Transitions, decisions

When I decided to start selling vintage a few months ago, I honestly did not put a lot of thought into it. It was more of a, "Hey, why don't I give this a try?" kind of thing. I was still out on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter in January, but I finally had some energy and was eager for a project of some kind. Browsing vintage stores on Etsy, I was struck by the demand for certain types of garments that I seem to see regularly at local thrift shops and rummage sales. So I figured I would give it a whirl.

Six months later, I am trying to evaluate my "success" as an Etsy seller. I am inching close to a few of my rather arbitrary goals (50+ followers on Facebook and Twitter; 100+ items in my shop) and recently reached one goal of making it to 50 sales. I am in the black, financially speaking, which is good, and have learned a lot about photographing and describing my items, communicating with buyers, crafting realistic and fair shipping policies, and promoting my shop.

But am I "succeeding"? I really don't know. Between work and family/home obligations (not to mention trying to have a little down time now and then), I struggle during the week to devote any time at all to my shop, which is frustrating. Due to some changes at my job, the time I used to be able to spend in the mornings and occasionally on my lunch break, taking photos or writing item descriptions, seems to have evaporated.

This blog is another example. I toyed with doing daily outfit posts (because, let's admit it, I'm vain and I like showing off my outfits), but again, time got away from me. The simple act of having to pull photos off my camera and crop/color-balance them was more than I could fit in on a day-to-day basis - especially while juggling a screaming infant. I would really like to get back to this some day, but it doesn't seem realistic right now.

So I'm struggling to figure out what I can do, what I should do and what to let go. I would love to have cute custom tags and packaging for my clothing like some other shops I've seen, but is that really the best use of my time/money? Probably not. I am also scaling back my buying right now, since a) I have a pretty sizable backlog of clothes that still need to be listed, and b) I am trying to be more judicious about what I buy, based on what my customers seem to be interested in. (Although I am still surprised sometimes at what gets the most clicks!)

And I am thinking hard about what direction(s) to take this blog so that I can post more often and do so with a distinctive voice and point of view. I have to be honest with myself about what I can and can't do. I am not a great photographer and I'm not much of a graphic designer, so I have to admit to myself that this blog is, at least for now, probably not going to be visually stunning. But I can at least make the content the best it can be. The blogs I enjoy reading the most are the ones where the author's personality really shines through. So I'm looking forward to refining my voice and finding ways to communicate my passion for fashion (sorry) to all of you. I hope you'll stick with me as I try to forge ahead and make a go of this whole thing!

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