These days, it’s not uncommon to have a scramble online. I actually own an Etsy shop myself, but I didn’t open it as a side hustle.
In 2020, when we were all bored during quarantine, learning how to make bread and iced coffee, I fell back into a niche hobby: making ribbon headbands. Overnight (literally), I decided to remember how to do something I learned when I was 10. It wasn’t easy, but eventually I got it.
I made at least one every day for a few days and finally decided to start an Etsy shop. Within 10 days of relearning how to make headbands, I had set up my store. Not something I would recommend, as I did very little research on how to sell successfully there, but was too eager to get started.
But, while I opened my store and hoped to get some sales – even though I had very poor marketing efforts – there was something bigger looming in the background: I was on about to start college amid the pandemic.
So while I was shopping for three-eighths-inch grosgrain ribbon and plastic headbands, I was also looking for manuals and deciding whether or not to move into my dorm. In the end, I stayed home for my first semester in college, which was a tough decision.
I never imagined that my first day of college would be at my mom’s desk in our living room, or that I would “show up” to class 20 minutes late because I couldn’t figure out the Zoom connection. , but that was just the start of it. My first semester was tough and I kept wondering if it was the right decision. In the middle of a crushing semester, I was still trying to get sales, but I was so busy and defeated that I was very close to closing it.
Until I received an order. Out of nowhere, a guest guest purchased one of my humble little headbands. I’ve never heard of them: no reviews, no questions about their package. Nothing. Sometimes I like to think it was an angel that pushed me to keep going. And I’m so glad I did.
In my first semester, my sales record was abysmal, but my store gave me purpose. Making headbands, taking pictures and posting on social media in my limited free time filled me with joy. The reality is that I went four months without a single sale, but while I was going through some really dark times, I could sit at my parents’ dining table and just weave, weave, weave.
At the start of my sophomore year, I finally moved to the central Florida area, but it was also a difficult change. I don’t want to make it seem like every semester has been a struggle, but the adjustment has been tough for me. However, I was finally making sales. I was happy to have had this little joy in my life, my humble headband (and bracelet) shop was thriving! Every order I packed made me happy and I could forget the changes in my life for a second.
Finally, once again, life got a little happier once I made some changes, but my store is always a priority for me. Even if I have to play the role of business owner, social media manager, content creator, photographer and copywriter, I wouldn’t change that part of my life. My Etsy shop always gives me joy, even in the quieter months.
From making zodiac bracelets to making silly Halloween headbands, my store has seen me through some of the toughest times in college. It can be weird to be this attached to an online store, but it’s so much more than that to me. Even though it took up more space in the back, I’m still very dedicated to creating beautiful products for all girls!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. A business won’t run on its own during the holiday season!