I have been having a rather hard time trying to feel good about my work recently. I have had some mild success selling. I have had several different features on different blogs, and I have been working hard to get the word out about my art, but have seen very little return on my efforts. I know that if I don't get the work out there no one will see it, and there will be now sales at the end of the day. I have been investing a ton of effort into networking and such, but even with all of the work and, even attention that I have had I have still been rather unsuccessful at selling.
It is funny like that. I have all of these high expectations for the return for my effort in this, but I have not seen what I had wanted. I dump so much hope into something so little. I know that I could increase my efforts, but when I don't get any reward for my current effort it is hard to want to put more into it.
So the last couple of weeks I have been contemplating just quitting entirely. I had been thinking that the money, and effort that I have put into this art, and store in the last year in a half has seen minimal return. I have not made back the money I have spent let alone made up for my labor. I was really just done with the whole thing.
I have been thinking about a lot of things lately. It's the change of seasons that makes me do this. I am pretty sure every time summer comes around I get this itch to change my life around in one way or another. Most goals, changes, hair cuts, and things of that nature happen around this time of year. I think it is because my mind has been programed by the end of the school year to think that this time of year is a time for transition.
Anyways, I was thinking about shutting down my shop. It was making me sad to give up on this, but I just couldn't justify spending any more money on this venture that wasn't making any return. We are trying to save up for some big things, and my desire to sell art that wasn't selling was just going to have to be put on hold.
Then the clouds rolled back and two things happened. The first is that I got a sale, like my first one since January. Then I won a free booth space in the Seattle Oddmall. It is was an uplifting weekend. It helped my to realize that maybe there was interest in my art. When I get down on myself and feel like a failure it can be just the little things that make me feel better about life again. I really only made a $15 sale of a print. It was minimal but it got my spirits back up.
To be honest one purchase is not going to save my shop, and I don't really know just how much I will actually be able to sell at this craft fair, but we will see. I have decided that the future of my shop will depend on how this next month goes.
What I need to do now is make goals. I need to measure the success of my sales for the next month, and if I make the goals that I have then I will keep the shop open. If I don't then I will start to shut things down. I need to have a duel mind when it comes to these things. I need to hope for the best sales, but be prepared for the fact that I may not make my goals and will need to end this venture for now.
I'm not saying that I will shut down my shop forever. I think that it was a good thing for me to open this shop. I have learned a lot about networking. I have learned about how to run the finances of a small business. I have learned how to sell. I have also been more interest in making and following through with goals. It has been great, I will just have to put it on hold till we get this whole housing, and financial thing figured out. This art venture is important to me and important to making me feel productive and independent of the title of mom. (Which to be honest is great for my self-esteem to be more than just a care giver.) It gives me a sense of identity that I don't think I could ever abandon.
We will just have to see how things turn out. But this isn't the end just yet.