{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 9, Addressing your biggest issue.}

Day 9// Not to talk about all the “issues” we have as handmade business owners, but really, let’s talk about ‘em! ;) I won’t deny it, being your own boss is hard at times. Designing product isn’t always a piece of cake. Staying on task with email, yep that’s hard too. And it’s totally possible for our issues to set us back in huge ways. I have talked about the different ways to stay inspired since starting this blog, but let’s spend some time talking about the issues we face with our handmade businesses. Addressing them will not only help the task at hand to go away, but it’ll help you to leave feeling motivated + excited to get back to work.

Gussy Sews has always been a safe place for discussion. In the comments** below, please consider sharing your biggest issue in regards to your handmade business. If you want to comment as Anonymous that’s totally fine. I’ll pop in later on today to reply to comments, and I’ll check back throughout the week, too. And PLEASE feel welcome to reply to other comments left {see below}. Let’s get back to our community roots here and share our wisdom with one another by commenting below.

**When you leave a comment you’ll be asked to enter your email address, which only I see. All replies to your comments will go to your email address so you’ll quickly + easily see the answer!

I’ll go first: my biggest issue is giant, new changes {like HELLO our 2,000 mile move to California} set me back in the worst ways. Instead of being excited over the new opportunities the City of Angels is bringing the business I fret and stress and wander about. How in the world am I going to figure this out? I think. Ugghhh. It’s pathetic. It took a stern nudge from my handsome hubby to start interviewing seamstresses. It takes email reminders from Cambria to finish that project we were working on. And it takes daily tangible to-do lists to make all of this seem possible. That’s my current biggest issue. Do you still love me?

Homework// Instead of thinking about your issues all day, every day, write an action plan for how you’ll fix it. Do you need to do some research? Spend some time practicing {practice makes perfect you know}. Do you need to consult your girlfriends or hubby? Do you need a day off? Maybe you need to reevaluate your schedule? Commit to taking action today, not just taking pity. {xo}

read all “31 Days” posts by clicking here

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Yes, you are still loved! This is my very busy season. lil’ alice takes part in a holiday art fair the first Saturday in December. Plus I organize the show too (which starts in July) & set up & seek out new vendors/crafters plus returning ones too. I’m still trying to find my groove with the fall schedule (school, soccer, gymnastics, homework, dinner etc.) & trying to sew in between. Plus the basement flooded in July & we had hail damage to the outside of the house. Drywall was done last week & my entire studio was covered in plastic to avoid the dust.

    That is almost all behind us, but I found myself in a funk. I’m having pep talks in my head about getting back on board & out of the funk that has dragged on all summer long.

    I feel less funky & more of a desire to get down there & create & sew.

    Loving this series & loving your honesty & appreciate you sharing it with us!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Katy (lil’ alice), For me, adding something new to my work area would cheer me up. Sometimes all I need is something new {or re-arranged} and then I forget about what was bothering me in the first place.

    [Reply]

  2. 2

    says

    You’re still loved!

    My biggest issue is not reinventing the wheel every time there is a problem. I have a hard time sticking to my schedule because I overschedule my time which leads to a cycle. Have too many things to do, panic, try to work on everything, get burn out, accomplish very few things, get in a funk, get inspired, take on lots of new tasks, have too many things to do…

    I am trying REALLY HARD to focus on the things on my plate right now without adding. But I constantly worry that it means I’m not planning for the future. Ugh.

    [Reply]

    Kirstie@bonhomie Reply:

    @Kasey M., I agree, it’s really difficult for me to say no and be confident that what I’m doing is enough!! Perhaps if we work backwards….define the goal we’d like to reach, write out the steps that will get us there and then just stick to those tasks alone?? Easier said than done but….

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Kasey M., I think you can plan for the future by giving yourself set time every day/week for NOTHING to happen. Then use that time to daydream, plan, create, learn, etc. I constantly over-schedule myself too and it’s a terrible feeling. I’m constantly working towards not doing this. We can work on it together! xo

    [Reply]

  3. 3

    says

    My biggest issue is distractions. Oy – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs (sorry!), email – they all take up so much time, the suck the time right out of my day! I have a very hard time focusing on business stuff without surfing and checking social media – way too many times.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Jenn, OH I KNOW! I think there comes a time when you realize something has to change. Instead of putting so much effort into these things you put it into something that will produce greater results, quicker. All of the things you listed are OK, but in moderation. Right? And when you start to feel jealous {speaking from experience here} you know it’s for sure time to take a break. Too much time online isn’t a good thing.

