First off, there has been a consistent theme on almost all the blogs I read. Everyone lately is tired, overworked, stressed with too much to do and too little time, sick or dealing with sick kids, etc. etc. I mean seriously, WHERE IS SUMMER?! I need to get out of this funk and I think everyone else does too haha. I guess T.G.I.F!!! :-)
And this dreary nasty weather has NOT been helping matters. Being a SAHM is tough on any day, but it's 1000 times harder when you are stuck inside all day with your little angels haha. I can't wait for parks and swimming and sunshine. Anyone else?! This kind of weather just makes me want to curl up with a movie and take a nap or something (yaaaawwwwwnnnnn)
To get my day off with a better start though I gave Raya a sucker, a tv show, put Brielle down for a morning nap, and took a nice long shower haha. Raya didn't mind this arrangement one bit, as you can see!
In other news, and to start off our Fashion Friday----I haven't shared pictures of my nephew baby Ryan in a long time. Doesn't he look cute in his easter shirt I made him?
I really think he's starting to look a little more like my girls---something about his eyes, forehead, and hairline remind me of Raya at that age---especially here where he's crying!
And here is a onesie that I had Raya decorate for baby Ryan....these fabric markers are so fun and this is a great idea if you want an older sibling to make something for a younger sibling, or have your kids make as baby gifts for new babies in the family, etc.
And now for the main part of Fashion Friday today, I'm going to share some tips for anyone curious about starting their own Etsy shop or at home business (whether it be fashion related or not). You'd be surprised how many people ask me to review and critique their new Etsy shops, or ask me advice on why I think they aren't getting sales, etc. etc. I am also asked all the time how my own shop is going, whether I still like "doing Etsy", etc....so I figured why not share for those who are interested :-)
When I tell people that I have an Etsy shop, or when people ask me about it and I explain, I often get responses like "oh, that's cute"...but not "cute" as in "you have cute stuff"....it's with the tone of "oh, how sweet that you have a little something to keep you busy" LOL. As though I'm not busy enough :-P The thing is, I think many people imagine that it's easy to open an Etsy shop. There are constantly new shops opening every day and they are gluing some beads to a frame and expecting orders to poor in, or they are making bows and thinking they are going to get rich, etc. But the truth is that Etsy has become crazy busy---packed with sellers who all want to do the same thing--make sales! And many of these sellers consider this their life work. There is always room for more shops and more great ideas, but it's definitely not something that I would consider "easy" or "cute". It's not something you open up on a whim when you're bored some Saturday.
I'm very close to making my 400th sale on Etsy (wahoo!) and that doesn't count the over 100 sales I've done for family, friends, and locals who didn't buy through Etsy. Even so, I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I do have some advice for something starting out.
First, it seems like nowadays most SAHMs either sell for a company (think scentsy, Usbourne, tupperware, etc.) or they craft. It's awesome to have an outlet to make some of your own money and use your brain in adult ways! However when you sign up to sell with a company there are many things done for you already. You are given the product, a lot of the business plan is laid out, etc. ...but if you open your own Etsy shop then *you* need to design/make/produce the product, come up with a business plan, etc. etc. You really should spend weeks or months PLANNING before you even think of opening your shop. Go to Etsy and start reading the forums, asking questions, talking to other sellers. If you don't know about google analytics, search relevancy, keywords, priceing and profit, taxes, etc. then you are not ready to open. I've spent hours upon hours researching this stuff and constantly improving my shop. Then there is promoting and advertising. This sucks up a ton of time too. There are the hours you spend answering buyer emails, packaging and mailing orders, organizing supplies and inventory....Last but not least, perfecting your product! Research what is already being sold on Etsy and find your own unique niche....or your shop will sit and sit without sales. Just because your Grandma or the lady down the street thought your product was cute doesn't mean you should pour hundreds of dollars into starting up your business and think that the rest of the world will actually buy it.
As far as whether I still enjoy "doing Etsy" I never know how to respond. I LOVE knowing that people appreciate my work and I get so excited when customers send me pictures of their kids in my creations or leave me great feedback in my shop. But at the same time I get tired of making the same things over and over again and many nights I just don't feel like sewing but I have to force myself too. My Etsy shop is definitely a JOB and not a cute hobby that I work on here and there. I spend at least 3 hours a day minimum working on it, and that in the past has included weekends! As of now I'm starting to set aside weekends as work free times, so we'll see how that goes :-)
I found this on Pinterest the other day, and thought it was very fitting for this topic
If any of my readers are interested in starting their own Etsy shop and have questions, or if you have an Etsy shop already and would like me to critique it and offer suggestions, feel free to message me through Etsy at my Etsy shop
And lastly, one of my favorite things about my Etsy shop continues to be the fun custom orders I'm asked to do. I love the challenge or creating something new and the excitement seeing how it turns out. Here is a custom onesie I made for a friend, who needed a gender neutral baby gift for a baby shower....and the parents are calling the baby "pop tart" for fun until the baby is born. Cute isn't it? :-)
....and now that my weekends Etsy-free, I'm hoping to be able to make my own girls more things during those t imes. We are going to the Omaha zoo soon and I got this cute fabric to make them coordinating outfits for the trip hehe. They are going to be the talk of the zoo that day for sure!
Happy Friday! I'm looking forward to tomorrow when my nephew Sawyer is having his 4th birthday party---I can't believe he's that old already!!!! What are *YOU* looking foward to coming up? (Instead of sharing our bitchfest complaints like my earlier post how about we share something good and exciting?! :-)