I have a small garden out in the front of my house and every year I savor those magical spring days when the bugs have yet to come out and I can work outside into the evening. The basic structure of the garden remains intact after months of being under the heavy snow, but it always requires some adjustments. Each year, some homemade compost gets turned into the soil as an all purpose fertilizer. Much like compost is to a garden, understanding the Etsy treasury system is like fertilizer for your Etsy shop. It’s not necessary, but it will surely help your business thrive!
WHAT IS AN ETSY TREASURY?
The word treasury within the Etsy community has it’s own specific meaning and describes a curated selection of 16 items in a mini gallery like setting. People are most familiar with treasuries as they appear on a rotating basis on the front page of the site, as shown in the image below. Anyone with an Etsy account is able to create a treasury and for shop owners, it is a great tool for showcasing your style and networking with other shops. A blank treasury layout is provided by Etsy and can be populated in a variety of ways; the most popular method being a browser extension called Shmetsy. Shmetsy allows you to build a treasury with ease by creating a direct link from shop items to the blank treasury layout. This life saving tool also has a built in notification system which allows you to send Etsy convos (or notifications) to all 16 shops in one easy step.
Many shop owners join treasury making teams to help further promote the items in their shop as teams generally require a minimum number of items from team members to be included in a team treasury. When you join Etsy you immediately become part of a community, but joining a treasury team brings the scale of the community down to a more personal level. As a member of a team, you are able to tap into the knowledge base of each member and it’s a great way to share experiences, ask questions and get support.
I am a co-leader of a treasury team on Etsy called Elite16 which I run with Amber of Red Tile Studio, so I opened up the floor to our team members to get the inside scoop straight from the experts! 5 team members jumped in to answer a set of questions I put forth – Caroline of Dark Ride, Carolyn of Romy & Clare, Jenn of Palimpsestic, Anna of Studio by the Forest and Lauren of The Haunted Hollow Tree. I’ll be sharing some of their answers below as we explore what role treasury making plays in your Etsy business, but the rest will be covered in Part Two of this series which will focus on photography.
When asked the question, “What role does the treasury system play in your business?”, all unanimously agreed that it plays a vital role. Anna of Studio by the Forest shares, “I think it’s huge because it helps me get more exposure. My business was just kind of plodding along until I started becoming involved with treasury teams.” You could have the most amazing product ever in your Etsy shop, but until you begin to network and make connections within the community, you could find that your sales will be flat.
You need to work to tell people about your shop and the Etsy treasury system is a great platform for this to happen on. As Jenn of Palimpsestic points out, the Etsy treasury system helps buyers find her work, “The items I sell aren’t things buyers search for, they’re things they stumble on and love. While I tag and title to the best of my ability, activity feeds and the front page are a large part of how my items are found on Etsy. The treasury system is a gateway to those eyes.” There is a massive database of treasuries on Etsy and each time you create one or are included in one, you are automatically included in that pool. Carolyn of Romy & Clare picked up on a point that I really resonate with when she shared, “It helps the buyer visualize our product in different settings, sometimes in ways we could not have imagined ourselves. We love seeing this.” As you can see in this treasury below curated by Jenn of Palimpsestic and titled Bask, you can really create a look and feel with the items you pair together to style a stunning collection of 16 items!
Stay tuned for Part II of this series as we explore the theme of product photography where you’ll learn what treasury curators look for when building a collection! If you have any questions about the treasury system, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help you out!