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May 8th : A Year Into Craft Selling Online

Updated: May 20, 2021

I know I've missed the date at this point but it's still nice to recollect. On May 8th, 2020, I set out on a mission. I'd reached the end of a tumultuous semester and part of my employment. While I'd

been selling my patterns on Etsy since 2018, I realized that I needed to do much more at this point in order to sustain myself. I decided to start selling my handmade items on Etsy that day which I still believe was a step in the right direction.

Fast forward to today, a lot has transpired since then; I am both grateful and driven nowadays in hopes to accomplish more of this great vision I have been given. As I've stated many times, 2020 was a year of learning. Learning to translate my in person sales skills to the digital world was one thing. I can't even say that I've mastered that at this point but, it did land me a few sales last year.

This is what I earned from Etsy in 2020:

2020 Etsy Sales Report
Download PDF • 157KB

It was also a year of learning who my friends were. There was a lot of disappointment involved with building my brand last year which I get into in episodes 6 & 7 of the Hey Craftepreneur! podcast. Once I shifted my perspective, my brand started to change for the better also.

By December, I was feeling bittersweet. Grateful for the growth, dejected by the slowness of it all, and anxious for the next chapter. Once I was sure my sales had plateaued, I made the decision to shut the doors on physical orders in my Etsy shop. People can still purchase knit and crochet patterns but I felt that my handmade goods deserved a platform of their own.

I'd been building this website since June of 2018 and it was high time for her to make her debut. So, on February 14th, 2021 I launched this website and all its glory. I think that I'm still running on those high emotions, having this piece of my brand live and running on its own is a dream come true for me. Here I can host all of my projects without many of the issues one has when using someone else's platform.

I won't lie here, it's not all candy canes and rainbows though. It's almost like social media when you're starting over from scratch. Interest is low, and sales are even lower. There are times where I've wondered if I should have even launched this year but I thought that 3+ years was long enough to spend in the development stage. I've tried a number of things including pattern giveaways and lead magnets which has lead to quite a few email sign-ups and free "purchases".

That's good and fine in itself as I build brand awareness. At this point I've gone back to Keebler Elf mode, making items and designing patterns. In 2020, I determined that I wouldn't start feeling hopeless about things and that I'd just continue the work of my hands and pray whilst doing it. This brings me peace as I create and sooner or later I end up with more positive news to share with my crafty community.

Relative to the goal list I started out with in 2021, I've accomplish all but one item on my list. At this point with the way the economy is being driven, I'm terrified to try and establish. I think that I'll be able to afford my fees from my personal investments however, if the economy continues on its way to hell, I just don't know.

If anything, I feel humbled by this experience. I knew that building a business was hard work but I never realized just how taxing it is. I wouldn't trade it for the world though and I can't wait to see what this second year of labor brings.