Hey Sweet Peas! I hope you all have been having as much fun as I have lately.
The last few months I’ve been mostly absent from the Internet, hopping on occasionally to check emails, see what friends are up to, and reading articles on subjects I find interesting. However, I spent most of my time with my family, evaluating what I want in life, and the goals I want to work toward. I made a dent in my to-read pile and I’m hoping to have a reading list post ready for the end of this month. I also made some writing related decisions about what I’m going to do with the Lost Heir Series, and those major story choices might allow me to finish the whole damn thing before the end of the year, but I’ll talk a little more about that at a later date when I have a better idea of how much time I can devote to writing.
I also spent many long, relaxing moments, despite some hard times with my health, designing and creating all sorts of handcrafted goodies. Now I’ve been a closet crafter since I was a 10. It’s a secret, guilty pleasure that I never thought anyone would be interested in until I started bringing my crocheting with me and people started asking me if I sold my work and where they could find it, or if I taught lessons because they always wanted to learn to crochet or cross-stitch. When I shared some of my projects here and on Facebook, they were well received by many of you, and there were even a few requests to purchase some of the items.
I’ve always loved creating items inspired by the beauty and quality of the homesteading spirit that is very much apart of my life here on the Ranch. But my home is only so big and there are so many things I can create before it starts pouring out of the closets. Which is why I’m careful about the projects I choose. This year I threw aside caution and decided to take the plunge. I started crafting whatever drew me, despite not having a recipient for most of it. And then, last week,
I dove into the deep end of the pool and decided it was time to share some of my creations with the world by opening…
Yep! I’ve opened an Etsy Shop and it’s actually named Stephannie Beman’s Shop.
I know, it’s not that creative of a name, but after much deliberation I decided to sell everything under my own name rather than something catchy like Shop in the Woods, Homestead Treasures, Steph’s Creative Corner, The Enchanted Homestead, or even Cozy Cottage Crafts. I did it because:
1) I didn’t want to trap myself into a specific niche because my shop name implied certain types of crafts and then later deciding that I wanted to sell something different so I have to create another shop for it. Seen it happen all the time.
2) It made more sense to use my name than creating another business under a different name when I use my name for freelance graphic design and indie publishing.
3) I’m the boss of my shop and I have no intention of transferring or selling my shop to someone else, although I might let my Little Ones (who are almost as tall as I am BTW) make some crafty goodies to sell in my shop, I will stay the boss. 😛
My goals as a handmade crafter are much the same as my goals as a writer. I want to enjoy what I’m designing and creating. I want to work at my pace and within my time frame without pushing myself to create more things faster and lose the time I have with my family. I want to work on projects that interested me, regardless if it’s popular with ‘customers’. I want to create quality projects using nice materials even if it costs me more to do so.
Now I have plans to add more items to my shop, but for the moment there are the printable planners and printable planner inserts I created, both blank and dated, with more on their way. I also have a crochet pattern I created for my placemats, and I’m currently writing up more of my designs from my crafting journal to add to my shop.
Eventually, I’ll be adding physical inventory to my shop, such as scarves, hoods, beanies, shawls, afghans, fingerless gloves, placemats, etc. I’m debating creating a custom craft service where I will make things at the customers request and specifications, and I have a friend who has kindly agreed to be my test subject this next month. We are just waiting for the yarn for her project. This will allow me to figure out how I want to package and ship my goods to a customer.
I want to create a professional look for my finished products and the packaging that I will send them in. So I did a little more research on packaging, Etsy, and product photography in preparation of opening the craft shop. I made a few choices on the look of my logo, shop branding, the packaging material for the physical items I will be selling, the look of my business cards, and the labels I will be attaching to my crafts.
I decided to have most of it printed using a professional service because my printer doesn’t like cardstock and it would just look better. So while I’m waiting for my orders to arrive, I’m working on taking better photos and creating more items to add.
Wishing you all the very best,