Three years ago, I decided to start a side-hustle on Etsy, separately from this blog. I wanted to try something new where I was the one in control of what I sold. This stemmed from a failed attempt at selling for a clothing company and I had no control over the patterns or quality of the product. If something didn’t sell well, I only had myself to blame.
And so, The Pixie Dusted Mouse was born, selling fandom related crafts and other items.
At first I started selling Minnie Mouse styled ears, and while they were fun to make, it was hard to break into the saturated market I found once I listed my products. I still sell those mouse ears, but I thought, “let’s try something new.”
So, in early 2018 I worked with a manufacturer in China to bring to life a fandom related design to be made into a hard enamel pin. This was where I got my first break. I sold out of my first 100 pin order of that design within a few weeks, which meant I had to order more (and it has remained a best seller ever since). Now I have 5 different fandom pin designs that I sell. While I’ve always planned to add more, I knew that pins and mouse ears were not the only products I wanted to offer in my shop.
It was during that initial run of my first pin, where I received a message from a customer asking if they could purchase a copy of my design to make a vinyl decal for themselves. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, as I was pretty protective of my design, but then I thought to myself, “I have a Cricut Explore and plenty of vinyl on hand, why don’t I make it?” I offered the customer a free decal with their pin order, which they happily accepted, and I added it as an option to my shop.
Not only did this help to further expand my offerings, but being able to make my own decals on my Cricut meant that I could offer a different option to International customers of mine, who often felt they couldn’t afford to buy one of my other items with the higher shipping cost. I offer these vinyl decals in three different colors: white, gold, and black.
Ever since then, having a Cricut has helped me even more to add additional products that I wouldn’t have been able to do without having one. And when I got my Cricut Maker, I was able to expand it even more. Some of the products I’ve added are:
Fanboy Tears Cup
This cup adds a simple design using permanent vinyl. I offer this in a tumbler design and stemless wine glass. Since these are made to order, I love that my design is saved in Cricut Design Space. So when I get the order, it’s a simple click of a few buttons and adding the vinyl to the customer mat, before loading it into my machine to cut. It takes me longer to package them in their boxes and bubble wrap than it does making the product.
Personalized aurebesh (the alphabet found in Star Wars) bar necklaces and bracelets
These are my absolutely favorite and newest products. It is surprisingly popular and I am constantly being asked when I will restock after I’ve sold out of them.
Admittedly, I first created these necklaces for myself as I wanted to try the engraving tool on the Cricut Maker. I have found that a lot of times, the products I offer stem from wanting to make it for myself and then deciding to add it to my shop for others to enjoy as well.
I’d be lying if I said it was easy to make the engraved necklaces. It was a struggle at first to get the process just right. I had a lot of failed necklaces and used up a lot of painters tape (which I use to hold them in place) to prove it. But it was never the fault of the Cricut when I made a mistake. The machine engraves wonderfully and I love the results it produces.
The struggles I had were figuring out the correct positioning and getting the size of the font to fit right on the bar. I’m yet again thankful that the Cricut Design Space has my design saved so I can avoid the trial and error of sizing the font each time I make a necklace. I also have a character limit on my listing which helps my customers to know what words will fit on which necklace type.
I offer the engraved bracelets in two thicknesses and the necklaces in a number of different options. I have a premium option in one bar size but in five different colors: rainbow, black, rose gold, silver, and gold and my standard option which is offered in two different sizes (large and small) and two colors: gold and silver.
Having my Etsy business has been really empowering for me. Even though it’s not my full time job, it is still something that is my own; that I created. This year I hit my 1,000 sale (and counting!) and while that is small potatoes for a bigger business, I am the boss and the employee. I am the only one who can make these products for my customers when they order, so those 1,000 orders are ones I fulfilled myself (admittedly I wish my husband knew how to do it so he could help when I have a large amount of orders, but for now he helps with packaging orders and I am very grateful to him for that).
While I did those orders myself, I couldn’t have done them on my own without my Cricut Maker. One of my favorite feelings is putting together the product I’ve just made and seeing the finished work. You’ll often hear me yell out “Yes!” while putting my hands up in the air when my machine has unloaded a perfectly engraved necklace.
If you’ve ever thought about doing an Etsy shop, do it! And if you have a Cricut (or if you don’t, get one!) there are so many things you can do with it. I know I have barely scratched the surface on what I can do with it, but it has really been a game changer for me and my business.