I found an adorable Etsy shop that has done this very thing . . . with great success.
Etsy seller Tasha Noel of A Little Sweetness has used her artistic talents to fill her shop with products based on an original design. Here is her design:
Here's another fun product: embroidery patterns of some of the dresses in Tasha's illustrations.
And perhaps one of my favorite items in this shop: these adorable notecards.
1. Look for ways to develop product lines, based on best-selling items in your shop.
For example, if you sell crocheted hats, and one particular hat/color/style is a best-seller, you might consider selling matching scarves, mittens, etc. to create sets that customers can buy.
2. Listen to customers who buy your items.
Sometimes your customers will provide the inspiration that you need to develop a new line of products! For example, if you have a Facebook fan page or Twitter account for your business, your customers might post a comment like this: "I love your illustrations! Have you ever thought about creating notecards from them?" Use that feedback to get new ideas for your shop!
3. Don't be afraid to branch out into different types of products along the same theme.
For example, Tasha originally created her favorite dresses as an illustration, but then she turned that illustration into stationery, embroidery, and fabric products. Sometimes a shop that carries a wide variety of items can look a bit unorganized or "messy," but because Tasha's items follow the same color scheme and theme, the shop looks warm and inviting. I love it!
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How about you? Have you ever tried developing a new line of products based on a best-selling item in your shop? Do tell.