Regrouping

I have been taking a bit of a break from my blog simply because I am trying to figure out where to go with my business.

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I have been a bit frustrated and not sure what I should do. I make and list and see lots of views, but even after all t his time, working so hard, I am getting very few sales.

I get great response from my buyers, they love the quality and think I price well, but I think on Etsy, everyone looks at everyone elses stuff for ideas, so when you see a lot of views, it does not actuallymean interested buyers.

It is very hard to work as hard as I have been working, many weeks as many hours as a full time job and make only a hundred bucks or less a month. I am seriously frustrated and need to figure this out.

This is my studio currently, a big mess as I have been working on so many fun projects !! you can see my question  mark from above, lol, just made from beads on my table !! Usually my chair is by that table, but since I am at my computer desk accross the room  , it is out of view, also the basket of yarn is usually tucked way back in, but my lights plug got loosened and I had to pull the basket of yard out to plug it securly in.

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Do I need to leave Etsy and try something new ? I Have done Artfire as well, it was expensive and no better luck.  I have been thinking about doing craft fairs but at this point, two major things stand in my way. No car, and no partner. I am not sure about anyone else, but it is impossible for me to man a table for an entire day without some potty breaks. You cannot leave your table unattended to do so.  You need another person to help you out.

I have tried and tried to find a craft buddy. No luck. Someone who makes a non competing item, that would love to share the cost of a booth and not have to work alone, but the problem is, most people seem to have that covered. I have given my card to dozens of people, no call backs.

At some point, you look at all the money spent, and all the time spent, and start to get a bit frustrated. I love my beads, I adore making jewelry and to not be able to make a dime at it is a bit heart breaking to be honest.

I am open to any ideas, I work hard and I am willing to work even harder to make my business grow. I am not giving up, but had to take a break. I have been participating in Ruthie Harts sponser give away for the first three months I have sponsered, I told her I am taking a break from the give away at least for this month . She is awesome, it is not a reflection on her blog, I get a lot of hits from her blog and for that I am so grateful. But the thought of mailing out another freeby with hardly any sales coming in, just was not something I could do this month.

So, I am feeling a bit kicked in the teeth right now. I see other jewelry designers selling well and cannot figure out why I cannot do the same. I Honestly believe in my jewelry and wine charms. I use quality materials, I am very particular in my construction, if it does not look good, I will redo it. Even if it means throwing away a head pin because the loop is just terrible or I am not happy with the combo of the beads. I try my best to give my customers the best jewelry or wine charms that I can.

So, this week I am just kind of taking a break,  thinking about my options and figuring out what direction to go. I have a custom order to keep me busy and I am working on a fun gift for Ruthie and her expected little baby boy !! I will be posting again in a few days, I just had to take a break , my house also needed a deep cleaning which I have been working on. Once I get back in my studio, I do have to figure out a balance of work and housework, lol !! I do not seem to balance those very well, so I have to work on that as well !!

I just wanted to explain why I am not really posting this week. I am still here, I am fine. I am just a bit deflated trying to figure this out.

If anyone else has been through this, I would sure appreciate any advice. I have been working on jewelry for around 23 years , but this is the  first time I have ever worked this hard to make it a true business.

