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online business  |  websites  |  strategy   |   branding

Rockhaus Metals: Etsy to Shopify Case Study

Rockhaus Metals Case Study: Moving from Etsy to Shopify

Get ready for an in-depth client case study featuring Kristina Brownell, metalsmith and owner of Rockhaus Metals. Kristina and I worked together on new branding and upgrading her shop from Etsy to Shopify. Her new branding and online store debuted in October of 2018.

Kristina had been running Rockhaus for 2 years on Etsy. Additionally, Rockhaus appeared in local retail popups and markets.

This case study will show you the before/after visually (who doesn’t love a good makeover moment), her results from working together (hint: a huge increase in sales and sparked a big life change for Kristina), and an interview with Kristina on her experience.

Jump to: The results

Jump to: Interview with Kristina

Before & After

BEFORE: Etsy shop

Rockhaus Metals Etsy shop

AFTER: Rockhausmetals.com Shopify website

Rockhaus Metals Shopify homepage

What a difference, right? This comparison exemplifies the lack of creative control you have on Etsy. Your shop only has a banner image and product photos to differentiate yourself. With Shopify, you can customize the look and feel of the entire experience. We showcased Kristina’s new minimal branding, beautiful photography and her brand feel: minimal, earthy, refined.

BEFORE: Collections page on Etsy

Etsy collection page Rockhaus Metals (rings)

AFTER: Collections page on Shopify

Rockhaus Metals Shopify Collection Page

BEFORE: Product Page/Photography

Etsy Rockhaus Metals product page Linea Cuff

AFTER: Product Page/Photography

rockhaus metals shopify product page linea cuff

Same bracelet. Same price. So why does the Shopify one look so much more luxe? The power of design and photography!

Curating and defining Rockhaus Metals new photography look was a big part of the overall brand redesign and elevation. We created a moodboard and shot list and we worked with Ly Sué Hernández of LH Photography to bring it to life. Here’s a final lookbook of her new photos:

BEFORE: The logo

rockhaus metals old logo

AFTER: The logo

rockhaus metals alternative logos

We wanted Kristina’s logo to capture the look of her brand, which is refined and simple but still interesting. Now Rockhaus Metals has a full logo suite, complete with alternative logos for different uses.

BEFORE: The collateral

AFTER: The collateral

Kristina’s earring cards also double as business cards and are cohesive with the rest of her brand and website.

Interview with Kristina of Rockhaus Metals

Transcript of the interview:

Shelley: What is it like to switch from Etsy to Shopify? How long were you on Etsy?

Kristina: Right around 2 years. 

Shelley: What made you want to switch from Etsy and go to Shopify?


Kristina: I went through this thing where I wanted to elevate my brand. Etsy’s great, it’s wonderful for small biz owners to get out there and start selling whatever it is you do or create, but it is also very saturated and it’s hard to really stand out as a brand. I felt that in order to elevate Rockhaus and to really give people a taste of my brand as a whole, I needed to get off and get onto my own platform. 


Shelley: I agree with you 100%. Etsy is so good for starting out. It’s a great way to test  your product and see if people are going to buy it. But then at a certain point once you start selling things, it is easy to outgrow it and it’s hard to stand out. 

Did you have any concerns about actually making the jump and going over to Shopify? 


Kristina: Initially, I was just used to Etsy. I knew how to navigate it. It was easy for me to use. So I think it was just the unknown. What’s it going to be like? Is it going to be user friendly? Other than that, no I think I was more than ready to take the leap and plunge. Of course, with Shopify there’s a monthly fee. It’s more of an investment, but I think the returns are much greater, in my opinion. 


Shelley: How have you liked using Shopify so far? We launched around Black Friday, which was a really good time to launch, and now it has been a couple of months. What have your experiences been?


Kristina: It’s been amazing! As I’m using it, it’s super user friendly, so the initial concern of ‘how to update listings, manage and maintain it,” well, it’s super, super easy.

There are a few things that I really love about it: It’s pretty robust, the fact that they have a point of sale system that ties into it. I vend markets and popups. I was able to get one of their point of sale card readers. It tracks inventory live, whereas with Etsy I was using a separate point of sale system. If I sold something in person I had to go onto Etsy and mark it as inactive. So everything is live and updating in the moment, which is fantastic. I love it for inventory tracking. I didn’t know that going into it, so that was an added bonus, which I think is amazing. Then being able to link it to FB and IG and to have Shoppable posts on the IG is really big. 


Shelley: Yes, that is so cool, because Instagram is your main online marketing tool besides going to your in-person events. I love seeing your click to shop posts. 


Kristina: It was super easy to set up. Of course, you have all your inventory on Shopify and then once you connect it to your social media channels it all just appears on your Instagram. It’s all linked and connected. It’s super easy to create those types of posts.


Shelley: The easier the better. Another thing I wanted to bring up is that it seems a lot easier with Shopify to maintain, or even establish client relationships, because with Etsy you don’t get people’s email addresses. Now you do. I think that is a huge plus.


Kristina: That’s a big one. Just being able to capture and retain who my customers are and being able to reach back out to them, follow up with them, you know with email campaigns, newsletters, things like that. With Etsy none of that information was yours.


Shelley: I just wanted to ask in general how the experience of switching from Etsy to Shopify has affected your business. A lot has changed for you when we first started.


Kristina: When I came to you I wanted to elevate my brand and get a website designed. It kind of energized me and pushed me more in my business. I ended up quitting my full time job to do Rockhaus full time. Working with you and having your help, it was more than just setting up and designing the website.

You helped me think about things in my biz beyond just the website: Like who’s my dream client? Let’s focus on getting beautiful imagery that’s going to go on the website. You kind of walked me through the process. It was super easy and it was a lot of fun.

Now I’m doing Rockhaus full time and I have a great website to help back that up! It was such a great, easy process.

Want to try out Shopify?

Sign up for your own free 2 week trial. (Affiliate link)

And if you’d like to read more about the differences, pros and cons and costs of Shopify and Etsy, read my Shopify vs Etsy post here.

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