It’s 2019, what’s stitchin’?

In the final months of 2018 I experienced some sort of crafting crisis brought on by the fact that I challenged myself to -moving forward- make money from my creations. This challenge was so out there for me, so audacious that I got really excited about it – which all good goals should do, right? And considering that I’m basically a foreigner here who doesn’t even know the language well enough to do anything much outside the house, you could say that this bite is quite actually too big for me to chew.

But whatever. I needed a challenge and it was no longer enough for me to just learn new things. I needed to level up.

Agonizing

Making the mental shift from pure hobby & entertainment to something entrepreneurial however, was (and is still) proving to be really difficult. For starters, all my research suggests that I should decide on one, just one, item to make/sell. I can branch out later, but I need to pick one item that would be my flag-bearer, so to speak. And oh my goodness, this was so, SO dang hard! As a matter of fact I’m still not sure I’m decided!

Lessons

While agonizing over this I made several items as prototypes, most of them were dead-ends, but I did learn some very important lessons in the process. For one, I didn’t want to bother with sizing, so wearables were out. I also learned that you save yourself a lot of stress by choosing items that are easy to photograph. I’m still doing a lot of think work around this and there are times when I just want to give-up because it’s taken the spontaneity out of something that brings me joy.

Advantages

However, choosing what to make and focusing on it is actually also smart. I don’t waste money buying different types of materials and I can buy what I need in bulk. Focus also facilitates mastery, something that’s always a good thing in my book.

A long journey

My research also tells me it will still be quite some time before things really take off, so I’m not under any false expectations that good stuff will happen within the year. What matters to me is that I have a focus and I start the learning process now.

Something New

That said I also realized it would be a big advantage to learn how to sew. Fabric is cheap here in Indonesia and I’ve seen a lot that are so beautiful. Oh the things I can make once I know how to sew! ๐Ÿ˜€

So that’s where I’m at, craft-wise. I’m deliberately taking it slow on the crocheting and knitting this month so I can figure out how and when to learn how to use my mini sewing machine (not so easy when you’re taking care of a curious tiny human). I’ll be posting pictures of my progress on Instagram as I go along.

Happy New Year and, stitch awesome! ๐Ÿ’–

8 thoughts on “It’s 2019, what’s stitchin’?

    1. Thanks, Ginny ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year to you too! Hearing the words “business venture” still gives me a little shock of electricity, and I think that’s a good thing as it keeps me on my toes ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Hey! Don’t stress yourself too much about the “make just one item” thing. Just do what you like to do and you’ll figure out what kind of things you’re most passionate about.
    This is coming from someone who is not yet succesful though.

    One word of advice is to make some big and some small items. Have some things like shawls and blankets, that you sell for a bit less than what they’re actually worth, and have some small things that take mere minutes to make and people will buy for a lot more than they’re worth. I’ve made some easy crochet/pop tab necklaces before that I sold for 15, that only take some cheap cotton yarn, recycled pop tabs and about 10 minutes to make.

    What I’ve also done is I’ve started putting my patterns up for sale. I noticed I often design my own things, by improvising as I go, and I realized that if I just write a pattern for that design and put it online, money will eventually start flowing in. I’ve not sold anything yet, but the patterns are there and that won’t go away for now. And if I do sell them, the pattern is still there. I think it’s a good way to make money without needing to make new things all the time.

    And the last word of advice I’d like to give: Don’t charge too little. Charge what your creations are worth. You may think people won’t pay 25 euros (I’m european, I don’t know where you are from or what currency you use) for an ornament like the one in the photo, but just consider that it’s handmade and high quality. If you charge enough, people will actually think of your items as being high quality handmade stuff, and may even be more likely to buy.

    Anyway, long comment, I hope all goes well with your business! Dedication is key but don’t forget to have fun!

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    1. Hi rosetheforestelf! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I appreciate you SO much for commenting (and I LOVE long comments, I really do ๐Ÿ˜˜). Thank you for reading and taking the time to relate and then share your thoughts with me, they are worth gold especially for someone who’s just starting to open her eyes to the possibilities. I don’t have anyone here to discuss this with so, you’ve just made my day and given me inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much!

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  2. I shall watch this space as your new venture/adventure shapes up. Very exciting! I too have considered turning a hobby into a business and have found it so difficult. It’s definitely hard to decide what to make that’s quick enough to turn a profit and that you enjoy making, particularly if you intend to make several of the same things. I have played with making a handful of items and sold at little craft fairs to test the market. Oddly, the things I liked the most didn’t sell and vice versa! As long as you keep on enjoying what you are making, that’s what counts.

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    1. Hi Tinaor ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your comment and, “as long as you keep on enjoying what you are making” … words of gold! As I finish my first throw pillow cover I sense apprehension. Maybe I still need more time to find the right product for me. But I’ll keep on trying ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks too for introducing me to your wonderful blog โค

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