Tuesday, 11 October 2011

the wall

I hit a bit of a wall last week. In a mad panic to make before the Christmas craft fair rush starts, I had the crafters equivalent of writers block. Stuck and trying to think up new ideas, my head started to fill with questions. What could I make that would sell really well? What do people really want to buy? How can I crack the male market? I know. In the space of a day I turned from happy maker into sales obsessed hack. Suddenly, I want to please everyone. There are a couple of reasons for this. Now I'm relying on the crafty stuff to earn a living I really need the things I make to sell. And of course, if people buy your work, well, they're saying they like what you do. It's validation. And a nice ego boost. Fortunately, my friend Erin was able to knock (very gently) some sense into me and she wisely advised that I calm down and stick to making what I like. Don't search for sales, just trust what you do.

Well, I'm trying. I've been a little bit more productive. I made this little framed owl piece with a vintage doily moon to start with. I've embroidered a few stars onto it since I took this picture.

I've also made up some more owl mobiles because I sold out of them at the last fair. And some of the owl mini-pins. I've spent some quality time experimenting with a couple of new projects but I'm not sure that they will be ready for the weekend. And yesterday, just for fun, I made a couple of cute little hoops specifically for the lovely people of Fillongley. (Click here for info about this weekend's Fillongley Craft Fayre) Will they sell? We'll have to wait and see, but if they don't it's not the end of the world.

In other news, my online shops are doing ok. The Folksy one has had regular sales, though not nearly enough. I need to do more some networking and publicity drives. I can't imagine a time when I won't. You just have to keep plugging away with the online stuff. The problem is though, that time in front of the screen sucks the life out of me. Fair enough, surfing the blogosphere can be quite inspiring - there are so many talented designers, artists and makers out there, but it's also very easy to get carried away. Before you know it, you haven't showered or eaten and it's almost time to pick the kids up from school. (Well that's how it is for me anyway) And I haven't even mentioned Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Pinterest. Just writing this blog takes an age....

So there we have it. I hit a smallish wall. I climbed over it. And now I'm hurtling downhill towards Christmas madness. But Christmas or not, I know I've got some much bigger ideas, lots of plans and some new techniques to master. Plus lots of support from friends and family.


  1. Totally in awe of your creativity and your writing.

  2. Keep doing what you are doing. It's better that you make things you like rather than trying to second guess what other people may or may not like as Erin says.
    You stuff is beautiful and there will be an audience out there!

  3. it is hard. I too dissolved in tears last week after no sales and some "nasty or unfeeling" remarks at a show! I am going to give up l thought and was very down for several days...a small "agh" moment. Back on form now and off making again! it doesn't matter how long u have been :making" or how old you are..when you show you work, you are showing your heart. And as someone said to me the other day..." Everytime you show your work it is like standing up naked in front of strangers!" Ha! It is hard but do not give up, your creations are wonderfulxxx

  4. Totally understand what you mean about screen time sucking the life out of you. For me it just can't compete with making, that's real and tangible. Make what you love and you'll love making, sounds a bit trite I know, but I've found this to be true.

    Mad xx

  5. thanks lovely commentors(?) and jez(!). great advice, much appreciated. really. jenx

  6. Jen what you make is always going to find a market and you stay true to yourself, which is worth so much more. Always here with a bunk up for you next time you reach a wall to help you over it kid xx