Why Sharing Your Unique Story Through Visuals Can Be Powerful as a Handmade Online Seller

I had so much fun this past weekend watching and supporting the SF Etsy team #shoptiny online event. It was held FridaySaturday, and Sunday.

The event was to showcase and support the local SF Bay Area’s maker community since all in-person events are currently on hold until who knows when!

They featured a number of different makers from jewelry, to home decor to fashion and everything in between!

What I loved most about the event were the stories and videos! Makers showed off their workspaces, how they make their work, and even walked us through their booth displays (it’s like you were at a show!). Some even shared DIYs which was a lot of fun to watch and follow along.

I know A LOT of artists, makers, creatives, etc., don’t like having their photo taken, being on video, or being in the spotlight. I get it because I struggle with it too!! 

But you know what? It’s SO FUN for those of us on the other side!

Through the videos, I learned about the screen printing process (omg it’s so much work!), the basics of drawing, how truffles are made, how scarves are created, how to letterpress cards, and so on. 

It was a good reminder of how important it is as a creative who is selling handmade items to share not only your story of you but your work process. By sharing what inspires you, the work that goes into creating the products you sell, seeing works in progress and so on, adds so much value to you and your products.

We normally see the end results of what you make, but by sharing how you got to the final product, it helps us appreciate you and the work even more. 

Through telling your story and sharing with us who you are, you can inspire us, help us feel connected to you and the work you create. 

I felt SO inspired throughout the event! It took everything in me to resist the urge to purchase from every single maker! But it showed me the power of storytelling and important it is to leverage this in your business when you’re a maker.

You may say to yourself, “I don’t have any good stories to share,” or “I don’t have anything interesting or unique to share.” 

Um, yes you do!

Here are a few writing prompts to help you get started:

  • What inspires you?
  • What are the tools you use to create?
  • What materials do you use?
  • What are some interesting facts about what you create most people might not know?
  • When did you start creating your work? What’s the story around that?
  • What’s your workspace look like? Maybe give us a tour?
  • What’s your favorite part of what you make?
  • How long does it take to create your work? 
  • How did you learn how to make what you make? Self-taught, in school, etc.?
  • Is there a personal story or history to each piece you create?

Share your responses through videos or photographs. Document the process. Give us a behind the scenes view of what goes into what you create. 

If you can, ask a family member or a friend to take photos of you with your camera phone or an actual camera. Bonus points if you know someone is a photographer who takes good pictures.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. The more you practice sharing your story and all the amazing skills you have to create your work, the easier it will get. Photos and videos are powerful, especially when selling online so help us connect with you by giving us the insider’s view of what goes on in your world.

Do you love hearing the stories behind handmade products from your favorite makers? Let me know in the comments below!

*Artists featured in this post were just a few of the amazing makers and creatives who participated in the #shoptiny SF Etsy event. 

About the author

Imelda Jimenez-LaMar is a product photography coach and former Etsy seller, who said goodbye to her corporate job to create a business teaching photography. She is on a mission to demystify product photography for makers who want to create product photos that sell their handmade products online and grow their handmade business.

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