Well, maybe not an empire, but I at least decided it was time to diversify and move my eggs into some different baskets. To this end I opened my own online shop, to link to from the blog/website.
I used Tictail to make it, which is free to use unless you want to add options like your own url, discount codes, etc. (I'm sticking with the basic version for now), and is also pretty user-friendly. I even edited some code all by myself (!) to make it look more like the rest of my website, and I'm really happy with it. Still some work to do, and no sales yet, but "if you build it they will come", right?