A little background:
I came across this artist Facebook group question asking “what is preventing [artists] from opening their own .com storefront. If so many of you are upset about Etsy, TicTail, or whatever site’s business decisions why are you limiting yourself to using sites like that?”
That was the question and chimed in with my own experience and choices.
I really liked my response and felt like it belonged here on my site, so here it is. ^_^
I honestly love having my own .com website. ♥️ The flexibility of it all, (I have WordPress now. I used to have Wix a few years ago but it wasn’t flexible enough for me. I’ve had my own Storenvy and Etsy and have made some sales there but most of them came from people who met me at conventions.)
I love creating my own pages and posts and allowing people to get to know me and my creative self in the color and design I choose for my website in addition to the writings and artwork I choose to share. A .com website for me is like a creative project all in itself and I love everything about it that.
Yes, you do have to put in the time and learn about hosting, creating, managing, protecting, legalities, etc., but after going through the learning curve and initial stages of setting things up, I find having my own website creatively and personally fulfilling. And I haven’t set up shop yet.
It’s not about the money for me. That’s secondary. It’s about the flexibility to play, create, grow, and further express who I am, allowing future visitors and potential clients to enjoy the changes with me. I prioritize personal relationships over sales, and I feel Etsy, Tictail, Storenvy, etc. don’t quite make that option easy for me.
Also, I know I’m in the online business in the long haul so having my own website makes sense to me.
I, of course, see the appeal of setting up shop in an already active marketplace like Etsy or leaning on other websites for ease of transactions and customer support. Nothing wrong with that.
And if anyone wants to move your customers to your own website, it is possible! I haven’t done it myself but I know an artist who has done it before. I would imagine building a solid following on social media first, perhaps making use of the connections you make on these websites, and then notifying them of the change.
But I’m absolutely in love with my choice. Even with the monthly cost of hosting my own website and the complications it may bring, the joy, beauty, flexibility, and creativity of a self-hosted website keeps me here and nurturing my home.