Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why am I bothering?

I'm usually pretty self-confident, but today I woke up wondering why I'm bothering to try and sell my crafted creations. I personally think that they are original, well-made and fairly priced, but I'm seriously beginning to question my thinking. Maybe they really just *suck* (I hate that expression, but I can't think of a better one at the moment) and no-one has had the courage to tell me so.

This seems to be the way every time I've seriously tried to create things to sell. A number of years ago (back in the 80's) when Cabbage Patch kids were the rage, I spent many hours at my sewing machine creating outfits for these dolls with the hopes of selling them at craft fairs that I was participating in, and through the toy store that I worked at......most ended up being given away because no-one bought them. Previous to that, and several other periods in my life later on, I've come up with what I thought were unique and well made items (from a variety of genres), spent days, weeks, months preparing stock for craft shows....spent countless $ in entry fees, built elaborate displays...only to return from each one with almost all of my inventory.

The same when I discovered 1/12 scale dollhouse miniatures, which is also about the same time I discovered selling on eBay. Although I thought the miniatures I came up with were good.....others obviously didn't because even on the garage sales site of the world I couldn't even *give them away*.

So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I never gave up. I have this misguided fantasy in my head that I have a talent for creating so I keep trying. But, I think reality is beginning to set in...I'm slow, so it's taken 25 years for me to figure it out....I really don't have what it takes. I'm obviously not in touch with what the rest of the world finds appealing, and I'm not sure that I want to continue putting myself through this, over and over again. A very big part of me wants to go down to my kitchen, get a big garbage bag, fill it with the hundreds of items that I have in my inventory and all of my supplies and fill up the cans outside and just end this madness once and for all.

Yeah right......who am I kidding? I'm not really smart enough to do that.


  1. Don't give up! Unless you don't have joy in making what you make of course.

    If your 1/12 dollhouse things weren't popular, but yuo enjoyed making them, maybe you can try doing 1/6 (I think that's what it is, Barbie sized), that's VERY popular in a large community, for Blythe and Pullip doll collectors, ( if you haven't heard of them). Just do a search for Blythe on Etsy and you'll be amazed :)

  2. First off, your stuff is cute, very cute... But,,, would you care to go for coffee with me! When I was reading I thought you somehow had read my mind and were writing about me,,, that is exactly what I have been going through this last wk and at times in tears and sobing because I feel I'm wasting my time, everytime I make a purse its a gamble if someone will like it enough to buy it and having hordes of inventory cause what I think is neat is no on elses ideal! And believe me there are many nice purses out there but I love mine because they co-operate with me on how I want a purse to be! Now that sounds silly I know.. and my hubby & daughter have told me alot of the problem is the economy, I know here in this area money is tight. If you read my blog,,, that cat is me!!! :) Hang in there, I'm thinking of you... Sorry this is so long..

  3. Thanks for the kind words.

    I'm still unsure of what I'm going to do. I've never been a quitter, so honestly it's pretty doubtful I'd really pack it in....but it's still an option.

    Oh, and Mary...if Indiana wasn't so far from here, I'd love to go for coffee with you!

  4. I can SO relate to your post! Sometimes I feel the same way about my stuff. Honestly, I think most artists/crafters feel that way at one time or another. I think a lot of it has to do with us putting so much of ourselves into our work. However, if you look at retail stores, the amount of stock to number of items sold is actually a pretty huge ratio. If we apply the same thinking to our Etsy shops, it would stand to reason that most of what we make will not sell. Which brings me to my point: For me, what helped was figuring out a positive use for the items in the event that they didn't sell. To spend all that time making something that very likely may not get used, what frankly depressing. I found that I was motivated to make things, photo them, put them out on Etsy only to have them sit around my studio gathering dust. But, when I figured out things to do with the unsold items that would make me happy, it began to not matter whether they sold or not. Because, I think the heart of the matter is not whether or not they get "sold" but whether they are appreciated. For my items, many are destined to become Christmas gifts for my friends, little birthday gifts for my daughter's friends, and possibly donations to charity silent auctions. I can feel good about all three, and so I can continue to create.

    Wow - so sorry for the long post! Oh, and in case you are wondering who the heck I am, I saw your link on the Etsy thread asking for new blogs to read...