Whose Idea Was this, Anyway? The Birth of a Business

Some businesses are begun very purposefully, by a person (or people) with a master plan. effie is not one of those businesses.

Flashback, Spring 2008: I was 7 years into my full-time office job. For fun, I’d been making jewelry and selling it locally for a few months – mostly to friends or co-workers. But when I was invited to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday at a swanky downtown restaurant, I needed a suitably swanky purse to accompany me to the party. I created a sweet little silver number, and it was tucked under my arm that night when it caught the eye of another friend and she came over to have a closer look. As we chatted she asked the question that ultimately started me along the path I'm on today: ‘Have you heard about Etsy?’. It sounded crazy at the time - people like me were selling things they'd made – on the internet! – to people all over the world?!

the silver clutch!

I was definitely intrigued, but let the idea percolate for a bit. Then a few days later, I read a blog post that linked to an Etsy shop, and when I followed that link, I was like Alice down the rabbit hole…
I started making my Etsy shop that day, initially listing several pairs of the earrings I’d been selling locally. It took most of the night to get it set up (I'm a night owl, what can I say?), and at about 5am I'd finished and was just about to shut things down and go to bed, exhausted, when I noticed I’d received a new email. Barely 15 minutes after ushering my shop into the world, I had my first sale!  I couldn’t believe it - a pair of my earrings were headed to a new home on the other side of the continent!

#tbt: embarrassingly awful listing photo of the first effie earrings sold online. Sadly, this pic
and many more like it are permanently on full display in my sold items pages on Etsy...

That modest $10 sale was the start of something, though. Ya gotta start somewhere, right?!

Fast forward to 2014: Over 6 years later, I’ve shipped effie items all over the world since then (current count: 28 countries, 50 US States, 9 Canadian Provinces).

There's never really been a master plan, but things have naturally evolved as I went along.  Sewing has taken the place of the jewelry-making I started with. This is now what I do full-time (24/7!), not just as a part-time hobby. And while I still love Etsy for being a wonderful place to get my start in business, I’m pretty excited to see what lies in store for this next chapter in my new shop!