    [Reply]

  4. 4

    Andrea says

    Of COURSE we still love you! :) My biggest problem is twofold. I procrastinate and compare what I do to what others do. These two monsters paralyze me, so I end up not moving at all. I work outside the home part time, go to school full time, and am taxi for my truck driver hubs (who also expects me to be available to him via phone at any given time of the day) in addition to being a regular housewife. Even when I create a proper schedule, it either gets tossed by the wayside because of some “big emergency” hubs is having/I’ve been called to pick him up, or it’s altogether ignored. I am also my worst enemy when it comes to comparing myself to others! “What if my work isn’t good enough?” “What if I’M not good enough/smart enough/pretty enough/hip enough/traditional enough/thin enough/blond enough/country enough/urban enough/quiet enough/loud enough…..?” Y’all get the picture! lol It is a serious energy drain and creativity inhibitor though. I’ve always struggled with these two monsters!

    [Reply]

    Kirstie@bonhomie Reply:

    @Andrea, SOOO right there with you!!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Andrea, GIRL! Stop it :) You have to realize that you ARE good enough, that’s why you have these ideas in the first place. Try to backtrack, what happens that makes all of these thoughts come to you? Maybe you need to discuss how you’re feeling with your family. Maybe you need to spend less time with someone that’s making you doubt the goodness you have? Maybe you need to give yourself more personal time every week so you can enjoy your talents more easily/freely.

    Just some ideas :)

    [Reply]

  5. 5

    says

    My biggest issue is FEAR….that I’m not good enough, that others are better, that I really have nothing to say that would interest others, that I’ll fail, that I’ll succeed……and all of that prevents me from taking the REAL risks that may help my business. I’m trying to focus solely on my faith, Gods word and His direction without worrying what everyone else is doing but it’s hard for me to stop focusing on others while I’m trying to create connections & build community.

    [Reply]

    Bobbi Reply:

    @Kirstie@bonhomie, comparing is hard! I do it too – probably my biggest weakness. Try to focus on your unique gifts from Him like you said :)

    [Reply]

    Emily E Reply:

    @Bobbi, I totally understand! I am VERY new to blogging & the creative community {hoping to have my shop set up by the New Year} and I struggle with fear too. Its so hard for me to relax when I am so afraid to take a chance {but I’m trying}.
    Keep up the good & hard work!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Kirstie@bonhomie, I think all women struggle with this. It’s almost like we have to put on a cloak of braveness. Close the blinds to the outside world. Focus on how creating makes you feel, not others reactions to what you’ve created. Looking back I’m really not sure I could start a handmade business all over again. I feel like it takes a child-like mindset to do so… you have to be so brave, so courageous, so focused on this exciting new idea and BLOCK OUT everything else. Something that helps me is remembering not everyone is my target customer. My prices don’t appeal to everyone. My fabric choices don’t. The schedule I have doesn’t work for every other handmade businesswoman. Spend time focusing on what you know works best {in every facet of handmade life} and commit to being confident with your decisions. For me, having enough time to pursue my hobbies — EVEN if I need to take a nap, that’s what I have to make time for :)

    You’ve seen this quote, yes?

    Ahhhh… deep breaths! xoxo

    [Reply]

    Mika Reply:

    @Kirstie@bonhomie, Right there with ya. It’s SO hard to compare myself to Mary Jo and say, but she’s been in business less time than I have and look at all she’s done!! Then I remember Mary Jo has a husband with a marketing degree and graphic design experience, a sister who comes and helps her sew, no children, a mom who handles shipping, and a contact at a fabulous magazine that helped get her product noticed (aren’t you jealous of Mary Jo now too?? lol). If you’re going to compare, at least compare apples to apples! In this business, that’s impossible though because we’re ALL completely unique!!!!!! No one has the exact same situation! The fear can be so paralyzing, and I get stuck in it sometimes too. Then I take a day “off”, or watch Shark Tank..that always kicks me in the rear to get moving on MY dream!

