Saturday, January 12, 2013

Etsy and me: a love/hate relationship

Every 6 months or so, I think to myself, "Vicki, you're poor. Why not try and make your millions on Etsy?" And this sounds like a great idea, and I start picking out the color of the Mini Cooper I will buy with my earnings. And then, eventually, I remember why all of my Etsy Get Rich Quick schemes fail: 1) I hate selling things, and 2) I hate the post office. 

My first Esty outing began with my Derby Dolls. They actually sold pretty well! But because of the aforementioned reasons, I never restocked my Etsy shop & still have a big pile in my closet.

Then, this holiday season I thought of a new Get Rich Quick scheme- custom portraits! I used to be a portrait artist on a cruise ship, after all. Since it was the holidays, I made a few portraits for my friends and family members:

Yes, my friends and family DO have exceedingly cute children! 

And now, the holidays are over, and there's no reason NOT to try the Etsy thing again... but the truth is, I love making things SO much more than I love selling things. Any of you other creatives struggle with this, too? How do you get around it?


Christina Rodriguez said...

I think I'm like you - I love to create art but I hate selling. Just too much awkward pressure all around.

Love these portraits! Which vendor did you use to create the magnets, by the way? Or did you make them by hand somehow?

kate said...

Hi Vicki! Love both the magnet set and the portraits! I feel like I'm constantly pulling my hair out over etsy. SO time consuming! But then some stranger in Canada buys a few things and it makes me all warm and fuzzy with love for etsy. It's helped to buy all the supplies for mailing and a scale - that way I don't ever have to go to the post office. Also, once you get your listings all set you can just copy them when you make something new but similar. And I've decided to be ok with a slow, small trickle of sales - not stressing about always trying to make it better helps. (ps you should put a link to your etsy site on this blog post!)

JaneA said...

Oh me too! I also have the love/hate thing with etsy. I go through stages where I really want to stock my shop, but the effort (and corresponding obsession with updating, posting,etc) always seems to be detrimental to my creativity. The more I'm on etsy, the worse my artwork looks. Does that make sense? Strange.

Anyway, I can sympathise!

Vicki said...

Ah, I'm glad I'm not alone. Kate, I saw those scales while I had another hellish visit to the post office yesterday- not a bad idea. I get really hot & sweaty the moment I walk in there- I don't know what it is. Christina, I had the magnets printed by Vistaprint, but couldn't find a way to get them dye cut- so I just cut them by hand. So, they take a loooong time to make!

Abigail Marble said...

I hear you! I have been waffling over the etsy question for years. Even set up a shop, but have not gone so far as to post anything there. I read the 'leave your day job' posts on the etsy blog and wonder how people manage to keep making stuff while still running the shop and doing the shipping and all that goes with it. Many seem to be raising (or even homeschooling!!) kids at the same time, as well --I guess they sleep less than I do or something.

That said, I do think it would be smart to diversify a bit, and am hoping that after my son is in kindergarten next fall I will be ready to dip a toe in the etsy seas...I am viewing Kate B. as my role model/guinea pig (slow and steady and it doesn't have to take over your life).

I love your magnets, and would buy a set if you put them back up, btw!

Sarah said...

You are so talented. BTW, I loooove that picture of Catie in the blue dress and would gladly pay you (and pay for shipping) to paint another one. ;) We have the skating portrait on top of our fridge so more people can see it. Love your artwork!