Have you popped over to the Etsy shop for a visit lately? You might have noticed some changes. After the spring sale, I FINALLY stripped out all the old product, old photos & styles. It was very therapeutic!
I have not been as productive this past week as I needed to be. Looking on the positive side of things though, I DID manage to photograph & list new items in my Etsy shop. Yep, you read that correctly. New items in the Etsy shop!!!! I’m just a tad excited about that! Feels good to FINALLY be able to share my Love Catcher beauties with the rest of the world! Here are some of the small 4″ Love Catchers that are in the shop right now (with more being made weekly):
There is also a small selection of slightly larger Love Catchers. The ones below are 8″ in diameter, but I make up to 14″ (and would love to try a super-duper large one sometime… just picture a hula-hoop sized one… craziness, I know, but I still want to try).
Adding the new product to the shop also means, that my shop is starting to take on the look & feel that I REALLY want to capture with Bubblegum Sass going forward. I’ve had to take a hard look at my product lines and re-assess things. I’m getting closer to that curated collection that I’ve been pondering for two years now. TWO YEARS?! Actually, you could say it has been a process of FOUR YEARS. Four years of trying to figure out just what Bubblegum Sass is truly all about.
It wasn’t something that I could just sit down and decide, hammer out in a bit of brainstorming & write-up in a business plan. It has taken lots of trial and error; going too far in one direction and having to come back again. Of course, meanwhile, the rest of life happens (sometimes too much of it) too and constantly influences my work. There’s a lot of creative vomit that seems to have to happen before you can get to the really good stuff. Let me just say friends, I truly feel on the verge of the really good stuff right now. Hope you’re going to stick around to see how it all turns out.
After a nice long break from work over the Christmas holidays, I am back at the office today. It was a great time off. Just the right mix of getting things done and being a bit lazy. I spent mornings immersed in tasks for my crafty business, the occasional afternoon nap with the cat and much cleaning and organizing of the sewing room. Hubby was super diligent in getting a few items done around the house that had been hanging over us (a shelf needed to be cut, stained & hung, the punching bag needed to be set-up, and smoke alarms needed to be installed). All in all, it was a satisfying break.
I spent my last day of vacation sitting quietly with the cat in the sewing room daydreaming, envisioning, and putting down on paper my business goals. I have been using a number of books to guide me in this process:
- The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business by Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon
- Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop You Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, Sustain Your Effectiveness by Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, and Fran Johnston
- The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online by Kari Chapin
- Crafty Superstar: Make Crafts on the Side, Earn Extra Cash and Basically Have It All by Grace Dobush
That “Becoming a Resonant Leader” was actually a book that I used during a career development course at work and the exercises in it have come in handy so much as I try to develop a clear picture of what I want for my craft business. It is part of the whole philosophy that you are much more likely to succeed if you actually write it all down. Having a bunch of great ideas, goals, and measures of success in your head is one thing. Recording that all somewhere is another. I need to write out an official business plan and work on financial projections, but it seemed best to start with a “vision” first. Then I can begin to hammer out how I will get there.
Back in the fall when I first started thinking more concretely about a craft business, I figured I should have a business plan and all the details figured out before I started selling. This perspective changed, though, as I realized that I just needed to take the leap. I’m not going to entirely skip over the planning, but it is something that I can do now, while my Etsy shop is open and I continue to make items. There is a strong desire to keep moving forward. The learning curve is steep, but exciting! I’m seriously no good with crunching numbers, either, so the thought of doing financial projects is a bit nauseating. This is where help from hubby will come in handy. That was part of the “envisioning” too, determining my greatest strengths and weaknesses and areas I might need to get help with.
I guess, sometimes, I get overwhelmed trying to come up with a plan. It’s easy to feel defeated even before you begin, like there’s no use, you’re so far behind already. The past several months, though, I’ve felt less and less like that. It’s a bit like having a heavy fog finally clear away. The fog has been replaced with excitement, resilience, and even ambition. Now I’m feeling less lost and much more directed than I have in quite some time.