Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Beginnings...or old?


I always wonder if we know what we want to do with our future when we're a child, and then life interferes and sidetracks us.  My grandfather said I would be a jewelry designer when I was seven.  I spent the next fifteen years trying desperately to disprove him, because I am so stubborn that I don't want anyone telling me what to do.  It's that sort of thing, where if someone tells you something you'll go and do the opposite just so you don't give him the satisfaction of being right.  I did that, and still do, all the time.  But in this particular case I simply gave up the goat and said "alright, fine, I'll do what I love". 

Then came the next problem: feeling like a total waste of space.  In this society artists are not highly valued.  they make little money (on the most part) compared to their time and effort, and most have to have second jobs to support themselves.  People think of them as "lazy" or not pulling their weight like a, for example, accountant or lawyer is (and I mean no disrespect to them!).  This stereotype was REALLY hard for to get over, and I'm still working on it.  When I roll out of bed at 10 AM I have to remember I'll be working until 7, possibly even midnight.  So while I don't have a 9-5 job, I'll actually be working more than that. 

And that turned out to be more than true.  I sort of waltzed into this whole small business thing unaware, figuring I could work things out as I went. 

Not so much. 

Most of my time has been spent planning and entering data in excel instead of melting glass.  But part of me enjoys the little gritty details of expenses, of entering in that one dollar and forty cents I spent on findings today.  And then taxes...that was a whole other experience.   Promotion takes up the rest of the time.  Should I go wholesale or just retail? (Any ideas on that, please comment!)  Exactly who is my customer?  How do I create a brand?  So much to think about! 

I opened my etsy shop this week:

 So far etsy is a fabulous place to work with, and the people are extremely friendly.  there are so many opportunities of which to take advantage, and the number of people you can reach is amazing.  There does seem to be the danger of being lost in the crowd, but I think there are ways around that, tricks of the trade.  Now I just have to learn them. 

So get ready to hear about the process of running a small business, and anything else that I decide to throw into this blog.  I'm really excited to have a forum to discuss my ideas and thoughts, and I hope you all respond with comments!  Sharing our experiences is what opens our minds. 

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