20 September 2011

Mistakes. I've made a few

{Guest Post by New Zealand Handmade Member Gill, of Jacber Creations...}

2 year and a bit years ago I read an article that mentioned Etsy. 1 minute later the mistakes began

What I did: Quick what can I call the shop?

Result: My shop(s) name really doesn’t say anything about what I create – might be okay if I decide to branch out…. it makes branding a bit tougher

What I did: Sure you can be my marketing manager so your name can be part of the shop name

Result: Refer the same result as above regarding the shop name – plus he tries to take a cut of my sales because he’s my cheerleader :)

What I did: Google 70’s wallpaper – That’ll do for a banner!

Result: Professional image? Hmmmmmmmm not quite.

What I did: I have to take pictures. Shame its night time – oh well the flash on the camera will do, after all everyone can see how cool they look can’t they?

Result: I wondered why no one was really looking at my creations until a lovely blunt lady pointed out that the pictures were crap (sobbing ensued)

What I did: Spent every waking moment crocheting tea cosies to ensure I cover all tastes

Result: An overabundance of tea cosies some of dubious taste (on a positive note I have lots of presents just ready to be given in the case of emergency)

What I did: Overenthusiastic, I opened shops on Etsy and two on ArtFire , and a couple on other websites that I can’t even remember now, then two more on Zibbet (and later on Felt)

Result: I couldn’t keep up with what was where – I didn’t concentrate on doing one thing and doing it well, I lost passwords and website addresses. Spread myself too thin, enthusiasm waned and I didn’t build my brand

What I did: Expected to sell something within the first minute of listing it

Result: Erm, is there anything wrong with that? Surely everyone needs a cupcake doorstop or a loo roll cover doll don’t they? And don’t they need it right now?

Knowing what I know now, if I could talk to my over enthusiastic self from 2 years ago this is what I would tell me

Check out places that I would prefer to sell, does the feel of it or the culture of it sit well with me? Recognise that not all online shopping places suit everyone.

Look at having my own website. I don’t think it’s as scary as it first sounds

Have a brand. What do I want my name to say about me, about what I create or the feel of my shop?

Research how many people are making this thing that I’ve created. What’s my point of difference?

Learn from the experiences of people who have been doing it longer, remembering that their word is not gospel though and what works for them may not work for you.

2 years later

Professional image? Oops I still have that banner!

Successful? Absolutely! The first time someone spent their money on something I created made me a success.

Have I learnt from my mistakes? Of course….. I just haven’t done anything about it yet :)

Author:  Gill, Jacber Creations


  1. Brillaintly written! This brought a huge smile to my face (along with lots of nodding..!)

  2. Love it!! Think most of us can relate to that initial enthusiastic "rush" to just get going and while we may have done some homework there are always those things we think "Oh, it'll be just fine" (maybe that's a bit of our Kiwi way perhaps?). Hindsight is a wonderful thing though isn't it!!!!!!! Glad to see you are merrily carrying on and that you have still got things that you will one day 'get around to' sorting:) Ciao

  3. Yes yes yes and YES! I think I have made ALL the same mistakes you did! Thanks for sharing (Now I feel better about my own mistakes, knowing I am not alone!) I am with Pam... nodding in many places of your article. Thanks for sharing - just heading over to see if you have any of those dubious tea cozy's left...


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