It has been two years now that I have been selling on Etsy. My first sale was on September 21, 2008. At that time I never thought that anything I made would possibly sell, but it has and the satisfaction it has given me has been enormous. This whole week I’ve been thinking really hard what I have learned in that time, and what selling the items I make means to my life. To me the funniest thing is the real lessons I have learned about this whole experience have been about taking better care of myself physically, and emotionally. I guess because only through taking really good care of yourself can you continue to create. I never knew just how unorganised my finances were until I started running a business. That has been the biggest obstacle I have tackled recently. I also can’t really function anymore without at least taking a walk everyday to not only get exercise but as a way to recharge and clear the clutter out of my head. Along with cleaning out the clutter in my head has been scaling down and cleaning out the clutter in my life. The next thing I’m going to force myself to do is to start cooking healthier… I hate cooking. See none of this really has anything to do with creating and selling my work, but it all is the foundations of who I am. The person who does make the work so I guess it comes down to I have to be right with myself before I can create items for others. Listed below are excerpts from all over the web of advice that has helped me in this last year….
Kristen Jackson Fadich- 9-20-10 (Facebook)
“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get
started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more...and more successful.” Mark Victo Hansen
Adele Elizabeth – 7-9-2010 ( facebook)
Sometimes I wake up in the mornings and think "What the hell are you doing?" It all seems so utterly meaningless and I wonder to myself why I ever became a creator in the first place... why I never studied law (or something 'sensible') instead of drama and the arts. So I glance out of the window into a world full of people who live their lives on autopilot. I see them every day out there on the street… merely existing… the living dead. So many sad, empty faces that were once so full of life. That’s when I look inwards and remember that I didn’t choose to do this, IT chose me and I live, breathe and bleed it. It’s all I know . And I remind myself that if I weren’t creating, I too would be truly dead on the inside… “ you see things; and you say why? But I dream things that never werem and I say why not”
Quit Your Day Job: redrubyrose (Etsy Blog)
There are always going to be practical reasons why you shouldn't make that leap, especially coming from people around you (believe me, I heard them all at the beginning of my illustration career), but it's amazing how resourceful you become when you believe in your work and feel the terror of the next mortgage/rent payment looming. It's a hoary old cliché but true to say: jump and the universe will catch you.
Quit Your Day Job: loopyboopy (Etsy Blog)
What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
Every morning when I open my eyes I love the fact that I don't have to put on a monkey suit and go anywhere: I don't even have to get out of my pajamas if I don't want to. I love that I am my own boss and the success I experience is completely within my power and the direct result of my efforts. If I want to take a day off and go to the museum or take a stroll through the French Quarter I don't have to ask someone for a day off to do so. I really can't imagine ever going back to a job where I am told what to do and when.
What's the hardest part about running your own business?
Because art was always something I did for fun, it can be difficult at times to treat it as a job. Some days I don't want to make what I know will sell but would like to try something new. Some days I don't want to make anything at all. Creating art is such a joy for me, but when I feel forced to do it, a bit of that joy is diminished and it can start to feel like a "day job." It's still, of course, the only job I would ever want. Believe me, I'm not complaining, but I would say that was the hardest part of running my own business.
I also struggle with time management, but this is nothing new. I've always struggled with time management. I am easily distracted and I have to really force myself to stay focused on the task at hand. It's harder to do when there isn't someone standing over you. Sometimes a break is in order and I make myself get out of the house, take a stroll to the coffee shop or walk the dog. This usually helps me to refocus and I find I'm more productive if I give myself these little breaks.
Though at the time coming down with the disease and the financial burden that resulted seemed overwhelming and insurmountable, by going in the direction life was pushing me I eventually was able to overcome and get on the right path for happiness and some success in the field of art, which is what I was meant to do. I do believe that all of life is like this. We just need to learn to follow the signs.
I'll end with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho:
“Trust and start walking. We are not alone in the dark; our path will unfold as we move.”
Quit Your Day Job: dolangeiman (Etsy Blog)
Lastly, work your tail off, but also remember to take a step back from everything once in a while. Go for a hike, do some yoga, spend the day cooking, whatever. It’s amazing how many times we’ve found ourselves going 100 miles an hour on something only to step back, reflect, and realize we need to change our direction. This perspective is not always easy to obtain so make sure you occasionally let your mind go to a place where new ideas and direction can float to the forefront.
Quit Your Day Job: kgarnerdesigns (Etsy Blog)
Take yourself seriously, even if no one else does. Be confident. When people ask me what I do, and I tell them “I make jewelry and sell it online," the typical reaction goes something like this: “Oh...that’s nice...good for you!...” They think it’s a cute hobby I use to keep myself from getting bored as a stay-at-home mom.
If I had listened to the people who never thought I’d sell a thing (including myself at times) I never would have opened my shop and my family wouldn’t be where we are today. If you think you can do it, go for it!
Stick with it, stick with it, stick with it! This takes a lot of effort and we’re not all going to start making regular sales overnight. I didn’t. Keep trying new things until you start getting the results you want.
Don’t waste the slow times. It’s easy to let yourself feel bad when sales are slow. Slow weeks or months are a great time to make and photograph new items, get your paperwork organized and stock up on supplies. Take the time to make a new banner and business cards or freshen your shop by rephotographing some existing items. You'll feel much better if you're doing something constructive!
Quit Your Day Job: timssally
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back in time to right after high school graduation and right before going to college, I would tell myself to major in something that interests me, like art. I remember walking through the art gallery on campus and being almost envious of those students. I thought I was majoring in something practical and where I could "get a job.” I figured out very quickly that my marketing degree was not going to land me that cool ad or writing job right after graduation. I eventually went back to school in 2002 and earned my MBA. After struggling once again to find that perfect job, that’s when I decided that I wouldn’t spend any more of my time in a job I hate. Enter makeup. Then in 2006, I went to art school and emphasized in painting. I was chipping away at it until last fall and decided I didn’t want to do anything else with an art degree that I wasn’t already doing. So, I’m taking an indefinite break and concentrating on my business.
Hi everyone! I am EJP of EJPcreations. The items I make utilize design elements from a bygone time, to create modern, urban body ornaments. I am a mad scientist of a woman specializing in creating tiaras, necklaces, and fascinators, with a noir, and gothic flair. All adornments have a hint of vampire elegance, a dash of Steampunk bravado, and plenty of Neo-Victorian sensibilities. Here is my little blog to showcase some of my creations, the things that inspire me, as well as a scrapbook of curiosities that I have picked up in my wanderings across the web. ~ Please Enjoy …