    [Reply]

  6. 6

    says

    Advertising/getting the word out about your business on a budget. Creating is the fun part for me – logistics not as much. Business cards, giveaways, FB posts, etc. have all been done, but progress is slow. Anyone have successful tips?? – Bobbi :)

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Bobbi,business cards/promotional materials: http://www.overnightprints.com has amazing prices, and when they run sales they are even better!

    giveaways: share more about WHO YOU ARE as the designer. allow people entering the giveaway to learn about you so they can fall in love with your product :)

    FB posts: ask questions! people love to feel like their input matters, and it does!, but they don’t always feel it does. when you ask them a question it not only gets you results but it makes people feel needed. win win :)

    [Reply]

    Bobbi Reply:

    @Gussy Sews, THANK YOU! Love those ideas :)

    [Reply]

  7. 7

    Jenna says

    I think my struggle is guilt. My shop is small, which is great since I am a SAHM to three under five. But I feel guilty spending any free time (naps and bedtime) sewing when I could be doing housework, hanging out with my husband, etc. Orders need to get done, but I hate doing them when I feel guilty. I started sewing for others because I love to sew!
    Thanks for being an inspiration, Maggie!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    @Jenna, Yes, this! I now work from home full time with my etsy shop, and I feel so guilty if the laundry doesn’t get done/the kitchen isn’t clean/dinner isn’t ready right on time/etc etc. I’m at home all day, so I should be able to handle that, right? I also feel so guilty if I don’t get all my work done during the day (which, with it being wedding season, is hardly ever) and have to send proofs/reply to emails/update my business FB page in the evening when I should be spending quality time with my husband who travels a lot for work. It’s a huge struggle to not constantly feel guilty and/or inadequate, so I’m right there with you!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Jenna, Ohhhh I know how easy it is to feel this way. But a few questions for you: does you feel like you have support at home to work on your business? It’s possible to get everything done you listed off, but it may look different.

    Maybe 2-3 times a week you could have crockpot meals? Or maybe one afternoon a week you prep all your meals for the week, then pop them in the freezer. Defrost the night before in the fridge, then dinner is practically ready.

    Commit to cleaning the kitchen after every meal before moving on to another task. Everyone that eats this meal has to help clean up. Yes, everyone :)

    Laundry can be done while you’re doing other things, like watching TV with your hubby at night, or in between meal-prep. Try to do a little bit of laundry every day (maybe 1 load a day?) or condense it into 2-3 days if that’s easier.

    Work towards keeping your weekend family-only time. No housework. That means your workweek is a little crazy because you’re doing housework a little bit each day, but try to find a balance that will work for your family. If it doesn’t you’re going to feel a lot of chaos — which it sounds like you are already feeling.

    Did you read my post about managing your email?

    Maybe 1-2 nights a week you commit to working in the evening on your business, the other 3-4 nights you are with your family?

    Either way, you have to decide what you want to get out of your business. If it’s for a long-term supplemental income you have to figure out how to juggle the craziness of it now {but don’t let it get chaotic}. If it’s a hobby then you may need to scale back.

    Spend some time this week discussing your goals with your family. Then together make a plan that will truly work.

    However, even if this is just a hobby business, you still need “Jenna” time each week. That is important :)

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    @Gussy Sews, Some great suggestions!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    @Jenna, Jenna, you have to remember, this is your job, and just like any other person who works a job during the day, dishes get left, laundry doesn’t get done while away at work, floors arent swept. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you arent working and earning money. Maybe setting regular hours for yourself during the day, and maybe leave a few hours of the day to unwind and load the dishwasher. It will also help you focus more on what you are doing when you are sewing, knowing the dishes arent knagging at you in the back of your head.

