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Monday, January 27, 2014

And so I Closed my Handmade Etsy shop Forever...






... to make room for what I love, without having to make a lot of stuff with my precious hands for commercial purposes, but for my enjoyment only.

To make room in our home for the crafting supplies and the things that make me really happy, for what I really want to make (and not what has to"sell").

To just play, as I already work so much! No price tags to be applied to something that cannot have monetary value because of all of the immense love, patience and endless hours, decades of practice and acquired professional workmanship, that hardly competes with all of those shops that sell all kind of handmade on Etsy... even things they had just started to make a couple of months before.

I closed my handmade Etsy shop forever to free myself from the thought that really a few people bought something from me during all of these years of blogging (a big thank you, teary-eyed, to you!) even if my products have been top- notch and very well made with the best materials (and obviously, priced accordingly). I've suffered for that so, so much, but as my wise, darling hubby suggested, maybe the answer is in the question itself. It was not what I am meant to do, guidance has definitely been loud and clear! In the end I welcome the tears too, as perhaps without them I wouldn't have made this life- changing decision.

I closed my shop forever to finally be able to give my handmade creations freely to someone who really loves, needs and appreciates them. To just keep some in our home because we value each stitch, each second I spent creating them with all of my love.

After I have "hand-made" for all of my life, seeing just a few sales online and my work not appreciated, had stolen my joy. Having to make things that were supposed to sell, instead of those I wanted to make, had stolen my joy. Not having time to do all, being my job as licensing artist and photographer so demanding and my life something I chose to live in a certain way, had stolen my joy as well. 
And instead, I choose joy!

Not that closing my shop means that I don't love handmade or that I won't make anything anymore! On the contrary, I bet I will find the time now that I made this long- due decision.

As for what I'm going to do with what I make, as friends asked me, something I'll keep, the rest I'll give freely. Love, Joy and Beauty are meant to be shared. Not that the bills will come for free for me, but so many people out there need a free smile. I'm sure that all that I need comes to me, as it always did and it always does, even if I don't offer for sale my handmade stuff anymore on Etsy. 

"Making" will be just my hobby, and I'm excited to finally welcome playful relaxation in my life!

Monica xo

15 comments:

  1. Hi, Monica! I think you are making the right choice. Now your handmade world is great and well-known by the people realize passion, ,mastery and love behind your crafts.
    I've a shop on Etsy ,too...but it's probably invisible!
    Have a good day,
    Franca

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  2. Well, I'm sorry your shop is closed. I liked those dolls you made once, but then they were gone so there wasn't an opportunity to buy one. But you should do what makes you happy. Happy for you.

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  3. I applaud you for taking the step and taking the joy back. I have listed some of my things on etsy as well with few sales. I debated re-listing but I've decided to try to create for the joy it brings and only list my overflow. We'll see how it goes.

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  4. Hi Monica, it is so refreshing to read your post and I can identify with it so much. You cannot put a price on those things made with experience, love and inspiration and which reflect how you are developing as a designer, or experimenting what you make at the moment, compared with those things made purely to sell, made with an idea of churning them out, and, as you say, very often made by those people who are very new to sewing, and who price their items at silly cheap prices just to sell them!
    So I respect and understand your decision. I have stopped going to fairs for the same reason, i do not want to waste my time making lots of little things that will probably sell but which to me feel like i am cheapening myself to make them, rather than sticking with making those things that come from my heart, but which are not as affordable or saleable.
    I hope you now enjoy creating for the joy of making what you want to instinctively, Monica! And you have helped me too, thank you, as that issue has been bothering me too and you have got right to the heart of it.
    Gill xx

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  5. I remember the tears as I made a similar decision. We had just started building our cottage, and there was no time to continue making things for the shop, photographing them, writing up the descriptions, and packaging and shipping them off. It was a very difficult decision, as I loved making the items... but there is no reason to stop! I continue to make the same kinds of things for our home, and as you've mentioned above, enjoy giving them as gifts and as giveaway items on my blog.
    I just know you will be happy with your decision, Monica!
    xoxo,
    Lin

