28 November 2015

By the Lock Handmade // Seven-ish Months In

Seven months in, holy crap.

I can hardly remember life before having an etsy shop. 97% of the time I’m thinking about my shop; new things I can make, improvements, orders to pack up or I'm actually sewing. It is amazing and I love it. I can't remember what I used to fill my time with. I thought at six months in it would be a good point to do a little reflection on what I've learnt so far, but then I got side tracked preparing for the Etsy Made Local fair. So here we are, at seven-ish months in, and somethings I have learnt;

Push Yourself! – One of my new years resolutions in 2014 was to open at online shop... and I didn’t do it until May 2015 because I am (or was) really bad at pushing myself! I was great at setting a million goals but not so great at hitting them. Now though, I’ve realised that pushing myself actually works. Push yourself and you can do so much more than you ever thought you could. I am getting so much better at organising myself (with the help of my love, Wunderlists, and many notepads). Setting goals with clear expectations that are measurable and achievable. You’re the only one that can make things happen, and it is such an awesome feeling when you look back and realise that it is you that has made something awesome.

Let your Ideas Evolve - When I first opened my shop I thought I had a solid idea of what I wanted to make and sell, but that has changed so much already. I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t the natural way. It has been important for me to not be precious about my original ideas; I held onto a few things for a little longer than I should have done. I know that when I look back in a year, two years time I’ll be saying the exact same thing again, but that’s okay, that is how I’m going to improve my products.

Find Support - “I need your opinion on something”, is how a lot of my conversations with Dixon start now. Getting someone elses opinion on something is incredibly helpful, whether it backs up what you were originally thinking or throws something in the mix that you hadn’t even considered. And, this is one of the main reasons I absolutely love our Etsy Team Leeds.

I stumbled upon the Etsy Leeds Team around a week after I opened my shop and I am sooooooooooooo glad I did. They’re an incredibly talented bunch with varying levels of experience and it is really amazing to see everyone supporting each other the way we do. I've been able to ask a huge variety of questions from stuff about tax to where to buy plastic bags. I have learnt so much from them it has been amazing. If you're on Etsy or thinking of opening up, search out your local Etsy Team.

Don't be scared - By far my biggest hold-back has been myself; I constantly think my work isn't good enough, and I compare myself to all these amazing people that are much more successful and awesome than I am. But I'm trying super hard to not do that. There are soooo many makers out there but its not a competition; Do what you love and be proud of doing it. If something doesn't quite work out as you expected so what!? Lesson learnt, move on to the next idea which might be the one that makes you millions.


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chloe x

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