    [Reply]

  8. 8

    says

    Oh my gosh me too. I have a full time job, a part time job, and my shop, plus the housewife stuff since my husband is currently doing his pediatric residency & is thus basically unavailable for any housework. It’s absolutely insane! I find that being crazy busy is somewhat helpful for me though, because whenever I have a spare moment I’m working on something for my business since it’s tough to know when I’ll get my next chance!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Sarah, check out my reply to Jenna above :)

    [Reply]

  9. 9

    says

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I honestly don’t love the repetitive sewing aspect of starting a handmade business. But you have to get products out there that people will like and trust if you want to grow, right? Then you can hire people to do much of the stitching while you create. So in essence, I hold myself back because I just don’t do well sitting still to keep on stitching. And let’s not even mention blogging consistently. I’m hoping to remedy that very VERY soon.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Kirsten, Why can’t you train a seamstress now? What’s holding you back from that? (xo)

    [Reply]

    Kirsten Reply:

    @Gussy Sews, Ha! So funny that you say that! I never even considered that until today– after I stopped and really thought about your question. Then I had a great chat with a friend who talked with me about it. I’m curious now…how do you compensate a seamstress? This is entirely new territory! ;) {And PS, I subscribed to the comments today, but apparently it didn’t work– even after I approved it. I’m so glad that I checked back in tonight!} :)

    [Reply]

    Jane @ The Borrowed Abode Reply:

    @Kirsten, Kristen – Oh my gosh, I can so relate to your struggle. After 2 years of testing designs and creating products I got worn out. . . and it was almost embarrassing to admit that i got tired of sewing the same items over and over.
    When I finally admitted on my blog that I was getting worn out and maybe wanted to close my shop because of it, (http://goo.gl/oMhOK) I found out that people didn’t think I was crazy, which was a relief. I’m now trying to figure out how I can hire a seamstress. That was the plan all along, after all. . .
    Gussy – how do you feel confident that you are hiring a good seamstress? That part definitely feels scary. If you have a blog post on it I must have missed it!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Jane @ The Borrowed Abode, I don’t have a blog post on that but I will before the month is over. For now, decide if you they will work from your home or as a contract worker (from their home). If they are in your home you are able to oversee their work more easily, before it’s completed. You can pay per hour or per finished piece. So, make sure your prices are where they should be so you can afford to hire. We’ve always used Craigslist to search. I hold 2 interviews, then they come to our home, then I decide. Usually I have our team meet with the potential to see how everything would flow if we added to our team. And if it doesn’t work out? You know what to do. Hiring is something to take very seriously but it’s totally doable. Having a handmade business doesn’t mean you can’t hire help. But it does mean that it’s made by a person and not a machine. XO

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    @Kirsten, interesting idea. I have never though about hiring someone to sew for me. I have someone how does cutting for me, which is a HUGE help. I’d be interested in the compensation answer. I wouldn’t know where to start or how to work that into my pricing.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Jennifer, See my answer above ♥…

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Kirsten, I don’t have a blog post on that but I will before the month is over. For now, decide if you they will work from your home or as a contract worker (from their home). If they are in your home you are able to oversee their work more easily, before it’s completed. You can pay per hour or per finished piece. So, make sure your prices are where they should be so you can afford to hire. We’ve always used Craigslist to search. I hold 2 interviews, then they come to our home, then I decide. Usually I have our team meet with the potential to see how everything would flow if we added to our team. And if it doesn’t work out? You know what to do. Hiring is something to take very seriously but it’s totally doable. Having a handmade business doesn’t mean you can’t hire help. But it does mean that it’s made by a person and not a machine. XO

    [Reply]

  10. 10

    says

    My biggest problem is feeling inadequate. And setting realistic goals. Oy vey. I think I just don’t know where to start. I’m too focused on the end to see the beginning.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Leslie Zimmerman, I encourage you to take some time to dig deeper with what you’re feeling. Sometimes having to explain something 4-5 times helps you to get to the root of the problem. Keep asking yourself WHY? What makes you feel inadequate? Then challenge why your answer is your answer. Think about why you have trouble setting unrealistic goals. Again, see if you can challenge yourself to change that. Baby steps, girl :)

    [Reply]

  11. 11

    says

    You’re still loved!

