Wednesday, November 11, 2009

selling yourself

so i have this shop..and over the past 8 months it has become my consumming passion. it rules my life. it is my child, my lover, my master. i am its slave.

i promote and link and copy and paste and share and comment and post and convo. i tweet and blog and flickr and paypal. i long for time to create.

i get up in the morning, brush my teeth, and hurry thru my morning ritual: shower,makeup, dry hair,drink coffee, desperately wanting to check the site, but knowing that first i must get ready for the "day job"..i play this game, torturing myself, that if i wait just a little while longer, there will be a sale to reward me. i am a fool.

when i have no sales, i bitch and moan . i despair that no one will ever want my work. can they find me? am i invisible ?
when i have sales, i bitch and moan that all i do is work. how will i ever get it all done? why did i think i could do this?

i can't deny the thrill of getting up on a monday morning after painting orders all weekend and looking at the shelves in my studio,,filled with piggy banks, and bookends..looking like a "real" store..everything finished, ready to go..and then the horror begins..i go to the dark side and enter the world of packing breakable things and trusting them to the trained apes that walk upright at the us postal service. my partner in life, paul, has taken on the role of "shipping manager" and he takes this job very seriously..measuring the pieces that i paint, scouring stores and supermarkets for the perfect boxes..because as those of you that sell online know, everything you need to complete a job takes away from the profit of your bottom line. he tries to help me organize, make lists, understand how to price, prioritize..i function in organized chaos, slips of paper everywhere,notes to myself, i know where it all is, i can find nothing. because of paul and his efforts, for the first time in my life , i have a true workspace. my own room to work in. in these past 8 months, i have created more original artwork than i have ever done in my entire life, and people buy it! it amazes me.

and so here i am, one sale away from 100, remembering the very first sale..a wipes case, and the excitement that i felt and the thrill of completing that job and sending it out and waiting for the customer to write immediately and tell me HOW MUCH SHE LOVED IT!!!! and waiting and waiting and finally getting that feedback..and even now, so many sales later needing that approval..needing that next sale to feed my habit

you get up in the morning or sneak a peek late at night and there's that "feedback" sign and it's like new years and your birthday and a big shot of tequila and falling in're selling a little piece of yourself and someone wants it, and all is good and right with the world.

til the next day , when you don't make a sale....sigh.


  1. Your eloquent writing has really captured the feeling of selling online. I KNOW exactly these same emotions, and perhaps that is why we share such a strong Etsy seller bond. I need to send my hubby to read this so that he can see I'm not the only one who feels these things!! Thank you for sharing - HUGS:)

  2. Leslie, I couldn't have said it better myself, as this is me as well. However, you have greater self-discipline and restraint than I do. I wake up and go straight to Etsy. :-D I definitely relate to the ups and downs of sales, the despair of not having a sale and the overwhelming feeling of many sales at once. Thank you for sharing this. :-)

  3. Wow! What a whirlwind you live in! I can definitely relate to a lot of those emotions.

    I do feel depressed and start questioning my work and it's worth to the world whenever I haven't had a sale in weeks. And I'm elated by every sale- perhaps not quite as much as I was with my very first one (the first one is always so special), but thrilled nonetheless. :) And I have experienced the overwhelming crush of too many sales at once, and wondered why in heaven's name they couldn't be stretched out across time more evenly!

    Congrats on reaching that 100th sale! And on having such a helpful and efficient shipping manager. I think we could all use one of those! :)

  4. Oh, I would have loved to complete the 100 ... never mind number 1000 will be mine :-) Great to see a new post, I have been so busy lately with all the birthdays but I miss my purchases from your store. Take care,