been un-cool, un-smart, un-creative (wait, is that a real word? Hmm...), un-generous and un-able (there’s another one) to believe that I might have some great ideas.  They were probably thinking, ‘This gal is far too great.  She may be competition for me in the greatness stakes. I know I have no chance as I am so un-great and un-smart and un-pretty, but I REALLY have no chance if this legend from New Haven is around.  So I must immediately demoralize her.’
And boy did their scheme work.  As you may imagine I am no shrinking violet.  I fought and scraped and took many of the evil bastards down with me.  I often wonder if they’re homeless and hungry now. And while I wish that filled me with some regret it actually makes me twirl my fake evil mustache (I bought it off Etsy).
Where am I going with all this?  Oh yes, how I became a professional hooker.  Picture it, North Carolina 2009. I quit my hard work, low pay director position at a branch of an internationally known non-profit.  I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was doing, but I knew I had some time to figure it out. And if all else failed, I knew I could crochet blankets for my family with which to keep warm should we have to start sleeping in our car.
I decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into making my own money. Answering to no one but me (and my mother).  I looked forward to being able to drop my daughter off at school, and be creative in my pajamas.  A star was born.

I made it to one year. My story.

The name’s Knot, Miss Work if you’re nasty.

Once upon a time... All the best stories start off with ‘Once Upon a Time’. Unfortunately this is not a story. It’s the truth of my experience in the cutthroat, snarky, demoralizing handmade market. It does however have some of the same characters as all the classic fairy tales- the good guy (me), the evil empire (that’s probably everyone except you), the castle (Etsy Towers), and the evil witch (my stepmother- she doesn’t really feature in this tale, but she is evil and she is something that rhymes with witch).

Now when I say having sex for money would’ve been a better business plan, I suppose my only evidence is that prostitution has a built in five year plan. Year 1: Sleep with people for money Year 2: Sleep with more people for money. Year 3: Sleep with people for money, and maybe some animals if that will fetch a higher price. Year 4: You guessed it, sleep with people for money. Year 5: Become a madame.

I entered the fray of self employed business owner with no plan. I figured I’d make some shit and someone out there would want to give me their money for it. It was sort of like the Underpants Gnomes’ three point plan in an episode of South Park. It went something like this:

Collect underpants

Yeah, my strategic plan was about as well thought out as that. I would make shit. Then something else would happen. Then I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams and write letters to all my former employers telling them to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Awesome! 

At this point I had to pick a name. KnotWork. Clever right? I thought so until I discovered most every fucker with a crochet shop had knot in the name. You bastards. But this name did mean something to me. I actually enjoy crochet so it’s not work to me. It’s stress relief, a creative release, as close as I’ll ever get to creating something in a universe where molecules are only continuously recycled. So not work is my KnotWork. Stop laughing. I’m being serious for a moment. Whatever.

Venue? Check. Name? Check. Business plan? Still no. Any fucking clue? Nope. Not a single one. But in this day in age any idiot can have a baby, drive a car, and set up shop on Etsy. I’m not saying that you have to be an idiot to have a shop on Etsy. I’m just saying that idiots flock there as often as they flock to DMV job fairs. There are plenty of Etsy shop owners who probably leave their blinker on for miles, and let their kids lick glass in public places. 

So I joined the ranks of these idiots. Little did I know I was one of them. I wish someone had told me so I was better prepared. I would’ve made myself a cozy for the bowl I needed to collect all the idiot drool I started to spill. I almost think that Etsy should have a class you have to take before you can list things. It wouldn’t have to be long or that many questions. 

I’d suggest:
1) Can you read? 
2) Are you sure? 
3) Really think about question #2 again. We’ll wait. 
4) Read all the rules. 
5) Read them again. We’ll wait. 
6) Should you break any rules you will be given one get out of jail free card and if you break any rules again you will be banned from Etsy for life. You will be given a scarlet E across your avatar in perpetuity. Good luck!

