Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday shop update and some thoughts

There's been a lot going on with the shop and some personal goals I have for it that I'd like to share with you.  The reason I'm sharing this is because, like all things in life, a crafting business develops slowly, thoughtfully and often thrives then fails then either dies or moves forward.  In an effort to be transparent in the struggles I'm facing and the problems I'm attempting to work around, I think sharing with a like minded community can and should bring encouragement and accountability.
If you've been reading for a while, you'll notice that the photos look a bit different. One of my many goals was to improve product styling and photography and to help the shop achieve a more cohesive appearance.  
Another goal I have is to sell more locally.  Athens has a large, tight craft scene that can be difficult to break into.  Two ways I plan on achieving this goal is to attend a craft fair here on May 1st in which I'll be sharing a booth with Homemade Grits (assuming we don't get rejected). Secondly, I'm going to start selling my work at Dynamite clothing downtown.  This is a very exciting opportunity that will allow me to get more experience in store displays and consignment sales.
With all of these goals, I had to figure out a way to make more time try to achieve them.  As you may know, aside from running the shop, the blog, and having a full time career that's unrelated, I've also been working at the aforementioned shop on Saturdays.  I've decided to give up the weekend job with the hope that as I move forward with the shop that I'll be able to supplement that income with sales.  Now, whether you quit day job or simply cut back on hours to pursue a crafting business, the idea of depending on sales is simply scary. 
Failure is a big fear of mine but it's also a motivator because once I'm able to acknowledge the fear I can push past it towards productivity. 
Whether you're thinking about starting a crafting business or you're already selling your goods, I definitely recommend reading these two books.  They've both challenged me to get serious about my goals while offering practical advise about what it really takes to own and maintain a successful crafting venture.
I'm excited and scared, nervous and stressed about the upcoming weeks.  Thank you for being such amazing readers and for giving me a safe place to be myself and to share my thoughts.  
I'd love to hear about any new goals you have for yourself, your blog, or your business and how you plan on achieving them.  Let's encouarge eachother to move forward and push past our insecurities and doubts.


Amanda said...

i love the lockets and the blue studs with the lady in white! where did you see them?

i'm a very new blogger (just started a few days ago) i'd consider myself a young and budding designer/artist/photographer! i'd very much appreciate it if you took a look at my blog (:

amanda (:

Unknown said...

Hello there.
I started to follow your blog very recently, so it is difficult for me to give you my feedback on how its content has progressed, but i can give you my opinion on running a business as i had mine before. And for me that's one only truth: more important than working hard, it is to do what we LOVE! Love moves mountains, brings new things and new ideas, gives us energy that we thought we never had, and nothing in the world can push us down. About failure, i can give you my point of view, as i once failed in another field of my life. To fail makes us understand many things that we couldn't understand otherwise. It gives us, at least it gave me a very fulfilling view point about who exactly i am. And when i've acknowledge that i've realised from now on it's only about moving forward and much more wisely.
I wish you all the success for your goals, aims and projects no matter which scale.
(gosh, this was a very long comment. sorry!)

Christina said...

hi amanda- the cameo earrings and the locket are found in my shop. the links are available below the photos.

Anonymous said...

These new items are so beautiful! The golden bow necklace is so lovely- it is my favorite new piece to your shop.


off switch said...

i've definitely noticed your product shots improving! i know what you mean about staying on top of the business-i've been having trouble there myself! but i totally commend you on taking the leap and quitting your weekend job. i just know you'll succeed-and i'm rooting for you every step of the way!

ps: thanks for the book recommendations-just "bookmarked" them!

Unknown said...

congratulations on taking the plunge! i just want to spread the word about my blog — expand my readership and tailor my content to my ever-evolving design sensibilities — and even that can feel daunting! it's all too easy to lose sight of your goals and i admire you for making the decision that feels right for you.

Paige said...

Thanks for your transparency, I struggle with a lot of the same fears and doubts--as I'm sure most people trying to strike out on their own away "the norm" probably do. And I agree with off switch, the new photos are seriously lovely :)

Claire Kiefer said...

I love your stuff. Gonna send you an email with jewelry questions. xoxo love!

Pixel Wild Child said...

I think your photography is fantastic and I think is very wise that you are taking one step at a time. It is a tough moment to think in living on our crafts unfortunately, but I believe it is important to don't give up and slowly slowly make it work while keeping the fun part of it ;O)
Congratulations in all your achivements Chris!

Unknown said...

Great post, Christina! The new styling and photography for the shop is looking great. I know what you mean about really tight crafting scenes. The ones here in NZ are also quite small and everyone knows everyone and it can be intimidating as an outsider to try to get in.

