I am turning this post over to Kelsey as she achieved her goal of starting an Etsy shop and her story is really encouraging and I hope it helps others!
I have loved crafting since I was a little girl. I would often have projects scattered across the kitchen table as I kept my friends and relatives supplied with handmade cards, pictures and magnets for their refrigerators, paper chains, painted rocks, you name it! As a young teen, I learned to knit and sew. Unfortunately when I got older, crafting was pushed aside, and by the time I got married I felt it didn't have a place among my more "practical" homemaking duties. It wasn't until I discovered Annabel's blog that I realized how wrong I was!
As I became a regular Bluebirds reader (and after devouring all of her past posts!), I saw all of the beautiful things Annabel made for her home and loved ones and how beautifully they were presented. When she started the Christmas Challenge and Show and Tell, I was further inspired with the photos and stories from ladies all across the world sharing things they had created. Everyone was using their diverse talents to bless others with homemade gifts and build up their homes. It was all beautiful and practical, and a regular part of their homemaking. I knew I needed to start crafting again.
I began making my own cards and gifts and sending pictures in for Show and Tell. Everyone was so encouraging with their comments on my work, and friends were saying how they loved receiving my handmade gifts, wrapping and all! The more I made, the more my confidence grew and a few people would say, "You could sell these!" After a while, I really began to consider it.
With our move to the ranch, my husband starting a new career, and then having a baby, I knew I couldn't commit to selling at markets and fairs, time-wise or cost-wise. I didn't have a lot of space for inventory, or funds for big start up costs, and my schedule was always changing as our son grew. I needed to be flexible, knowing that my home and family would always be my top priority. I began to dream of an Etsy store. This would allow me to make things as my time and budget allowed, and if I needed to, I could walk away from it for a while. I also wouldn't need to leave my home, which was huge for me! I did lots of research, praying, and discussing it with my husband. I decided it was really something I wanted to pursue and I started the process of opening Spring Creek Loft (named by my husband after setting up my wonderful crafting space in our previously unused loft!)
Plans were pushed back several times as different circumstances came up. I also had my doubts about whether my work was good enough to sell, if people would want to buy it, if I really had the time, if I could handle the taxes and business aspect of it, etc. I felt my photography and computer skills were lacking, too. With all of these disheartening thoughts, I was reminded of the servant in the Bible, who through fear, buried the talent his master gave him instead of increasing it and prospering. I also thought of the Proverbs 31 woman, who through her skills and industry, blessed and prospered her household with things she made and even sold. She did all of this without fear. With this in mind along with so much encouragement from family and friends, I didn't give up. Annabel talks often about learning new things. I decided I would take whatever obstacles I faced one at a time and learn from them. After months of research, creating inventory, taking photos, ordering shipping supplies, and putting the final touches on my page, I finally opened my Etsy shop in September 2018! It is a dream come true!
In researching opening an Etsy store, one recurring piece of advice was that you have to love what you do, and I truly do. My theme at Spring Creek Loft comes from the very thing that inspired me to start crafting again--gift giving! I sell cards, tags, gift card envelopes, clothes pins, jar toppers, and recipe cards. Soon I hope to add gift bag sets. All of my products reflect my lifestyle and things I enjoy, such as flowers, gardening, country living, hand-written letters, cooking, baking, and crafting. Each of my products is a labor of love. Early in the morning, late at night, and during nap time, I am up in the loft happily crafting away. It has been a blessing to me and hopefully it is to others as well.
I would like to thank Annabel and everyone who has encouraged me over the years with their kindness, encouragement, and friendship. You have been a big influence and help in many areas of my life, and my Etsy goal wouldn't have been accomplished without all of your support and lovely comments. Thank you so much!!
Well done Kelsey! Your story is very encouraging! I love your Scripture quotes. I think of the Proverbs verse about how a skilled workman will come to know Kings! Skills give you options! We must work on our skills. No one falls out of bed and is a skilled craftsman on day one. All skills need practice and work. I often hear someone say they are no good at this or that... yet in truth they tried it once or twice. While we all will have natural gifts and talents leaning more in some directions these will still take practice and work work work!
With Christmas coming I wanted to have a post with some of our Etsy shops and other businesses. It has also become too expensive to post internationally so now I choose my gifts from the country they are going to and postage becomes a non issue! Please someone tell me you have a business in New Zealand.... I have no one selling that I know in NZ!
Kelsey's store is called Spring Creek Loft which you can find here. Already a lot of Bluebirds have supported her and helped her!
If you have a business (and I can think of many of you who do!) please post your details and link in comments. Over on Facebook which is here you can also share a link, photos and anything about your store or business.... so we will have a little Bluebirds business directory. I am hoping we all might do some Christmas shopping this way and also like and promote each others pages etc.
Thank you Kelsey! Thank you everyone for a great Show and Tell! xxx