From Setback to Success: Rebuilding Our Handmade Party Decor Business

From Setback to Success: Rebuilding Our Handmade Party Decor Business

In the rollercoaster journey of entrepreneurship, there are highs, lows, and unexpected turns. For us at Little Bella Boutique, the recent suspension of our Etsy shop was a sudden and daunting challenge we never saw coming. As a small business specializing in handmade party decorations and kids craft kits, Etsy had been our lifeline, connecting us with customers who appreciated the uniqueness and quality of our products. But when the unexpected happened and our shop was suspended, we were forced to confront a reality we never imagined: starting from scratch.

The suspension was a big blow to our morale. It felt like we were back at square one, grappling with uncertainty and doubt. However, in the face of adversity, we chose to see opportunity. Instead of dwelling on the setback, we rolled up our sleeves and embarked on a journey of rebuilding and reinvention.

So what, you might ask got our shop suspended? To be honest a lack of research on our part. It is easy, when you are selling a platform like Etsy to get comfortable with the fact that if hundreds of other shops on there are selling things, it might be okay if I do too. Well, let me tell you it isn’t. It was the deathly hallows symbol cupcake toppers - yep - from Harry Potter that did me in. And no, I didn’t call them deathly hallows cupcake toppers and I never mentioned Harry Potter anywhere in the listing, tags, descriptions or item name. It was the design itself. Even though if you search for it on Etsy you’ll see it all over on jewelry, stickers, shirts, decorations and more. That’s what did it. Etsy got an infringement complaint and shut me down. 

It was definitely a huge blow! My fault completely but still the shock and then the sadness. This is my business that I’ve worked hard on; stayed up most Fridays until 3am working on orders for. This business that I spent 5 years building, gone in one click of someone’s mouse. The way I cried is unexplainable. I was devastated, and even worse because I hated that cupcake topper. It was hard to cut, hard to glue to the sticks neatly and didn’t sell that often. I should have taken it down but it had been posted for over 3 years. Never even considered it would be an issue.

So I finished the orders that were pending and was set to just watch 5 years of work fade away. BUT then I thought wait…. My business is ME. The beauty of a handmade business is that no one can take that business from you truly. And while I had not made all of the best business moves over the years, I had made some good ones that made it easier to pivot to the next stage.

You see, I already owned the domain for Little Bella Boutique. I had already started branding my business not as an Etsy store but as an independent handmade brand that just sold on Etsy. I had a way to continue. I also have an amazing husband who is very computer savvy and had already been looking into expanding my business to my own website. This was just the kick in the pants I needed to make the move. So I did.

That same night I got shut down, my new website went up. I worked like crazy to try my over 1500 listings edited and posted on my website. But I’ve learned my lesson and I’m not taking chances with using characters and things that might become problems for my new website. So you won’t see a lot of my old designs like my mouse balloon cupcake toppers and things like that because I’ve learned from my mistakes. Can you still get “wizard” decorations on my shop, YES, you can get decorations shaped like wizard hats, wizard broomsticks, etc. but only generic wizard goods, generic princesses, etc. 

Has this transition been easy, NO. Not at all!!! Driving your own traffic to your own website is hard. And while I’m just starting out and have made some sales, it’s very slow. But I’m determined. Will I ever get back to the 70-100 sales I was making each week on Etsy?!?! That remains to be seen. But am I happy that my business will continue and I can keep making things to add sparkle to people’s parties, hand made gifts that make them smile and more…. ABSOLUTELY!!! I started my business because I love making things! And I can keep making things no matter what! 

So here I go, starting on this journey and so glad to have you coming along with me! I appreciate your support. I would love the chance to make something amazing for each person reading this blog post and more! If you want to help me on my journey to rebuilding my business you can do so by sharing my shop with your friends and family, like and share posts you see online, and if you feel so inclined buy and item or two so that I get to make something for you! 

Thanks for reading! If you’ve made it this far you deserve a treat! Use coupon code BLOG4 to take 10% off your next order! This code is good for one use and cannot be combined with any other offers except shipping discounts. 

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