What's Next?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

So if you've known me on social media for a while, you'll know I'm not one to shy away from talking about the downsides of running a small business and being self employed. This year has been a struggle for a number of reasons and a tanking business has not helped, so today over a 1000 items sold and 728 orders later I closed my Etsy shop for the second time this year but this time for good. Why? Well the first time was to move over to my own website, except I wasn't quite as ready as I thought I was and still had a lot of old stock to get rid, so I reopened to bridge the gap. Things have been incredibly slow but I used this as an incentive to get a move on with things behind the scenes. But then things slowed down even more and then came Etsy's policy changes to benefit their shareholders, and pushing the free shipping and absorbing of costs to drive up sales campaign I decided that Etsy was no longer the site they claimed to be. The final straw was the 'we'll be promoting shops who offer free shipping over those who don't.' Small business just cannot compete with corporate companies and I don't want to. I decided to close a few hours earlier than intended because a) no sales and b) a message complaining about shipping costs!

Here's the thing, small businesses tend to lose a lot of money over shipping and packaging costs because they are not cheap and massive corporations have given consumer's the false idea that shipping is cheap. Absorbing the costs is not moral and not practical either because if you have to refund on an item, you're also refunding the cost of shipping, ie you're out of pocket! Here's another thing cheap goods still come at cost! A business cannot survive on likes alone and people not willing to spend money on goods because they equate cheapness as value for money. Value for money is not just about the price, if I can't afford something I just don't buy it, I don't email the seller and complain that there prices are too high or I can't afford shipping, I don't expect them to cover those for me just so I can have something. Consumers have been spoilt and mislead over how much things truly cost. Big companies get massive discounts on supplies, they use cheap labour in factories abroad, delivery drivers are overworked, someone is paying for that so you don't have to! I will still support and buy from sellers who are on there but I personally won't be going back.

I still have stock to get rid of, this weekend I took the last of the fabric scraps and unfinished projects down to the recycling centre. Where I can I reuse, resell or recycle what's leftover from projects etc but in truth running a craft business can produce a lot of waste and just not physically. It also feels like a lot of time and money that has been wasted to and that's where the feeling of failure hovers but it's not really unless you never gave it a shot at all right? I still have some supplies to use up and will but I work wise I want to primarily focus on writing and art, as you know from previous posts I've been clearing out a lot of stuff to make space physically and mentally for this. This doesn't mean giving up being creative in other aspects of my life, I will still be doing creative stuff like sewing, and DIY projects round the home, and baking things and whatever takes my fancy that week but it's more about creating a distinction between work and pleasure, though I will probably be cutting back or personal projects for a while until I get myself back up and running.

I still have some decisions to make, like do I shift my writing over to here? I think I probably will and keep the things like painting and embroidery etc for instagram because that's more visual and will work better over there. I have started writing, I set myself a 500 word a day limit, the first week went well and hit well over target. Last week distracted my shop stuff and trying to get suppliers and sites I rely on to run an online business to do their jobs took up a lot of my time, and I just about hit 600 words, which I'm going to have to redo because I've decided to change one of the character's background story to make the rest of the novel work. So yeah, I guess I'm attempting writing a novel again!

Apart of me is a bit sad to see something I've been working on go down the proverbial pan but then on the other it's also a relief and has left me with no real excuses to keep putting off what I always said I wanted to do as a career, which is art and writing. The art side still needs a little refining but I'm currently doing a small photo project on one of my instagram accounts which is focusing on finding beauty in mundane objects/settings but with a colour theme and is inspired by Worship Blue's #super_ordinarylife tag she set up there. I have managed a little practice water colour painting and concluded I need more practice. I have some ideas that I need to spend time sketching out but they will probably be in acrylic or gouache. I have a load of embroidery hoops with which I want to some mixed media art projects with and I'm also going to do some collage work.

Writing wise I'm still keeping a personal journal, not everyday but still pretty regular. I have as already said started a novel, well I'm hoping it will end up long enough to be a novel and I've started collating old essays from past blogs and started on ideas for new ones because well I like writing essays. So that as per usual could have been a lot shorter because I realise now that I've probably mentioned all this in previous posts but things are changing on here and in life for the better, hope you'll stick around and see what I'm up to.

(Photo by me taken in Amsterdam)

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Tasha M Campbell 2018 - (present). Powered by Blogger.

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