Over the past year or so, I have come to a few realizations about who I am as an artist, business owner and person. I enjoy the creative and connecting in person portions of my work and the business I run but, I despise the administrative part of it. I prefer selling my work and my brand in person at shows and different events but, selling my work online is not a viable or profitable option for me. So, with the new year came the need to make some changes. Changes that would better suit me as an artist, business owner and the type of person I am.
I decided to close my Etsy shop. It is a fantastic way for artists and others who create a sellable product to make some money on the side or use it as a full time online store front but….IT IS A LOT OF WORK!!!! Owning and operating an Esty store is a full time job and needs to be treated as such to be truly successful and profitable. You need to create the product, photograph it, place the item in your shop for sale, do a write up about it and then once it sells, you need to accept payment, wait for the payment to clear, ship it out and wait for feedback from your buyer. If you will be away from your shop for any reason (vacation, show, event), you need to remember to post a notice and close the shop and then re-open the shop once you have returned. You will also need to spend a bit of money to take advantage of the selling and promotional tools they offer on top of the free store and low selling fees. I spent quite a long time opening and readying my shop for business and had one sale through my Etsy shop. It turned out to be too much work for too little return with respect to the way I hate the administrative part of my business. I am much more successful sales wise and in obtaining new clients in person at shows and events and have found that I am more than willing to spend the required time preparing for events, show sales and face to face client consults than for sales through an Etsy shop. So, the Etsy shop is no more but, again, it is a wonderful tool for those who choose to use it as their only selling tool and are willing to put in the effort to make it work for them.
Another change I opted to make was to switch my website to more of a portfolio and blogging webite and remove all sales aspects from the website. As with my Etsy shop, I have had only one or two sales through my website in the many years it has been up and online now. It has never served me well as a selling and sales tool. Probably because, like Etsy, I am just not into all the work involved administratively. My shop page is now removed and my designs will now be available for sale at shows and events. All that being said, if someone were to find a piece on my site that they wished to purchase, a private sale with them would be arranged.
I very much enjoy writing blog entries and portfolio posts to keep my customers and followers current with what I have stewing and new pieces I have created but, that is it. So, you will find that my website’s “shop” page has been replaced with a “portfolio” page. I will be using this new page to post photos and comments about new product, pieces and designs as well as photos from collaborations with other artists, such as photographers, textile designers etc.
I am committed to trying to blog at least once or twice a week and to placing a new design or collaboration in the portfolio page a few times a month. It will take much self discipline for me to make myself leave my work table and all the new ideas swirling in my head long enough to post a new blog entry or product photo but, it needs to be done! Perhaps, some of you could kindly nag me every so often if you notice that I have not posted something in a while…not so kind nagging would be appreciated too if it gets me off my butt and doing what I should be doing before being allowed to “play”.
(Just for added interest to this blog entry and for those who have never seen it and are curious, the included photos are of my studio space where all the creating happens. The first photo is a recently taken one of myself in my studio for a show application I am currently working on.)