This is a post about my wee design business, but first I want to thank all of you lovely people who read my blog, who comment on my ramblings, and who identify with and encourage my peculiar brand of lunacy. Your comments and emails on my last post mean more to me than I can ever say.
Now, friends! I am so excited today. Because after months of dithering, weeks of coding, and hours of photographing and retouching (a task I'm sure is designated for one of the inner circles of Hell), I am finally ready to announce that the Cottage Industrialist SHOP is open!
"Wait, what?" you ask. "Haven't you had an Etsy shop or three? And wasn't there a stand-alone shop in there somewhere?"
Well, there is that.
But those were just dress rehearsals, trial runs.
"Why now?" you ask.
Well, I was prompted to ask myself how serious I am about this little business when I was approached by a home design magazine that wanted to feature my fabrics. (Cue cartoon eyeball-popping-out sound—details coming soon!) And after a lot of soul-searching, I realized this means a lot to me, that it's about far more for me than mere commerce. It's about connection and communication, too.
Now, I know that plenty of people do big-time business with nothing other than an Etsy store. That rocks. But for me, it has just never been a good fit. No matter how hard I worked at it, my Etsy shop never looked the way I wanted or had the options I wanted for my customers. Etsy is at the economic center of the vibrant handmade community, and while it garners huge traffic, I never felt I could stand out there amidst all the noise—though if I ever get around to making that letterpressed, mustachioed, owl-in-a-cowl riding a bicycle through a heart-shaped-bokeh-sparkle field of mushrooms, I am TOTALLY starting up a new Etsy shop.*
In the meantime, I'm taking a different tack. I won't leave the promotion of my work and my little corner of this community to others. I'm going to do it myself, on my terms; I won't always be able to afford advertising, but that's ok. When I do spend my money, I'm going to do it with my friends in the handmade community who support the values I try to impart to my work as a designer and crafter.
There's lots more to come over the next few months, but I just couldn't keep the lid on it any longer. Please consider signing up for my shop newsletter.** If you do, I promise to be perilously derelict in sending out updates; when I do send out updates (never more than 2 per month), I promise they'll be chockablock with fun freebies, nifty tidbits, and sidelong anecdotes of the sort you've come to expect from me. I decided to add a newsletter because, while I'm very happy to be writing this post, I don't want my blog to turn into a non-stop shilling station for my little business. They are related, but they aren't one-and-the-same.
When you visit the shop—you are going to visit, right?—you'll see that, in addition to my fabrics, I have re-introduced a small selection of eco-friendly paper products and a variety of lovely new printables. And until September 30, enter "NEWSHOP" at checkout for 20% off on your whole order!
Finally, and at the risk of coming across like one of those people who give 10-minute awards acceptance speeches for awards no one cares about, I would be remiss if I didn't thank a few people who have given encouragement, valuable (and gentle) criticism, and precious time to help me turn this store into a reality: Cheerleader Extraordinaire, Jan "Daisy Janie" DiCintio; Insomniac Chat Buddy, tokatefromkate; and Biggest and Longest Suffering Fans, DM, JAM, MWM, SMHB, DJM, TB, ECP, CRS & ESG (you know who you are).
*No gnomes were harmed in the making of this idea. Seriously, I kid, I kid. If you love cowls or owls or what have you, it's all good. Theyr'e just not my thing, right?
**If you're reading in a feed-reader, you may not be able to use the sign-up form—never fear! You can sign up for the newsletter from the form on the shop homepage.