Things Are Slowing Down

I am thankful with how good this month has been to me sales wise. This month has been really incredible, with a good craft show and good, steady sales online.  I am really very thankful that it is all coming together.

I am not sure how many people on Etsy realize just how slow the actual retail market is right now. Yes, the economy is up. People are buying things. But, people are buying things they need, not necessarily stuff they want. People are prioritizing their lives, and that is a good thing. People are combatting the vicious debt circle. People are focusing on saving for the next major economic crash.

For example, I work at a very high profile, successful plastics manufacturer. And we are slow. We are deadly slow right now. We are down from 5 day work weeks to 4 day work weeks, calling off packers each day, applying for work share / EDD slow. It happens sometimes. We have our moments. Every few years this happens. It is the way of business. Does that mean we all need to quit and find something else to do? No. This happens with market fluctuations. It has happened before and it will happen again. We suck it up, we do our best, and we trudge through. And, in a few weeks, business will pick back up and things will be fine.

You can log onto Etsy at any point in time and see shops doing exceedingly well. These shops tend to have a few things in common. They have someone wholly dedicated to the shop. It is not a 10 hours a week because I work 60 hours a week at another job type of dedication. (And by all means, DO NOT quite your day job if your passion job is not paying the bills!) They spend money on promotion, not just free social media. They are VERY active on social media, bringing in a whole new crowd to buy their products. They have their own website. They have a following. They spent time, years probably, building a following.

One is also that they tend to be supply shops. And, realistically, with the do-it-yourself movement right now, that makes sense. More brides than ever are making as much of their wedding stuff as possible. More homemakers are making their own cleaning supplies and kids crafts. More teenagers and college students are starting etsy shops. More part time employed women are running etsy shops. More men are running etsy shops. This makes a huge difference in the market. People need supplies to do all of this. So, supply shops tend to do better than art or photography shops.

One is also that they tend to sell a product that is needed for the time of year and at the height of fashion. Vintage, goth, steampunk, and nerd are all in right now. If you are anything like me, you do not keep track of fashion trends. This means I will never run a successful fashion oriented shop. If all I do is make octopus dresses, I am limiting my audience. And that is my choice. I could easily make steampunk gowns (not really, but just go with it), but if I absolutely refuse to make stuff that is popular, well then, I am stuck selling only to those looking for something outside of the norm.


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