Grete Somermaa started her lace work in March 2020 when her family had to close their family-run restaurant after the pandemic. With two young children to care for, Grete set up an online business selling digital downloads on Etsy, which allowed her to stay at home in Estonia while earning an income.
Rewind Grete’s life two years and it’s a completely different story than the one she lives today.
The coronavirus pandemic had such a devastating effect on her family’s restaurant that they had no choice but to close for good, leaving Grete with no income and two small children to feed.
The unfortunate turn of events led to the mum setting up her own online business selling digital downloads on Etsy – since then she has earned more than £44,000 a year and now works just two hours a week.
She also doesn’t have to store her inventory, as she sells digital files that people can download without a physical copy, such as printable planners, stock photos, and social media templates.
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The entrepreneur also suggested keeping an updated email list in case people decide to open their own website further.
She also said that receiving poor feedback is part of the experience and it can be a learning curve.
“When I got my first one-star review, I was pretty devastated, and I thought that was the end of my store,” she said.
“But I soon realized that this happens with every business. Do your best to resolve the issue and if that’s not possible, issue a refund and move on. You just can’t please everyone and that’s okay!”
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She continued: “I still can’t believe it sometimes. Selling digital downloads is like magic – you really can make money while you sleep!
“I put in the work upfront to create the products initially, and because the products are digital that’s instantly accessible, I don’t have to do anything when the sales come in.
“A customer can purchase the product at any time (day or night) and start using the file immediately.
“I was determined to make it work. I thought, “If others can do it, why can’t I?”