Setting up this new shop has really done a number on my brain. Couple that with the fact my baby is going to be a kindergartener & my big kid is going to be a third grader, and I am all awash in rosy hued nostalgia.
The first time I set up a shop I was fresh outta college. Totally scared and unqualified to get a “real job” I decided to try to make some money doing what I love most, making stuff! At the time, I knew a little about web design and how to paint things with glitter. I didn’t know how to sew, knit, or crochet. I could decoupage the dickens out of anything though.
This was years before Etsy was on the scene. I built myself a store front, integrated a cart system, and started promoting it. It was fun but completely and totally overwhelming. I had NO idea what I was doing. Having never taken a business class in my life, I was just completely winging it. I am a nice and friendly person, so the customer service wasn’t difficult. Fulfilling orders was though. I had a tracking system, but it was less than ideal. My pricing structure was very low and I had a glut of orders at very low profit to myself.
My biggest seller was a hand designed toilet seat. Toilet seat lids take up a lot of space. My production area accommodated six toilet seat lids at most. Anything over that and our apartment was overrun with toilet seat lids! Can you imagine shipping 20 toilet seats out at a time? It was a pain, at very little gain to myself. Except that it was a blast.
After I had Sadie I continued on with a few custom orders. It was just too laborious a process for what I got out of it. Etsy had come along, people were selling the same items there and I just felt over it.
Since then I have learned to sew, to knit, and to crochet. I have also learned how to make digital illustrations using the adobe creative suite. I find these all stimulating and super fun. These are crafts that take up far less room!
Looking over handmade marketplaces, I realize that you have to bring something unique to the table if you want to sell your wares. Luckily, I brought me! I know I have a unique perspective and style, and I am excited to share it with others.
In the time since I set up my first shop, I have been immersed in business education. I have spent the past four years whipping a non-profit into shape. I feel truly able to say that I am beginning this venture with a fresh perspective on business management. That is super exciting!
I am ecstatic about this project for many reasons. It gives me a means to make a bit of scratch while I work from home, around the schedule of my children. It allows me to pursue so many things I am interested in: Business administration, web design, product design, fabric, art, craft, and kitsch! I will be opening my shop shortly, and I can’t tell you how anxious I am to share it with you.