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Making a living off an Etsy business

Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios May 5, 2015
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ThreeBirdNest has become one of Etsy's most successful shops. 
Facebook/ThreeBirdNest

ThreeBirdNest is an online retail business run by Alicia Shaffer in Livermore, California. Shaffer began her business by selling handmade accessories for women on Etsy.

“For me, Etsy was a great place to start because the marketplace was there. I didn’t have to invest a lot of money into getting people to come to the website organically,” says Shaffer.

Shaffer is not a rookie in the small business industry — this is her third business. Her first business was a baby product line and the second was a brick-and-mortar store — both ended and she and her family found themselves in debt.

“In the beginning, this was out of necessity,” says Shaffer. “I needed to make money to pay for financial loss that we had had, I didn’t want to lose our house, and I have three kids I needed to provide for.”

Shaffer’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to Etsy and says she saw it as a chance to try again, and not make the same mistakes she made in her other businesses.

Shaffer now owns her own e-commerce site for ThreeBirdNest. It’s Etsy’s second-most successful handmade goods shop.

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