MOO and Etsy are two very complementary platforms. Marine de Submicrocosm shows very explicitly how she used these tools when she launched her online store and started to customize her packaging.
Could you describe your business for us in a couple sentences?
Since February 2012, we’ve offered a range of decorative items ranging from stationery to posters. All of these products are handmade in France.
How did you first decide to dedicate yourself to this project?
I’d been working as designer and photographer in Paris for a few years when I decided to go back to Normandy to work full-time on this project. I’ve had this dream since I was at university but it was hard to set up a one person company back then.
How long did it take to get where you are today?
The first thing I needed was confidence. Then, in 2011, I discovered Etsy and considered the possibility of opening a shop online. Etsy specialises in handmade items so it was a perfect opportunity for me. I opened my online shop in February 2012.
Had you already worked on other similar projects before this one?
I wanted to set up a webzine with a friend of mine in order to sell designers’ items but in the end all I wanted to do was create things of my own.
What was the key-moment in the creation of your project?
It came from my friends and family really. I was looking for ideas for products I could sell at a housewarming party I was having. All of my friends and family members fell in love with my posters, that’s how it started. Then, I extended my collection to include stationery and crockery.
What tools did you use when you first started out?
There was Etsy, of course. It’s so easy to browse products and to make your shop look alive. The tutorials are extremely helpful, as well as the events being organised by Etsy. They allow you to meet other young entrepreneurs and to exchange useful tips.
What mistakes have you made?
At the beginning, it was difficult to work on different projects simultaneously. I was – and in fact I still am - working as a designer as well as working on my own shop. I’ve also had other jobs that had nothing to do with my main activities (like working in a library for example). At that time, I couldn’t live on just the income from my shop.
I also made the mistake of waiting before going global. I quickly realised that people in America liked my products as well.
What is your best publicity stunt?
I was on national television in 2012 and I also won a prize from Etsy around the same time.
If you could do things differently, what would you change?
I didn’t take the time to establish myself on social networks and I am still working on that now. I’d also like to finalise a whole collection before starting to sell it instead of selling my products as soon as I create them.
What have you learned from your experience?
You shouldn’t hesitate before asking other entrepreneurs for help. You’ll always have the chance to repay someone later.
Also, you should stay in touch with your clients so as you can get feedback and really understand what they want.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to open a few shops around the world as well as organise some events around design in my region. At the moment, I’m looking at extending my range of products. I’d like to offer household textiles as well as extended my range of ceramics. I am also considering printing my own posters.
What do you use MOO products for? How did you hear about us?
What did you like most about the experience offered by MOO and Etsy?
I like the fact that they are both so easy to use. It’s nice to be able to customise your own products. I thank the MOO team for their responsiveness, the quality of the products and delivery time. Whenever I work on visual identities, I recommend MOO to my clients.
To find out more about creating your own Etsy shop, check out their resources' Manual.