Monday, November 30, 2015

Limping Past the One Year Mark

Naiad Necklaces and Gift.i.Gami turned 1 in October 2015. Yay me.
Photo courtesy F_A. Flickr user January 2011

Well I did it.  I managed to outlast more than 95% of all new businesses by staying in business for a full year.  But only barely.  It's been a year of sobering realizations and frustrations as I juggle full time motherhood/dance mom status, a demanding part-time job, two Etsy stores, and, oh yes, a very disruptive home remodel.  The latter has been particularly vexing.  Supposedly a 6 week project, we are now entering *month* 7 with no end in sight.  My studio has been packed up since June, including my photographic equipment.  With no way to take photos, there has been no way to post new listings in the shops.  Or at least no way to post *high quality* listings.

I am grateful for the customers I've attracted.  I've met some great mentors and cheerleaders along the way. I've learned a lot about e-retailing, and soon I will put those skills to use as a volunteer for a non-profit organization (further eroding into my productivity, but it's a good cause).  I've been humbled by how hard so many Etsians work to make a full time living in the online retail business.  Doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation I estimate that even those handmade jewelry stores with more than 100 sales a year gross at best $10,000 a year.  Most gross far less than that. Hopefully they have other income streams.

As for me?  I plan to stick around a little longer.  My goals and expectations are more realistic.  This is not going to replace my other job.  My productivity is going to be low and slow given my other responsibilities.  However, I truly love creating and touching people with my work, and I hope they feel the same.