Monday, October 29, 2007

Made It Myself Monday: Needle Felted Birds

Here are a couple of chirpers from my newest batch of needle felted birds. I am thinking of putting these in my Etsy shop.

I originally put them together because a lovely lady at Candystore in SF mentioned she believed they would sell there. I don't know if I am afraid of success- afraid of failure- or afraid that selling at wholesale prices would make me feel like I was working for nothing... But I haven't emailed her. Of course if I pop them up on Etsy and no one buys them... then that is pretty pathetic in it's own way.

I do enjoy making them.
Oh, Business. It is bothersome to me.
Sure, selling is fun. Knowing something I made is in someone's house... that they like it.
And the money helps take the edge of the cost of the habitual hobby. That is certainly a positive. But it isn't always successful. Sometimes it's stressful.
Sometimes it takes all the funny fun-ness out of making whatever I want. Goodness knows, I can't keep storing all the stuff I make.

It needs to go SomeWhere.
But Where?

I have only ever sold 9 whopping things on Etsy. Not an amazing track record in the year or more I have had the store. I try not to take it personally, but when all my stuff "expired".. I didn't have the heart to list it all again. I don't know if it is the enormous amount of craft available at rock bottom prices on Etsy, or if it is my less than stellar marketing practices or maybe just my stuff isn't what the people want. Maybe I charge too much. Maybe it's too wierd. Too Normal. Too hard to find. Who Knows?
I am of the general opinion that I will probably be happier if I don't over analyze it and I just keep making what I like... and putting some of it here or there, and if it sells.. Well, Jolly!

And if not, some poor relative will get another
handi-crafted thinga-ma-jig for the holiday du jour.

And speaking of Holiday Du Jour....

Happy Halloweek...

We have embarked on the most ambitious Jack-O-Lantern in our family history.
That, my friends, is a whole wad of pumpkin guts.... looking for a place to happen.


Leigh Russell said...

I really like your little birds. Happy Halloweek to you too. Visit my blog sometime and say hallo, you're very welcome.

kirsten schueler said...

yes yes and yes. that is exactly how i feel! my hubby and i have to self fund our hobbies, cause were poor like that! so there is motivation to sell stuff so i can buy more stuff but sometimes it gets annoying. do you sometimes feel that people on etsy just kinda buy each other's stuff, it feels like were just swapping!

i love those birds!

Lisa said...

i wonder about the etsy thing, does feel like those selling there are buying there, but how to get it out to everyone else? Blargh.

Love your sweet little birdsies.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can relate to the whole selling/crafting conundrum. It seems that every time I discover a craft that actually sells well it is one I'm not really into making anymore. I tend to sell stuff to just break even with my hobbies.

Your felt birds are really, realy great! I've seen many sell on etsy that were much less detailed. Course, price is a huge factor...

Anonymous said...

oooh! those birds are beautiful.

i hear you about etsy. the last of my stuff expired a little while ago too.

selling is particularly hard if you don't like to stick to one thing or make the same thing (even if it is popular) over and over and over. or, y'know, update every day or hang out on the forums or... well, there are lots of things beyond the stuff that makes a girl question whether her crafty creations are "good enough" that affect sales. but at the end of the day, if the thought of selling interferes with the fun of the making, it isn't worth it!

Anonymous said...

The comment that stuck out the most to me in your post was the line about the rock bottom prices on Etsy. I'm struck over and over by this and I don't get it. It makes me sad that women (generalization) don't value our work enough to include labor in the price. I see gorgeous earrings and handcrafted cards priced so low that it's clear the cost of materials may just be covered if met at all. And for buyers who may love the product, but who are not in the know about true mark-ups, of course it's a shock to see one woman's fabric totes or jewelry priced at a fair and professional level.

I think Etsy is a great collective...just wonderful, but when it comes to pricing we have to throw collective out the window and set prices for our work that are fair to us and honor our time. You can't get an hour massage for less than $50.00 these days and plenty of people do it...Can you imagine if a massage therapist said, "Well, I feel funny asking for $50.00 per hour, so I think I'll just try asking for $7.25 since that's minimum wage." Hmm, as I wrote that I just realized that I might like to find her! :) But, really...we should set prices that at the very least include our labor and our materials. It's about self-care and sending the message to the Universe that yes, we mean business.

Wendy said...

I have one suggestion... put in the html coding for an etsy mini on the side here. I understand etsy, so it was easy for me to head over and search your blog name, but there are a lot of readers that don't know about etsy (and it's our job to tell them about it). And the etsy mini updates with things in your shop.

If you want to do it, click on Your Etsy and then on the bottom left there's a link for Etsy Mini. You can choose what you want it to look like and then copy that into a new html page element.

Sorry if you already know this, but I thought I'd just give the info while I was at it.

Anonymous said...

Your birds are stunning! I hear you about Etsy...I have contemplated for some time now to try opening a shop, but have yet to do it. The idea of making the same thing over and over again to sell takes the fun out of crafting for me. So I guess I'll be keeping my current day job for quite some time to help fund my crafting hobbies :)

Angelina said...

The HUMAN MONEY REPELLENT will now weigh in: well, obviously I don't have any words of wisdom on this topic. I'm doing two craft events this winter and then I have to get a job which, for me, means looking for a minimum wage gig. In spite of all the experience in my past, it is long over and having stayed home for eight years has put me in the "start over" pile.

It is very discouraging. Yet, there are people making money at Etsy and I hear that one of the important things is to rotate your merchandise weekly. Update frequently.

As far as I'm concerned, your stuff is amazing and I'd choose it out of a craft line-up in two seconds flat.

Georgia Peachez said...

Well, these little birdies are delightful. I would love to see them in your etsy shop. I would love to own the striped one. Let me know if you list them please! xo, suzy

Sonya said...

Something I read on Whip Up, you probably did too - "A busy blog is one of the best marketing tools your Craft Business can have." Look at Sally and Blair over at Shim and Sons and Wisecraft. You have your fan base and followers. Leverage!

Call the Candy Store! Call them. I will march over there myself and show them a screen shot of these fab creations.

Also, when you want to start the Will Craft for Cash Collective, let me know. I will be a charter or founding member. I see we need to hang out sometime soon. I need my Bitter fix.

futuregirl said...

Making money crafting is a tough one. You have a wonderful style, your personable, so I think you could really distinguish yourself.

The thing I can never figure out is how to make enough stock ... it just doesn't seem physically possible to make enough stuff to bring in a decent paycheck. That's where teaching classes, making kits, selling patterns, etc come in, I think (!).

I'm glad it took me forever to get over here to tell you how much I love those little birds because I love seeing everyone's comments.

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