Thursday, March 8, 2012

Business-like thoughts

At the beginning of the school year my daughters came home from school with "exciting" news: their field trips are no longer sponsored through school, they can only go if they collect enough money - through fundraising. Fundraising is not my favorite activity: I firmly believe that children go to school to prepare for college, not to acquire rudimentary selling skills. So, fundraising was a "no."
Instead, I made a different deal with my children: for every item I sell on Etsy (at my online store), I donate $1 to their class, cash. That way, everything I gave to school would actually go to the classroom, and, additionally, it would not put a squeeze on our already overstretched budget - since the money comes out of the profits.
Well, it's time to pay up. As of today, I have made my 11th sale on Etsy. In addition to that, I have sold some items on Tophatter - an auction site for anything and everything, handmade and not. My children have earned about $20 - fair and square.
Of course, for many people out there 20 sales is not much. I see shops on Etsy that have hundreds and thousands of sales. But - for me it's a milestone. A good start. Something to hope for. And - a way to contribute to my kids' classrooms without having to buy things I don't need. In the times of financial strain, every (seemingly) little thing makes a big difference.

For the Love of Stitching is still developing and taking shape. It will be a while before I can call a business in the official way. But every new visit, every new sale, every suggestion brings it closer to the goal. Please visit and let me know what you think. All feedback is appreciated, and constructive criticism is welcome.


  1. I feel the same about the fundraising and it was an ingenious idea you came up with for an alternative. I, for the life of me can not see spending $15 on a tub of cookie dough that I can get at the store for $10+ cheaper and taste better! o.O I also am in an area where everyone is trying to pinch their pennies and also can not afford such fundraising...even if it is "for the kids" makes me wonder where the money from the "lottery" is really going...wasn't THAT supposed to help raise funds for schools so kids wouldn't have to panhandle. (deep breath in....deep breath out) I hope your business flourishes.

  2. Totally agree, we`ve just been through a Book Fair this week at my son`s primary and I hated the fact I was "peer-pressured" into buying a book for £6 that I could`ve picked up from a charity shop for 50p but hey, it was all for the kids... As for your Etsy shop, forget about hundreds of sales: I`m well impressed by your 11! Considering I opened my shop about half a year ago and my score is still zero :( What`s your secret? How do you get the word out? Are your buyers complete strangers or people that knew about your craft before? Sorry for the barrage of questions but I`d really like to know what I`m doing wrong (if anything) and who better to ask than a seasoned, successful businesswoman from Etsy? :)))) Congratulations and keep up the good work!

  3. Laura, you make me blush."Seasoned, experienced businesswoman" - as if... But thank you for the compliments.
    As for the secrets - there are no real secrets. From what I have seen, there are three things that help:
    1) Make good pictures of your stitching - colorful, bright, "in- action." For the big project, do the "close-up" of the stitching so viewers can appreciate the details.
    2)Join a team on Etsy. They help promote your items, allow you to post links of your new products, and more people can see them.
    3) Place a link/shortcut to your Etsy shop - and Facebook page - on your blog. Make sure all three are connected. That will increase traffic.
    But, to be fair, I think you are doing amazingly well. You already have over 50 admirers! For the first year, I had three... no, four admirers total, and my sales did not start until two years ago. My first two were custom projects. Which reminds me: setting up for accepting custom orders may help, too. Instead of having your Lion picture posted as 'For sale", make it a "sample" of your custom order project that says: want one like that, or something similar - convo me!
    Hope this helps. Your work is beautiful, and eventually it will find the way. Good luck, and keep creating!


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