handmade business · Inspiration · Life

Selling my heart on Etsy

After a reassuring week of strong Etsy sales, I’ve had a bit of a dearth of activity and I’m struggling to not let it get me down.

I suppose that’s the problem when you try to sell things you make from your heart – it’s almost like I’ve listed my heart on Etsy, tried to find the right key words to describe it best, tried to take photos of it that make it look appealing, tried to describe it in a way that makes it lovable, tried to price it for what it’s really worth … and waited. Waited to see if people will like my heart, like it enough to be willing to pay for it. So it’s not surprising that when there’s little activity in my shop of hearts, I can feel unloved.

Usually I push this feeling away with burying myself in making. I tell myself that this is the reason I need to build resilience, it’s these times of self-doubt that make me better at what I do. If I can maintain faith in myself and push through, and just keep on making, then it will pay off in the end. Etsy doesn’t define my worth. But it’s hard not to see it as validation for your craft.

Right now I have four teddy bears-in-progress – all stitched up but on hold due to a shortage of safety joints. I’m also waiting for a chance to go out and buy some more wool felt for some more cloth dolls for whom I have a mountain of vintage doilies waiting to embellish. On top of this, my #3 has decided to end his day naps, thereby depriving me of my 2-3 weekly hours of free time. So my making has stalled a bit for now, leaving me alone with my negative thoughts and constant feeling that I don’t do enough social media marketing and so I only have myself to blame (gosh, how I wish I was doing this in the times before such a concept existed!).

vintage buttons
Pretty vintage buttons

In the absence of any making I’ve turned my efforts to my work space. I inhabit the dining room of our 1930s Californian Bungalow and while it’s my favourite room in the house, I feel as though my tools of the trade don’t have a formal home my stuff has just expanded to fill the space. A clear home is a clear mind, I believe, so I set about tidying my work space, finding homes for things, organising my fabrics and giving my trusty sewing machine a place to call home.

my work space
My new inspiring space

Giving time and attention to my work space has cemented my dedication to my craft a little more in my own head. I think the more I do little things like that, the more I will value my own skill. I read a quote recently by Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t; you’re right”. I know that very much applies to me. It’s a matter of perseverance – quite simply, the longer you do something, the better you get at it.

Keep doing what you love and success will come, in one form or another.

This post is sounding a bit more like a self-help book than I’d like it to, but I feel like I’m starting to have a few revelations about life and success and happiness and if I pour them all out in this little space, it seems to solidify them in my mind.  Perhaps I’m just getting older and wiser, now that the number 40 is looming in my not-too-distant future. Yelp!

Thanks for reading this far through a far-too-rambly post!







2 thoughts on “Selling my heart on Etsy

  1. I appreciate this post so much. If I were doing an Etsy shop, I’d be sure to be struggling with the lack of social media, too. And I know what you mean about it being like you’re selling your heart. ((Hugs)) I think your teddies and your heart are beautiful!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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