Wednesday, February 9, 2011

6 Months Flies By – Things I’ve Learned, Introduction

February marks my 6th month anniversary of opening Rustic Carvings on Etsy. There was about a month of preparation on my part before I opened my shop. I was naive when I started, and have learned quite a bit in this short amount of time.
I’m going to take a moment to look back, right quick…. (That’s Texan talk.)
I remember when I thought I could just post things on Etsy, and they would sell. Automatically. Like, I’d wake up the next day, and everything would be gone from the previous day. See, naive. I remember being discouraged when, later in the week, all the items still remained available and I didn’t have one. single. sale. As it turns out, this takes A LOT of work.
A couple friends ordered, and that helped boost my confidence greatly. Although, I appreciated their support, I really wanted people I didn’t know to buy things. You can’t sustain a business with just your friend’s purchases. Well, I suppose you can, if your friends are all super rich. Mine, however, are not. They all have these things called “jobs”. 
When I began, my selling style was somewhat of, “post and cross your fingers someone will buy it”. In some respects, I guess, it’s still very much like this. Selling artwork isn’t like selling ordinary, everyday, products. Nobody “needs” art to go about their daily lives like they need soap, makeup, or a myriad of other things.
Now, that I have some time under my belt, and have listened to the wise discussions of my fellow teammates on Etsy, I’ve come a long way. Some of it is trial and error, sure. Some of it is just plain research.
So, my goal, over the coming days, or weeks, is a series of posts regarding what I’ve learned. What’s worked. What hasn’t.
To those that think I quit my job and have been sitting at home eating bon-bons all day, you’ll see how much goes into this.  No eating of the bon-bons. Although, I do work a lot, in my pajamas.
A job at Starbucks or Pier 1 is looking mighty fine to me right now. If not only because I used to get things called “vacations”….
What will I talk about? Oh, stuff like, how I get people to visit my shop. Social Networking. Teams. Trial and Error. What I’m still afraid of in the garage.
I just had my first sale on ArtFire today, and let me tell you, it’s no less exciting than the first one I had on Etsy. I ran into the living room, and jumped up and down for joy. My husband congratulating me, and hugging me. I think he gets a special sort of joy in seeing my excitement.
I’ll say it’s important to have a great support system if you try to do something like start your own business. I couldn’t do it without the loving support of my family or my friends.
It’s also important to love what you do for a living. It’s an amazing experience to wake up in the morning and WANT to work. The ideas churning in my head… There’s nothing quite like it.
Stay tuned.

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