Monday, September 13, 2010

Taking a step back

Three years ago (almost to the day), I opened a little Etsy shop. In the beginning, it was a method of therapy. I had been suffering from post partum depression and needed a productive/creative outlet during naptime. Etsy served as a sort of Prozac. It was a way to continue to stay home AND still be immersed in the outside world.

A couple of years later, during Zak's unemployment, the shop paid our bills. Suddenly it was no longer a hobby but a real job. I introduced birthday supplies into my repertoire and started selling 4 or 5 items a day. We felt so blessed. Looking back, I don't know what we would have done during those months without it.

Since Jakson's diagnosis in April, though the shop has continued to grow, I have felt impressed that the its life is coming to an end. I've been dismissing the thought for the most part. I have many excuses-we need the money, my customers will be so disappointed, I've worked so hard, I'm almost to 1,000 sales....but, the feature in Brides magazine!! Despite my best efforts and Jonah-like attitude, the promptings have not subsided. The Lord has been telling me that during this season of my life there are more important, more eternal things I should be focused on. And I'm learning that sometimes (more often than not) the Lord asks us to do hard things. But I also know that He blesses those who are obedient, and frankly, I need all the blessings I can get.

As a result, I've decided to finally follow the impressions (before I get swallowed by a whale) and have made the decision to remove most of the items (including all banners) from the shop. That said, I still won't close completely unless I feel impressed to do so. The remaining items are destash fabrics, tabletop pennants (like the ones in Brides Magazine), and my newest product Fabric Wall Letters, all of which won't require the kind of time and attention that I've been devoting to Etsy for the last three years.

A few months ago, I hired a good friend whose husband was laid off and she will continue to make Max costumes and all of the ribbon banners.

Believe me when I say that this has been an incredibly hard decision to make and not taken lightly. I love Etsy. I love the relationships I've developed through buying and selling and the joy I get when customers tell me how much they love their products. I'm excited to continue my Etsy journey on a much smaller scale. I'm even more excited to have some time to realign my priorities and devote myself to my family.

**I will still take custom orders every once in awhile, so if you are a reader of the blog and would like a birthday set made, I would be happy to make it for you. Just email me. Every once in awhile I will also be adding ready-made banners to the shop. I still have a lot of fabric to use up!!


Melissa said...

Love you Bethy! Sounds like you've thought this through a lot, and you're making a good decision. Wish I could be there and help make your burden a little lighter.

Gina said...

Ever thought of selling your business? Just a thought. You've done amazing- but it is all about the seasons of life, isn't it. Way to follow those promptings.

j&krosser said...

WE must always learn to follow those promptings even the ones that seem hard. We have made some of those hard decisions latley but when they are inspired by the Lord he sees the bigger picture and he never leads us the wrong way.


[AnnieR] said...

I'm Annie Reynolds, and I approve this message.

In all seriousness, I really admire you for the decision you've made--for the reasons you made it and I know how hard it must have been for you to come to this conclusion. I'm really impressed, Beth. I know this much: You'll be blessed for this.

Amanda said...

I totally get this, friend. I know how hard it was to come to this decision, and I also know how freeing it will be. Enjoy!

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