Let me introduce you to Megan McNulty, an illustrator, designer and maker of things from Haarlem. I got the chance to meet her in person when I was visiting the Etsy Team Leiden winter market in November last year. I fell in love with Megan’s cute pins, pencils and postcards right away. She creates all kinds of illustrated products and gifts, ones that’ll even brighten up your most horrible day. On the Etsy platform Megan has found herself a place to spread her creations to the world. Curious to know how it all started and how the Etsy platform helped her to make a living out of it? Well, then keep on reading as I’ve asked this fun-loving cat lady a few questions.
- Hi there Megan! Could you tell us a little more about how you’ve started your business? What’s the story behind it? And what is it that you make and create on Etsy?
I always knew I wanted to be a creator. Especially a creator of happy things. I’ve studied illustration and did an internship as a designer at a retail company. This was absolutely amazing, but when you’re working for a big company you’re always adjusting your style and vision to their needs. Which is fine, but it’s the most fun when you can create your items just the way you like them to be. I’m sure you get what I mean. Having my own Etsy shop now gives me my own place to create what I love and to sell whatever I feel like making. My main aim with my designs is to make my customizers smile. So I often throw a sneaky joke or a sassy quote into the mix. Like ‘Crafty Bitch’ for those who like to be creative and craft, just like me. ‘Crafty Bitch’ is actually one of my signature quotes and people like it a lot. Another thing which I think is so important to my success, is the way I prepare my orders. I make sure every order is wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper, and will add stickers, washi tape and sometimes even confetti to it. My order needs to be a true gift for the person that ordered it. I also write them a little personal note. This whole process of preparing the order, makes me kind of having the feeling of giving presents to people every day. I just love that!
- Could you tell us a little more about how you’ve turned your passion into a fulltime living? Which steps did you take?
I opened my Etsy shop at the end of 2015. I just listed a couple of postcards and that was it. At the time I was kind of busy with a fulltime job as a designer, so I couldn’t invest that much time in my own shop yet. In April 2016 however, I decided to quit my job and focus me on my own work as a freelancer and an Etsy seller. As time went by, I added prints, pins and pencils to my collection, and I invested time in taking better pictures of my products. I also got in touch with other Dutch Etsy sellers via Instagram and Etsy teams (i.e. Megan is part of Etsy Team Leiden). The Etsy community is such a fun and motivating community, getting in touch with other shop owners has really helped me a lot. You can easily ask questions to others or ask for their experience with certain things, which is super beneficial for both parties.
- What are your hopes and future plans with your business? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be honest, I’m not really the kind of girl that thinks 5 years ahead. So this is a hard question to answer, but let’s try it anyway. I really hope to keep on growing and developing my style and products on Etsy. Maybe even one day turn my products into a true brand. I know quite some Etsy sellers who have achieved unbelievable things with their shops, so it would be amazing to follow in their footsteps. I do have some ideas lined up for new products and designs for the near future, but I’m not in a real hurry you know. I’d also love to collaborate with other Etsy sellers and work on creating awesome things together. I’ve seen some really cool collabs going on in the past. Like jewelry makers who incorporate designs from illustrators, really unique you know. I already met so many other talented Etsy sellers on the platform, so the options for collaborations are infinite. I should get started with that, don’t you agree?!
Thank you for this interview, Megan. I’m pretty sure her Etsy shop is a shop to watch! Be sure to give her a follow Megan on Instagram and also take a look on her website meganmcnulty.nl. I certainly learned a lot today and have made a few notes of things that inspired me. Do you have any comments or questions for Megan? Share them below! And don’t forget you can still register for the Etsy Resolution campaign to get all the help you need to get started as a seller on Etsy. Happy Tuesday!