Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Scaaarry Story- The weeks prior to my Etsy Shop's Opening

It's coming... my shop will soon be two. So like any good mom I'm looking back at the milestones of the last two years and thinking a bit about the beginning.

I'll try to tell you how severe my "butterflies" were at the thought of opening my first shop. They felt more like swallows divebombing at full speed into my stomach lining. I was crabby, horribly twisted up feeling and tense through the shoulders like you wouldn't believe. All this for weeks before I listed my first item. I feel pretty sorry for my husband in retrospect. I can remember him looking at me and saying, "are you sure you want to do this? Cause this doesn't look like something you're looking forward to doing." I know it didn't look like I was reaching out to grasp a life long dream but seemed more as if I was anticipating gall bladder surgery.
My Etsy Shop's Banner

It was just plain scary. By listing my work I thought I was inviting people to view it, judge it, dislike it, love it, buy it, or ignore it. My work is who I am and it felt very very personal. Anyone who's ever done a critique session in a college art class knows the trepidition with which you pin your work to the board. It's with a prayer to be kind, to be constructive not destructive, you're hoping for encouragement from strangers and the risk of an unkind remark or flippant judgement can be paralyzing.

The first item I listed- My Scribble Heart
But I did it anyways. AND if any of you are contemplating taking this step, or starting a blog, I have to tell you that the experience was NOTHING like my fears. Instead of standing there holding my work up before the world I merely sat at my computer, in my home, and uploaded a few photos. There was no dealing with judgements, kind or unkind, there was no sneering comments from passerbys. Instead I found encouragement, a community, friends, and lots and lots of hearts. I didn't have to try to sell my work, people would view it and if it called to them they bought it. There was no convincing, no pushing. I love that. Because really I don't want to push my work on people I want them to see it, and if they love it, buy it. If they don't love it, that's fine with me because I really really want the people who purchase my work to belong to it, if you know what I mean. 

But I was scared and I want to tell you that it's ok to be scared. You're fearful because you're taking a step into the unknown. It will be ok , you can do it, and the satisfaction you'll feel for having been brave with your work will be a high that will propel you to do more. To risk more. To dream of more. I know in my soul that you too can do it. After all, I did. :)


Kelly said...

You are such an inspiration! I just love you and your work! when I get home from SF, I will be doing some shopping... :)

Terri said...

I really appreciate your willingness to share, your transparency, and your encouragement. In the past I've sold my work through a gallery, have done commission work, and donated to charity auctions. This is a whole new venue for me and your advice has been very helpful. You are appreciated. I love your work. It's stamped with your own unique handprint. That's what makes it so great.

Unknown said...

I <3 blogland :)

Shelby and Bev said...

this is a great post, and very encouraging for anyone taking that first etsy step...i know i was scared to death! and you are right, it is not as intimidating as we build it up in our minds to be...

scrapwordsmom said...

Thank you for sharing. I have a dream to have an Etsy shop but really I am scared. You see I don't draw or sculpt or sew or knit so really what would people want from me? I do have an idea but so scared to run with it. Thanks for sharing your fears!!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi There,

My name is Rory and I thought you might be interested in stopping by my blog. I hold link parties twice a week, that Etsy Store Owners are invited to attend. I allow them to post up to 5 of their store items and get a little FREE advertising for their stores. I am a huge fan of handmade. I do these parties for FREE, as a sort of "pay it forward" favor to some pretty hard working craftspeople out there. I would like to personally invite you to attend and participate. Here is the direct link to my latest party...


Thank you,


Dana Barbieri said...

Great to read that you felt fearful and did it anyway. I am at a bit of a standstill so thanks for the encouragement you give in this post.