Saturday, November 13, 2010

New year brings long awaited endeavors

I haven't talked much about this but I think I've finally got the guts to move forward with starting a handmade business. Living in a place where there are constant craft fairs and fiber arts enthusiasts makes it almost ridiculous to not make something of it. Everybody is an artist here it seems and it is actually acceptable. Taking some spinning and dyeing workshops at the wool festival has really given me a boost and some much needed incentive to move forward. I think the money was well spent although I wasn't so sure at the time, haha.

I just want to say more than anything that reading blogs from fellow aspiring artists has been my biggest inspiration and not in the way you might think. Some people get all inspired by reading others accomplishments and while I'm not saying this is untrue for me, it is actually being able to relate to feelings of insecurity that helps motivate me. When I read blogs from you wonderful artists who are mothers and homeschoolers and sharing your feelings of insecurity I realize that there isn't anything inherently wrong with me or my craft. I'm just human. If other women making beautiful art can have these same feelings of inadequacy and comparing to others only to feel not good enough then we are very alike after all and I shouldn't feel that I'm not good enough. That has been my biggest obstacle for a long time now and I'm so immensely relieved to discover that everybody else has the same feelings I do! Now I can begin to move forward.

So what exactly am I planning to do? I feel like I've been running in place for awhile because I've been too focused on money, not even that I need/want to make a lot of it. Heck if I could sell one thing that would be awesome. It is more like I have stressed out over trying to decide what sort of things to make that people want to buy and how to structure a business from a "make money" perspective. I've been reading from inspirational writers like Wayne Dyer to throw this stuff out the window but I didn't listen and it just kept stressing me out. So now I'm finally doing it. I'm not going to worry about the money part at all. Sure, I'm going to be as business savvy as I can in terms of marketing. I will have to sign up for facebook (sigh, I know, I'm like the only person alive aside from my friend Darla from back in Florida who doesn't have an account), twitter, buy a website, revamp the blog, etc. However, I'm just going to make what I enjoy creating without getting caught up in what styles most people are into, what colors of yarn will sell better, etc. Sure, these things have a place but not so much that I should be discouraged from doing anything from the get go.

So I have a plan. I've got to come up with a business name, fairly settled on one but not announcing it until I'm absolutely certain. I need business cards, labels, a website, and luckily I have a husband who can photograph everything without having to pay anybody else to do it. I've got to consider myself lucky on that one, right? So what exactly am I going to sell anyway?

I've been thinking about this one for awhile. I think I would be bored doing the same thing over and over, not to mention there is benefit to diversifying. So for now I am going to start with a combination of handspun art yarn, handpainted yarn with natural dye extracts, and some small knitted items like slouchy hats. It is a lot like Riki putting his photography in the gallery. Maybe it is a huge risk and nothing will sell. You never know but you will always wonder what if you did try. Moving out of Florida is sort of our experiment in seeing if we can be our own entrepreneurs at a grassroots level in a place where art is a way of life. I've read so many inspiring stories of local people doing just that. Sometimes it takes years but you've got to start somewhere.

I suspect the blog will be evolving with this as well. It doesn't mean I'm going to turn this into a marketing tool only. I'm still the kind of person who will get personal and down and dirty about pretty much everything in life. I will just be turning the focus a bit more toward my fiber arts and supporting other crafters. I'm all about the karma of uplifting others in similar ventures to see that positive energy come back.

People really don't see pictures of that stuff. I can't tell you how long since I've updated ravelry either. It is just that friends/family would typically rather see pictures of the kids than a skein of yarn I handpainted, lol, and I completely understand that...really I do.

So I just want to give a heads up...and again thank all of those fellow crafters (especially other mothers juggling so many things at once) who have inspired me to get off my butt and really follow my bliss.


Tammy said...

Good for you! I can say from my etsy shop...the items I sell because I love making them sell quickly and make me money, the items I try to sell for the actual money...well not so much, those items seem to hang around for a while before they sell!

I can't wait to see what you have soon. :)

Family of Movers said...

I am so excited for you! I think it's great that you are going to evolve the blog. Also sharing other crafters is really nice.