Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How to Critique Your Etsy Shop - Does It Need a Fixer Upper?

How to Critique Your Etsy Shop - Does It Need a Fixer Upper | MamaBleu.com

Just like our home needs a Fixer Upper from time to time, so does our Etsy shop.

When Chip and Joanna Gaines take their clients to 2-3 houses to choose from for their Fixer Upper purchase, there are a handful of things they consider and concentrate their efforts on when redesigning a home for them.
  • Curb Appeal 
  • Focal Point 
  • Style 
  • Open Spaces 
  • Color
  • Organized 
  • Budget 
So how can we take these concepts into your Etsy shop and transform your space into a place where your customers will enjoy their shopping experience, want to stay for a long time and come back again and again?

Grab some paper and a pen to make some notes and let's consider each of these ideas.


First impressions are important! Updating the front of a home with some fresh paint and a few new plants can add tons of curb appeal.

View the first page of your Etsy shop through the eyes of a customer and ask yourself if it’s inviting.

Do you want to stay and look around? If so, why? If not, why?

When was the last time you changed your featured products at the top of the page?
Is your profile photo posted or still showing a "grey head"?
Do you have a shop icon posted?
Does your shop look like it's ready for business or are things missing? (About page, shop policies, announcement section)

Ask some of your friends for their honest feedback. Remember that their comments are to help you diagnose the places in your shop that need remodeling. I did this recently myself and was really surprised at what they had to say. Their comments were so helpful!!


When Chip and Joanna Gaines walk clients into their remodeled Fixer Upper for the first time they always point out the focal point in the front room. Your Etsy front page has a focal point. It’s your cover photo (or banner) - the large photo at the top of your page.

Have you updated your banner lately? Does it still reflect what your shop is all about? Does it need to be resized to fit all the way across the top?

Quick Tip: Design a new shop icon or cover photo in seconds using Canva's free tools. Etsy has partnered with Canva to provide templates that make it easy for you to create the perfect sized photo for uploading to Etsy.

3 | STYLE 

Part of Joanna Gaines’ design process is to create a space that reflects her client’s style.

How would you define the style of your products? Modern? Boho? Minimalist?

Another word for style is “brand”. Your brand is more than a name or a logo. It's all the elements that tell the story about what you offer and how you're different It is all the ways you communicate your message.

You communicate through the "atmosphere" of your Etsy shop, how you service your customers, the products you carry, the price you charge, the way you package your products for shipping, etc.

Each of these things are elements of your brand that shape the experience you provide to your customers.

Does your banner reflect that style/brand as a focal point? Do you photos, colors, descriptive words, etc. tell that story consistently?

Are you expressing your style/brand clearly to your customers through all the aspects of your shop and business practices?


We can’t exactly knock down some walls in our shop to create open spaces like they do on Fixer Upper, but we can create some “white space” for our customers.

White space is a visual place of rest. It provides visual breathing room for the eye and is an important part of design.

Even though we can’t redesign or change the framework of our Etsy shop, we can provide some white space for our customers through our photos.

Consider your shop photos as you answer the following questions: 

Are all or most of your photos taken close up to the item and filling the box frame?

Is there any open/white space around the items?

Do you need to edit your photos to lighten them up?

Do some of them need to be retaken using natural light rather than a flash?

Do all of your photos look the same?

5 | COLOR 

Using a palette of colors to express your style/brand is similar to choosing colors for the decor of your home.

Are you consistently using a handful of colors that best express the style/brand/mood you want your customers to feel when they come to your shop?

It's not absolutely necessary to dial down your color choices but you may find that taking a look at the color palette you generally gravitate to will help you make some educated decisions for branding

These may be the colors you may want to use in your banner.

You can also use them as a guideline when making other design decisions on Etsy, when sharing on social networking platforms and as you expand to designing your own website outside of Etsy.


Closets and cabinets help keep a home organized and tidy. When things are organized it’s much easier to find what you need when you need it. Your shop is the same way.

You can create a list of Sections that appear as a column to the left of your shop listings. Use words that best describe your items so your customers can navigate more easily through your shop. Making the shopping experience easier for your customers should be one of your goals.

Does your Sections list need to be updated? Are all of your items linked to a Section?


Joanna and Chip Gaines always refer to their customer’s budget on each episode. The word “budget” is often linked with the thought of discounted or cheap items, but that’s not what I mean here.

Everyone has a price point in mind when they go shopping and this may be something you want to consider when pricing items for your shop. I do not encourage you to discount your items. Here are some more reasonable things to consider ~

Are all of your items in the same price range? Have you considered creating something at a higher price point? Have you considered creating something at a lower price point?

Having a broader range of price points in your shop may attract more customers to your shop. Give it a try and see what happens.


Whether your Etsy shop needs some small fixes or requires a bigger remodel there is one thing I discourage you from following Chip Gaines lead on. Do not schedule a big “demo day” for your shop!! The process of your fixer upper will likely be slow and steady and that is perfectly okay!!

Go through this outline again and make a list for yourself.

What are some things you can do right now? Start there! A small victory in this process will provide you with some encouragement and motivation.

Just like the journey of turning a house into a home, updating your Etsy shop is a journey of small steps as you work through the list you just made for yourself.

Which one of these suggestions is the biggest hurdle for you and why?

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