    I have two big issues: distractions (facebook, email, reading other blogs haha…) and fear of success. Every time I get a taste of success, I freak out and feel like I’ll mess it up so I reign it back in and the success disappears then I feel bad. I do this ALL THE TIME.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Amanda, Ahhhhh no! :) Let me know if there’s something I can answer for you to help you work through that. xoxo

    [Reply]

  12. 12

    says

    My biggest issue is scheduling my time between my shop, my kids and life in general. I made a decision to cut something big out recently, but I feel like it will only help me be more successful since I will have time to actually devote to new products and maybe one day I wont be up every single night working. Im also hoping to be able to hire a helper eventually.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Erin @ Isaboo Designs, I think a lot of women struggle with that. It’s good to nix that now, before it gets out of hand and feels unachievable. See if there is a window of time every day where you could devote to work. Maybe you implement quiet time every afternoon from 12:30-3:30? Your kids need to be in their rooms but can read, play quietly with their toys, or rest. A blogger I adore does this — she has 6 kids!, and it benefits the entire family. xoxo

    [Reply]

  13. 13

    says

    my biggest problem is action. I have TONS of great ideas but have not been acting on them enough. I don’t want to be someone who in 10 years says, “I wish I had done that…” I am trying hard to do it! Thanks for the encouragement and honesty that you bring about. I laid in bed one night thinking about my shop opening that I am prepping for and started to talk myself out of it. Then I thought of you. I thought of how you were able to do it and it made me turn my thoughts around. Now to get to action! I am participating in the Nester’s challenge as a way of making myself get on it! I will make this work!

    Thanks for the inspiration! -Wendy

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Wendy, Yes, I really do struggle with this. If I let my mind wander EVERYTHING feels SO overwhelming and surely I CAN’T do it! Ugh. I know better to not let my thoughts get like that, but it does happen once in a while. My best solution is to write down action steps so it seems more achievable. You can’t think about the steps at the end, only think about the upcoming few so you feel prepared. Don’t let your goals paralyze you from doing what you were created to do ♥.

    [Reply]

  14. 14

    says

    My biggest problem is balancing my time. I feel so overwhelmed most of my days. I am a stay at home mom to a beautiful 2 mnth old baby & my husband is currently in college. This limits our budget greatly and I know that I need to open my shop, but when I get overwhelmed with making sure the baby is fed/diapered/loved, the dogs are fed, I’m fed, the house is clean, my blog has posts scheduled, I’m making something, checking in with my mom to see how her cancer is going… etc. I just tend to freeze and not do anything. I’d really like to push past this point but feel so overwhelmed with it I don’t know a good way to tackle it. I know scheduling my time would be a good idea, I just don’t know how. I’ve never had to schedule a whole day, mine’s always been scheduled for me with college.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Alys Hejl, I will be address this exactly issue later in the month, so please hang with me until that day is here :) In the meantime, make an outline of what your current schedule looks like. What is consistent every day? What could be rearranged to make life a bit easier? (For example, having an entire afternoon once a week devoted to errands verses one different errand that you accomplish every different day). If you met with your mom for a lengthy coffee date one morning a week to catch up, would that free up other mornings throughout the week? I’m giving you some homework so you’re more prepared for later in the month :)

    [Reply]

  15. 15

    says

    I’m loving all of these posts!
    Right now I have three main things i seem to be struggling with.

    First is pricing… It’s hard to come up with the perfect amount that it’s fair to me & to my customers. I always feel nervous that my prices might be too high so then I sometimes cave in and price them low.

    Then there’s blogging/fb/twitter .. I’m trying to figure out more things to post about so that i have more variety and it is fun for people to read. Right now I mostly just post about something fun i just made… hehe. (exciting to me.. but maybe to anyone else).

    Then there is: telling people what I do. I’m a very quiet person and keep to myself a lot and so it’s hard for me to tell people about what i do. Even if someone tells me they like the necklace I’m wearing (that i made) I will usually just say “thanks” and end the conversation there instead of having the courage to say “thanks, I made it.” and seeing where the conversation might lead.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Megan, #1: setting your prices too low does many terrible things. You aren’t able to make an appropriate profit. The value of other makers items gets lowered. It’ll be hard to hire help down the road. Your talents seem questionable since your prices are very low.

    #2: Maybe you’re approaching it from the wrong angle? Think quality over quantity. Think about your blog’s purpose statement. Use these two things to help drive post ideas.

