Starting an Etsy Shop During a Pandemic

Towards the start of 2020 I was working on applying for my first summer internship of college as a sophomore, then COVID hit and threw a bit of a wrench in my plans. Internships were much harder to come by, and even if you got one there was a decent chance it would be canceled. I was trying to think of what the best use of my time would be amidst all the unknowns, and luckily for me my mom decided to buy a Cricut

I had recently gotten into creating digital portraits from my own pictures, and I made several of me with my friends and mailed them to all of my friends who I hadn’t been able to see for a while because we were all isolating. The digital portraits became a bit of a trend around that time, and I wanted to see if I could turn that into something for myself. I decided to start an Etsy shop, and that led me to the next challenge: deciding on a name. This ended up being a much harder than I was anticipating because it had to be a name that nobody else on Etsy was using. I was trying to think of a name to encompass the fact that what I was going to sell was a digital drawing of something that already existed on its own, and eventually the name Digital Redesign stuck. I made myself an Instagram, business card, a very brief brand guide, and my shop was born. 

The digital portraits didn’t really end up taking off that much, which is where the Cricut comes back in. I ended up being the main one in my family who messed around with the Cricut. I wanted to make myself some stickers to put on my computer and water bottles. After figuring out how to make stickers and what supplies I would need, I thought they could make a fun addition to my shop. I made stickers based on popular shows, and my shop really took off from there. The stickers are still the main seller in my shop to this day, and Digital Redesign has done well enough that it has been my job ever since.

I recently decided to add polaroid posters to my shop based on films or shows that customers can request, and those have also been doing well. It’s been cool seeing how my shop has grown and evolved over the past couple of years, and I’ve loved the process of creating my own little shop online. I’m always open to suggestions of new things to add or try on my shop, so definitely check it out and let me know if you don’t see something on the shop that you would like! 

While this was definitely not the job I was anticipating having, I think I have gained so much from this experience and learned valuable things about running a small business, creating a brand first hand, and the trial and error that comes with launching new products. Looking back on it, I’m so thankful that this is the path I ended up on and I hope to be able to maintain the shop as a personal project for years to come.

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