Thanks for stopping by,

Stephie

3 responses to “Regrouping

  1. Hey, Stephie, I am sorry to hear you are so low. I think we’ve all been there – and will be there again, I am sure. I don’t have a magic cure for you. I don’t make enough $$ to support myself as a jewelry artist, but I believe I do make enough to support my habit.
    Let me ask you a couple of questions – do you have a Facebook page that just features your jewelry? You post to it everyday, showing something you’ve made or something you’ve sold. It’s free, so why not have one? Ditto with Twitter and Instagram. They are free.
    One more question – maybe the thing for you to do is go to stores and boutiques and get them to buy your wine charms and bracelets. Where do you live? You could pick one day a month and go knock on doors with samples, or set up appointments with the stores’ owners/buyers.
    I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s a lot like what I did when I was younger and living in NYC and trying to make it as an actress. I had a waitress job to support my “real” job – going to auditions. One day a week I made cold calls, walking around to agents’ offices dropping off headshots and resumes. I went to at least one audition a week.
    It eventually paid off. I made a living as an actress for about three years – then decided the whole thing wasn’t for me and went back to grad school (another story).
    I am on Etsy too and I don’t think you’re assessment of it is wrong. But are you using it as effectively as you can? Are you on any teams? I joined four teams and saw my sales rise (again, not enough to make a living, but I have a real job I love in a field I also love – jewelry and other crafts are an outlet).
    Check on Etsy if there is a local circle of members in your area and join it. See if they have get togethers to critique each others’ work and share resources (like rides to craft shows).
    I think your stuff is very nice and I would be sad if you left jewelry making. Take some time, let the decision sit with you for a while. I’ll be thinking about you.

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  2. Unfortunately, I have no advice to give you! I have never stuck my neck out there like you did to make a business out of my creative ventures. I give you props for having the courage to make a go of it. I really hope it all works out for you!

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  3. Thanks so much both of you, for your kind words and encouragement.
    I have tried the facebook page, but since I have a personal page, it was very hard to post to it as I am signed in as myself.It was a project to log off and on several times a day to each page, but I will do it. I have 23 followers, most of them family and friends, and will see how I can work that out and try it again. It is still up and running , It has the same name as this blog, Stephies Beads and Baubles, but I found my friends were wonderful and supportive and all signed up to follow me, but after some initial feed back, I found I would post and hear crickets most of the time. I am not sure how to promote it so I can get sales or new followers.
    I did join some Etsy teams, but have no idea what to do with them. I will get on Etsy today and see what I can do on that front.
    As for checking out stores, again, I have no car. My husband works six days a week. Currently we live an hour from our kids and friends but will be moving back in a few months. I might have some help then, but for now, I am stranded at home. The area I live in is not a boutique type area, in fact other than main stream stores, I have not seen any boutique type stores at all in the area, might have more luck with that when we move back home. There was more of that down there !!
    I will give the facebook page a try, maybe this time will work better. I hope so. Last time was kind of a bust.
    I do have a twitter and a pinterest board and as I list they go on my personal facebook, my business twitter and pinterest. I have no clue what instagram is ? I have heard of it, but not really sure what it is ? I will check that out as well.
    I sometimes just do not know what I am doing wrong. I watch others on facebook selling a ton of stuff. one or two of them a grand plus a month and I feel my items are comprable. I do not expect to make a true living at this, as much as I would love to, but I would love to make around five hundred a month. Enough to pay back what I spend on beads, listing and all, and to have a few hundred left for profit.
    I will not give up. I have too much time and money invested. I just really needed to vent. I am very frustrated !!
    How cool that you were an actress, that is really neat !! What a fun thing to have done in your life !!
    The funny, odd funny kind of funny, twice I made the decision to find a job once I had a car, before our son could give me our car back, we had not fixed his truck yet, my car was destroyed in a bad accident that Thank God, he walked away from, like our accident, it was not his fault, traffic just stopped in front of him. Then after nine or ten months we decided to get me a car so I could get a job. I wanted out in the world, making some money. within three weeks, before I had a chance to job hunt, as I was waiting until our son, who had just returned from a year in Korea, and his family, moved to the west coast, wanted to enjoy every minute with him, on our way to his house, we avoided a five car pile up, just to be hit and have our car totalled by someone not so lucky. So, no car for a job again. Luckily we are fine, but no car again !!
    I sometimes wonder what the universe is telling me ? lol !!
    So, I have no idea what is going on, but I will try of those things you mentioned and see if things change. I sure appreciated both of your taking the time to answer me, that meant a lot and I appreciate it !!

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