Dana Midkiff has done an amazing job of growing a small handmade wreath business into an empire – and surpassing 7 figures in sales thanks to her Amazon Handmade shop.

Dana was a CPA who did the 9-5 corporate thing for many years.

When her 2nd child was six months old, she was trying to figure out how to pay off some credit card debt so she browsed Pinterest for something she could make. Wreaths stuck and she pursued it.

That was in 2013. Fast forward to October of 2015, when she already had an Etsy shop and several employees.

Amazon Handmade as a category opened and she started setting up shop for when they went live in October 2015.

Six months later, she started with Fulfilled by Amazon (where you send your items into Amazon warehouses to get the Prime badge).

Just two short years later, she was able to quit her office job to pursue this full time.

Since then, she’s moved two warehouses, surpassed 7 figures and never looked back.

In this episode, she explains how she did it, as well as all the intricacies of how to succeed on the Amazon Handmade platform!

You can listen to this episode below, or on your fave podcasting app!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • Dana began her business on Etsy in 2013 making door wreaths. When Amazon Handmade began in 2015, she applied and was accepted in time for its launch day.
  • Dana has seen massive growth and success with Amazon handmade and was able to leave her day job in 2017.
  • The application process for Amazon Handmade is more detailed then setting up an Etsy store. Applicants are vetted with questions around how items are created and the production process to ensure they are made my hand and not factory made.
  • Buyers are often not aware that they are on Amazon Handmade rather than the general Amazon website.
  • Amazon Handmade items are able to have a production time of up to 30 days. Your products do not need to be ready to ship immediately.
  • “If they (buyers) are coming and looking for a high-quality item, you have to prove to them, through images and copy, that these items are worth waiting for. And they will wait for it” {Dana}
  • When an order comes through, Dana will make an extra few items and send these through to the Amazon warehouse so they are ready to sell with an Amazon Prime badge and its expedited shipping.
  • Jess and Dana recommend exploring keywords on the e-commerce platform you use by typing in a keyword and seeing what other words will autofill.
  • Amazon Handmade requires you to respond to messages from customers within 24 hours, however, you can set up an admin account and you can delegate replying to messages to others.
  • Etsy is a more forgiving platform to start a business on as Amazon Handmade is stringent about messaging and delivery times.
  • “If you’re working trying to figure out your brand and your packaging, your supplies and resources, and all of those things that come with being a baby business, use Etsy to figure out those tweaks and changes” {Dana}
  • Dana finds the fees of Amazon Handmade fairly comparable to Etsy when considering the reach of Amazon. 
  • “You see lots of people complaining about Etsy fees. But, business costs money. You can’t just get everything for free. It’s about making sure you calculate fees into your pricing” {Jess}
  • It is not possible to have every single element of your business sorted out when you launch your shop.
  • “You’re not going to have it all figured out on day one” {Dana}
  • Check out Dana’s website here.

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