My timing sucks.
I'm either early or late but rarely am I right on target. I envy those who can predict down to the milli-second of what's needed to be done and WHEN. Because I'm rarely right on target, I prefer to be early. I discovered this little obsessive-compulsive habit when I returned to college. (Actually, the habit's been there all along, but it came out in force in college.) I was the student you hated--the one who turned in her papers a week before the due date. The one who started working on her master's thesis while still an undergraduate student. Yeah--THAT student. Because if I didn't turn things in early, I totally missed the boat with the assignment.
If you can hang in there for a minute or two longer--this is going somewhere. I promise.
So last fall, I decided to open an Etsy store. There were various reasons for this decision, but mainly I had to do something with all the jewelry I had been making. There's only so many women in my circle of friends and family to whom I can give jewelry to for birthdays, holidays, special days or celebrations, and just because. My beading was outsupplying the demand. And I had been able to ignore it for a long time because it wasn't like I was outfishing a source or geographical area, right? I wasn't actually doing anything unconscionable like deforestation or removing mountain tops. Right? Right?
|Chocolate In Butterscotch Earrings|
|Enticing Agates Necklace|
As I type this I dare to glance at my desk, which is covered in beads, findings and chains, tools, wire and other stringing materials, loose beads, bagged beads, strung beads--you get the picture. It's not neat or orderly--which is what I need. My school materials are crammed in where ever I can squeeze them and not within easy reach and definitely not organized. Which adds to the mess on my desk. (I have beads tucked inside the paper tray of my printer--it's that bad!) This disarray, chaotic mess drives me a bit insane. Ok...totally insane!
|Ice Blue Princess Earrings & Necklace Set|
But I found right after opening the store back in October that I underestimated the amount of work it was going to take--which seriously conflicted with the amount of classes I was teaching at the time and the amount of students I needed to to whom I need to attend. I also discovered it's not as easy to take a picture and post it on Etsy and watch it sell later. Those cute sales descriptions have to come from somewhere...and the photography skills needed are more than my point-n-shoot camera can handle...and I have to market my wares, which can cost more money than I had budgeted for. Then there was the time factor...time to photograph my stuff; time to write descriptions and figure out prices and policies; time needed to market everything on various sites.
|My Garden Necklace|
I've set up my Excel spreadsheets for the store, but am going to revise them to work better for me. I've rephotographed most of my jewelry sets because #1) my hard drive with the previous photos crashed and #2) I learned some helpful hints to make my stuff hopefully more attractive until I can afford to purchase jewelry mannequins. I've also ordered business cards and learned I need a light box and found instructions to build one. I've also been reading how to make my descriptions more personable, rather than typical corporate-chain store-advertising. I'll be spending a bit more time on the computer than I used to do to promote my wares on Facebook, and other forms of social media. I've also decided on a plan of action for which pieces I'm keeping as gifts, giveaways, and for myself. Afterall, if I can't keep a few special pieces for us--the Bead Addict and myself--then I'm never going to shut her up!
And I reopened today--My Other Vice, complete with a sale on certain items. I hope to get my destash items in there soon so other
It's probably not the best timing since it's right after the holidays and everyone is broke, but that's how we got to this point in the first place. My timing issues, remember? But Valentine's Day and Easter are fast approaching. *gently nudges* April and May will bring graduations, confirmations, holy baptisms, bat mitzvahs, proms, and weddings. Not to mention Mother's Day. *nudge-nudge-nudge*
So go look around. You don't have to worry about any sales pressure. You don't have to buy if you don't wish to. But come back often and have a cup of coffee or tea if you prefer while you browse. Stay for a spell and enjoy. You may recognize some beads from some of my (and hopefully your) favorite artisans and as the store grows, new artisans as I discover them. Drop me a line or two and let me know what you think or what you'd like to see.
|Sweetheart's Blush Earring and Necklace Set|