As you can probably guess I didn’t read a fucking thing. My first shop had my actual full name as the title as I put my typical username in while signing up. I also didn’t realize I had to pay my Etsy bill at the end of each month. I thought each time I listed something the $.20 was deducted out of my banking account.

See folks, even if you aren’t an idiot Etsy makes you one. You are so filled with vigor at the thought of being a shopkeeper you do stupid stuff. You take photos in the dark and expect people to see your items. You don’t list anything in the description except ‘black scarf’ and wonder why no one has bought it. YOU BECOME A FUCKING IDIOT! 

Admit it. You were an idiot yourself once. We all were. It’s sort of like those awkward adolescent years. We all had them. Some of us blossomed into the cute cheerleader. Others blossomed into captain of the soccer team. Sure, some still haven’t blossomed and those are the people I’ve called ‘boss’ far too many times to think about. But most of us come out on the other side. And the rest sell on Ebay.

Wait, I can’t just show pics of myself sitting on the toilet wearing one of my hats and expect to sell it?

My first listings were textbook cases of how not to sell things. In fact if failing on Etsy was something anyone wanted to know how to do, I was the expert. I took photos at night with just the flash to light my items. I modeled necklaces even when a rash I had was visible on my neck. My items were priced like a high end boutique even though the photos looked straight out of a low end heroin den. For those who don’t know what a low end heroin den looks like think crack house + whorehouse + extreme makeover home edition just after demolition. Yeah, that was basically my backdrop. Heroin chic was probably my inspiration subconsciously. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

How did I improve, and more importantly how did I even know I needed to improve (besides not selling much of anything)? The Etsy forums of course. If you ever want to find a concentrated font of information on things like ‘how to take better photos’ or ‘lists of free advertising’- or perhaps even more important topics like ‘if bacon were in a cage match with a vagina, which would win’, visit the Etsy forums immediately.

If you want to actually get some work done and not read through a load of absolute bullshit, probably best to stay away. Besides, you can find all your answers here in this load of bullshit.

Opinions are like assholes, Etsy’s got both.

The Etsy forums have tons of good information. I daresay even if you aren’t a shop owner there you’d still find a bunch of helpful tips for running any business. Needless to say there is at least as much if not far, far more scary nonsense happening at any given time. Some days I wonder how many people are posting threads from laptops while sitting in their rubber room. It can be that bizarre.

People rant, people rave. They foam at the mouth (metaphorically I hope). They post questions which are already answered in every single thread already on the first page of any given sub-forum. It’s sort of like a little kids soccer game. You know, where they run around like a bunch of bees around their hive rather than actually strategically playing the game? The Etsy forums are just like that.

Imagine the soccer ball is something that will get you a sale. It could be a piece of information- an answer to your question, a piece of advice, a place to advertise, some bit of superstition like ‘buy something off Etsy and someone will buy something from you! Etsy karma!’ Everyone thinks if they get the ball they’ll score a goal (make a sale). Yet you never quite get close enough to the ball and just when you think you have, you are on the wrong end of the field anyway so you can never score. Plus, you find out later on that you’re actually playing baseball and since you’ve thought you were playing soccer all afternoon you’re completely fucked. 

I don’t want to bore you (probably too late). I hope this helps you a bit if you’re a newbie. And if you’re an oldie or even in between the two, I hope you will convo this to any of those who are thinking of signing on to Etsy. Hopefully it’ll eliminate some confusion. 

‘How Many Etsians Does It Take to Screw In a Light Bulb?’ The answer is infinity. The question will never be answered. Oh, that doesn’t mean someone can’t answer it. I’ll give it a go here: Three. One to argue that the bulb isn’t handmade. One to criticize the first for being superior about what is and isn’t handmade. And the last to flag the bulb so admin can change it.

But in reality the question will never be answered, because even though I’ve just answered it, someone has just posted it again on the Etsy forum (metaphorically I hope [again]).

I could go on, but I'll spare you.