A California mother-of-three sells an incredible $65,000-worth of handmade headbands, socks and scarves a month on Etsy — a peer-to-peer e-commerce website.
In three short years, Alicia Shaffer, through her store Three Bird Nest, has become one of the most successful sellers on the online marketplace, which is focused on handmade and vintage items, and now sells 3,000 items per day.
Shaffer’s astonishingly successful business grew out of a simple need — she needed a couple of headbands.
1. In just three years mother-of-three Alicia Shaffer (pictured with her husband and children) has become one of the most successful sellers on Etsy. Her store Three Bird Nest is the second best-selling handmade product shop on the site.
In 2011, Shaffer, of Livermore, California, decided to craft some hair pieces for her women’s clothing boutique. Her creations proved so popular that the mother-of-three decided to begin selling them on Etsy. Shaffer told The Organic Bloom:
I opened an Etsy shop, figuring I’d help pay for dance lessons or offset the boutique’s sales.
At first she thought the high number of orders was caused by the upcoming holiday season. However, as Christmas passed, people just kept buying, so Shaffer widened her product line to include scarves and leg warmers.
A year and a half later, Shaffer sold her boutique so she could concentrate exclusively on Three Bird Nest, now the second-best-selling handmade product shop on Etsy, according to The Huffington Post.
Despite her success, Shaffer has no background in fashion. Though she has worked with leather for years, Shaffer has learned everything else through “trial and error”.
2. Shaffer first began the shop in 2011 to sell a couple of headbands that were doing well in her boutique. The shop now sells 3,000 items a day, earns $65,000 a month and has over 86,000 sales in total.
On Three Bird Nest‘s separate online store, Shaffer writes about her love for figuring out how to make different fabrics work well with each other. She said:
I love textiles, fabric, fashion, designs, and seeing how different colors and fabrics pair together. You will find me with my little sketch book and notebook anywhere I go so that I don’t miss a moment to write down my next idea.
Her Etsy shop offers a wide variety of hand-crafted products, including more than 58 different headband designs ranging in price from $16 to $37, as well as boot socks, scarves, hats, gloves, leg warmers, purses and accessories.
3. On her site Shaffer writes that she creates for the woman whose ‘a mom, a student, a daughter, a bride, a woman going on a first date’.
The official website store has an even larger selection of women’s clothing, baby apparel and home decor. However, one thing shoppers won’t find in the store is the color red — Shaffer’s not a fan.
Shaffer writes on her site that she creates things for a woman who is “sophisticated, yet fun” and who “loves fashion, but not being trendy” and adds:
She’s a mom, a student, a daughter, a bride, a woman going on a first date.
Shaffer believes that, to be successful, one needs to “eat, sleep and breathe” their brand. She says that she keeps going because of the love and passion her customers have for her products.
4. Shaffer has no background in fashion. Although she has worked with leather for years, the crafter and former boutique owner has figured out everything else through ‘trial and error’.
No matter how busy we get each time my Etsy app cha-chings I smile. I have had businesses that failed in the past, which is why this success is so much sweeter to me.
I will not give up on seeing this brand grow.
Shaffer is getting some help at home. Her husband retired early from his job as a fire chief to help run the house, Shaffer told Yahoo.
But her three children are the real driving force behind the mother’s brand — they inspired it’s very name. On Shaffer’s arm there is a tattoo of three birds in a nest — one for each of her kids.
5. Alicia Shaffer talks Etsy on Home & Family.
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