Tonight I submitted and paid my last Colorado sales tax return for a while, I hope. Following that, I went to my Etsy store to essentially close it. After 10 years, I've decided that it is no longer worth my time to spend time (and money) posting things to sell on Etsy. As many crafty types know, it is very difficult to try to sell handmade items for a fair price, and going forward I'm going to spend my efforts on crafting for my own pleasure.
Back in November, 2010, 5 months after giving birth to my third child in less than two years (twins are part of that), I got online and created an Etsy store for myself. I decided on a name (I used to call all my kids "Goose"), and had my graphic-designer sister design me a logo. It was fun! I made bags, I took picture of them, posted them in my new store and then spent days hitting "refresh" to see how many views my store was getting. I had two kids in daycare and a baby at home who napped a lot and suddenly my love of sewing had a purpose.
Fast forward a few years and I had learned a few things (like white backgrounds work better than others), had a few sales each month, and even had a fabric company send me an entire box of fabric for me to make up in to bags. They sent half-yard cut of all of the fabrics in all their collections. It was a crazy amount of fabric! I had done a bit of wholesale sales to local shops, had tried a craft fair (thanks to all of my parents' friends who came and bought bags, and an eye-roll goes out to the lady in the booth next door who told me that I'd sell a whole lot more if I lowered my prices a lot). I was definitely going outside of my comfort zone and was making an attempt to sell my fabric gift bags.
Like many others in the quilting community, I discovered blogs and through those, the modern quilting community. I absolutely loved looking at all the beautiful quilt pics online.
Somewhere in there I started my own blog/website, got a Facebook page and joined Flickr...and then Instagram. I learned that people would get together for sewing weekends (retreats) and I decided to try one of those - and it was great! At that first retreat a met a few people who have become dear close friends. My sewing habit has taught me a lot of things and has taken me to new places.
But now things are different. Last year I went back to work part-time and my free time really decreased (sewing time really). After limping along for the year struggling to take care of the house & myself, in addition to sewing, this November I decided I was DONE. Things had to simplify. I no longer needed to be reminded to renew Etsy listings for things that hadn't sold in a long long time. I no longer needed to try to remember to keep track of fabric expenses and sales...and pay the darn sales tax every January. No more trying to get great product photos to post on the website...no more hours of photo-editing and post-editing to try to get it just right so hundreds of people would find my bags on Etsy (over the hundreds of other reusable fabric bags posted there).
So for now the store is still there, but nothing is listed in it. If anyone ever wants to commission a quilt feel free to reach out - I do enjoy making quilts for people. Now I plan to buy fabric and not keep the receipt, gift quilts left and right, and not worry about self-promotion. I'll continue to blog here to document my creations for posterity, and will be posting on Instagram. If you were one of the 270 people who bought something from my store over the last decade - thank you!