I have decided to bite the bullet and close my Etsy shop. I don't like that I have to keep re-listing the same items in order to keep them in the search pages, and although I've had sales from that shop, it just isn't really "doin' it" for me, ya know? I'm not too impressed with the way my store front looks on there (with or without banners). The items just look so blah on that site. Not to mention that there is just too much negative chatter on the web these days about Etsy. Just last night I found out a magazine did an article on it--and it was not good! Not something I want my business associated with! Don't get me wrong, Etsy was great when I was just starting out. And if you happen to have success with that site, then of course continue with what is working for you! For me, and Heart N Sew Designs, Etsy isn't really "comfortable" for me. I suppose I should say that after a couple of months on there, I still don't feel like it fits me. I have begun to open a shop on 1000markets.com, so we will see how that works out! As for promoting myself off line, I am sticking with my Art Fire studio as my customers don't need to be registered on the site.
I have debated this in my head back and forth, and in the end what mattered to me was 1. having to pay each time I listed or renewed items, 2. the bad "chatter" online about the website, and finally, 3. the actual appearance of my items in the shop. I want my stores to reflect me, and how I feel about what I do. Art Fire is top of my list, even though I am listing in other places, too. However you can be sure that if I find a site isn't working for me, I will be walking away! No sense in wasting my time on things that don't work or I just plain don't like!
I plan on putting up links to any shops I have on this blog so feel free to check them all out and let me know which sites you like best (from a customer perspective)! Good luck to all in your endeavours and I hope you all find what works for you!