It all started with a few successful craft shows. A couple of hundred dollars here, a couple of hundred dollars there all added up to being able to donate a few thousand dollars to area organizations that encourage, serve and nourish those in need. Friends, family and customers really liked the things I was making. So many times I was asked where my items could be bought and do I have an Etsy shop. “It’s easy”, they said. “If you have an Etsy shop, then the whole WORLD will be able to buy your stuff!” Well, needless to say I got all puffed up and feeling pretty good about myself. So I bought a few books, read oh-so many blogs, listened to small business podcasts and “pinned” a whole bunch a “how to’s” and “Top 10 Things One Must Do To Be Successful On Etsy” from Pinterest. I was determined to do this right. So, in August of last year, I took my phone (camera) and a load of craft items outside to take pictures. I wrote about My Fear here. My friend Angie came over to help with the technical stuff. I took many pictures of each item…front view, back view, inside, close up details, with props, without props. I edited each photo and then put it in the right folder in order to find it later (which, let me tell you was quite frustrating for me. I’m not the fastest computer gal, if you know what I mean.) I cataloged each item, wrote cute descriptions, weighed the items, plugged all the information in and then posted online. I’m a cutting, sewing, crocheting, glueing, painting kind of gal, not a png., folder, and all of that computer stuff kind of gal. But I was determined to figure it out.A darling, smart and super talented young lady contacted me. Eileen was Mary Claire’s best friend when they were growing up. Eileen had graduated with a degree in Creative Marketing and wanted to donate her services to me. She admired what Merry Mary Studios was all about and wanted to create a logo for me. How awesome is that?!? After sharing ideas, she came up with several logos and banners that I could use for my business. Here was the banner for the Etsy shop, I had a logo for a stamp and stickers. I had a business license and thinking I was pretty profesh…professional. I was full on baby!
I even sold my first bag online to a gal in the United Kingdom! People. I was ready to take on the handmade market. I was ready to bring this all to you, sharing the site with everyone, but then life happened. Thomas went off to college. Superman and I went on seven states high point trip. I had to make things for the Christmas Market. I had to make a quilt for Tyler for Christmas. We found out we were going to be grandparents. Then there was the madness getting ready for a spring craft show. Add in there beekeeping, filling crochet orders, cooking, cleaning….just every day life.
I neglected my Etsy shop. I neglected my blog. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
People do this all the time. They have successful craft businesses. They create, write blogs and build a thriving business. But I just couldn’t do it. I was feeling like a loser. If only I was more organized, more efficient, then this would all go just like those gals in the blog world.
One day while I was preparing for my bible study “No Other Gods”, by Kelly Minter, it hit me. I was trying to force something that wasn’t God driven. It was “world” driven. I wanted to be like all of those other crafters out there making it look so easy. I made the hard decision to shut it down. And can I tell you? It felt so good!
Almost immediately, I mean like within hours, notifications started pinging in telling me of new followers to this blog. People from around the world, that somehow linked up to this crazy little place where I chit chat about life. Ok, let’s get real. I have like a couple hundred or so followers. So then all of a sudden, on the day I close the shop, I have 10-15 new followers to my blog! (For someone like me, that’s a LOT) Why? Why are people all of a sudden interested in my thoughts? Each day I get more and more followers. Why?!?
Honestly? I think it’s God’s way of telling me to stick with Him. Go where He leads me. Should I keep on making, selling and giving away? Absolutely! But do I need to have an Etsy shop to do that? Nope. In fact, I’ve got more orders than I can keep up with. What if I were to show you a few things here that I’m making? I hope you wouldn’t mind.
Friends, God has a plan for all of us. We can choose to do it our own way, following the crowd and trying to please the world, but I promise you, that in the end, there won’t be joy. By giving up the reigns of control, handing them over to God in prayer, we can live a life full of joy and contentment. I still have to do the hard work. I will come up to many obstacles. But the fruit of my labor will not be in vain.
I so appreciate you choosing to read this little blog of mine. It isn’t going to change the world, but I pray it can bring a bit of joy into a moment of your day.