Today I came to realize that establishing a handmade business is hard. The lab tech at my doctors office who gets vials upon vials of my blood each visit is convinced that it’s as easy as putting things up on Etsy and waiting a few days and you will sell a ton of stuff. I closed my Etsy shop because it wasn’t doing anything. I feel that no matter what I did it was getting lost in the sites search in favour of well established shops that had been there forever. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that. It’s one of the biggest reason I have chosen to host my shop myself. I am already paying for hosting so why pay a third party site for something I can do on my own?
The thing is, it changes nothing. I still am not seeing sales no matter how much I promote. The struggle is real. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I am sure that everyone has had this moment in their business, maybe it was when they were getting started, maybe things reached a lull for a while. I have a few items that were originally in my Etsy store, as well as a few items I have made that I don’t know what to do with, that I still need to take better pictures of and get up. I should probably do that today.
Normally this wouldn’t bother me. All things take time. Not everyone finds their niche right off. However, right now it would benefit me greatly if my business seen a bit of action. My health has taken a decline and I am trying to get the funds together to purchase a puppy that I can have trained to be a service dog.
I asked people what kind of things they would want to buy, maybe for holiday gifts, that I could make and put in my store, and if they would be willing to purchase said items to support this endeavor. I got very little feedback, and what I got wasn’t all that helpful. No one was interested in supporting my business to help me out. Instead I was asked how they could donate directly. I set up a YouCaring fundraiser, something I really wanted to avoid doing. (Sharing because it has the full story as to why a puppy and I don’t want to retype everything). I have always done my best to take care of myself and my family and I would like to continue doing that. I honestly feel that I would get more support if I said I needed to buy a wheelchair (that’s something my insurance does cover and something I am trying to prevent needing for as long as possible).
This really isn’t the case of me just wanting a dog (I have a dog) and I can’t help but feel also that some people might think this is what this is really about. A lot of work goes into a puppy to start with. House training doesn’t happen overnight and then there is cleaning up accidents for starters. I am not even going to get into what has to be done just in the way of ‘basic training’ for a service dog before you get into the extra things you need a dog to do (the two big things for me would be helping me keep my balance and helping me up when I fall or for some reason have to be on the floor). I am sure there are other things that I would need but I can’t think of them at the moment.
Anyway, for anyone reading this, I am asking for ideas:
- What to put in my shop
- How to promote my business and get customers.
I am not looking to make thousands of dollars a month (not that I would complain about that). $300-$400 would suit me. It would allow me to get my puppy and pay for training and puppy things without cutting into the family budget. That’s all I really want. This is part of the reason I added an option to buy my Pokemon applique patterns. Originally I planned on putting them up as a PDF sale option as a bulk thing once they were all done. Then I came to the conclusion that there are people who may only want a one or two of them and decided that PDF options of individual patterns might be a good idea.
What I do know right now is that pain is getting to me, I’m tired of waiting for my doctor to get back to me with my test results, and I am feeling pretty beaten down emotionally and mentally. This is really the first time that I have felt defeated by my health issues and it scares me…