My Etsy Store – A Money Pooping Cow

So I talked about my Etsy store, and I wanted to let you know what’s been happening with that in the last year.

I had tried selling various things, hand-dyed fabric, tutus, but none of it sold. Looked like the shop was going to waste away.

I kept thinking about the idea of revenue streams, and “work once and get paid multiple times.” I looked around at all the stuff I like doing. I knew I didn’t want to deal with having to ship things…that’s too much like work.

And it finally came to me.

Several years ago, I’d bought HobbyWare’s Pattern Maker, a program which allows you to design your own cross-stitch patterns. And being me, never wading in cautiously when I can jump in up to my eyebrows, I went whole hog and bought the professional edition. I’d used it to create a graduation pattern for my brother. I tried to create some pattern of Georgia O’Keefe’s flower paintings. I’d updated it until the company stopped supporting it. Somehow, through all the various hard-drive failures and new computers, I’m managed to keep it around.

I started making little patterns, mostly Firefly quotes at first, but I branched out to anything that tickled my geeky, nerdy, sci-fic sense of humor. I figured out how to make those patterns into PDFs that are easily uploaded, and set them out in the Etsy shop.

Turns out, a lot of people have the same geeky, nerdy, sci-fic sense of humor.

I love it. I spend several hours coming up with and creating a pattern. List it. And if other people find it interesting and amusing, it sells. Over and over again. And as long as it sells a few copies, I’ll keep relisting it.

I remember hearing Jonathan Coulton describe his music career. He didn’t go through traditional recording studios. He released his music on the internet, directly to consumers. He described it as turning the internet into his own personal “money pooping cow.” That’s how I think of my Etsy Store.