Dutch Dwellings: Etsy tips and the selling of Dutch houses

During my trip to the US, I met the loveliest fellow Etsy’ers. Amongst them were Elles Lanfer and Saskia de Winter. Both Dutchies, living abroad in California.
(sigh… California!)

Saskia had just delivered a baby (three weeks old!) when I met her. And still she took the time to see me and share her advice on being successful on Etsy!

ellen vesters etsy

From all the inspiring conversations I had, I gathered the following Etsy tips:

  • Say goodbye to the fear of being commercial. Try to identify with Etsy buyers, investigate what they are looking for and adjust your listings to this knowledge
  • People tend to look for gifts when cruising Etsy. Make products, not only prints!
  • Popular products are products that tell a story, for instance about your city or country
  • Work on your photography skills, good product photography makes all the difference (still working on this one…)
  • Get over your wedding allergies (thankfully this intimate wedding did the job)! Weddings pay the bills!
  • Make sure your shop looks full, have a large array of products ready for people to choose from, but still retain a simple (visually quiet) and cohesive look overall
  • Be open to customizing, and tell your crowd about this option!
  • And then for a good-old-sneaky-commercial-thinking-bastard-trick: use Statsy Clockbot for regular relisting to get more views


All this resulted in me deleting all my old stuff from my shop and putting in new prints, but also my first product: Dutch Dwellings, or “Hollandse Huisjes”. You can now buy five varieties of little Dutch houses, each representing another Dutch city (Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Volendam and Lutjebroek). More versions to come!

And guess what… they have been blogged about already! I am so proud.
As well as very happy that there are people out there that are doing a much better job at product photography than I am…!

(the Dutch Dwellings, or Hollandse Huisjes, are for sale at my Etsy shop: ellenvesters.etsy.com).


Oh Marie:

ohmarie dutch houses

Enter my Attic:

ellen vesters dutch houses

 Mintstudio Creations:

ellen vesters dutch houses


zilverblauw dutch houses

zilverblauw dutch houses

The truth about The Woonbeurs

So. The Woonbeurs.


The truth about the Woonbeurs…is that after all the craziness and mania that is called Woonbeurs, for a week I lived like a zombie.
From different sides I had been told that this was completely normal post-fair behaviour.




“Never mind”, I told myself, “the enjoy-your-succes-part will soon arrive”. Unfortunately when the end of the zombie era came in sight there were some nasty family circumstances to deal with. And well… at that point in time super-grumpy Ellen kicked in.

My recipe: a nice night with friends and a walk with Mr Rockstar through the always welcoming city of Antwerp. My clearer head told me: circumstances can’t be changed and no one wouldn’t want me to enjoy my success.


So. I gave myself a good kick in the butt to have a little Woonbeurs blog party tonight.


Even though the Woonbeurs is a subject that’s already long gone in blog country.
Even though everybody has already moved on to write about autumny stuff.
Even though I really have to start working on me OD’ing you guys on exclamation marks.

I’m turning back time two-and-a-half weeks, when:

  • I got to build my own little living room together with friend Kim Welling.
  • I got to work together with a very talented designer I admire: Femke Veltkamp!
  • I got to meet so many online friends, which for me, always is the best part of events like these.
  • We were a huge success with people calling us a fresh breeze after all the hardcore designs out there. Woohoo! Exactly what we were hoping for!
  • The whole reason I dreamed of having a shop was to see for myself how people react to my work, to meet and interact with like minded people. That was exactly what happened. We had such fun!
  • My favorite magazine published an interview with Urlaub on their blog!
  • And then afterwards… over 15 blogs rewarded our hard work with lovely pictures and words about the shop! (check http://www.immerurlaub.nl for links)


Yaaaay for The Woonbeurs! Thanks everyone! ;)


Check out these cooooool pictures (and the nice blogs they originate from)!



woonbeurs spaziale

woonbeurs spaziale


woonbeurs mikodesign


woonbeurs refreshbug


woonbeurs liefgeval

A good friend of mine was just there as this nice lady bought three of my prints all at once:


woonbeurs enigheid

And for the Grand Final a big thank you to the friend that was watching me the whole fair and offered a welcome little break every now and then.  (Look at it! I so so so wanted to take that gorgeous thing home!)