Some days I want to quit. Then I realize that I am not dramatic enough to quit. Someone would ask me "why" and I wouldn't have a reason and I would be behind and feel silly about my melodramatic fit.
In February I made a goal to pay for my power bill with stuff from my etsy shop. I joined twitter. My goal: 400.00 dollars. The cost of my power bill for that month. I discovered a window that had been open for probably most of the winter. I cried a little about it. My goal was going well at first but I don't really know how to sell things, much less set goals about sales.
Probably 400 dollars was lofty considering I usually average less than 50 a month. I tweeted links all the time. I actually let twitter update my facebook status. I think I annoyed myself. My mom bought stuff. My sister Claire bought stuff. My aunt Sara's sister bought stuff (which was some of my favorite stuff. I kind of want it back.) To my astonishment, I met my goal. So I decided to keep it steady for the next month. Well on March 31st I realized if I did over 300 dollars in sales I would meet it. Not quite as good this month. I like how some people make loads of money on etsy, but I have always considered it more of a hobby.
March was full of hard changes. I didn't like March. Historically I spend much more in February than any other month of the year (thanks spending reports- what a great feature!) I just don't like it when the world turns dark and cold and happy paper and fabric seems to brighten it a little. Really I could probably save money by going tanning or getting one of those light boxes.
It snowed a lot and I wondered if spring would ever come. I realized that running outside is a whole lot harder than on the treadmill. I still might have to move my half marathon back a few months. We decided to be better with our budget and money. My mom bought me a financial peace university course. I shredded all of my credit cards (our shredder has this cute little slot.) My etsy shop paid for all of my sewing supplies for custom orders and a new set of cards.
Our power bill went up 100 dollars. Last month our power bill actually topped 500 dollars for a combined gas and power bill over 800 dollars. I realized how many people complain constantly about not being featured on etsy enough. I have never been on the front page. I decided I needed to make cooler stuff.
Realizing how much I like things and success has made me think of different ways to work. Paul and Brooke always talk about using the cash method and we tried it. Turns out I am very stingy with my cash. I don't want you to touch it. It's mine. Like the time we found Sam under the kitchen table stroking a quarter and murmuring "mine" under his breath. I am a little Gollum with cash money. I still spend my cash money but it stays a little longer.
I also got some beautiful things for decorating (one of my weaknesses) by trading. Pomlove asked me to trade for a baby tie. I died a little of happiness. Seriously I couldn't believe it- her poms were in a shoot for Anthropologie. Who doesn't love something called "Happy. Floating. Paper."? My little businessman is popular it turns out. and I had to let him wear his tie to church on the day I was speaking. It went well until he had a blowout all over his Sunday clothes. Guess we only had one set of those- huh.

I don't always know if I should make things- does it take away from my kids? Am I wasting my time? I didn't even know how to sew before I was pregnant with Danielle and sometimes I still question my skills. I know I could make better things- all the fabric was just in the freezing cold basement and I lacked inspiration. I thought about closing up shop.
Then Carlie visited and Mark started sleeping through the night and I realized I don't want to. Even if I don't make the coolest things on earth and I am not paying for Danielle's college, I am happy about it. I pay fast offering with etsy money. I paid a power bill with etsy money. I paid for lunch yesterday with etsy money. It is something that brings me happiness, even when I am depressed. I read a lot about postpartum depression. I know I have had it with both kids but it's never as exciting or bad as some people get it. It's a mediocre problem, just like my lackluster etsy shop.
That's all right though, because it is mine. I'm not going to be sitting under the table anytime soon (especially with that yucky laminate) but I appreciate what I have a little more.

NaDell (April 4, 2010 at 3:26 AM)  

That is one HUGE bill! Holy cow!
For me, the trouble with Etsy is that if I look at it, I want to make my own instead of buying it. That's the trouble with being crafty.....
I like your new aprons. I promise I'm not stealing your ideas. I am making some aprons, but not like yours.

Brooke (April 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM)  

Dear Janae,
That power bill is freaking huge! you are a rock star! $300-$400 is unbelievable for one month on etsy! I have never made that much ever! Do you really think the twittering is working? Did you know you can buy facebook ads? I think you should always make things! You are good at business stuff & it excites you & makes you feel like more that "mom". This too will pass dear Janae. I did a facebook post for your shop :)

Mel (April 4, 2010 at 7:21 PM)  

I feel your pain on the power bill... our house is just over 1200 sq feet and our bill for January was almost $500. For 1200 sq feet! 2 people! We are not even home during the week!! My soul died a little when I realized I will never be able to have a small carbon footprint (but I love my house, so I guess I'll just have to make up the difference by driving less or planting a tree, or something). I also know exactly what you mean about these winters- especially this one. But it is so sunny and nice now!

Let me know if you ever come down to the DC area... I'd love to see you and meet your cute kiddies.

Megan (April 4, 2010 at 9:15 PM)  

So I was looking through your etsy after this post and I think you make some great things. You have a great talent and your creative. I was thinking if you were looking for a challenge you could try your hand at making stuffed animals with your cool fabrics. I know those sale pretty well and it's for all ages. I think you're doing a great job and I'm glad you're sticking with it.

mablebrown (April 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM)  

Don't give up on Etsy! Or at least keep doing it until I have kids and need cute made by Janae stuff.

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