Friday, October 15, 2010

Starting From Scratch

Diagonal Baby Blanket
To be happy at home is the result of all ambition.
Samuel Johnson

Last week I was sick with a horrible head cold and my husband picked up the slack and helped me do all the things I was too weak to do. This week he is the one who is ailing and I'm doing my best to compensate and help him out.

Relationships are all about give and take and hopefully keeping the balance towards the middle so no one person feels they have to do it all alone.

I've been mentioning how I wanted to rethink the store and I'm happy to say that after a meeting of the three of us I was able to order some new yarn from Knitpicks for each of my items. One of our goals is to make my items cost lower. I'm happy to say that I think we can do this for some of the items...not so sure about the others. But one step at a time.

I've been thinking about the reason I started this store so many years ago...and more then showcasing everyone's individual talent it was about making a better life for me and all involved. But the financial side of it never really came to pass and it would frustrate me...but then I was never really good at the whole math thing.

Even now when I dream of winning a million dollars the first thing I would do is buy my BIL and his kids a house, the second would be to buy a house for a friend of mine who needs it...I'd give to various charities and then hopefully have a third left over to pay off our house and bills...maybe a little would be left over for a vacation.

The point is one of the things that makes me happiest is to know that those I love are happy and safe. So usually any headway we make is countered by our need to give back to those who are less fortunate.

I've tried to be better about it over the years and I make sure money is automatically taken out of my account for me. The say that you should pay yourself your bills first...take care of your own house first. So I do.

The store is a different matter. It is a big anomalous blob of questions for me. How does one get paid for their time that they put into an object? How can you make things that are cost effective in a rural country market where people don't want to pay more then $5 for anything? What the heck to people actually want when it comes to my products?

I really couldn't answer any of these questions so I just started from scratch. In changing the yarn I need to see how each piece will behave and find out if it will work. Being affordable and nice texture is also very important to me. I will never make something out of a yarn I don't like to help with costs. That is against the fiber of my very being...pun intended.

My sister also put forth that the items I make should not be something that one picks up and says, "Hey I could make this." The better thing to hear is, "Oh, I could make this but it would take so much effort...and this is a really good price for this kind of work."

So, I'm trying to shift to patterns that are of my making and not very common. It gives me great joy when someone tries to figure out what I did to create something. :D I had so many people finger my diagonal crochet blanket and not be able to figure it out...heh it made me feel like I had stumbled on this big secret...which is actually really easy once you know the trick.

So all these ideas are going into my new line of products. And I will spend the Winter trying to make them all work for a decent price with nice yarns.

Every show we have made back our site fee but wouldn't be absolutely wonderful if we could not only pay for our material...but make a little profit? (GASP) I'm getting giddy thinking about it.

I hope everyone has a beautiful Fall weekend!

Note: A pic of a past diagonal crochet blanket. This one we donated to the Great Dane Rescue Society...but it was a personal favorite because it was alpaca and soft heathered wool.


Stitch-n-Snitch said...

LOVE the blanket!

It's not just people in a rural area who want to pay no more than $5 for handmade items; I get a lot of that here in "suburbia land." :(

Rue said...

To really make money (ie. income) on the store, though, we'd have to all make it our second job until it took off. That'd be a huge step.

Still, it'd be nice to not have to worry about whether we're going to make back the booth. :)

Geraldine said...

I didn't know you had a store R, how cool is that. I had a craft/wool store many years ago and it was such a thrill at the time! I wish you much success with this and I agree, it's harder and harder to make a go of craft stores of any kind, with the economy and competition being what it is. I'm rather disheartened by my Etsy store too, again when you look at the many MANY people on their, it's hard to make a dent and make any kind of profit. I love crafts though so that makes it worthwhile in another way.

I'm so glad you are feeling better.

Your throw is gorgeous! Love the pattern and colors.

You are a generous and kind person, what a lovely post to read.

Hugs and Happy Weekend, G

KnitNana said...

Having the etsy shop is much work and I've not been successful at it. I like my website better, but what brings in sales the most is physically being OUT there at shows.
THAT take a ton of time. But it does become a second job, and it's full-time, even if I call it a part-time one. So two full-time jobs is hard to do with any other commitments, as you have...I know you know that I have no other life!