I’ve mentioned before that I am an enormous geek and nerd, and no where is that more visible than in one of my favorite quotes, attributed to Albert Einstein:
And over the past few months I feel this is very true about me.
In 2013, I was going through a severe bout of depression. I had no real reason to feel this way – but as is often the case with depression, it didn’t need a reason to attack me, it just did. My mother was starting her downward decline in health and I was at a loss. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided I was going to open an Etsy store and sell essential oil based products – despite only having made a few and knowing nothing about running an actual shop. Somehow, I thought a masters’ in Accounting and a bachelors in English and Political Science would automatically make me a successful business owner (Spoiler Alert: It didn’t).
For about 18 months, I threw everything I could at the store. I paid for advertisements on Etsy. I had a Facebook page (that I didn’t have time to administer). I tried promoting myself, asking friends to support me, but really having no clue. I just thought – I have a minor skill…I can do this, and thought it would take off overnight. But the actual day-to-day running was beyond me.
I was devastated when I actually had to close the store. I had put so much time, effort, and money into it that I almost felt like I was losing a child. What was worse was having to admit to a failure: I had put myself out there (not always the most professionally), but I had put myself out there and no one bought, so I was judged lacking. That hurt. It was like being chosen last for a soccer game at school.
When I got back into crochet in July 2017, I did it as a way to help with my anxiety and depression. I found the counting and the repetition of the stitches soothing – the yarn a comfort. So, I threw myself into the craft and tried to learn all that I could.
It wasn’t long before friends started saying to me: You should sell that on Etsy; that’s really good.
I didn’t believe them (I sometimes still don’t believe them). I would just laugh it off and go about learning and playing with my yarn. I made hundreds of hats, scarves, and then gloves for friends and family and for donation bags. At Christmas, I brought in two huge backs of hats and scarves to work and let everyone pick what they wanted for themselves or as gifts.
Then, I found amigurumi (cue the sound of the heavenly choir)….There’s no doubt I could keep all of my little ones to myself, or continue to give them as gifts to friends and family, because I totally could. The difference is that I was now motivated to share them beyond that realm. Once that idea got into my head, it wouldn’t leave. For three months I waged an internal war with myself. Did I really want to do this again? Did I want to start a business again – knowing the last one ended poorly and made me gun shy? Would opening my creations up to a possibly larger audience take away from the comfort I get from making the luvvies? Would I overextend myself?
Away We Go….
I tried to push the little kernel of an idea away. I didn’t want to do anything that would take away from my love of crochet. But, ideas are funny things: Once they get started, it is difficult to remove the possibility. However, I didn’t want to jump off the deep end like I did with my essential oil business; I wanted to take my time and plan.
I made the final decision in January 2018. I was going to create a platform from which I could sell my crochet critters. Since I hadn’t had the best of luck with Etsy (although I know others who have been wildly successful), I started to research other forums. My husband has his own blog on Word Press, which is kind of how I ended up here. Now, it is a matter of trial and error.
When I decided to start making the Luvvies for sale, I never had an illusion of being successful: Like, it wasn’t my long-term plan to make so much money from this that I could quit my day job. I wanted to retain reasonable goals. I would just like this to be successful enough to help support my comic convention habit (hey, those Supernatural conventions aren’t going to attend themselves). Actually, as long as it’s successful enough to help buy the materials for my projects, I’ll probably be a happy bear.
There are days, when it is midnight and I have to be up at 5 am to go to work when I ask myself why I am doing this. Then, I finish a Luvvie, and look into its little face, and imagine the happiness of the person who is receiving that Luvvie and it is totally worth it.
Now, where is my coffee…..
Cuddles and Hugs,