Turning Your Creative Hobby Into a Business:: Shabby Creek Cottage

I’m back today with another installment in turning your creative hobby into a business. If you missed some of the previous posts from the series, you can catch up here. Are you looking to open an Etsy shop to sell your handmade creations or do you already have an Etsy shop but are ready to take your shop to the next level? This post is for you then.

Today I have the fabulous Gina Luker from the Shabby Creek Cottage sharing her journey of quitting her day job and turning her Etsy shop into a full-time business.

Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Business- Shabby Creek Cottage

Her shop was hugely successful and she’s now an expert in all things Etsy. She even just recently released her own book called How to Start Your Own Home-Based Etsy Business {affiliate link} which you shop owners should definitely check out. Gina was sweet enough to answer a few questions for me that I hope will leave you feeling challenged and inspired.

1. Prior to managing your Shabby Creek Etsy shop, what were you doing? Before I had my shop/blog I was a full-time writer/editor at a local newspaper. I loved that job, but this career path has given me so much more freedom.

2. What led you to start selling on Etsy in the first place? My readers! I’d had my blog for several months, sharing projects, and readers kept asking me to open a shop so they could buy my stuff. I’d have never taken that route without them.

Gold Hello Pillow


3. At what point did you decide to take your Esty shop more seriously and pursue it as a full-time business? After about six months of selling on Etsy, I was working more at home than I was at my full-time job, so it was sort of a breaking point of choosing one or the other, because I knew I couldn’t keep up both. When I devoted it all of my attention, it just exploded with opportunities.

4. How long did you do it as more of a hobby before it became a business? Within a year of starting my blog {and eventually my shop}, I quit my day job. It was tough, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to do what I love and have plenty of family time, too.

5. What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to turn their hobby or crafting into a creative business? Spend as much time on the business end of your business as you do on the creative side. That’s where most people have problems-if you want it to be a business you have to treat it like one. Starving artists are called that for a reason, you HAVE to have some business knowledge to make it work for the long term.

Oh Deer Easy Artwork


6. Toughest part of running your own business/shop? Paperwork. Ugh. I hate keeping up with all of it, but once again, you gotta take care of the business end.

7. What’s the hardest lesson you learned along the way? Not to overcommit myself. It’s hard when you see “opportunities” coming in and you think that you’ll miss out on something. Think things through, not every opportunity is a good one.

8. Do you ever run out of creative juice? Yes! All. The. Time. I try to step back and focus on something else for a while, and then it magically comes back to life. You’ve gotta live outside of your work or it will eat away at your soul.

Book Page Wreath


9. How do you continue to stay inspired and motivated? It’s hard, really hard! But, I love the interaction with my customers/readers. Knowing that I’ve helped someone in some small way really does make my heart happy.

10. What’s one thing you do to push yourself creatively? I ask myself all the time, “Can I do this with something else?” I try really hard to think outside of the box and push myself so that I don’t become stagnant with the status quo. I thrive best during periods of growth- whether that’s learning a new skill, trying new products or even pushing myself to do something harder than I ever thought possible. I fail a lot, but you can’t have growth without failure.

All images courtesy of The Shabby Creek Cottage.

I appreciate Gina so much for taking the time to share her journey with us. For all the ins and outs of selling on Etsy, be sure to check out her book How to Start Your Own Home-Based Etsy Business {affiliate link}. You can stay up to date on the latest from The Shabby Creek Cottage and all her fabulous creations {including the ones highlighted above} via her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

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  1. says

    I love Shabby Creek Cottage and so happy to have found your blog! I live about 20 mins from downtown Greenville, actually in Anderson County! It’s always fun finding another local girl! Excited to look around your blog! Have a great week ~Sonya

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