This week was spent mostly getting inspired by other websites, names, and products. week one is over and I have already decided what product I should sell, answering my first question. T-shirts will be my main product. When talking to friends and family about products, everyone seems to agree that t-shirts are the best option. They can be sold to a uni-sex audience and somewhat easily mass produced. A shirt added to someone's closet never hurt. Friends, male and female, said that they would definitely buy one. I think tote bags are also a good choice as an accessory. Tote bags promote bringing your own shopping bags to grocery stores, which adds to the environmentally friendly philosophy I hope my brand will promote. This has also generally answered "What product is most appealing to my audience?" I hope to conduct a survey about this perhaps next week.
I have debated whether I should make my own website with my own URL or use Etsy. Making my own website could potentially look more professional. However, it will take a tremendous amount of work that I may not have time for. Also, I am most definitely not HTML-savvy. I would have to do a tremendous amount of research for the making of the website, as well as deal with legal work. If I decided to continue this a majority of my time would be spent making a website, not doing what I want, designing and selling products. Successful independent Etsy shop owners have been able to make six-figure incomes. Using Etsy will be much easier for me as well, as I have used it before. I already have my own shop on there, that I can keep if I want to.
This week I finally got to read an article in the NYTimes about Yokoo from December, my favorite knitter. About a year and a half ago, when I was spending most of my summer selling accessories on Etsy, I came across her Flickr and Etsy shop. Her photos and site were inspiring. She has a great graphic-design eye when it comes to her logos, labels, blog, and photography. I also briefly got to speak with her when I was interested in buying one of her knit bows. She gave me a deal and was a pleasure to talk to. I'm hoping to get an interview with her, however, after reading this article I realized how busy she must be. She knits up to thirteen hours a day. Yokoo quit her day job to pursue her Etsy shop. She makes high-end knits and has just this past winter, sold her own designs at Urban Outfitters. In my eyes, she is living the dream. Also this article confirms the fact that I do not need to make my own website to be successful. This helps answer my question "Does a website host for handmade sellers (like Etsy) work better than creating my own site?"
This week I hope to make a business plan and start reading more of Six Week Start-up and Craft Inc.. I got it from Barns and Noble on Saturday after searching through every "start your own business" guide. I hope it'll be some help!