Link.Store Interview Etsy Seller Ilaria Pops Sticker business exclusive: An Etsy seller interview with Ilaria Ranauro of ilariapops

In this exclusive Etsy seller interview, we are thrilled to present a conversation with one of the most creative and inspiring minds in the Etsy marketplace. Today, we delve into the artistic world of Ilaria Ranauro, whose journey offers both inspiration and insight. Ilaria shares the passion, challenges, and triumphs behind her unique business and the strategies that have shaped her brand’s success. 

Join us as we uncover the story behind Ilaria’s Etsy store.

Can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start selling on Etsy?

Hello, my name is Ilaria, and I’m an Italian illustrator based in Berlin. With a background in graphic design and 11 years of experience in the field, I reached a point in my career where I realized I wasn’t truly happy with my job. It was then that I decided to take some time off to pursue my childhood dream of dedicating my life to drawing.

During this break, I immersed myself in practicing illustration and eventually discovered my unique style. Though the journey was long, I’m grateful I took the leap, as I would have regretted not trying for the rest of my life.

To sustain my career as an illustrator, I began selling my artwork on Etsy. Not only does this provide me with a source of income, but it also allows people to purchase my illustrations in various forms, such as stickers, stationery, and other merchandise.

What do you sell on Etsy and what makes it special?

I sell a variety of products, including stickers, sticker sheets, memo pads, and other stationery items. Additionally, I offer merchandise such as pins and tote bags featuring my characters. One of my best-selling products is the yearly calendar, which I’ve been producing for the fourth consecutive year. My customers eagerly anticipate its release each year.

I believe my products stand out due to their uniqueness. They feature my original characters, which are known for their cuteness and ability to bring joy to people.

How did you name your Etsy store and what does it mean to you?

The name of my shop is the same as my social media handle. To be honest, it doesn’t have a real meaning. Initially, I used my full name, Ilaria Ranauro. However, I realized it might be difficult for non-Italian speakers to remember, so I decided to add a funny twist to it. I’m still not sure if I got the name right, haha.



What are some challenges you’ve faced as an Etsy seller and how did you manage them?

As an Etsy seller, I’ve encountered many challenges, but I’ve come to understand that it’s a normal part of the journey toward learning and improvement. When I first started my small business, I had to deal with questions about pricing, shipping methods, calculating shipping costs, and selecting packaging materials.

Through trial and error, I gained a better understanding of these aspects and adjusted my approach accordingly. It’s important to recognize that experiencing losses in the beginning is perfectly normal. Additionally, some initial products may not succeed due to a lack of expertise or research into potential interest.

I’ve also struggled with self-doubt when it comes to designing new products or following trends. In such moments, I’ve found it immensely helpful to engage with fellow artists, exchanging tips and ideas. Building friendships within the art community and meeting regularly to brainstorm together has been invaluable.

When in doubt, remember that the Internet is a treasure trove of resources. Whether it’s through Google searches or YouTube tutorials, there are countless resources available from individuals eager to share their knowledge and expertise.

How has your Etsy business evolved and what are your plans for your store?

My business has undergone significant changes over time. Initially, I sold prints of my illustrations and stickers after receiving a cutting machine as a gift. As I began developing my own characters, I started outsourcing production to manufacturers and experimenting with various products such as Washi tape, hard enamel pins, keychains, notepads, and more. Each product is personalized with my brand and characters.

In the past year, I introduced two seasonal products that my customers eagerly anticipate purchasing: the Advent box and the yearly calendar. Looking ahead, I have plans to introduce new products, although I’m not quite ready to reveal them just yet.

How does your branded link help with marketing your Etsy store?

I utilize various marketing strategies to promote my Etsy store and drive traffic to my listings. One effective method is leveraging branded links across my social media platforms, website, and promotional materials. These branded links, tailored to my store name, enhance brand recognition and encourage trust among potential customers. I integrate them into posts, bios, and marketing campaigns to direct traffic seamlessly to my Etsy listings, thereby increasing visibility and sales.



What tips do you have for new Etsy sellers looking to get started?

For aspiring Etsy sellers, I recommend focusing on three key aspects: product uniqueness, customer engagement, and branding. Firstly, try to offer unique products that stand out in the marketplace, that are recognisable. Secondly, prioritise building relationships with your customers through personalised interactions, for example on social media, and excellent customer service. Lastly, establish a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Consistency in branding across your store, social media, and promotional materials fosters trust and loyalty among customers.

What is your branded link and how are you using it?

My branded link is an extension of my Etsy store name:, and I like it because it provides a memorable and cohesive online presence. I strategically incorporate this branded link into my social media profiles, website, email newsletters, and printed promotional materials. By doing so, I ensure a consistent and recognizable brand identity across various platforms, making it easier for customers to find and engage with my Etsy store.

What made you get a branded link for your Etsy store?

I opted for a branded link to enhance brand recognition, improve search engine visibility, and streamline the customer journey to my Etsy store. A branded link adds professionalism to my online presence and gives confidence to potential customers. Moreover, it strengthens brand loyalty by reinforcing my store name and identity across digital channels, driving traffic and sales.



Could you share your creative process with us? How do you go from an idea to a finished product?

My creative process begins with inspiration drawn from various sources, including nature, daily life, and artistic trends. Once I have an idea, I sketch rough concepts on my sketchbook simply with a black pencil. 

Next, I digitize the sketches using the Procreate App on my iPad, adding color and details like a shadow to bring the concept to life. After finalizing the illustration, I collaborate with manufacturers to produce high-quality products that reflect my artistic vision and brand aesthetic. Sometimes, I start with an idea for a product and then craft an illustration to make it truly unique. Other times, it’s the other way around: I create an illustration first, and then the idea for a product blossoms from there. Flexibility and creative exploration are key components of my process, allowing me to adapt and innovate as ideas flow.


You can follow Ilaria’s store on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to learn more about her and see her work.