Friday, January 30, 2009

Is It All Worth It?

Lately I have been doing lots of thinking - trying to decide if my Etsy businesses are really worth it. Most of my money is made during the winter holidays through the marketing of Christmas tree skirts. I could still do that and having an Etsy presence would not make a difference. I think having a website somewhere does make the difference.

I have three stores, AnnieKDesigns - home decor; CodysCloset - dog items and AnnieKClothing - fashions - mostly accessories. I am happy with the stores and having one store with all these items would be very disjointed. I am trying to expand my line by having lower priced items as well. Maybe I need to realize that I cannot be everything to everyone.

I belong to three teams on Etsy as well and am an active member in each. These teams assist my marketing, sales, etc. The time is well spent. I am significantly scaling back the time I spend on the forums though.

I find that in order to keep my shops full, I pretty much have to sew 4-5 weeknights, 3-4 hours per night and at least one full weekend day. I work a full time job and have two dogs and all the normal household chores. This leaves very little time for anything personal. Last year I had to decide if I wanted to sew or if I wanted to have fun. Therein lies the issue. I haven't found the right balance.

I am cutting back my sewing and trying to go out more and do things. The dogs take an enormous amount of time as they require lots of play time. Copper is still very much a puppy and has to be watched constantly. He still loves to toilet paper the house. Can't wait until that phase is overwith. Studying for my real estate license is also taking lots of time. I also find that the more I study, the more questions I have for my bosses.

As January folds into February, I have decided that yes, Etsy is worth it. Maybe not financially but through the friendship, business advice and fun. I would be lost without the friends I have made.


tricia said...

Wow! It's like were thinking the exact same thing regarding Etsy. For the past week, i've been abit down about lack of sales in my shops and have thought about closing them, but you made me realize there's more to making money....friends. I've made more friends than money on Etsy and that's a good thing! Thanks for reminding me Annie.

MsAnomaly said...

Annie, I know just how you feel. I've been pretty disappointed in my Etsy sales lately, too, especially considering the time it takes! That includes not only making your items, but photographing, editing the photos, and writing up the listings. I've often wondered if it's worth it. As you said, though, it may not be a finanacial windfall, but the friends I've made on Etsy make it worth it to me! I am only involved with one team, and I know it requires a lot of time, too. It seems like family responsibilities are often overwhelming; that includes pets! I've always admired you for all that you accomplish, but totally agree with you about feeling buried by "have tos" instead of enjoying "want tos!" I took a hiatus from Etsy and a few other things last year and it did a world of good. The dog, kids, and hubby all survived; the beads were right where I left them; the camera and the computer didn't run away; the dust happily gathered everywhere (and I ignored it); and my Etsy store still remained. Nobody would blame you for doing that. I don't know how you keep up with so many irons in the fire! As women, I think we put ourselves WAAAAY down on the "priorities list" - we take care of everything and everyone, then, if there's time (which there never seems to be), we take care of ourselves. Take a break, GF! Annie deserves it. :)

Kristy said...

I am glad that I am not the only one who feels this way. I am a SAHM to 4 kids 2 of which are in school and a 2yr old and 9month old. I am a very busy person. I have had to scale back to. I haven't had many sales and have changed things around in my shop to try to make the sales but I have to say the friend we make are the best! AAAAAAAAAAAHROOOOOOOOOO!

Prairie Primitives Folkart said...

Hi Annie, While I wish my Etsy sales were better, I really cherish the friends I've made in our little chat group, you being one of them! :-)

Nansglam said...

Annie, I am so glad you have decided to keep your presence on Etsy. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Perhaps in the future you can find a way to combine your shops to simplify your life a little, since it is all fabic and thread. Sections could be; people pleasures, four legged friends, seasonal, etc. Just brainstorming!!! Love your friendship in CCCOE and appreciate how committed you are to our team. Important to give yourself some personal fun time as well. I wish you much success in balancing your life. I am sure it will work out for you. Nan (Nansglam)