They say you should put a shameless plug about your Etsy shop, if you have one, in basically everything you put on the internet. Problem is, I am weird about selling myself. Most people don’t even know I have a shop or a blog because I just don’t advertise myself as much as is recommended. I just don’t think its cool to always be gloating around this and that about what you sell. I am afraid to turn my friends and family into my income.
Instead, I have humbly gone about my Etsy shop business (see what I did there?) and let those who wanted to, come to me! I don’t do my Etsy shop full time, though isn’t it every girls dream to make her arts and crafts her life’s work? I still have my day job, but think it would be rad to be working only my shop at some point in my life. I truly and genuinely LOVE working with my hands to create beautiful things. So I make handmade garlands and banners, and have recently dipped into the tutu world. I started out making lit garlands, and then moved to non lit as well. They have been used for crib banners, holiday decor, bedroom decor, Relay for Life tent decor, birthday decor, and so much more! I love getting pics of how my handmade goods have enriched an event or a home.
I was thinking of having a Christmas in July sale and doing preorders for holiday garlands and banners. Would love to have some input on that. The tutu addition to my shop was a long time coming. My family and friends encouraged me (more like begged me) to make some for things like birthday partied, costumes, and even one offered up that I should make an adult tutu for marathon runners, like the Color Run and the Zombie Runs. I love the idea and will definitely be expanding on it ASAP. I made my first two tutus the other night while watching Grey’s Anatomy. It was definitely more fun than making the garlands – a lot less work has to go into them. I decided to go the no sew route since there is room for error in that method. Not so much with stitching. So I am happy with the different variations my shop has come to have, and excited to add more!
I struggle a lot with worrying that since I am not a professional photographer or graphics designer, that my shop according to its looks doesn’t even compare to other shops. Husband always tells me not to compare. But it is really hard not to. I don’t have a fancy white back drop full of natural lighting to take my pictures in front of. I don’t even know any little girl younger than 21 in the entire Austin area, so I certainly don’t have a model. I asked Husband the other day if it would be weird to take my tutus and camera to a park and ask random kids on the playground to be my models. He recommended not doing that so I don’t get arrested. So my photos are what they are. But I love shooting the super up close pics to really show the detail I put into my work.
I am pretty sure I am as regular as it gets when it comes to having my own Etsy shop. I have gone through all the same emotions as anyone else starting out I hope, although I haven’t confirmed. I have wanted to give up on it a bunch. I have been told awful stories of other peoples attempts at failed shops. I have been discouraged and lazy even at times. It is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice to get to where you can just fly solo with an online shop. The best case story I have heard is a woman who made her shop her full time job in exactly a year. That would be so wonderful if it really happened, but right now, I am loving the little sales I get here and there, and the little impact it is in peoples lives. I get my strength from Husband, who was the reason I started the shop. He encouraged me to make something I love and make it more than a hobby. He has been right by my side while I was having crying melt downs in fabric stores. He has given me advice on finances. He has even stood there with me while it took over an hour to get all the fabric I needed once cut. The ladies at my local craft store ask about him if he isn’t there with me. He is my logistics guy and I couldn’t be more grateful for his love and support.
Here is my humble, normal, average, not exciting, but labor of love shop that I just want you, the internet, to take a look. Sometimes we just want to be told, “Hey! Looks like you are on to something really great there!” (And if this even gets one sale from the post, I may be more happy than a blog post could express.