Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So I've Been Thinking...

Last year, I was giving thought to setting up an Etsy store to sell some of my handmade bags and cards. I signed up on Etsy, but that's about as far as it got. Life has a way of interrupting my grand plans, and the whole idea got away from me.

I never let it get away completely, though. A part of me still wants to not just be creative, but share that creativity with others. The whole idea, as much as it excites me, also fills me with dread. I find myself wondering about the more challenging 'what-ifs', and how to deal with them.

What If #1- The economy sucks right now. What if nobody wants to buy anything? How much would someone be willing to pay for a handmade bag or a set of handmade cards? I want to charge reasonable prices for my goods, but I don't want to stiff myself, either.

What If #2- I have a ridiculously short attention span. What if I get bored with this venture? Worse yet, what if it becomes like a job? Part of why I enjoy making things is that I do it because I want to, not because I have to.

What If #3- What if I fail? What if my little Etsy shop sits there all forlorn and ignored? It's much riskier to not do it and always wonder if I could have, than to just try and possibly fail. But. Failing sucks. I hate failing! At anything!

If anyone has any advice or answers, I'm all ears!


Kelly said...

I too have an empty Etsy store, just waiting to be filled with stuff I've made. I live in fear of turning my beloved hobby into a JOB.

I'm just waiting for courage to strike.

Kelley said...

That's it exactly! I don't want something that I love to do to turn in to a chore.

Kell(e)y's must think alike in some ways, huh? ;-)

Lola said...

What If #1- Look at other people's Etsy stores for the type of merchandise you want to sell. Gauge your prices accordingly. If you think your product is more unique or of superior quality, then charge a bit more. I bet more people are buying on Etsy because of the economy. Who can afford a branded designer bag in this economy? Who would want to when you can buy something unique and handcrafted for less?

What If #2- What if it ends up being the job you love? You'll never know if you don't try and you can start out small.

What If #3- Your blog has a following, promote your Etsy shop on your blog, do a contest on your blog to introduce your Etsy Shop.

Lurker Girl said...

I sat down and figured out what I would have to charge to sell a card and it made me nuts--so I decided to not make cards to sell--even though they are RIDONKULUSLY (jot that down) expensive in the store, I resort to the dollar store for mine now.

But the handmade bags would be great--people want something unique and well made an are willing to pay for it.

I don't think anyone has been able to quit their day job to just do Etsy stuff--especially when they are the main provider for the family, so make sure this is a labor of LOVE. Set the tone iwth your orders--if it's done, great sell it right away, if it's a special order, you have to let them know your lead time.

Friends of mine did that "Bag party" thing where you pick your favorite patterns and bag style, youpay in advance and then your order goes it. 8-9 WEEKS later they got their bags. That seemed like too long to me--but whatever. You jsut have to be upfront and honest when you say how long something is going to take.

Other than that, I say GO FOR IT--you never know until you try!

Kelley said...

Yes, this would just be for some extra scratch on the side. I've got my eyes on some sweet art markers and a few other things, and momma needs some cash! I'm going to stick to a couple of basic styles as far as bags go; a good sized tote bag and a purse. As far as cards, probably just the basic birthday, baby, holiday types.