I love having a creative outlet and my Etsy shop fulfills that for me. I want to share some of the Etsy tools I use to help with selling, having a small business and the creative process (including my favorite tool of all – Paper and Spark’s accounting spreadsheets!!!). Please know some of these are affiliate links to support my blog, however, I am very selective about what I promote and would Never recommend anything that I do not personally use!
Etsy might be an obvious recommendation for me as I clearly have an Etsy shop. But there are some sellers that do not give the best reviews of Etsy. It started when Etsy started allowing third party retailers to list on their site. There is a lot more competition now. However, I still feel Etsy has a huge market and I still use them because I get a lot more eyes on my products than using my site alone.
Need help with accounting?! I can’t say enough about Janet’s Paper and Spark spreadsheets!! They have literally saved me HOURS of work. Especially at tax time! You can use software like Quicken, however, I found that was a bit too much for my Etsy shop needs. Janet has created several spreadsheets to help with your business and you can buy them in a bundle or individual sheets. If you sign up for her Accounting Accountability club she gives so much support for all of your tax questions. LOVE LOVE LOVE. She has a fantastic blog as well.
Most of what I make for my Etsy shop is handmade however there are a few products that I outsource with Printed Mint. They are fantastic – prompt and make excellent quality products! Also have great customer service and their site is easy to work with. Check out their “why Printed Mint” page and you will see what I’m talking about.
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool that you use right in your browser. It allows you to make professional-looking images and graphics and offers tons and tons of free and $1-only resources. You can start with common templates for your social media profiles, common post types, print documents. This is a fantastic tool for quickly making awesome social media pictures. You can upgrade to a business account if you’d like to add your own fonts.
It may seem strange to recommend an eyeglass company among all of these essentially business resources but there is a reason for it I promise. When I started my blog I was not an eyeglass wearer and suddenly realized I was getting headaches and things weren’t looking as clear as they used to. I went to the eye doc and sure enough I needed reading glasses but my eyes weren’t the same prescription so I couldn’t buy over the counter readers. I researched a lot of online eyeglass companies and finally went with Warby Parker. LOVE THEM. I am going to do a full review of them soon, however, just know that they are a fantastic company with a great product and great price. Not the cheapest but no where near the most expensive. You get to pick 5 frames online and they mail them to you to try on in your home! Free of charge! (including the return!!) If you decide to buy you simply go to warbyparker.com, pick your frames, upload your prescription and in a week you have new glasses. Easy peasy.
Evernote has been a great tool for me to keep organized when it comes to documents, sites I visit regularly, to do lists…. and the list goes and on. If you aren’t familiar with it I’d say give it test run because it’s FREE. There are several tutorials out there that can help you understand the organization of notebooks within Evernote and how to utilize them in a way that will actually help you get organized. Here’s one that I found very useful. It doesn’t give step by step instructions but it helped inspire to take on Evernote and see what it’s all about.
CREATIVE BUSINESS RESOURCES
The following is a list of sites that offer free fonts and design tools. Most of them require you to sign up and create an account. They send weekly (sometimes daily) emails with limited-time free offers. SO worth signing up as fonts can really add up!
Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted, “mousemade” design content from independent creatives around the world. They have a huge selection of fonts, graphics, templates, themes, etc. And many of them are free. If you sign up for their mailing list you have access to weekly freebies and discounted products. This is a resource every designer needs to utilize!