With handmade crafts making a massive resurgence over the last years and the likes of handmade sites such as Etsy, Folksy etc. becoming very popular making yourself stand out amongst so many talented people can be quite hard and daunting. Some people can take a simple idea and make it work, others can be really good at what they do and find it hard to sell anything. The market is a fickle place, one day something is in trend and the next it is not but what I have learned especially over the last few weeks is that the most important thing is to do what you love and make it your own.
Don’t jump on bandwagons just because! By all means have a nose round to see what works and what doesn’t but do something just because, do something you want to, it will show through your work whether you enjoy it or not, trust me on this one. My original plan was not to make jewellery, it’s still not really a part of my grand plan. My original plan was to clear out the excess supplies in my craft stash and brush up on my favourite skills of stitching and also to get back into art on the side.
This got massively sidelined by someone bestowing me their craft stash because they were moving, I knew it involved jewellery making stuff, I just had no idea how much they had and it was a lot. It was a nice gesture and I am really grateful they were trying to help me out but it left me in a quandary, what do I do with it all because I realised after (hindsight really is a gift) that all the stuff she bought was to her style and taste and this didn’t really fit into my taste or style. Also a lot the jewellery had already been made up and it would be wrong to sell someone else’s jewellery, well not wrong but you get my. In fact the whole jewellery making phase has left me feeling little bit like a fraud, like it’s not really me and also design wise I will admit my stuff isn’t wholly original. Whilst new ideas are hard to come by, I always check Etsy and Folky first to make sure there isn’t a version out there already but there is only so much you can do and I had my first case of someone else is doing the same thing as me.
Take my pom pom necklaces, I made sure no one was making them with a silver chain, then I discovered recently someone one was and selling them for the same price but I don’t feel like my stuff is unique enough to argue about it and had already decided to discontinue them. Also, even though I’m putting the items together it technically is made by me but I guess because I didn’t make or design the beads or charms this is adding to my fraudster syndrome scenario. So the plan is that I’ll be phasing out jewellery for now until I can some designed by me
So what am I doing to deal with this dilemma, well I switching back to my original plan, the one where I made an actual plan and started working on some designs back for sewing, knitting and embroidered pieces.
I also dug out my ideas sketch book for art based work which I have been promising myself for many years that I would find time to do. I really do miss painting and feel this is where I would produce my most original work, along side the stitching mainly because that’s what I really want to be doing.
This might mean the shops will be a little quiet with new stock for a while because I’ll be working on stuff I want to and not stuff I think I should just to make a few pennies and any stock that does sell in the meantime, won’t be replaced once it sells out. I’ve split the stock between the Etsy and The Folksy store and made the Folksy store more of the old stock and jewellery and have themed collections as most of stuff is based on my love of nature, rainbows, clouds, the changing of the seasons and all that. The Etsy store will have the more Gothic stuff for Halloween and for all the new stuff I’m working on. There are a couple of pieces I’ve had on hold for a while that I want to finish, they are planned one offs but we’ll see how it goes of course.
Anyway, in the meantime, I’ll be doing some lucky dip/goody bags filled with random jewellery pieces that will be worth about double of what they are being sold for so if you looking to do some gift buying, grab them while you can because I won’t be repeating this stuff as I move onto the stuff I really want to do and I owe it to myself to give it a shot and get it out there, also I need to be happy. Saying that there will be some last few pieces added to the shop for Halloween or available in the Secret Santa goody bag.