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Entrepreneurs found big money in these Etsy shops

Posted by Neha De

August 19, 2020

You are imaginative and love to create things. And if you are into jewelry, arts and crafts, handmade beauty products, knick-knacks and other quirky items that cannot be found anywhere else, Etsy might be the right place to sell your wares. No matter how niche your creations are, there will always be customers out there looking for your products — and most of them are browsing the Etsy marketplace.

Started by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik in a Brooklyn apartment, Etsy started as a virtual storefront for arts and crafts in 2005. The platform has evolved into an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, in addition to unique factory-manufactured products. The consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform generated more than $ 428.7 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2020, proving how robust the vertical is, even amid a pandemic.

Here are eight reasons to sell on Etsy:

  • It’s a well-recognized and trusted platform. According to Statista, as of 2019, Etsy was home to 2.5 million sellers.
  • You’ll encounter low investment costs. The platform charges 20 cents for each item you list, and if the item sells, you pay Etsy a small fee.
  • Etsy is centralized and genre-focused. If you wish to sell anything handmade, custom-made, vintage and the like, Etsy is your best bet.
  • It’s easy to set up shop on Etsy as compared to other platforms. All you need is an account, as well as some items to list.
  • Etsy has a well-built back-end system. From its search feature and inventory management to logistics and beyond, the website makes it easy to sell, with clear instructions. The site is also updated regularly and focuses on making it easy for both its buyers and sellers.
  • With Etsy, you don’t have to worry about building a website, marketing it, generating traffic or ensuring that customers find your products online.
  • Apart from the in-house Etsy support, the website comes with a close-knit community of sellers and creators who support each other online. These supporters advertise items from fellow Etsy sellers and also help out with common questions.
  • You get to participate in various events that are hosted by Etsy throughout the year.

Check the top-selling items on Etsy

According to Ecommerce Bytes, Etsy ranked as the number one place to sell online and the second in terms of profitability in 2019. Here are the ten top-selling items/categories on Etsy:

1. Crafts & supplies:

This is the top-selling category on Etsy with maximum sales, and includes miniatures, craft essentials, tools for jewelry, beads and much more. The best-selling items under this category include stickers; antique charms; hooks, claws and beads needed for arts and crafts; jewelry and knitting.

2. Handmade goods:

Etsy is a haven for all things handmade and customized. The top items in this category are handmade stickers, pendants, metal jewelry and paper designs.

3. Jewelry:

This is another much-loved section on Etsy, and the majority of the jewelry options available on the marketplace are self-designed and customized.

4. Wedding items:

Dresses, wedding invitations and decorations for the big day can all be found on Etsy. The top-selling items in this category include bridesmaid gowns, handmade invitations, bachelorette shirts and jewelry items.

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5. Accessories:

Sellers across the world are making money selling such accessories as bows, bands and pins for kids; as well as cufflinks, crowns and crochet items.

6. Paper and party supplies:

Etsy has a huge range of paper and party supplies such as calligraphic planners and papercrafts, stamps, scrapbooks and party cards.

7. Clothing:

Typographic clothing items sell well on Etsy, and include custom-styled clothes for men, women and kids of all ages.

8. Vintage items

Vintage items are found on just a select few marketplaces, and Etsy is one of them. Articles sold on Etsy range from collectibles and jewelry to home and living items.

9. Home and living:

This category on Etsy goes beyond the usual furniture and boxes. The top items on the platform include home and living collections such as prayer beards, wall decor, dining and serving items, along with decor products and outdoor gardening needs.

10. Art and collectibles:

Etsy offers a unique set of art collections, including paintings, digital prints, drawings and illustrations.

Here are the top Etsy stores

Check out this list of the ten top-selling stores on Etsy, along with the number of each shop’s sales transactions and admirers.

1. PlannerKate1:

Started in 2014 by Kate Antesberger in Oak Harbor, Ohio, PlannerKate1 is the current top seller on Etsy. Antesberger sells colorful and cute supplies for printed daily planners on Etsy. Her shop has 1,222,298 sale transactions and 53,140 admirers.

2. Beadboat1:

Founded in 2014 in Dallas, Texas, Beadboat1 is a jewelry supply shop with nearly 7,000 products, including crystals, gemstone beads, gold-filled items, charms and finished jewelry. It has 747,010 sale transactions and 32,692 admirers.

3. ModParty:

This store primarily deals with bridesmaid gifts and wedding favors, and also has a range of items for birthday parties and baby showers. It has 706,875 transactions and 93,395 admirers.

