To be honest I haven’t felt like blogging lately. Not because I don’t have anything to do say. I just haven’t felt like what I am saying is relevant or will be heard.
I have always been a believer in the thought “you get what you give”. In my life I’ve always been a giver, I naively and consistently give apart of myself away, open myself up to others and believe that if I am a good person, good things will happen to me.
This is not the case though, and it’s been a very hard pill to swallow. I support makers around me as much as I can. I love digging into my stash and knowing that each maker was someone who loves this craft as much as I do. It is a vulnerable thing to put yourself out there and hope other’s will accept your creations.
I’ll be frank, I am not a business person. I am an artist, always have been. Making things is something that fills me with so much joy and contentment. However in the last few months I have been finding myself dreading making things for my shop. Avoiding my office like a bad smell. I have been stuck in a negative thought that “why should I bother putting more of my time, effort, love and money into this when I barely make any sales?”.
This has been weighing on my heart for so long, I don’t want pity sales, I don’t want to complain, I want loyal customers who love my yarn and creations as much as I do!
I think “what if what I am making isn’t good enough” or “maybe I don’t have the right size or color”. So I put this intense pressure on myself to find a way to afford more supplies to make more without knowing if it will ever sell. The risks involved with running any business is huge. I am so very lucky to have a husband that supports my love of making and takes joy in seeing me envelop myself in my love of the fibre arts.
Sometimes staying positive is hard.
Keeping up with ever changing trends is hard.
Staying open, authentic and real is also really hard.
Accepting that what I do is not unique, different or one of a kind is hard.
I am one of hundreds of thousands of shops and makers who do exactly what I do.
It makes you feel small and insignificant. Especially in this world of social media, where the bigger makers are right there, showing you that they have made it! You haven’t. So compare yourself to them. Why can’t you make that many sales? What are they doing differently? Why aren’t you as successful? Maybe if you tried harder? Maybe you should spend more in advertising or get a new logo?
I am not writing this to garner pitty or to have someone pat me on the head and tell me how wonderful my work is. I know it’s great. I know my yarn is beautiful and my bags are well made. I wouldn’t ever try and sell something that I wouldn’t buy for myself.
But this is what it’s like to be a small maker. Those of us smaller shops struggle to make sales, but celebrate when we do. Dance parties in the kitchen, high fives from my daughter, a hug from my husband, who tells me how proud he is of me. It’s packing my only order for the last 2 months up with care, love and so much joy to send it’s on its way.
I love each and every one of my customers and I am so incredibly thankful for every sale. Growing a business is hard work, sweat and tears. There are days where I want to throw in the towel! But then I look at my stock of products ready to ship with happiness and pride and think, ‘I did that!’.
When you buy from a small shop, you’re helping a maker, like myself, believe in themselves and their business a little bit more.
So when I go to my personal stash to pick out a yarn to knit socks or a hat for my daughter, I know each one was made and packaged up with the same love, excitement and care I do with mine.
It comes full circle.
As always my friends,