A few of the things I have learned are as follows:
>Unless they are extremely obvious/familiar, using foreign words/phrases as an integral part of your brand isn't the best idea. I learned this the hard way. But, c'est la vie (hehe). Thankfully, Etsy is allowing shops to change their names October 18th/tonight/tomorrow, so I am eagerly awaiting further instructions, as they haven't told anyone the exact time this feature will become available.
>I feel a little guilty about this one, but... I discovered I really don't like taking pictures of things. Soo, while I will still have a small shop section of vintage items (at least temporarily), my shop's main focus will be the sale of items made by me (more details later). I understand that photography is and will always be an integral part of selling on Etsy, I just don't want it to be the only thing I do, if that makes sense. I have a persistent desire to create, make something with my hands, explore my imagination, and challenge myself creatively. A drastic shift in focus is required, so that's what I'm gonna do.
>Networking is fun! Though, like everything else, it requires moderation. I have a huge respect for people who blog every day or several times a week. Some of them managing a Facebook fan page at the same time. I honestly don't see how they do it. I guess what I'm saying is I don't have the multi-tasking skills to do it. Or maybe a shop, blog and FB page were too much too fast. Either way, I've chucked the Facebook fan page (as I'm not that big of a fan of Facebook anyway) and I'm keeping the blog and becoming more active in the shop. Choosing to spend my time trying to market instead of developing my shop and brand was not the savviest thing I've ever done ;)
|Gabriel exploring his own creativity with finger paints :)|
>I really do love Etsy. "Success" or "failure" aside, I love having an Etsy shop and taking part in the Etsy community. It's fun, encouraging, interesting, and inspiring; there truly is a place for everyone. Not to mention the practical side, in that it's the most user-friendly online market I've come across yet, whether you're a buyer or seller. I'm not just trying to put a plug in for Etsy; it's simply that it has opened up new possibilities for me, financially and creatively. I love being at home with my son, and my time with him and my husband is precious to me. However, I believe it is important to maintain personal interests and hobbies, and Etsy allows me to do this on a larger and (if I'm going to be honest) a more fulfilling level.
There are other things I've learned, of course, but those are the four that came to mind immediately :)
Something big (for us :) that has happened since my last post is... my husband found a new job!! *hip-hip-hooray!* He has a Bachelor's in Social Work and recently started working at TFI Family Services, Inc., which specializes in reintegrating children with their parents, foster care and adoption. This was a big deal for us because we live in a pretty rural area where turn-over in social service jobs is low. We were starting to wonder if he was ever going to find a job in his chosen field- and then it finally happened. He loves it. The only down-side is he has a rather lengthy commute every day to and from work, so we are planning on trying to move closer to his job within a year. Hmm, we'll see how that works out.
Watch for changes, and I am always open to feedback, of both kinds ;) So please, if you see a change that really doesn't work for you, or notice something you like a bit better than formerly, let me know!