I Run an Etsy Shop Out of My RV (and You Can Too)!
Making money creatively sustains a couple’s full-time lifestyle and supports their mission to find joy and adventure each day.
In 2019, my husband, Connor, and I sold 90 percent of our belongings and left our life of routine for a life of adventure. We packed up our necessities—which included our dogs—and transitioned into a life of living in 300 square feet. Connor and I bought a 2017 Keystone Passport Elite travel trailer and began renovating it into a cozy 35-foot home on wheels. We love rolling down the road with our home right behind us, which is a bit more quaint than most, but full of everything we need.
We are the Marleys, and we are always on the search for the best bowl of queso, our next trail to hike, and an incredible sunset to soak in. Our two oversized couch potatoes, Hank and Harlow—a Great Dane and a Labrador retriever—love to accompany us on every journey. We strive to find joy in the everyday moments and believe that adventure weaves its way into every day.
Pride and Joy
Our lives became full of spontaneity, and our journey continues around every new turn. To prepare for our new lifestyle, for weeks, we worked on getting rid of items that weren’t necessary and found joy in every piece we brought through our Elite’s entry door. We are now surrounded by items that have purpose and significance to us along our journey. We are always visiting new places, meeting new people, and trying new foods, all the while balancing work. During the week, our 300-square-foot home doubles as an office, as well as a studio.
As we organized the items to take with us, one of our largest priorities was bringing what we needed to work on the road. Creativity flows through my veins, and as we packed up our entire life to hit the road full time, I knew my creative outlets would have to accompany me. While we are on the road, I balance many different jobs. From content writing and design for many different businesses to running an Etsy shop, as well as the travel blog unravelledthyme.com, I keep busy with the things that I genuinely adore.
Refocusing your time to truly uncover what brings you joy and learning to focus on those moments is so important. I created Unravelled Thyme based on the purpose of finding joy in every single moment. If you want to open an Etsy shop while on the road and refocus your time on the happiness that creativity brings you, there are a few steps you can take to ensure success and efficiency.
To run an Etsy shop while on the road, the number one priority is being organized. Space in an RV is already limited, and when you craft, that space becomes extremely limited! But just because you live tiny doesn’t mean you can’t bring your creative jobs with you; you just have to be more intentional about how you use your space. You should create specific areas throughout your home on wheels dedicated to your supplies. A couple of items that make the transition of moving an Etsy shop from a sticks-and-bricks home into a tiny home is having spaces for every step of your process.
For example, create a shipping station with drawers that have bubble mailers, packaging labels, and thank-you notes. Creating an outdoor space where you can do more of your craft’s messy aspects allows you to use your RV’s exterior storage for some of the processes.
Another crucial area that you need is a specific space for finished products waiting to be sold. To organize your finished products, get a plastic organizer with drawers where you can store finished products, as well as your products that are on sale. Having a dedicated space for different parts of your business allows you to smoothly move through the creating and selling process.
Keep the Show on the Road
One exciting aspect of having a creative job while on the road is the flexibility you have to sell in different areas. While you travel from town to town, there are plenty of craft markets, farmers’ markets, and businesses where you can sell your products. Markets are unique one-to-four-day events where you can set up your products and sell them quickly. Having multiple places to sell will expand your reach and get your name out there quicker. The beauty of selling at markets while on the road is all that you need is a table, a canopy, and a way to accept payment. Having the flexibility to sell at markets where you are, sell online, or sell to friends and family makes having an Etsy shop while on the road a fantastic job to have.
Running a mobile shop while traveling full time requires you to be intentional with every moment. Creating handmade items and selling them does not mean you simply make your items, and then you are good to go. Marketing your business, taking pictures, and creating content for social media, as well as promoting your shop, requires a dedicated amount of time to be successful. I once heard that you’ll spend 20 percent of your time creating your product, and the other 80 percent getting your product out there for others to see.
After running an online business for the past few years, I can tell you that marketing plays a huge role in whether or not you are successful with your small business. You also need to remember not to undervalue yourself and to always account for the hours of creating, photographing, promoting, and marketing into your final sale price.
Living tiny allows you to rethink your priorities and where you invest your time. If you are thinking about living on the road and you are creative, having an Etsy shop is a fantastic adventure in which to partake. Transitioning into living tiny allows you to take a step back and reevaluate how you invest your time and how you can do what you love for work while on the road. No matter where your adventure takes you, I hope you “unravel” the life that you live one adventure at a “thyme” and truly uncover what brings you immense joy.
Meet the Marleys
Paige and Connor Marley are outdoor fanatics who are always searching for hidden gems in every town and looking for exciting adventures around every turn. They travel with their two dogs and have everything we need within 300 square feet. The couple was able to find jobs they love while on the road and love the flexibility and freedom that this lifestyle brings. Follow them on unravelledthyme.com and shop handmade items on their Etsy shop.
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