Friday, November 21, 2008

Critical Mass

The locust swarm is on the move again. This time the fields they are devouring are the newest crop of handmade selling venues. It seems that every time I turn around there is someone touting the newest best thing they just discovered. Either the place is just so very reasonably priced or the folk running it are available for every question and comment you have. It appears that this new batch contains strictly juried sites and the masochist is me wants to see if I stand up to the scrutiny. I see the names fly by on twitter, Artfire, 1000 Market, etc. and I continue to be tempted, but I am holding strong on this one.

I can hear the protests now, 'It's not wise to leave all your eggs in one basket'. Sure I can and I think that metaphor works the other way around as well. If all my eggs are in one basket, not only do I always know where all my eggs are without much effort at all, I also have only one basket to take care of, promote and fill up with goods. I know that this potentially limits my audience, but honestly I'm tired as it is.

I really don't know much about these new sites except what I see on Twitter and quick curious glaces at the sites, so I'm not knocking any of them. I'm certain that some of them will do quite well, just as some are likely to gain no momentum beyond the already converted crafters. I just know that I don't have the time or energy to create multiple storefronts. Each storefront would require its own set of promotion efforts, pieces and networking. In fact even though I was already accepted to lollishops, I still don't know whether I'm going to bother with it at all. There has been so much time between signing up and the actually opening that I'm really lost enthusiasm for it at this point.

What I'd really like is to sell stuff at a tempo that allows me to create new pieces along with recreating sold ones. A tempo that allows me not only time to write this blog, but network at me leisure as well. I also have two small kids and a household to take care of and I fear that any more promotion would result in a neglected family to go along with the already neglected laundry and dishes. I'm afraid I have already reached critical mass.

When I first started writing this blog, I had a plethora on pent up opinions and wrote many in rapid fire succession. One of those was about whether you have a handmade business or a self sustaining hobby: Who Do You Want To Be Today. While breaking down the differences, in my opinion, I concluded that I have a self sustaining hobby and even though I'm doing much better than I was then, I still have a self sustaining hobby. I can only make so much stuff and keep up with my family and while they remain my time intensive priority that's the way it will remain.

1 comment:

Waterrose said...

Insightful as always. I agree it is getting to be very overwhelming. I joined 1000 markets and while it is just getting off the ground I think it is going to be a much better fit for me than being lost in etsy. I'm glad to have gotten my start on Etsy, but I also don't think my creations fit the genre that they actually promote. Larger markets broken down into small ones where people actually interact with one another to promote their products. You can watch my blog for updates, or visit 1000 markets and read Matt's manifesto...I think you will be impressed where these guys are going with this idea. But, I do understand how quickly time gets stolen away and your family comes first.