I'm sitting at work, drooling over Keepsake Quilting's new catalog. They have amazing fabric collections as well as patterns. For once, I am glad there is no way for me to scrounge up some extra money to order more fabric. I just received some beautiful fat quarter bundles and quilting templates for Christmas, and so definitely don't need any more fabric or inspiration. What I need more of is time! I think a good thing about having so little time is that I've had to learn how to prioritize my projects and goals as well as keep them realistic. I'm certainly becoming a fan of generalized baby steps!
My ultimate goal is to be able to stay at home and sell my creations full time. The reality of that is kind of depressing right now, so instead of crunching numbers, I focus on more abstract goals. Obvious things, like: create more to sell more. I realized last year, I really didn't make that much; I think I just wanted things to sell and got frustrated when they didn't. Well, people won't buy if there isn't anything listed. So, while I would like to set a goal, like list at least one thing a week, I know that won't always be possible, and I'll stress myself out if I try to stick to it. Instead, I'd just like to focus on increasing my listings in general. Along with that, I am hoping it will double my sales.
I need to try different venues. I did one craft show in November and it was miserable! Very cold and windy and I didn't make back my entry fee, which was only $25! But, I blame it on the lousy weather and maybe having too many options on my table. None of the vendors around me seemed to be too busy either. This year, I am hoping to test out the local farmer's market as well as a few other shows and festivals.
I've also recently started participating in some BNS/BNR treasuries on Etsy. Basically, there is a collection of shops chosen by the curator. If you purchase from one of the shops featured, your shop will be featured in the next round. So far, I've bought more than sold. But, it was all stuff I can use for my shop. And, I got 2 sales out of the deal. So, now, I'm sitting out for a while but definitely plan to participate again.
The most important thing I would like to focus on this year is to enjoy every minute of it! I sew and create because I enjoy it. Since this is not my only source of income, I don't HAVE to do anything. I've tried, well semi-tried, to keep up with what was trending and to try and guess what will sell best and cater my shop around those items. Results: stressful and not fun. I've found that I'm happiest just floating around in my own little world. Things definitely seem to come out a lot better that way!
Like I said in the beginning, abstract baby steps. You only have so much control over the numbers; you can't force people to shop with you. Plus, it's such a great feeling when you know the item is going to someone excited about it. So, this year I'm choosing to focus on the enjoyment of the process while expanding my skill set. Hopefully, the sales will follow. If not, check back next January for the new plan!
What are your goals this year?