I was so happy (and nervous) to finally test out all my products at a craft fair! I signed up for a local craft fair that was about six hours long so it was a good test run on how to set up my booth, see which products and scents people responded to and generally see if this was something I would want to do on a regular basis. I learned a lot and very thankful for all the support I got from friends and family!
Things I learned:
1. My products are all-natural and have a melting point. This means that I will need to consider temperature conditions and times of year before I sign up for fairs. Some fairs offer indoor spaces and I think that would be best for me.
2. There is a difference between craft fair crowds, school fair crowds and farmers market crowds. I think my products will sell better at farmers markets so I’ve signed up for a few of those before the end of the year.
3. A partner is a great thing. My sister volunteered to stay with me during the fair and I can’t tell you what a difference that made! First of all just having the moral support was huge. Secondly, I had help transporting, setting up and tearing down. Thirdly, there was someone else there when I needed to go to the bathroom and grab lunch or when there were lots of people asking questions. The lady in the booth next to me said that she likes to partner with a friend and they get booths next to each other so they can do the same thing. Great idea!
4. Water and snacks are essential. You really need to plan ahead and make sure you are well taken care of for the duration.
5. Don’t make a ton of stuff. I was so worried about running out of something that I spent two weeks staying up until midnight making tons of product only to find out that the traffic wasn’t as heavy as I thought.
So it’s been almost eight months since I’ve worked on the business. I’ve been quite busy finding another job, living in fear, getting engaged, etc. I was very lucky to find a part-time job that I love doing design for a musical theater company. After making the leap from the secure, albeit frustrating, full-time job, I’ve been trying to cope with all the changes and haven’t been doing much work on the business. Now that it’s settled down and my job is slower over the summer, I have more motivation to get going on the business. I realized that most of what I was doing with my procrastination and avoidance was because I’m a perfectionist. If I can’t do this thing perfectly, then there is no point in starting it at all. With the help of my spiritual team I’ve been slowly gaining confidence in myself and taking chances.
So today I finally put my fear aside and decided to post my first item on Etsy. I watched a youtube video tutorial on how to build a light box for photography a few months ago. Today I set that puppy up and took a few photos of my therapy neck pillows. I’ve been researching how other people are listing their products and their policies, shipping, etc. So I took the photos, posted them and set up my shop! It was so exciting to see my product listed on the internet! I shared the page on Facebook page and within a few minutes I got an email that my item had sold! What? I couldn’t believe it! My friend had logged right in and purchased the item. I am filled with love and joy whereas before I was only filled with fear.
The lesson here is to feel the fear and push through that and do it anyway. If it is your passion and you feel called, pulled, pushed to do it then go ahead and take the leap and choose to take a chance on yourself. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You can fail. But if you never try then you’ll never know what’s possible.
Hello, my name is Heather and I’m a Jill of all trades. I’ve had many passions and interests in my life, and unfortunately, all those add up to a strange mish-mash of job experiences and employee angst. After searching for years for my passion, I realized that I knew what it was all along – crafting! I love to make things, design things, work with patterns and fabrics. I also love cooking and growing plants. So, short of moving to the country and finding a cute farmer to marry, how can I possibility obtain a lifestyle where I can grow things, can things, sew things and get paid to be an Urban Crafter all day? And then it hit me – I can start my own business (gasp!). Are you crazy? Do you know how much energy/time/money/bravery that takes? Yes, but isn’t it better than spending 40 hours a week in a job you aren’t passionate about? And if I never try I’ll never know.
So here I am, a Graphic Designer with a passion for making things and branding things. Looking back on all my various jobs I can see that I have all skills it takes to run my own business – I can design my own logo and packaging, I can write, I can create spreadsheets and keep track of inventory and finances. I can even use social media to reach out to people. So here it is – I’m starting to develop a few aromatherapy/culinary herbal products that I can sell.
This blog is about my journey – from the beginning. I’ll be exploring the ins and outs of starting a business and sharing with you what I find out. I’ll also be facing my fears and investing in myself! So please join me on this crazy roller coaster – I promise it will be quite a ride!