Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hard work (and a little play)

The valentine's day orders are rolling in left and right, which is fantastic considering last year I literally did not sell a single piece that I knew was going to be a V-Day gift.

Right now the two biggies are my custom silhouettes and hand-cut valentine

Anyway, the real point of this post isn't to get you guys to buy stuff, but to encourage you all. Last January was the start of what I call "the rough months". My sales plummeted, almost nobody was interested in my work, and the entire country was in near-panic over the economic situation.

The incredible amount of "down time" allowed me to focus on my art, get some pieces cut, and come up with new ideas for my etsy shop. It got so bad that in February of last year I had $300 in total sales. That isn't profit, that's TOTAL sales. It was rough, and when you are working 40+ hour work weeks and seeing nothing for it, it hurts. Wasn't much better in January or March. Fortunately we were expecting a dip after Christmas and cut our spending WAY back and just managed to squeek by through March.

If you are also self employed and facing a minor crisis and possibly considering quitting, look at your goods. Look at your website, blog, twitter, facebook, etc. What can you do better? Think of it as a bit of a vacation and do something crazy as an experiment. Can't get much worse right?

I did some CRAZY pieces last winter, and I don't have them any more, because come summer and fall, I had a better blog, a better site, increased my items in my etsy shop (more items, the better I have found) and had a TON of new pieces that were ready to go any time a show came up and sold a bunch of pieces.

If you need help, tips or encouragement, especially these slow times, I'm a pretty good cheerleader. Drop me a note!


jocolour said...

thanks. encouraging.
best wishes,

Susan said...

Hi, Joe. It's been a while since we exchanged emails and I just checked your blog. Fantastic! Thanks for the mini-tutorial on knives. Years ago I bought a very niiiiiiiiice swivel knife, and socked it away in a drawer immediately because of the play at the base of the blade.
I misplaced the info, so could you please tell me again the type of adhesive you use?
thanks again and I wish you all the sales you can handle!
Susan Leviton