because having a business sucks

actually, because having a business that is going largely unnoticed, and struggling to survive, sucks.

i know, woe is me. but i think we all need a little ‘woe as me’ once in a while, because (hopefully) it leads to some reflection as to why things are in the disappointing state they’re in, and some brainstorming on how to amend that state, and, ultimately, some smart and efficient implementation of strategies that will shift things in a better direction.

i have been ruminating on the fate of my shop for a while. i know that i make great stuff, take pretty good photos, and i am a decent writer. what appears to be lacking from my bag of tricks is hustle. this elusive ‘hustle’ means that i need to be doing the following:

a) making items on a weekly basis. this means new pieces, generally, but when i am feeling uninspired, i should be making more of the existing items in my shop…particularly the ones that sell well and/or are the most labor intensive. this last bit will save me from procrastinating when a new order comes in. my dream is to sell out every time i do a shop update…wouldn’t that be grand?!

b) boosting my social media presence. i tend to get some momentum going here, but it tends to come in spurts. this needs to be amended. i don’t use facebook much anymore, as it doesn’t have much of a reach without spending money to boost one’s posts. my best bets are instagram and pinterest. i prefer the quickness and ease of instagram, but my efforts there have yet to bring me any sales so far. (this will hopefully change, once i am steadily making things and posting shop updates there!) on the other hand, pinterest has definitely garnered me views and sales. i need to be spending a little time there weekly to freshen my boards.

c) blogging more often. with more varied content. meaning, some DIY stuff, or possibly some tutorials. not sure yet. i welcome your ideas.

so that, friends, is my recipe for some much-needed hustle. i hope that you will see me following through on these plans ASAP…and if you do, please let me know that you are seeing it. i can always use some encouragement!

branching out

i have received encouragement to become a blogger from various people, but i always considered myself too busy, ill-equipped, uninteresting, or…you name it.

i was first and foremost a maker, but my penchant for ‘spinning yarns’ was a close second to bud. (fiction comes easily to children when they have been caught doing something they shouldn’t!) my creativity takes many forms, but creating the descriptions in my etsy shop listings give a nod to my writing self. wait, etsy, you ask? oh, yes…i am a maker, remember? i make jewelry with a vintage flair, and i LOVE doing it.

etsy has been an exciting catalyst for both my creative selves, and i have spent the last five years cultivating my shop and evolving my aesthetic. but like all bright and shiny things, it has begun to lose its luster. created as a unique marketplace that fostered the handmade culture, etsy provided a meaningful connection between seller and buyer through features like chat (which etsy removed, to the detriment of all, a few years ago), and the forums, which bear little resemblance to the useful and varied platforms they once were. most recently, etsy erased and redrew its boundaries to include sellers who outsourced their production to factories.

it is a sad state of affairs, and an utter heartbreak to me and many of my etsy peers, who honestly believed that etsy would never succumb to the pressure of bigger business. following etsy’s announcement of their ‘redefinition of handmade,’ the CEO has disappeared back into the woodwork and remained almost completely silent, while millions of small-scale makers grapple with the upheaval of a place we called home.

which leads me to this, the creation of a blog. a place where hopefully, i can begin to process my disappointment and fears…and my hopes and dreams for the future.

are you with me? let’s do this thing.