What is inspiring me today?
Last night around 9-ish or so I realized something when I was checking my shop on etsy.. I'D MADE A SALE! First sale this month, and it was only the 3rd at the time.. I'm thinking all my networking lately has been paying off. You really can't describe to someone who hasn't been in the trenches of etsy (or some other online business) how much work it is to keep a shop going, or how discouraging it is to put all the work in and not see results. I have been on etsy for just a day over 7 months now and was really beginning to wonder if I was just wasting my time. Every night I crochet like mad when Milo goes to sleep. On the off chance that I have had enough time to finish whatever it is I have been working on, maybe I take a few pictures. Then maybe the next night or some time during the day when Milo has actually decided to nap ;) I list that item. Done, right? I have a finished product with beautiful photos and it's in my shop, so people are going to buy it! Wrong. People don't just come out of nowhere with their virtual shopping carts and purchase that item because they haven't found that item. So then the next night you spend all night networking, trying to somehow get your product seen by someone! AND THEN if you're luck, you might get a sale. Then you have to decide, do I go offline for a little while and try to make something new, maybe risk giving up some of the connections I have just made just for the sake of having a little time to actually practice my craft or do I continue being glued to my computer for hours straight trying to find my customers?
7 months ago when I discovered etsy, so young and naive, I thought, "That doesn't look too hard. I love to crochet and knit.. so how much more work could it possibly be to just put those items online for people to buy? " Well, as I've just outlined, it's ALOT more work. It's making sure your photos are bright enough to be noticed. It's making a light box out of an old box your husband brings home from work and a few cut up shirts he no longer wears. It's finding the space around your 2 bedroom apartment to store all the yarn you have, the stock of scarves and washcloths you have built up, the previously mentioned light box that you stuff in a corner somewhere and get looks when company comes over. "What is that?" they wonder.
Owning an etsy shop is ALOT of work, and at times it is very discouraging. BUT when you make a sale, that is your inspiration to keep going, to shrug off the discouragement that has been pushing down on your shoulders and let yourself know, "I CAN do this." Such a little thing like someone buying new washcloths for their home can become such a marvelous thing to that shop owner. That's the great thing about etsy I think. If someone goes into Macy's to purchase those washcloths, I doubt that the owners of Macy's get so excited they have to text their husband at work right away and want to shout the news to all surrounding neighbors. I am inspired this week because that is how a sale on etsy feels to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. So, thank you to etsy and thank you to my wonderful customer, and "I CAN do this!" :)
Also, I have been recently featured in a giveaway, so if you want to win one of my fabulous washcloths sets, here is the link to the blog I am being featured in :) The Steady Hand