Small business is booming, and for five Sioux Falls online sellers that meant success in 2021 online as the pandemic and interest in shopping online grew their businesses.
Several just started within the last 24 months, mirroring a nationwide trend.
U.S. business formations rose by nearly 42% in 2020, according to U.S. Census data. This year brought on the rise of Etsy — a site to list crafts — for local artisans, entrepreneurs and others looking to add a little extra cash to their work.
As more people turn to side hustles, second jobs or even launch their own full businesses, platforms like Instagram and Etsy, a creative seller’s site, to grow in the billions of dollars. That’s big growth to capitalize and grow on for start-up crafters.
These local sellers’ takeaways are similar, finding Instagram great for art advertising, and Etsy still the best website to sell on. They also said that 2021 has been a banner year and hope to continue success well into 2022 with more social media growth.
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1. A Doodle Daily – An Etsy side hustle
A local seller with regional flair, A Doodle Daily (Etsy: ADoodleDaily) is selling South Dakota sets of stickers and shirts proclaiming local pride. Owner Reva Graves advertises through search ads via Etsy, Google, Facebook and Instagram.
She started slow and advises other Etsy sellers to do the same.
“I started out small with a few listings, and eventually grew my inventory and listings to where they are today. I would still consider myself in the startup stage but each year I gradually increase my sales. 2021 has been my best year yet,” Graves said. “Since my art and products are more visual, I enjoy posting on Instagram the most.”
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Its unique offering? From renditions like the ‘Tatanka’ buffalo design to vintage FAST Trail tees, this seller has a flair for understated or artful wear.
The store is @adoodledaily on all social media.
2. The World All Around Bookshoppe
Since jumping onto Etsy just weeks ago, being featured in Argus Leader and running dozens of holiday sales, The World All Around Bookshoppe turned into a success for one local author and corporate worker.
Her favorite platform is Instagram to show products off.
“My views on Etsy are already up about 1000%, not exaggerating,” Stephanie Logue, the artisan and seller said.
This shop’s unique spin? It’s not in any store and customers don’t know what product they’re getting. The mystery “date” with a book, often themed with stickers and decorations and hints as to what the book is, have seen books sell every week to buyers across the U.S.
More:How a Sioux Falls author, mom and full-time worker started an Etsy ‘date-with-a-book’ side business just weeks ago
3. SDApparel and Gift
Starting a year ago, SDApparel and Gift is an online gift shop of sorts. It sells South Dakota themes and a few other designs. Eric Gage created it as a side hustle in addition to his regular job. His gift appeals and pinpoints a variety, from camo to rainbow designs.
Gage has over 100 sales to the shop on Etsy and runs a Shopify page as well.
“Social media is a big part of selling online. Being able to reach people anyplace with (an) interest in South Dakota is a great asset,” Gage said. “I’m experimenting with TikTok.”
Gage puts apparel on Facebook, showing off designs everyone loves, like the Sioux Falls flag. His customer base ranges young, to from ages 18 to over 35. The shop’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SDApparelandGift/.
4. Art Moms – 1,000 sales & counting
Art Moms and Art Moms Holiday Boutique LLC is a top seller since starting in 2019.
Facebook, Instagram and more drive sales to the Etsy site, which eventually launched a full website for the shop of its own, called www.tedandlulus.com in spring of 2021.
Their unique spin? Years of work and spinning digital sales into real-world branding.
Co-owner Chantel Olsen has been crafting since age 19 and is now 44 with Art Moms as a full-time job. She points to Facebook as a way she jumped into even creating a “maker space” for her business and others in Sioux Falls to try out the Etsy world themselves. They also had a pop-up shop on 3101 41st St. for the holidays.
Then, they made products moms and others want, like mugs titled ‘Not the Best Mom’ in script, or fun holiday cards and stickers.
“Social media is a fantastic tool for small businesses for exposure and getting your product out there. I sell mostly on the East and West Coast on my Etsy site, which is so fun,” Olson said. “I really think adding new products and staying relevant with what’s going on in the world helps traction… I’m already setting my business plan out for 2022.”
Art Moms Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/Art-Moms-and-friends-Holiday-Boutique-135225353191615/
5. Annie’s Art Adventures and AnniesArtCorner
This young artist is selling products in order to save up to travel around in a bus, among other goals. This shop focuses on young people seeking art at a good price.
Starting several months ago with an Instagram in hand and with a traveling booth at shows like The Backartigans group’s shows across Sioux Falls backyards and parking lots, selling on Etsy at AnniesArtCorner. “I’ve noticed Facebook and Instagram are starting to not help small artists and businesses like they used to.”
So artist and owner Annie Boyum combines online search with in-person shows to make sure her following isn’t dependent only on a social media corporation.
“I get most (sales) from just searches on Etsy/the web, in general, or at in-person art events,” Boyum said.
This shop’s spin? From astrology stickers to Pride-themed Sioux Falls flags to ’70s inspiration tin art, the designs of AnniesArtCorner sold out throughout the summer, showing how in-person showcasing meets online sale strategies. Her Instagram is @annies.art.adventures.
These are just a few online sellers in the Sioux Falls area who have created income, a creative outlet or a full job out of Etsy.
Their advice to anyone looking to start is be creative with a product that many already desire, get on Instagram for posts and Facebook for ads, and go meet other business owners to come up with cheap ways to advertise in the area.