this article by Megan Auman. Or perhaps when my licensing Fairy Godmother suggested I find an agent who would allow me to keep selling on etsy until I'd "grown out of it." At the time it was a foreign concept. Why in the world would I ever want to leave etsy? After all, it had been pretty good to me. I'd been featured a couple of times (here and here); I'd been one of the top 10 handmade sellers for three years, racking up nearly 30,000 sales. And wasn't this everyone's dream? To make it big on etsy and quit your day job? I had this strange feeling of guilt about it. Like I'd been given a cupcake, but wanted a whole huge cake instead.
But the more I thought about it, the more the idea took root and grew. Etsy's been great, but could there be something bigger? Something that took less time (i.e., I could go to bed before 4 am), or less fees, or had more exposure? It was both frightening and exciting to think about.
My etsy experience has been a bit like high school. I came in as a wide-eyed Freshman almost four years ago, having just left my great non-profit job to pursue piddix full-time. I worked unbelievably hard, learned a ton, and made great friends. The sophomore slump hit when my husband was laid off from work and we had to reevaluate piddix. Could I really support my whole family with just the income from piddix? The answer was yes, with even more hard work, time, and excitement. Junior year exciting things started to take shape outside of etsy: printed collage sheets for bead and paper stores, an amazing licensing agent who placed my work in stores like Target and Trader Joes. To continue the high school analogy, I began visiting colleges and thinking about life past graduation.
I used to think I was the only one who was simultaneously afraid of success and failure at the same time. What if I made something too big, too wonderful? Or even worse, what if I didn't? But recently I've talked with a lot of other women and read posts from others who have similar misgivings (there's even a new Facebook group to tackle this fear of jumping in). We hold ourselves back for some reason when we don't need to.
So, with a deep breath and a moment of reflection about how great my years on etsy have been, it's time to head off to "college" and all the excitement and challenges it will bring. See you all there.