Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something has got to give...

as I have been burning my proverbial candle-ends! I have been taking a long, hard look at my online business over the past few months and debating on how to progress.  In an effort to diversify and take advantage of different customer bases, I put my items in several shops, as do many "hand-made" artists. Up to now, I have my website, 2 Etsy shops, an ArtFire shop, and a 1000Markets shop.  I was also on Trunkt until they changed their format .  This is just too much!  A family, home, 9-5 job, and a jewelry business is a lot to juggle and I need to figure out a better balancing act.  Obviously my boys come 1st, and unfortunately, I need my 9-5 job, so it comes down to the jewelry business.

My website is a keeper; I just tweaked the design a bit, changed the colors, font, etc.  Etsy seems like a given as well...I split my original shop into 2 there in order to have a separate rosary business, but I don't know if that helped...maybe I should consolidate them again.  I have had an ArtFire shop for quite a while, but haven't really worked on it...usually I list things to Etsy and then use the import feature to bring items over, or I just put them on my website.  To date, I haven't had any sales there or any buzz.  I had actually been debating closing it down, but, when they made an offer to opt-in for a Pro shop at a low $5.95/month, I thought I would stick around a bit longer.  I'm thinking I may try to focus on this one for a while.

While this was taking place, it was announced that 1000Markets, seeminly the higher-end marketplace, has folded...they sold out to a site called Bonanza (formerly Bonanzle) - I'm not even going to link there, it is so completely useless.  Discussing the impending business closure/move, someone on the 1000Markets' seller forum said the transaction equated to "the Nordstrom of Handmade selling out to the Dollar Store" !  Seriously, it is like a big flea market there.  So, I will definitely be closing that shop - yay, a decision made for me!

On a positive note, I have been featured in 2 new ArtFire collections - similar to Etsy treasuries.  How about do you balance things?


  1. Well, like you, for me, the jewelry is the element in the equation that always gets juggled! Need the 9-5 (jewelry will never pay the rent in my life, probably not even the water bill), and my BF is my #1 priority, so jewelry happens when I can do it. If I have to neglect it for a week, so be it. I can't imagine having as many venues as you do, I could never manage all that AND make jewelry, I just don't have that kind of creative capacity. I've contemplated shutting down my ArtFire shop too b/c I never have any sales there (and for other reasons), but $5.95/mo is pretty tempting (even though for me it's $$ down the toilet, not sure why i'm tempted). I've never tried selling locally in person (idea petrifies me), so I don't know if online has more potential or not. Prolly depends on where you live (local sales here would be a bit limited). I think the ArtFire gig will only work if you advertise the heck out of it. I get in lots of treasuries, and have a fair amount of views, but people never buy. A lot of people say they do great with just Etsy.

  2. I hear you. I only have the Etsy shop, but I just can't seem to stay on top of it to really make it go like it should. I guess if I had more time in the day, maybe I could stock it and do more about promoting it, but it's so hard to fit it all in. And I don';t even HAVE a 9 to 5 job at the moment.

    Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for your life. I hope you can make the decision you need to and not get stressed out by the choices! Hugs!

  3. Well at least a decision was kind of made for you. That was easy. But selling online is so difficult. I've really let my Etsy shop go...but I just don't have the time to stay on top of it. I think that if you spent the proper time promoting your shop that you would do well. However, that takes a lot of time and that's time that you could be making jewelry.

  4. I admire you! I can't seem to open at least one shop. And I think you made a wise decision to concentrate on the shops that provide the most sales. Sometimes letting go is a pleasure.

  5. Hey are sure juggling a lot in your life! There is rarely any spare time in the day. That's why my Etsy shop is totally neglected. I haven't listed anything new there in ages...that is what gives in my life. I create jewelry for fun when I have time and there is no further pressure on myself. Heck, maintaining my blog is enough pressure. :-) Hang in there!!

  6. What a great post Melissa! I too feel exactly like you, the 9-5 has got to stay, (UGH), and my family is very important to me. My daughter has issues, so time is not something you ever get back. I now have my own health issues, so I have resigned to the fact that when it happens, it's good, and when it doesn't , I am not obligated. I am trying to focus on the good the process of jewely making does for me, and if someone buys it, that is a big plus! It is frustrating sometimes But I am thankful for all of the wonderful blog friends I have to share the good and the frustrations with!

  7. The only thing I use Etsy for is to sell the odd bead or two. I tried it for jewelry but was way too busy with my own site and craft shows. Those two are all I can keep up with, and I do this as a full-time business. I need to be a mom, so I have no time for adding anything else. If I want to experiment in other mediums or try new things, then how and where I'm selling is it.


I love reading your comments!!!


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