Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Creative Space

This week is a sort of culmination for me. For almost a year I have been thinking about moving my craft from simply a hobby to a business. A couple of things to know about me before I continue:

I am a perfectionist
I am not a huge risk taker
I don't consider myself an extrovert

As you can imagine these characteristics can pose obstacles to the idea of actually selling your craft. I initially struggled with the quality of my craft. I would look at items I had made and while I felt fine about gifting them to people, selling them? Were they/are they good enough? I wasn't so sure.

Then there was the whole how do you actually sell you craft. What is involved? What does it require? I am generally not comfortable just doing something. I like to research, to learn as much as I can before I act; to plan.

Finally, selling your craft requires you to put yourself out there, to say to people, "hey, look at me" and to make yourself, well, vulnerable as your craft reflects you and who you are. I have always been more of a behind the scenes kind of person. Putting yourself out there means you have to hear what people think about you, that you have to submit yourself to scrutiny from others.

So it's taken me a year. A year to feel comfortable with the quality of my craft, what it says about me and to think through every little detail that goes with selling your craft a million times (did I mention I am also a bit anal retentive?). To try and make sure I have dotted my i's and crossed my t's. And now on Monday, August 1st I will "open" my shop on Madeit. Now, I know based on my research that opening a shop is not all peaches and cream, but I am hoping the same characteristics that resulted in my taking a year to finally take the step will also help me maintain my faith in myself and this venture.

So in case your shop is called Wombat's Picnic: a little piece of handmade Australia - and when I say Australia, I mean literally. While not a native, for over twenty years I have been enthralled with the many things that are unique to Australia (perhaps this comes with not being born and growing up here, but coming to live here later in life) and so my shop will feature handcrafted items of all kinds that celebrate all things Australian - its flora, its fauna, its cultural icons. I expect items to vary as I love to use vintage items including fabric and paper that I find at op shops.

So that's my creative space, dotting my i's and crossing my t's. Hope lots of creative things are happening in your space this week. For more creative spaces you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It


Mimmy Ma said...

I completely understand what you are talking about here. I too am hoping to one day have enough courage to sell my craft. Nearly all my gifts to family and friends are things I make but that next step of opening them up to others is daunting. Congratulations on having made the step yourself and I hope it goes really well. As for me well maybe sometime soon I'll put something in that Etsy shop I've had ready for months.

Posie Patchwork said...

My tips Cyndy, never make anything you wouldn't like yourself or couldn't give away as a gift, never take out a loan - use sales to reinvest in your business & handmade is not about perfection, it's organic & things are meant to look handmade, one off, original, unique, so what might be perfect to you, might not be perfect to someone else. I hope this helps, it's how i have run my business for the past decade & i can walk away anytime i need to, if that ever happens. Good luck!! Finally, if you're too shy or can't get used to compliments flying your way in real life, practise smiling & a whole lot of saying "thank you" don't even talk your product down, people buy because they can't make, simple as that, or they just know you've done a better job than they could!! Love Posie

Rie said...

Good luck with your leap into the market! I was going to start an online shop too... then I had a baby. And well, I think it's a distant dream now.. unless I can sell baby-chuck clothes!

Sian Lile said...

i'm looking forward to seeing what's in your shop! i feel the same - am happy to give my handmade things as gifts but not brave enough to sell just yet. good luck!!

Sam said...

Hi Cyndy,
Good for you, it's great that you are following your passion, that shows through in your work, I'm sure you will do well xx

Taylor Made said...

Good for you taking the next step...I am sure all your research will pay off. look forward to seeing where it takes you.
Thanks for stopping by my space too.

lisa said...

im the same would love to sell my crafts but yeah thats a big step.

all your stuff is gorgeous..would love to see where your new adventures take you.

gorgous bag love the fabric!
and your wombat is awesome cute!!


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