I spoke to Paula, owner of Paula McNulty Designs to get her thoughts about selling online , and on Etsy specifically!
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Tell us a little about your shop and who you are.
My shop is Paula McNulty Designs, and I create artistic bead embroidery jewelry incorporating polymer clay cabochons, and polymer clay hair accessories & gifts.
My work is mostly aesthetically inspired with fantasy, fairycore, celestial, gothic, and cottagecore being my focused themes.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I started my first Etsy shop, Hugsbeads, in 2018 as a side hustle alongside a part-time job teaching preschool and being a mom to 4 boys.
During the pandemic of 2020, my preschool position was paused, and I knew it was now or never to really make a go of my business full-time.
I opened a new Etsy shop “Paula McNulty Designs” with a more focused market in mind, and started my own website paulamcnulty.com.
What’s the hardest part about selling online?
For me, it was initially learning how to run a business without thinking it’s no longer a hobby.
Becoming serious about putting the legalities of running a business ahead of the fun production side of things took a lot of research.
I sought a lot of advice from people who had done it before me.
Everything seemed new and had a time-consuming learning curve, but looking back, it was the best thing to do to get all my ducks in a row.
The bad news is you never stop learning. Things are always changing!
What’s your daily routine like?
I am mostly a made-to-order shop.
I won’t lie, my hours are long! Mostly 12-hour days, but I keep a tight schedule and I know what needs to get done for orders to be shipped on time.
In between work, I am chauffeuring teen twins to and from school and afterschool activities and I cook dinner each night & work out.
I also do in-person shows 3-4 times a year which also takes a lot of preparation and planning throughout the year.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start selling online?
Do your research first.
Really learn about the target market you want to reach.
Start social media before you launch to get your name out there into the world and build excitement about what you have to offer.
Do your homework on the legal and technical aspects of starting a business.
And one last piece of advice, running your own business is an emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows and everything in between.
Find a good support system as working for yourself can be very isolating. Surround yourself with good people and join online community groups.
Connect with Paula online at:
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