Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Mother of Invention

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. To put it another way, difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions.  I have found this to be true in my own life.  When I first lost my job (catch up here), I didn't know what I was going to do.  My first thought was to try to get a new one as soon as possible.  Then I had a couple of people say "This might be an opportunity to work on your jewelry full time."  When one person says it, okay, it's an idea.  When more than one person says it, I find this is Someone's way of telling you what to do.

So I made up some jewelry and I started an Etsy shop.  I then had to find ways to market my shop and in marketing my shop I began to build a network of other Etsy shop owners.  These women (it's mostly women I have found in the jewelry and accessory realm) are super supportive and are willing to lend a hand to newbies.

As you interact with the new "associates", you start to find out about their lives and you become friends.  I found it very interesting that a lot of these women were much like me. They are creative women who have some type of health issue (autoimmune disorders and fibromyalgia, for example) that makes working a normal schedule or outside the house very difficult.

It makes me wonder how many Etsy store owners are in the same position as I?  I started to do my jewelry as a hobby, then it morphed into a side business.  Now I rely on it as a source of income.  Before I got sick, it was nice when someone (typically a friend) would commission a piece of jewelry.  I would turn around and reinvest the profit into my business by typically buying a new tool.   Now the profits help me pay day-to-day expenses.

Sometimes I can get a little frustrated when my sales are slow.  I have friends tell me that it's the economy.  I'm sure this is partially true.  However, I still see women buying jewelry and accessories at Charming Charlie's, Target, Walmart, etc.   I think a lot of women don't think about buying something from a crafter/artisan or they think it might be too expensive.  While I do have some more expensive items in my store, most are very wallet friendly.

If you had the option to buy a pair of earrings that were made by hand by a small business owner for $16, or a similar pair at Wal-Mart for $14.99, which would you rather buy?  I know what I would like to do.

Dear Reader, you may be asking yourself, where do I find these handmade goodies which you speak of?  Well, I will tell you! Just follow the links below.

Handmade Lampwork Beads by Bastille Blue - Etsy  Facebook  Website

Handmade Children's and Pet Accessories by The Joyful Princess Boutique - Etsy Facebook

Handmade Jewelry by Beadsoul- Etsy Facebook

Sequintatic Bead and Sequin Jewelry by Saturday Sequins - Etsy Facebook Blog

And now for the shameless plug for me:

Handmade Jewelry by Chrysalis Jewelry - Etsy Facebook Website

These women make really great products and I know they would be honored to have your business.  Please consider giving them a try!

Until Tomorrow - Melissa


  1. LOVED your post Melissa!

    As someone who charges on with my own physical limitations (ADD, OCD, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis) I can totally relate to your thought why people choose to buy locally in stores rather than from artisans and I feel you are correct... I think they just dont know that artisan prices are as varied as that in most retail stores. I think letting people know is a good way to spread the word and thank you for doing just that! Also.... Thanks for the shout out for my website and Etsy shop! Best of luck to you and your wonderful website! xo Nikki

  2. This is LOVELY, thank you so much for thinking of me and my little creations! I am so blessed to have the gift of crafting and sewing, as well as the gift of my gorgeous little girl, because of that I was able to do something I loved to help me financially. I have to admit that before I knew what Etsy was I would be the one buying from the stores, but now I buy handmade whenever I can to support those like myself. I've met so many amazing people, like yourself, and it's changed my life. To truly understand what it is like to be in a situation like mine you have to live it, and even then, it's hard for me because I am so young going through this. I've met quite a few that are in somewhat of the same boat as me and it's been a great support system. Thank you again and best of luck to you and your shop! Those sales will come! <3

  3. Melissa, that ring is gorgeous! Seems to me that you're doing what you were meant to do. <3

    Thanks for featuring me, too! That necklace might just be the next item in my Etsy store, as soon as I lengthen it so it fits adults (I recently bought a child-sized mannequin and realized we have the same size neck).