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Blackstone LaunchPad at UCF presents an e-commerce event to show the students the benefits of using Etsy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Maria Andreina Tapias Urbaez was the main speaker at an event called Etsy: Where Your Talent and Creativity Can Become a Profitable E-commerce Business. This event took place on Oct. 4th and was presented by the Blackstone LaunchPad at the Student Union at UCF.

Maria Andreina is the CEO of three shops and she started to use digital platforms to promote her products without experience or knowledge. Tapias talked about what is Etsy, why it is profitable, how can startups and companies benefit from it, and why it is the ideal tool for expanding your market.

“Etsy is a website that acts as a marketplace where you can sell unique goods,” Tapias said. Etsy counts with a complete User experience (UX) that easily helps the buyer access products. Starting from the website’s colors, the payment buttons, the images, and the design in general. It helps the buyers to get to know the brands, see the products they like, and buy conveniently.

E-commerce is a phenomenon that has been growing on a great scale with COVID-19 being the main cause. As indicated by the Harvard Business Review, this helped many businesses to create new strategies to sell their services and products.

According to Tapias, there are two kinds of products that you can sell on Etsy:  physical and digital. Physical products refer to the traditional business model. The seller makes the product, the buyer purchases it, and a third company ships the product to the buyer. There is also another way, called print on demand where the entrepreneur creates, and designs the product, while an outsource company buys the product and makes it.

If you decide to print on demand, these are the steps that you need to follow, said Tapias.

  • Choose a print-on-demand company
  • Integrate it into your listings on Etsy
  • You, as the entrepreneur, need to take care of the design of the product and the publication of it in your Etsy account/shop.
  • The company you chose prepares, packages, and ships the product directly to your customer.

The other kind of products are the digital ones. This includes eBooks, designs, digital templates, planners, services, videos, and all that can be created using technology. The advantages of these products are that they are easy to create, eliminate shipping delays, and can be created everywhere. “Also, this represents a passive income since without any investment you can design a digital product from your dorm or your house. This kind of product is special for college students since it is more accessible for a creative mind and it allows managing their time easily when starting a new business”.

But why is Etsy a good platform for startups and well-known companies? Tapias said it is a good platform to sell different kinds of products, and open new markets and targets, it is friendly, it is not that competitive, and it can improve sales in general.

Tapias also recommended looking for trends that can increase the sales of your products. “When you find a trend, an occasion, that is a bigger opportunity,” Tapias said.

Maria Andreina Tapias Urbaez now owns three different shops

  • Mia Mia: In this shop, you can find women’s accessories.
  • Pawnimals: In this one, you can find accessories for your pets such as name tags.
  • Famgraving: In this shop, you can find custom engraved gifts and souvenirs.

This is only one of the multiple events hosted by Blackstone LaunchPad at UCF, where students can learn about creating their own jobs and finding success.

Laura is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida. She studies journalism on the Print/Digital Track and she will be graduating in 2025. She is a Staff Writer for Her Campus UCF. She loves to read, practice yoga, swim, and dance all genres of music. In the future, Laura wants to work for the United Nations as a photographer and be a best-selling writer.