I haven't published a blog post in over a year... I have issues with writing. I struggle with knowing how much to reveal about myself, whether I am writing about my business / craft or more personal posts. Ideally it would be a fun and conversational blend of both -- but hitting the right note can be difficult (;
2015 has been a very chaotic year - and although it has been filled with lots of wonderful experiences it has been challenging.
Sometimes you can't worry about moving forward cuz it's taking all of your energy just to keep standing upright. I am trying to have more compassion for myself.
When I started blogging in my teens, my biggest goal was supporting myself through my art - like my parents do, and that is what I've done, since I moved out on my own in 2011.
The first 2 years were marked by growth in my business - and in what I could do. I was obsessed with checking my Etsy shop's increasingly steep sales graph. It was my gold star.
After the second year of my independent life, business has gotten harder. Although I've continued to learn new techniques and improve my craft, selling work has become more rare. I'm spending more time on each piece - and that makes the price higher.
In 2011, I'd clean up at the local Sunday Artists' Market selling $12 button bracelets and $10 headbands and $18 little dolls.
Now I'm focused on rugs that run from - $50-$350, and quilts that start around $250 and up to $1,000. When I do a craft fair it is totally common to sell nothing at all. (my pricing is based on paying myself $10-$12 an hour).
On the flip side I am more proud of my work that I've ever been!
I have been racking my brain and trying all kinds of things to figure out the best ways to sell what I make now. This year in particular - I've been concentrating on getting my rugs into shops, but making profit after a 50/50 retail split isn't easy.
When your livelihood is your passion and it is going well - it feels incredible, when it isn't, it can be crushing. Failure to sell tends to feel very personal.
I am never going to stop making things - it is like breathing to me, but the constant stress of worrying about if or how it is marketable - is sapping my joy.
I've been thinking about getting a part time job so I could concentrate on more time-consuming projects like quilts. In this moment, a mindless job, where I am told what to do next, sounds relaxing...
Anyone who is trying to run a small business feels lost at times, and that is why I wanted to be open about what I'm feeling at this stage in my practice.