    #3: Girl, I totally know what you mean. This is called an elevator speech and you MUST perfect it. Not only will you feel good but others will immediately take you seriously {not that they don’t already}. When you say “Oh thank you sooo much. I own a business called _____ and I made this necklace” you have their attention. Then when they look at you like “give me more info” you can say “I started designing jewelry about three years ago. I work from home and it allows me to share my creativity with others while making memories with our children.” Or something like that.

    More on all of this soon… stay tuned to the series! xoxo

    [Reply]

    Mika Reply:

    @Gussy Sews, LOVE the example you gave!!! I’ve never been able to perfect an elevator pitch (I have a hard time talking about my stuff as well!), so this is a fabulous jumping point!

    [Reply]

  16. 16

    says

    I struggle with self/product worth. I don’t think I’m/my products are that good (read as: professional grade stuff) so I have a hard time putting myself out there. I begin comparing what I do to others (even if they are in a completely different genre, like graphic prints or something!)
    It’s completely crazy, but it’s a hard thought pattern for me to get out of…

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @J. Spencer, What if you switched up the materials you used so you felt like they were of higher quality? Or so you felt like you were more of a leader with the industry you create in…? :)

    [Reply]

    J. Spencer Reply:

    @Gussy Sews, I’m so glad you mentioned that! I’m actually working on finding better quality materials at good prices. I’m hoping that this change will give me more confidence and attract new customers. =]

    [Reply]

  17. 17

    says

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who struggles. The biggest thing that hold me back at the moment, is staying focused on sewing. I am getting burnt out by making the same things over and over. I love that my customers are still wanting what I make but sometime getting the inventory ready to craft fairs is just mind numbing and sucks all the creativity out of me. Now that my hobby is a business, I feel like I might need another creative outlet. But who has the time for that?

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Jenn, Sounds like you need to hire a seamstress. Stay tuned…

    [Reply]

  18. 18

    Sarah says

    I am just starting out designing my jewelry, and my biggest issue is just getting everything started. Not just making the product, but learning how to take the pictures correctly, setting up etsy, learning how to price, how to set up a blog, everything…begining seems like the hardest part, and I get so frustrated learning how to do everything it makes me want to put it on the backburner, especially since I already work 40 hours a week and go to school as well. How does everyone keep up with it all?!

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Sarah, I think you need to outline all that you want to learn, then set dates for when you will take time to do so. Please know I was in this exact same scenario almost four years ago, I think many start out feeling exactly like you do. Allow your interest in jewelry give you the energy you need to push through it. It will probably take some evening + weekend hours but knowing you have an end goal in mind should encourage you. And it’s totally OK to feel frustrated. It’s not easy working 50-60 hours just to get your business up. But it definitely doesn’t happen without putting in the extra work.

    Could you take a week to master one area you want to learn, then the following week focus on another area? Maybe that would help it seem more manageable :)

    [Reply]

  19. 19

    says

    My biggest issues are blogging (actually not blogging) and getting our product line out there. I just can’t come up with interesting enough topics to blog even once a week. Kristy tries to add some interesting posts which she’s great at but with her photography and blog design primary business, it’s hard to add one more thing to her list of “to do’s”! When your blog is entitled “LadyLike” you pretty much should stick to the subject and not make it a personal blog in our opinion. I keep trying but I have a brick wall in front of me. But I’m going to work on it.
    Then comes getting out products out there. I do compare our knit and crochet items to others and feel we are reasonably priced and unique in many ways. Designing is not a problem. I pick up the hooks and let my fingers and mind do the work. I love that part. But I look at other Etsy shops and their high sales and get discouraged. But I will keep foraging onward. I love this series you’re doing and look forward to reading it everyday.

    [Reply]

  20. 20

    says

    Heisitant to really call this an “issue” since they’re my #1 priority- but finding the time to work on my products while juggling 2 kids (2 years and 5 weeks). I feel like I never have a moment in the day when someone doesn’t need me…and by the night (when I used to get a lot done), I am so tired I can’t get anything more accomplished. Trying to look at this as just a season and know we will get some semblance of a routine again at some point- but it’s hard because I WANT to be creating… and NEED to to an extent, as I plan to quit my part-time job soon and we are needing my Etsy shop to help make up the lost income.

