Slice of Life: A Return to Etsy

One of my usual and long pursued activities that I really missed when I was working is that of jewelry making.  Slowly, over the last two months, I have gotten back to making time for this hobby. Today, I had the time and good fortune to spend several hours at my “crafting bar.”

I’ve long had a small handcrafted jewelry hobby. For over 15 years, I have been making, giving, and selling pieces of jewelry that I created.  It is something that I’ve grown to need.  I was well into adulthood before I realized that I needed to satisfy the creative side of my being.  Fortunately, as I elected to stay home and raise my boys (I had an advanced degree in nursing), I had time to explore this.

At various times, I thought about giving up my jewelry making hobby. This happened as recently as this past summer. And, part of that decision was definitely because I had less time to pursue it. And, as any creative knows, if you are tired or trying to force a design, it just doesn’t happen.

So, in June of this year, I closed my Etsy shop of ten years. I figured I didn’t need the hassle. I also wasn’t making too many new pieces. And, the new pieces I made did not get listed too fast because that is time-consuming, too. So, with fewer pieces made, even fewer are sold.

If you are making jewelry and selling it, there is a process. I photograph all of my pieces first, after completion. This helps me keep a record of what I made and the progress or evolution of my craft if I care to look back.  Then, if I am selling on Etsy, the photos need to be posted and a listing needs to be created which includes what the piece is made of, and of course, the price and any shipping details.  It takes time to do it “right.”

I do have to admit that over the years, it’s become easier.  I’ve learned photoshop and have presets to adjust my photos. I know that when it comes to listings, less is more. For a while, Etsy encouraged you to write a “story” about each product. Wow! That was laborious – especially when almost all of my pieces were one of a kind! But, it still took time and energy to complete my listings.

In addition to having an Etsy shop, I have many of my pieces on consignment in a juried art gallery/retail shop in Iowa. This also takes time, but the tasks are different. Items need to be numbered and tagging and an inventory has to be made. Initially, each year in the spring, I make the trip down to Iowa with stock. Then, I replenish as necessary. But, it always takes more time than anticipated.

 

So, from June – October of this year, I only had pieces at the art gallery in Iowa. In October, I decided to reopen my Etsy shop. I missed it. I missed having customers and sales. My shop is something I built from nothing, very much like this blog.

It’s taken me a while to restock it because just as I reopened it, the gallery in Iowa asked me for more pieces. So, I wanted to comply with their request as well. But, the thing I like about making jewelry is that it can evolve and change as I do…..very similarly to my blog or my photography.

Over the nearly three years of my blogging, I have only mentioned my Etsy shop one other time, so I am not “hawking my wares” but if you are curious, my jewelry can be found at Carols Jewelry Orchard on Etsy. 

 

 

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