TBH, I've been at a total standstill with my handmade business since October 2016 when Etsy shut down my shop. (Another whole separate post on that coming soon...) Since then I have been going back and forth with myself about what to do and how to proceed with things for Craftinista Girl. Rather than focus on that right away though, I decided to put all of my effort into making our first holiday season at Half Mile Handmade the best it could be, and I think that was definitely the right choice for me - it was AWESOME!
In my time debating about how to move forward part of me thought, 'hey, I have this opportunity for a clean slate, I should really make my brand as professional as possible,' by doing things like getting a branding specialist, looking into how to take better photos, and even thought of hiring my own web designer/developer. However, in the spirit of handmade I have ultimately decided to do it DIY in true Capri style (also, all of that requires money which I don't exactly have a ton of right now) lol. The catch is I want to share my entire journey with you!
Two things played a big role in this decision. One, my 2016 Best Nine photo for Craftinista Girl. I was so surprised to see that almost half of the photos everyone liked best in 2016 were ones of ME, not my products. Either you all like seeing my pretty face, or the more personal posts resonated more with my audience (...and I'm going with the latter). I also love that two of the posts were those in which I collaborated with other makers <3 Having an academic background in business has certainly shaped the way that I've determined what and how to post on social media. I realize now that with the type of business I have that I am completely free to be myself and share more than just 'buy this' type posts. Of course, you're still going to see those, but I'm really looking forward to sharing more of myself and my knowledge with all of you. I love the love that is shared among the handmade community, and I know I have a bunch of cheerleaders out there rooting for me. I CAN DO THIS!
The second thing was an email that I received from Andi at Lou & Bear disclosing her Income Report. I have been intrigued by the idea of sharing an Income Report since I heard about Pinch of Yum doing this on the Elise Gets Crafty Podcast. If you click through and peek at any of Pinch of Yum's Income Report, it's AMAZING! By amazing I mean very detailed, comprehensive, and the numbers are BIG! ...Intimidating for someone that is lucky to make 1 sale a week with their handmade business. Additionally, I'm not a blogger so trying to relate to many of their expenses is kind of difficult for me. So, back to Andi - her first Income Report was PERFECT, it spoke to me. I understood everything that she talked about, and the numbers were impressive yet realistic and you can't help but eat up the transparency in all of it. Again, I thought I CAN DO THIS!
I emailed with Ashley from Papyrusaurus early on in the Etsy-just-shut-me-down-stages as she had some of her own things go down with Etsy and she was kind and wonderful enough to give me some advice and encouraging words about making your own website - so with all of that, here I am, MY VERY OWN WEBSITE! It may not be as professional as I've dreamed of it being, I may not sell a single thing ever, but I have a small space on the Internet to call my own and do whatever my heart desires with! I have my clean slate, and in some ways, I am starting from the bottom and that's okay. I'm looking at this as an opportunity to change, do better, be more consistent, and be accountable. I am looking forward to sharing, growing, and connecting with all of you.
My girl, Chelsea, from Glitteracy once said "I'm am open book, ask me ANYTHING," and I thought YES, I love that, I want to be an open book too! I always say this, but seriously, from the bottom of my handmade-loving-heart thank you. You, yes you, reading this, thank you. You are truly the reason I get to do what I love and love what I do.