    Business-wise, I’d also say its hard to know how to promote…I’d love to get myself out there more but just feel clueless about how to use Facebook, Twitter, etc to my advantage… and which is the smartest/most effective route. It overwhelms me so I just don’t do any of it!

    Loving these posts, btw – thanks!

    [Reply]

  21. 21

    says

    I will for sure be hanging with you :) I think the problem is that I don’t have a schedule. I haven’t been actually setting a schedule daily. I really like the idea you had about dedicating one afternoon to errands instead of doing one daily throughout the week. I’m sure that would help me also with cleaning the house. If I just had one day that I did everything I think it would be better on me than doing one thing every day. I know that works for some people, but it hasn’t been working for me. I would love it if I could meet my mom, but she lives 3 1/2 hours away, so we just chat on the phone for now. I think it’d be good for her though if I had a regular phone time with her. I think ultimately I just need to get on the ball and really schedule out my day. (I feed Bryant on demand, so sometimes it gets a little messed up but I think I need to stop using that as an excuse and just schedule stuff.)

    [Reply]

  22. 22

    says

    My issue is i have my etsy shop at the moment i sell 100% natural Lip balms made by myself and i have some baby blankets also. But how do i get my shop noticed on there my views are very low. i have considered closing it as i have yet to make a sale, people favourite my item but don’t seem to buy. Do you have any tips for selling on etsy?

    I love this series it is so inspiring, i only noticed it today so i have been catching up on all the posts and noting down any ideas that spring to mind. Thanks :o)

    [Reply]

  23. 23

    says

    My biggest issue is organisation! To be more specific “staying in schedule”. I get distracted a lot, which is something im trying to fix. Is someone facing the same issues? How are you managing that part?

    [Reply]

    Maggie Whitley Reply:

    @Nathalie, How about removing some of your distractions? Or working in 20 minute increments? Keep a task list so you know exactly what you have to work on and you can easier keep your focus. XO

    [Reply]

    Nathalie Reply:

    @Maggie Whitley, I’ll try that!

    [Reply]

  24. 24

    says

    Nice!! A new machine is alwyas a fun treat. My husband so sweetly bought me one about six years ago (because I was pleading for one) and I’ve only used it a few times. Each time, I need to relearn it. LOLI’m hoping that will change once I have a project room… I’m itching to do some sewing. Your projects are very inspiring.

    [Reply]

  25. 25

    says

    Help the little ones alesmbse a personalized Father’s Day card for their Dad this weekend! Pick the doll that looks like Dad, then cut out sayings and objects to make it one of a kind! Click “Download Craft” below for printable images to cut out and paste to paper. All you need is a piece of paper folded in half twice, scissors, and a glue stick. Posted on June 15, 2012 by !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

    [Reply]

  26. 26

    MommyAfa says

    Hi Maggie! This is a very late comment but I hope saw mine ;)
    My biggest issue is, I’m not sure where to start.
    I took up sewing hobby since about 1.5years ago, and had been sewing mostly girls/toddlers clothing, bags/purses, recently took up sewing on adult garment and plushies.
    I got quite good comments on my creations, and some friends started to ask if they can order some items from me. Honestly I fall in love with this sewing hobby and hope someday I can have my very own label on my handmade products and have a home business. But I’m not sure I have enough skill on this, so I kept saying I’m not ready yet and still trying to just practice more on sewing different items. Until one day a close friend asked me if she could request to custom-make one giant fruit plush for her hubby’s birthday. I did it and she loves it! :) That’s the first time I gave a price on my sewn item, and thought maybe I could give it a try further.
    So I’d like to ask for your opinion, or maybe on your own experience how did you start selling your items. Should I choose one specialized area -e.g. bags only, or kids clothing only, etc; or is it ok to just make anything under the sun when someone ordered (some people asked based on facebook photos of items I made before). I’ve read your post on made-to-order vs pre-made, and I suppose maybe I shall start the first type first just to take things off the ground?
    Lastly, thank you for this awesome 31 days series! :)

    [Reply]

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