As some of you know I enjoy crafting. It is amazing to me that I have not posted lately about any of my crafting. Last year I opened an Etsy shop called "Mama Likes to Party". I thought I could craft and someone could pay me for it right?!? Here are a couple of the products I enjoyed making:
It was a lot of fun but I do not think I was ready for what was to come. I made lots of fun party supplies mostly for kids parties and let me say it got CRAZY! I was working on these items during every nap time and every bed time. I dreamed about making the party supplies. It became a bit much and I felt like I was missing out on time with my kids and husband. So I put my shop on vacation last spring to prepare for my own kids' birthday parties with the intention of coming back and then I just didn't. We spent a lot of time outside during the summer and I never felt like I wanted to reopen and be inside creating party supplies when it was warm, the sun was shining, and I could be in my flower beds.
Well we live in West Michigan. It is cold, snowy, and gray. So when it started getting colder in the fall my mind started to wonder if I wanted to reopen my shop. I thought I wanted to open my shop but I was not sure if I wanted to do party supplies again. While the success I had was enticing the stress was not. I thought about what were some other crafting things that I enjoyed. I had learned how to crochet awhile ago and thought I would pick it back up and see how it went. I started crocheting again and realized it was something I could do in the car on the way to our family in another state, when we were relaxing and watching tv, etc. So I reopened my shop under the name "Mama Likes to Craft". I though this is a pretty broad name where I could change my products as I wanted. I started by making crochet hats for children.
I then made a few things for Mama too!
I have been very surprised by how little I have sold. I opened in November and have sold three items solely through Etsy. (I have done some unexpected local business.) You put so much time and effort into something and you think it is the best that kind of product can be and then you realize no one wants to buy it. I know there are many factors. One being (and I think the biggest) there are lots of people crocheting on Etsy. There are SO many shops that people sell crochet items. Like I said it is something I can do while sitting next to my husband at night. It does not require a lot of physical labor. Supplies are easy to get (I can get them from the grocery store. No 20 minute trip to Hobby Lobby with two kids for me) and supplies are reasonably priced. Also, it is hard to get views on Etsy when there are so many other shops selling the same thing. Everyone posts their Etsy items to Pinterest and Facebook and that is all I have done also. Through my frustration I realized a few things.
The first is probably the most important. I am doing this for fun! God has given me the passion to craft. I get to stay at home with my kids and sometimes it is a struggle for me to not be "making money". But the whole reason I opened an Etsy shop last spring is because I enjoy crafting and I wanted to share it with others.
The second thing I realized is I need to do more to get my views up. So the first thing I did was create a new kind of product that people like. Headbands. Aren't newborn headbands just the cutest thing you have ever seen!?! I went online and purchase materials to make some headbands and posted them to my Etsy shop. Here are a few of my favorites:
I just posted these yesterday. I have not sold any yet but my views on Monday were 11 and Tuesday when I posted were 62. So I think more views is a great start. Now I just have to ask myself why has no one bought any. Price too high? Better product somewhere else? I guess time will tell.
I think two other things I need to consider is how can I be different and do I want to consider craft show as a better route. I need to crochet or create something that is not so popular on Etsy. So if you have a hat design or crafting idea for me please send it my way!! As far as craft shows go it is so daunting to me!! I have never done a craft show and I feel like there are so many things to consider that I have not even thought about. And again, I think I am afraid of rejection of my products. What if someone walks right by my booth without even stopping? This time it is rejection while I am sitting there and not through a screen. Silly, I know! There are many successful craft shows in our area in the fall so I have awhile to think about it and get my inventory up. For now I need to be content.
All this to say I am seeking out joy without the success of money through Etsy. While it may be discouraging to not sell as much as I once did and to see other people sell so much more, what is my main goal in having an Etsy shop? I love having a vision and bringing it to completion and that is what an Etsy store has brought me and right now I need to be content with just that.