4. yakutum:

This best-selling Etsy shop from Istanbul, Turkey, has been selling jewelry supplies since 2008. It’s home to over 16,000 brass and gold-plated items. The shop has 684,249 sale transactions and 30,184 admirers.

5. nicoledebruin:

This UK-based Etsy shop sells small charms, worn on a necklace or a bracelet, along with custom-engraved tags. It has 623,466 sales and 48,112 admirers.

6. CaitlynMinimalist:

Store owner Kate Kim offers personalized and customized minimalist jewelry, and she specializes in name pieces (handwritten and meaningful quote jewelry from loved ones). Her shop has 622,740 sale transactions and 157,109 admirers.

7. PeggySueAlso:

One of the more unique shops on Etsy, PeggySueAlso is a leather textile shop from Tacoma, Wash. It offers an array of graphic designs on leather, suede and cork leather (the bark of the cork oak tree). The shop has 575,236 sale transactions and 22,722 admirers.

8. clbeads:

This store from Yiwu, China, has been selling beads and similar items since 2008. It has 560,653 sale transactions and 35,676 admirers.

9. jewelersparadise:

One of the most popular US-based stores, this site launched in 2011 specializing in electroplated pendants, bezels, rosary chains, pave and other items needed to make one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. The store has 550,799 sale transactions and 71,812 admirers.

10. yummytreasures:

Known for its wide range of beads, this Etsy store from Pittsfield, Mass., has been up and running since 2008. The shop has 481,503 sale transactions and 32,724 admirers.

Etsy success stories

Some people think of Etsy shops as merely being a hobby, but some of the sellers on the site are making big money. Here are the stories of three people who built a business on Etsy. These are amazing examples of what you can build on the popular e-commerce marketplace.


Alicia Shaffer is often known as Etsy’s most successful seller. In 2015, her shop — which started making and selling bohemian-inspired headbands and accessories — earned almost $1 million on the platform.

Shaffer launched her store, ThreeBirdNest, on Etsy in December 2011 — she named the store after her bird’s nest tattoo, which honors her three kids. She credits much of her success to how she presented her products, using models, professional lighting and photographers for all items, which made them stand out among other listings. However, her success can also be attributed to outstanding customer service and a sense of how e-commerce works on Etsy.

While Shaffer now sells her products exclusively on her own website, having left Etsy in 2015 to better focus on her customers through her own boutique website and wholesale channels, she still uses the same techniques she used on Etsy to ensure that each item stands out. Each product is showcased as part of an outfit, complete with accessories. Shaffer’s models are shot in a variety of locations (indoor and outdoor) — instead of using a basic white background — that show her apparel, accessories and jewelry in the real world.


Illinois-based furniture company Urban Wood Goods was founded by former art teacher Erin True, who started selling on Etsy in 2010. She listed a single bench that was built using reclaimed wood after she read an article on the subject. True now runs a business that employs 19 full-time workers, and has seen 20 to 30 percent growth year over year. While she started with Etsy as her main avenue for selling, True’s products are now listed on her own website, as well as such sites as Houzz and Wayfair.

Originally, True bought her first pieces of reclaimed wood, transformed them into a bench and set it up in her house. She found guests often complimenting her creation, which led her to open up an online store on Etsy. Within two days, the bench sold for $250.

UrbanWoodGoods was profitable right from the start. Her shop saw revenue of $35,000 in the first year, which jumped to $635,000 the next year. Though all the sales didn’t come from Etsy, most of them happened as a result of being on the site.


Hope Milner and her husband started Bohemian Findings in 2011 as a way to liquidate a small amount of charms from a previous jewelry venture, and planned to then retire to Canada’s Prince Edward Island. While looking for a place to sell the products online, Hope found Etsy. The inventory sold quickly and the customers came back for more, and she had to hire people to help fulfill customer orders.

With more than one million sales, BohemianFindings created a niche for itself by selling bulk supplies, including chains, beads, charms and clasps, at a low cost.

The store was fulfilling up to 500 orders a day before it moved its operations off of Etsy and setup an online retail space in 2019.

Hope has been an entrepreneur all her life, and believes that the key to success is to do what you love and what makes you happy, instead of simply chasing after money, which, she believes, will eventually follow. The Milners take every order seriously and try to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.

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Neha De
Neha De

Neha De is a writer and editor with more than 13 years of experience. She has worked on a variety of genres and platforms, including books, magazine articles, blog posts and website copy. She is passionate about producing clear and concise content that is engaging and informative. In her spare time, Neha enjoys dancing, running and spending time with her family.

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