Why I Started My Etsy Shop

This week has been a crazy work week, both at the office and in the studio — yep, I’ve taken to calling my home office a studio as well.  I wish I had taken some pictures of the mess I created.  I’ve had my shop opened for a week and I made one sale.  It wasn’t a lot of money but I was so happy that some one actually liked what I made.  I’m not lying when I say that I was not expecting it.

I woke up on Monday morning and like every morning for the past few years I make myself a cup of coffee and sit outside with the dogs for a few minutes while I drink my coffee, think of at least three things for which I’m grateful (usually all the same things every day) and check email.  I delete most of the email and go on with my daily routine of getting ready for work.  Monday was different, very different.  It started when I looked at my email and had a “conversation” from Etsy.  I went to look at the conversation and almost fell off my seat.  There it was….. In black and white (is it black and white?).  I had made a sale.  Not just one item but three.  Someone liked my dashboards and bought three of them.  I kept looking at it thinking that I was still dreaming.  Nope….. She had bought three dashboards.

I immediately sent her a conversation and advised that I had gotten her order and would begin working on it.  By 7:30 a.m. I had the items completed and then needed to figure out how to get them out the door.  Customer service is so important to me, as I’m sure it is for most of the sellers on Etsy.  My dashboards are a piece of me.  They take a while to make and require specific measurements.   I make each one individually as soon as I receive the order from Etsy since I don’t want to keep too much inventory around the house so as not to waste materials.

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The photos you see in the shop are personal size since that is the size planner I use.  This particular order required an A5 size and I honestly have never worked with that size.  I googled the measurements of the inserts for an A5 and began the process.  All went well and I only messed up one of the inserts when I cut it — had to make another one.  Ugh!!!! another hour wasted….. I really wanted to get the dashboards out to the buyer early and hope that she could get them by the Fourth of July.

I packaged the inserts and wrote my thank you note making sure to include some diecuts as a thank you to my very first buyer.

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I made it to post office at some point in the early morning and shipped out my very first sale.

What a great feeling.  How exciting that someone will have a binder to showcase my hard work.  The best feeling in the world is to know that something you work so hard on has a use for someone else.  The feeling that you are making someone’s life a bit easier. But last night it hit me.  The reality that someone bought something I made and spent money on something I made hit me like a ton of bricks.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on cloud 9 but I’m really nervous.  The “what if’s” are starting to weigh on me.  I couldn’t sleep last night…. “what if she hates them?” “what if they don’t work out for her?” The possibilities of my negative thinking were endless last night.

Planning has been such a part of my life.  I’m always looking for ways to make my days less stressful and the best way I’ve found to do that is to plan ahead.  Thinking of all things that need to be done and finding those little bits of time in my day when I can fit in an errand or a few pages of a book.  I find myself lost if I don’t have my “to do” list or my schedule.  I carry my planner from room to room and as I sit here today I’m looking at it next to me ready to cross off some of the things I’ve done so far this morning.  It’s been a productive morning already and having a productive morning keeps me wanting to have a productive day.

Some people ask how I get so much done.  How do I manage to fit so much in?  I have a list for everything.  Things to do when I have 5 minutes…. things to do when I have 20 minutes and things to do when I have a few hours.  I look at those lists a few times a day and multi-task when I can.  For example, if I’m cooking (not often) I listen to a book or a podcast.  If I’m watching TV (not often) I have the computer on my lap and either design or create templates for the following week.  I also get up really early every morning (including Saturdays and Sundays) so I can get work done before the rest of the house is awake.

How do my dashboards make my life easier?  True, they are a not a must for planning.  However, they do look really pretty in the planner and, in my opinion, if you have to look at something multiple times a day, you might as well make it interesting and pretty to look at.

Below are some photos of my planners all decked out for the Fourth of July…… I can always find an hour or so on the weekend to decorate for the following week.  It not only gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts and be creative but it also helps to keep me coming back to my planner in order to keep my life on track.

I hope you stop by my little Etsy shop and browse and if you don’t find something you want maybe I can make it for you.

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