I spent my high school years in a dark room. The first time I saw an image appear on blank paper in developer I was completely hooked. I graduated in 2000, way before the world of ecommerce was born. The idea of being a full time photographer wasn't even on the radar. I went to college at Indiana University and studied Apparel Merchandising with a Business minor.
I worked in the apparel industry for a few years out of college. I will save the details for a future post. I was laid off in 2008 and I needed a way to pay my rent and my car lease. When a friend asked me what my dream job would be it was an easy answer, I wanted to travel the world and take pictures and find a way to get paid for it. I had studied abroad in Italy during college and fell in love with travel. A friend introduced me to Etsy not too long after I lost my job and I was intrigued. I had been looking for an online platform to sell my photography but I hadn't found anything that worked.
I made the plan to start Etsy at the beginning of 2009. I call this my discovery year as I had no idea what I was doing and I barely made any money. In 2010, I went to Paris on a whim using saved airline miles from my previous job and a little saved up babysitting money. I photographed the city from morning until night for 10 days. I came home and put it on Etsy and so my surprise it worked. Paris became my niche. I still love that first solo trip to Paris when I didn't know any of the city and every street and corner was new to me.
Over the past 8 years I have run my photography business selling off Etsy. Luckily for me the backend of things haven't changed much so I have learned the ins and outs of setting up a shop. I don't think of myself as very tech savvy so this is a good thing. Etsy and I are not breaking up... I just think it is time to try something different and see how it goes. I tried shopify a few years ago and it was so much work starting a shop from scratch I gave up. But this time around I tried again and it took a lot of work but I think I have got the hang of it. It isn't perfect, I will be the first to admit. I will be making some changes over time but I set a goal of November 1 and I really wanted to make sure this was out before the Holiday Season.
1. It is User Friendly. I have been able to break down my sections into vertical and horizontal photos so making sets and groupings just got a whole lot easier. I get a lot of emails about questions on orientation so I divided the prints into sections to make it really easy for you!
2. I took the time to put the stories with the photographs. When it comes to my photography it is more about capturing a moment it is a feeling, an emotion, and a story. I have been sharing my stories on social media and in person for years and I wanted The New Print Shop to hold those stories. I have a lot of people that ask me what photographs are my favorites. This one is my favorite from my latest trip and you can read why in the caption.
3. I cut down my inventory significantly. On Etsy I felt we were encouraged to always add more listings but a friend recently told me a lot of my work got lost because there were too many options. With the new site I wanted to reduce the amount of photographs offered and focus on the best sellers.
4. This new shop is Paris Only. This was an easy decision. Over the years I have traveled to a lot of amazing cities but what works best for me is Paris. The Etsy shop will still have Italy, Cuba and Chicago but I wanted to just focus on Paris in the new shop.
5. It has a much cleaner design. With the new shop I was able to design a lot of the shop. I will say I may have been given too many choices. Purchasing a template did help a ton! I love the look and feel of the new shop and I hope you do too!
I am so grateful for all of your support. I am extending a 20% shop coupon code SAVE20 to purchase your first Rebecca Plotnick photograph or to add to your collection. I can't wait to see what you choose and there are a few new prints in the shop here. I will continue to add new prints so stay tuned. Thank you and happy shopping!