Deciding on a Shopify Stand Alone Store vs an Etsy Store

The process has been a long one. About a year back I decided that I wanted to try to sell my photographic art online. The perfect place to start seemed to be to open an Etsy shop. Wanting to do this right, I did tons of research and read others experiences on how to best go about getting an Etsy shop found in the ocean of online Etsy shops. As well, I paid for and enrolled in a wonderful Etsy training course, that gave me a step by step guide to opening my shop right. So my journey began.

Mind you, I am a person who when she decides to do something she sees it to the least to the best of my ability. Now, fast forward 8 MONTHS later! Still having only 29 photographs up in my store and still dragging my heels about promoting my shop on my social media sights. This led me to question why. Why did I not have more of my art up? Why did I have such a limited number of completed listings?  And why did I keep researching and trying to figure out other platforms that would work to showcase my art?

Finally, I had to have a (what seemed like the1000th) talk with my husband Johnny about the MOTIVATION for having an Etsy shop. Was it that I wanted to make money? Was it that I wanted to have a place to display my art? Was it that I wanted to have a place to document my world and what my eyes saw as beautiful? A memoir of sorts through photographs? 

With this last conversation, I discovered something. I love the process of CREATING. And I (should I dare say) HATE the process of bookkeeping/bean counting/staying within the lines/formulas/and Etsy's "rules" and algorithms for being found on their site. There I said it! Now, please know that I understand the need for ALL of these things! I am just so very left brained that my right brain goes through real struggle, contortions if you will, and pain when it comes to all that I just described. I actually get "stuck" and can not move forward. I know this because Johnny reminded me of one of my previous business situations that was stunted by this very thing. And with that was my answer. I could not become motivated to go forward because to succeed on Etsy and be "found" I was boxed into a formula. 

So, I concluded that if I did not list items on Etsy (because of the number of steps needed) there was no way that I would accomplish any of the possible reasons why I may have wanted an Etsy shop in the first place. And then it hit me, I could have a stand alone shop and do it creatively, listing my items without the strict lines placed around me and maybe even have a better chance of success that way. 

I am still not really sure what my main motivation is for listing my art. But I do know this one thing. God has made me the way He did for a purpose. And just maybe, it is just to share His amazing creation through my photography...and be blessed in the process along the way.


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