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  6. i applaud your decision dear monica. it was a brave thing to do. i too struggle with that question:"Is it worth it?" you always seem to "listen" to what your heart is telling you. it is not so easy to do. "listen" is my "word for 2014" and i need to really remember that. "merci" for reminding me. many blessings...;)

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  7. Hi Monica,
    I can understand and it's not easy to make this decision ...
    Just want to say that I'm really happy with that lovely 'cat' journal you
    created for me !
    Take care ...
    Have a nice week,
    Sylvia

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  8. Thank you for sharing this. I'm at a crossroads, too. This will help my thought process.

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  9. Hi Sweetie,
    Such a tough choice. I have had fairly moderate success with my shop, but once what we enjoy becomes a job, the picture changes. Forced creativity is quite stifling at times...it goes against the natural flow~something I'm sure you have experienced at times with licensing, too. I have been toying with selling supplies so I can continue doing what I love without a loss of income. It seems that God is always beckoning me to continue...so continue I have. If He shows me otherwise...it will be so. :o)

    Choosing joy is always a good thing! So delighted that you are feeling free, and ready to invest your energies where they are appreciated. I truly appreciate all you share here...always delightful. Thank you for that, my friend. You're a treasure!
    Hugs,
    Becky

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  10. My dear Monica,

    What a difficult, and transcendental decision you have made.

    I am just venturing myself on the world of selling my crafts. I decided that Etsy was not my way to do it, instead I am tryint to go with my own website.

    I deeply fear to see my work not appreciated. That fear prevented me from creating, and I was actually loosing my joy for creating just because of the fear of not being appreciated! So, I do understand how you feel. I just want to tell you that with your kindness, your blog, and all the beauty you shared with us, you have encouraged me to follow my heart. You are always and abundant source of inspiration, and courage!

    I know that your wonderful creations will bring joy to you and to those you gift them to, as I know many of us will be looking for your licensed art in your so exquisit collection!

    Many hugs!!!

    Alice

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  11. Ah, how I can appreciate your decision and how difficult it was to get to that point. It really does steal the joy out of the creation and the process when it seems that no one else sees the "value" of something you've poured your love and talent into. Although difficult, I would be willing to venture a guess that you now feel relieved of that burden to create for the sake of a sale that may or may not come, having nothing at all to do with your talent. Yes, I too think that you made a good choice! May your creativity thrive and your heart sing!

    Hugs,

    "her" and Romeo

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  12. You are brave and strong, I look forward to seeing all the joyfull creations, especially if they are as sweet as this Bear. I hope to finish a new Bear this week after taking a long break from making them, also to find the joy in making them again. Hope it is warmer in your home today! Hugs, Catherine xx

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  13. Choosing Joy... you simply cannot go wrong when you choose that path. Choosing to close your store is a choice for you, to take back control of what you do, what you make, and what you choose to do with those creations... You can choose to keep things, gift them, or sell them if the opportunity presents itself and you are willing - and I will wager that holding on to that control is exactly the thing that will dictate where you go next. I honestly believe that when we protect our creativity, that is the time when the rest of the world begins to value it. You may never choose to sell another thing Monica, but you have taken the choice back, and it is Joy.
    You are such an inspiration for me.

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  14. 'Follow your dreams.....they know the way.' I thought of this quote when I read your post. You are finding your way to your ddestiny dear friend. I am inspired by your bravery.

    XO
    Abby

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  15. Monica, I have always loved seeing our work in the Somerset Magazines and know you are very talented. I am so glad that you have decided to take the "joy" path for your life. I have an Etsy shop and am feeling the same way you are. I don't enjoy making things to sell the same way I enjoy making things just to enjoy the process and the outcome. You have really encouraged me to rethink what I am doing. Thanks so very much. I wish you the very best in 2014. xo Mary

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