As for goals - I'm trying to keep the blog fresh for me and trying to keep up with everyone else's blogs. I often wonder whether there is a natural shelf life for blogs like ours?

Tonia Lee Smith said...

Looks like your doing a great job! When I grow up I want to be like you..;-)

rachel red lips said...

Good luck! Your work is gorgeous, but as a vintage seller, I know that it's always up and down but you must stay healthy and push through! working at what you love is the most wonderful feeling ever!

Sanity Fair said...

It must have been a little hard to write this post, but I'm so glad you did! It's so encouraging to read about other bloggers using their creative energy. Your new photos are well styled - I'm especially fond of the last, the cameo earrings. The tag is a charming touch.
I've spent a fair share of time in Athens over the years and I knew there was a great craft/boutique community there, although I didn't know it was so closed. Not surprising in the South though - sadly! We can be so nice and so closed-off at the same time. Don't back down. You more than deserve to be a "member'!

Jess said...

Looks like you've thought about what you want from the future, and how to make it happen.

Sure, the business might not bring in as much cash as the weekend job (not yet, anyways) but I'm pretty sure the satisfaction you get from making and selling your own work is worth it! I know how awesome that feeling is :)

Good luck - you've done so well with your shop already!

Amanda said...

i was at h&m today, and i saw a huge ring that reminded me of the lockets on your blog! its very similar to the spring bouquet locket


jdavissquared said...

I'm definitely going to check out those books. I've been thinking alot lately about how to make my shop more successful.

I'd love your thoughts:

I think your styling is great! {That's one area I know I could improve on.} I also think that the fact that you have clear-cut goals will take you far!

Iva Messy said...

your shop and your work is so unique! I love these new pictures I lot! I really like the "golden bow", its darling, and the new d&oc tags are amazing! I love all the new changes taking place! no fears Christina!!! NONE! you are super! don't worry about anything at all!

Tiffany said...

Your stuff is always so beautiful.


JenRem said...

I'm new around these parts and I am loving your blog so far. Going to check out your shop now. I could see myself not coming away with a happy wallet. :)

Lindsay said...

So nice of you to share about your progress/changes/hopes/goals. It is good to know what other crafters go through. I do what I can when I can and just go from there. I want to do so much more, but at this time in my life I can't so I just enjoy what I am able to accomplish.

I wish you well in Athens, and I definitely want to share D&OC with local friends who visit there frequently.

drollgirl said...

girl, i think you are making a bold and smart move! do what you love!

i need to read those books. i need to change my entire life (TALL ORDER) and need to get some direction and quit flailing around.

Sam said...

Goog luck Christina! I think it's a terrific thing to do - better to give it a shot than to pine away later thinking "If only...". I have "given up" many lucrative Saturday jobs and extra roles where I work in order to maintain my time on the weekend to do my drawing and be with my fella - I dont regret it at all. I think your shop is looking extra lovely by the way too!

Ginger said...


Sounds a lot like what I'm getting into now! I just started looking into consignment opportunities at a few shops in the area, and I'm going to try to get a table at an art fair this Sept (if they accept me!). It's very exciting but always scary; right now I'm still spending more than I'm making, but I believe Seamstress of Avalon is heading in the right direction;)
Your shop looks wonderful, and I like the slow and quiet shift in the photography; hopefully I'll have a little money to spread around soon and I can get a few things I've had my eye on from D&OC;)

beauty comma said...

i think you're very brave, and you've already started, which is the most difficult part - i've got lots of ideas (some finished, some still in my head) that i never seem to do anything with =(

have you read the "biz ladies" posts on design sponge?

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

I'm so impressed with your time management skills. Seriously.

Your plan to quit the weekend job is smart and realistic. It will be a good test to see how consistent your income is from Etsy. I'd love to quit my day job and just make jewelry, but I have a long way to go before that happens. My current goal is to increase my profit from last month.

blueeyedfreckle said...

I like your new styling! My favorite shot is the one with the necklace over the sweater.

Diana said...

I've always liked your photos, but then again, I feel like the supporting friend who loves anything a friend does. I love the Craft, Inc. book- it was really challenging but a good kick was worth it.

My goals for my blog are just hopes to grow to the right audience, even if it'll take time. I'm also merging more into photography. However, how do I tell people, hey I have my Master's but I'm selling cheap 5x7's on etsy now? >_<

Lesley said...

bonita from the east cabinita- you are amazing. you've sold like a bijillion pieces of jewelry. why the heck do you need a part-time job in addition to everything else? you don't. i am working on not being so hard on myself and this is a hope i have for you too! i can't wait to spend quality time with you!!!

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