My Beautiful Mother!

My Beautiful Mother!
My Beautiful 82 yr old Mother @ 50th Wedding Anniversary Party wearing dress I designed and painted♥

Friday, May 20, 2011

Now the Fear Sets In!

Still considered a "Newbie" at selling in the Etsy forum, I thought it would be the cure all for my financial struggles.  However, in a short period of time, I have seen that this is not as easy as I thought!  As an Artist, I said to myself, "Lona, you have found a way to do what you love...create and paint and get your items sold" in my Etsy shop, AlwaysSnazzyTs.  Well, future sellers, be prepared!

There is no easy way!  First, you feverishly paint items as in my case, that you can list in your inventory, because you don't want your shop to look bare.  After all, who wants to visit a regular store and find their shelves empty or sparse?  Then, you take pictures which hopefully show your items in the best position, or light, which isn't as easy as it sounds.  Next, comes the listing where you rack your brain for the right description, price and tags, which are special words that describe all the best points about your item.  For instance, is it hand painted, hand crafted, the colors, what is painted on it, like roses, birds etc, OOAK translated one-of-a-kind, and what kind of an occasion would it make a nice gift for..... to name a few?   

Ahhh, got several listed, looks kind of pretty with all the variety and colors.  Now I can sit back and enjoy the sales that are sure to be rolling in; after all, are not my items unique and pretty and reasonably priced?  Surely, the public will recognize that or at least value the fact that it's hand painted.  Ooooh Yeah....I'm going to make lots of money!  Now, I can re-coup some of the money I have spent on supplies not to mention my time, which ....oh well, let's not go there!

But, wait...., one day goes by and nothing, then another, now it's week one, week two and so on, and you run to your shop all day long and check.  You can't believe your eyes when you see sales.  You refresh it in hopes the numbers are not up to date.  Well, I do have several hearts from other sellers which favored one or more of my listed items, (which of course, as an Artist you value), but where are the sales?  Finally, you look and one day, you have a sale!  Yippee, hooray, I sold something!!!!  It doesn't really matter what at the moment, just that someone bought something from me.  They liked it well enough to pay money!  Now, I feel good.  So, I gather up all the buyers information, collect the payment and ship it out as fast as I can and as safe as possible.  After all, I want and need the buyer to leave a positive feedback on the item.  Is the anxiety over now?  Nope... sorry to say, it continues.  Did it get there in a timely manner, did it break, will they think the pictures look enough like the actual item, (hopefully they will look better), will they want to buy from me again, and lastly, will they leave me a nice feedback?  A few days go by while you savor the euphoric feeling and then it's gone.   You hunger, rather you crave for more, but alas, the waiting starts all over again.  But now it's worse because there's no more sales or very few, now the panic sets in for real!

Come on now Lona, you can figure this out!  So what do I do?  I check out other sellers and many are selling allot!  Ouch!  There goes my self-esteem.  What's wrong with my items?  Are they not what the public wants, should I change my style of painting, or paint more glassware, fabric or maybe go back to ceramics?  Don't really know, since I thought these were hand-painted treasures and compliments aside, they're not selling!  So, I peruse all the forums, posts, treasuries that my time allows, since I am also taking care of 84 yr old parents with serious health problems, because I need to find answers, get with the program!

Now, I consider myself a fairly smart woman and after reviewing many discussions on Etsy on how to become a successful seller, I now have determined that all indicators of being successful appears to be in the promoting, tweeting, blogging or chatting with other sellers so you or your shop becomes more familiar and known.  But indecision and fear sets in because if you join a team, most of them have requirements that include tweeting, blogging, a monthly treasury (which is a collection of items from other team members you arrange in a hopefully pleasant sequence) because other sellers leave comments or what is known as posts about the arrangement, beauty etc.  Usually some form of promoting is required by a team.  But, wait...I want to promote my items so I can sell some things.  Why must I primarily think of what is in the best interest of the team by promoting their items while my shop is dying on the vine?  Also, I have run across several very successful sellers who are not on any team and/or they don't tweet, blog, access other Internet resources or belong to a circle, a group of sellers you like.  So, what to do?  As I sink deeper into a funk, my self-esteem and confidence or rather what little is left of it, is going fast!  But, I love to paint!  I got to hang on, it's got to get better...doesn't it?

Oh, how I wish I wasn't such a novice, a newbie to selling, promoting and everything involved in becoming a successful shop on Etsy.  Do I continue jumping around from forums, treasuries, twitter, or blogging like frog legs in a frying pan?  And what about spending more money in what is called a BNR which stands for "Buy and Replace" which works on the premise that if you buy another seller's item, then it will be replaced with one of yours?  I already have bought into several with only one item of mine selling.  And only when a very nice seller took pity on what amounted to my pleading in the comment section(posts) for someone to buy from me since I was the last seller standing that hadn't sold anything.  So, I gave up on BNR's at least for now, because I noticed that only the sellers whose items were priced very low or had extremely low shipping charges, were usually the ones who got most of the sales.  Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for them and many are my team members and Etsy friends.  It's just, when is it my turn I wonder?

The Solution for me and maybe all you "newbies" out there feeling the same way?  You just keep on keeping on, hope the economy changes, add more inventory so as not to have an empty looking shop, and pray that fashion or public buying preferences will change in your favor.  And not to be overlooked, make some friends like I have that care, support and want the best for me.  They will become a beacon of light as you struggle to get out of what seems like an all encapsulating dark tunnel.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Wish...More Time and Balance!

I can remember when I was young I felt like I had all the time in the world.   But, what is difficult to learn is how to balance that time.  If goals are not set when you are young, they don't get any easier as we grow older.  Without time constraints or limits, we may never really learn the value of time.  As parents we try to instill this appreciation and we strive to give our children balance, i.e. curfews, chores, homework and family time.  Does it work?  Sometimes but often not!  Raised during my teen years mainly by my mother, she tried.  She was firm and a disciplinarian as many parents were at that time.  But we balked at the constraints.

Now, that I can look back and realize what she was trying to do, I wish I could turn back the clock.  I wish I had the time... especially since my mom and stepfather is 84 yrs old and in bad health.  Where does the time go?  Mom, I'm listening now!  Tell me again what time I have to be home, don't be in a car alone with a boyfriend, watch what I drink at parties because they can slip something in it, don't ride with strangers.  Sound familiar?

As I struggle with trying to balance my family responsibilities, painting and promoting my hand-painted products at my Etsy shop, teaching the Bible to female inmates who hopefully can put some balance back in their lives, I value time and balance even more as each day passes.

Moral of the story......utilize the time you have wisely because too soon it's gone.  And set attainable goals to give you balance so that you don't end up like me, always fighting perfectionism and struggling for balance.

My Wish......My Mom who has recently had two severe strokes which blew out her peripheral vision, balance and gait, and my Stepfather who had two failed hip replacements and a six-way heart bypass....Had more TIME! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Appreciate Your Patience!

This has been a ROUGH time for me since I am jumping in head first into a world I am not one bit familiar with.

I am a Senior Citizen who is trying to catch up to you youngins! Lol!  So as I learn the ins and outs of blogging, tweeting and selling, please continue to show patience as I will get better....I hope!  I would love to have all of you visit my shop on Etsy.   I will be adding new items at a faster rate, as soon as my prime responsibility of taking care of my ailing 84 yr old mother lessens. 

My shop at Etsy is AlwaysSnazzyTs.