Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Down but not out ....

Life has been a bit hectic these past couple weeks ... but I’m home for a while with no travel plans.  It may be a good time to think.

I’ve been discouraged lately with my business.   Last year, we moved to Wisconsin but it was too late to apply for some of the craft shows I most wanted to participate in.  So I’ve been making those applications this year ... we’ll just say that the results have not met my expectations.  My online sales have never been stellar and they’re showing no signs of improvement. 

So now what?

I have a crafting friend.  She and I are opposites in many ways, but despite our differences, I admire her greatly.  She is a full time crafter, making a living from her work.  She’s single and I know things get tough for her sometimes but she’s supporting herself with her home business.  What is the secret to her success?  What is she doing differently?  Is it just the type of product she makes?  Or is it something else?

I grew up on a farm and in the late 60's, my father came to a crossroads of decision.  He had been farming for nearly 20 years and was very good at it – he was successful.  But farming was changing and the decision he needed to make was either to get “big” or get out.  We had just over 300 acres of land – getting big meant that he needed to purchase more ... maybe as much as a 1000 acres and there would be major capital investments in new and bigger machinery.  He would also need to hire help .... and that would be difficult because all our summer labor help was fighting in Vietnam.  My dad was presented with another kind of opportunity ... so he took it, and got out of farming. 

At this point, I feel a bit like I’m at that same kind of crossroads – I either need to get big or get out.  If I get big, it will mean going from a part-time schedule to a full-time one.  I think I have the self-discipline for that – I homeschooled my kids for 15 years and know how to stick to a schedule.  I’ll need to figure out ways to be more efficient – because I need to do more, but without asking my husband (who has been very supportive and helpful) to take on more responsibility (he's a huge help at shows!!).  It will mean some capital investments in a better camera and better displays.  But going big does not guarantee success.  There is risk.  And unlike my father, I do not have another opportunity waiting for me. 
   
I love making jewelry.  I’m committed to several craft shows this year and have a few more applications to complete...and I will.  Perhaps I need to be looking in other directions to market my craft – maybe this closing door means there is an open window someplace.   I’m a little down but I’m not out yet.

And maybe one of these days real soon, I’ll get one of those acceptance letters from a show I’m really hoping to get in to.

7 comments:

sammysgrammy said...

So glad to "see" you again. Missed you. Happy you posted here. Sounds like one of those Gideon type decisions you need to make. The Lord is happy to help, like He did for Gideon.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I wish you much success and a very clear answer that you know that you know what to do next in your crafting. One closed door always opens another....just step through...

Desiree Malan said...

Your post makes so much sense to me. I think most of us have been at this point and know what you're going through. Its good to take time rethinking and evaluating your business. By doing this you will soon come up with a clear plan.

Lemon Lane said...

Took a peek at your shop, and I think you photos are already great! But jewelry is a pretty saturated market on Etsy, so you have to find ways to get found and stand out. Have you considered making some pieces with other gemstones for a variety? It seems like druzy and precious gems are really popular right now, albeit more expensive! I wish you all the best!

Cynthia S. said...

Don't give up. Start advertising, for as low as $5 a month, on Christian blogs. Just take your time and browse the internet for Christian blogs that allow advertising. Christians love to support other Christians. Many blessings to you!

Abby / Linda said...

I went thru this, about a year ago. I eventually closed my jewelry shop, but I, unlike your love of jewelry making, didn't love it! I had other interested. 'Sew' I am now--Monday to be exact--opening a new shop with my textile art! Really what I love. these decisions are hard and take time to 'gel'. Good luck!

gentle adornments said...

Thank you all for the encouragement! It is very much appreciated.