I’m not sure how many of you out there are also Etsy sellers, but Etsy has decided they’re going to up their fees a little. Now for some people, that’s not really a big deal. For me, an extremely small business (one woman show) who does everything handmade and almost 90% of it is made to order, this means I will need to possibly re-think being an Etsy seller.
Let me be extremely transparent and honest.
I say that to say this….I have options, of course. I could up my pricing to accommodate for the fees. I could take the hit and keep my pricing. I could try to find other platforms to sell on. The bottom line is, without people spreading the word about my business and my work, none of these things matter in the grand scheme. I am not successful simply because of my craft. I’m successful because my customers love their creations and tell others, who then also purchase their own creations to have. I’m successful because you tell your friends and family that they should choose me to create something for them. I’m successful because you leave reviews letting others know how you enjoy the creation I’ve made for you. I’m not ashamed to say I rely on others to help me be successful…because without my customers, without other people promoting my work…..I don’t succeed. Period.
Running my business is more than just creating on the spot. I have quite a few things that I want to offer but I don’t know if other people will be interested. So I make it…and put it out there and see what sticks. I have things I want to create simply for creation sake, so I do. I love my craft. I love creating. But the harsh reality is, I don’t have the space to just create all the time…..I need inventory to also go out the door also.
It’s not easy for me to toss around giving up my dream of doing my craft all day, every day. I’ve been blessed to do that for almost a year now. But the reality is, I don’t have the fame or the popularity that people just flock to buying my items. And that’s okay…I am okay with that. But it also means I have to look at it practically. I love creating…I love making things. I love the joy others get from my creations. However, I also have to look at it in a business way and as a person trying to make a living doing it.
The reality is, if I’m going to put any of it on Etsy, it’s going to cost me. Period. That’s the “perk” of selling on Etsy. Just like any business/service, they’re going to get their money. I can’t fault them for that. Being a one woman show, who doesn’t make a livable income off Etsy sales though…..I have to consider what that means for my future on Etsy. And most small businesses like me are probably doing the same thing, whether they say so or not. For some businesses, this is just a drop in the bucket. But for someone like me, even that small drop matters like a rain storm.
So why am I telling you all this? Well there are a few reasons. First…if you’ve purchased from me on Etsy and it will still allow you to – PLEASE leave a review! This is how other customers validate and realize I sell good quality products. If Etsy won’t allow you to…leave me a review on Facebook! How many times do you look for a company on Facebook? Just saying, I do the same thing with an “unknown”… I look for their online presence and see what others say.
Also, please, don’t wait to purchase — I realize we aren’t all blessed with budgets that allow us to shop willy-nilly, but if you’re interested in an item and tell yourself “I’ll get that later,” chances are (if you’re like me), you forget but the time “later” comes around and you forget….even though you really wanted said item. If you need a payment plan…contact me. I don’t offer payment plans for everything, but I do for some things.
If you’re a newborn photographer and finding this through my newborn product line (Southern Belle Newborn Knits), then get the props you love! Go ahead and snag the prop that’s been begging you to add to your prop stash. Tell your newborn mamas about me…..tell them I have this other side where I create other things that aren’t specific to newborn and I welcome custom orders!
Giving up on a dream is never easy, especially after you go to live it for a little while….but its especially hard when you have every hope still in that dream but realize others don’t and that others actually determine if your dream can happen. YOU are that person! Yes, YOU, reading this, right now. YOU have the power to allow me to continue my dream. You also have the power to make me realize the dream is over. I don’t say that to bring you down or play on your emotions…I say that because I’m already considering giving it up because I cannot sustain what I do without the help of others….so literally, without your help, my dream dies. That’s the truth of it. It’s not a ploy, it’s not a “do this for me and I’ll do this for you…” it’s just me being honest and recognizing that right now, my business relies on others to help make me successful.
So it’s up to you, after reading this, what you’ll do. To be honest (and no offense to anyone), I don’t really expect much to come of this. I know if I was the one reading this, I’d feel like the person was just trying to rope me in. I am not trying to do that….but I am trying to survive as a small business and a woman who loves making all the yarn things.
This is me (thanks, Greatest Showman!)….being honest….baring it all, being honest and transparent….trying to help people see that it’s not just the love of creating that keeps me afloat…. it’s all of YOU. And without all of you, I will not continue to be able to do my craft as a business. That’s the harsh reality friends, but there it is. So I’m asking you to support my craft, my dream…. I’m asking you to tell others….I’m asking to “sing my praises” if you love the creations I’ve made for you. I don’t see this as desperation…. I see it as laying it all out for all of you who’ve followed me for so long…for all who’ve enjoyed my creations and would like to continue to do so. This is me being raw about the dream I’ve been blessed to live the past year and the craft that I’m passionate about doing. So what will you do now?