Thursday, 30 June 2011

It's a Wrap: Etsy Ireland Pop-Up Shop

Press Shot of the shop by Neville Gawley
The Limerick Etsy Ireland Pop-Up shop is all finished now. It's all been packed up, and the last few bits and pieces are sitting in my living room, and will definitely be sorted today before my housemate kills me! It was a really great achievement for the team and an invaluable experience to learn how a shop works, even just for a month. The space we were using (thanks again to our hero Niall!) is now being turned into a late night cafe, and I for one am delighted, the city really needs it! It's amazing how long it took to put together and in the space of an hour it was all in boxes and packed into the back of Helen's car!

The shop all packed up in bags and sitting in my living room!

It was a really great success sales-wise I never would have expected it to be so popular. I noticed a big difference between selling in a shop as opposed to a market. There seemed to be a greater enthusiasm and appreciation for the craft. People were commenting on how reasonable the prices were(contrasted to some of the comments I get at my stall that I'm ripping people off). It was interesting to note the shift in attitude, I think when people are in town and shopping they are in the mode to spend more money,€20 for a bracelet seems fine when you are next door to a boutique. Whereas €20 for the same item when you are next to a veg stall and a bric a brac stall suddenly seems extortionate-it's all about context.

There was repeated comments throughout the month about how positive people were to see Irish handcrafts and also to see something so creative happening in their city. People are so jaded with doom and gloom in the media that they want to hear about people making a go of it themselves and starting their own business, and lots of people wanted to support that with their wallets.

It was also interesting to look at the figures at the end of the month and see that not all the big sales when to the most popular shops. So if you aren't doing great on Etsy don't be disheartened, maybe a shop would be better for you. There were sellers that have only made a few online sales who did incredibly well in the shop, some things just need to be seen in person maybe.

As for what sold? On the first weekend lots of baby things sold, lots of people were passing through who knew someone with a new baby and they were looking for a gift and a card. Also wedding cards were very sought after. It's true Ireland is going through a wedding and baby boom, so if you can capitalise on it you should. Cards were very popular as they were the lowest priced items and people picked up a few for future occasions while they were browsing. Even though we had lots of jewellery it did sell well, with rings being one of the best sellers.
The cool bags that Etsy sent us!
Etsy were very good and got in touch with me, they wanted to thank us for all the hard work we've put it and they also sponsored our second lot of flyers that we needed to get printed. They also sent us these fab tote bags, which we gave to customers who spent over €10, a great incentive for people to put their hands in the pockets! They are also sponsoring those of us who worked in the shop to go for a few drinks to celebrate, which will be happening when I get around to arranging it! I was delighted that they spotted what we were doing, apparently it was the US branch that got in touch with Amity and told her to hunt down the organiser. So Etsy are watching us!

We also managed to get into two newspapers, both the Sunday Business Post and also the Limerick Leader. The local paper brought us some extra footfall and sales. If we do this again we must try to get the press on board early, as we were nearly finished by the time it went to press.
editorial image
A mortifying picture of myself and Noreen Foley that was in The Limerick Leader
I have put forward an application to the council to try to get a space in Limerick near to Christmas. I haven't heard a peep from them yet but I'll keep you guys posted. It won't be exactly the same arrangement as before, I've learned an awful lot by doing this pop-up shop, but all details will be discussed before hand. I know that markets were not that great for me last year and it's in my best interest to find another avenue for selling. Last year it was just too darned cold to sell outdoors, and the customers all flocked to the shops where there were heaters, and it wasn't -12! If the council don't give us anything maybe we could look at renting a low priced art space for a month...or something like that. It's early days yet and we have lots of time to throw out ideas. Also it might be good for the Dublin branch to give it a go, if you can't get anything officially, maybe approach individual businesses and see if you could work something out.
Press Photos by Neville Gawley

Press photos by Neville Gawley

I'd like to thank  everyone who gave of their time to help man the shop, this couldn't have worked without the support of everyone. So please click on the links and visit their shops to show your appreciation.
Helen from Stained Glass Fayre
Rebecca from Lucky Rainbow Designs
Neville from Neville Gawley Photography
Jess from Bettyoctopus
Majella and her husband Bart from Delicious Art Glass
Mark from Marmot Art (not on etsy yet but I'll convince him to join soon!)
Me(Ruth) from Nice Day Designs and Nice Day Supplies

Noreen and partner Locky from Hanora.K.Designs(not on etsy but I'm helping her set up her shop this month)
Also thanks to Ann, Orla and Noreen for the tables. To Niall and all the staff of Bourkes Bar for their time,patience, and the space! To Michelle and Alice from Fonelifair for sponsoring our flyers. To Neville for taking pictures of the space for us. To Neville for doing the shop on my birthday so I could have a day off!

(A small note to sellers involved: Thanks for being understanding with my lack of emails sometimes.The project turned into something much bigger than the two day event that I originally took on. It's taken longer than expected to sort through all the work, but I'll be posting out the rest of it today. If you haven't heard from me yet I'll also be in touch today, I've about 6 people yet left to email.)


  1. Congrats to all involved...! Well done Ruth..!

  2. It was such a wonderful experience to take part, and yes I made 10 sales during the 3 weeks I was at the pop-up shop (I took my stuff back for a show a week early). I've only made 10 sales online in the 2 years I've been a seller on etsy!

  3. this was big, not just because items were sold, but it was a great way to highlight handmade and, importantly for us all, highlight Etsy in Ireland. Thank you so much to all who organised and helped out in any way. I pledge to include you in several treasuries over the next few months.

  4. Yes, AM, it was BIG! Thanks to all involved - you were fab. I love reading about the pop-up shop, even if it is now closed.

    I was just thinking...maybe if we get the 'Think Tank' going for this term's committee, Ruth, your input (and the input of the others involved) would be really really valuable. What you learnt about running a pop-up shop would benefit us all for future projects.

  5. Congrats to all who took part - lovely to hear of hard work being rewarded.
    Ruth - such interesting and useful feedback. Your observations and insight is so helpful- hmmmm makes you really think about the best way forward. Thanks so much for great info.

  6. Great, well written article Ruth. Defintely a fantastic exciting experience for crafters, and such positive feedback from customers and browsers alike. Count me on board for Christmas!

  7. Thanks again to everyone who organised the pop up shop. I made around 14 sales and I was very surprised because it is jewellery and I wasn't sure how it would do alongside other jewellery. However I have to say the pop up shop was the final push I needed to start my own shop. You are so right about the markets Ruth, they were very difficult last year and people want a bargain all the time! Best of luck with the Christmas shop:-)

  8. Congratulations to everyone who took part, It was a great promotion for the team & Etsy in Ireland & thankyou to all the volunteers who gave up their time & kept the shop going. It's fantastic that it was such a success & I look forward to the next Etsy Ireland venture :)

  9. ...Congrats to all involved!!!

  10. I would be more than happy to iron out and details and answer questions if anyone else is setting up a pop up, just email me at