I’ve learned not to make grand pronouncements. We’ve made too many life changes, had the strip turn pink (not this year, I’m referencing past years, I’M DONE), decided to move within minutes of receiving the job offer … we’re not to be trusted, as I told my parents over Christmas dinner. Our kids are always provided for, I have a certain level of comfort that I expect, but other than that we’re tricksy. We get a job here and then we move there. It’s our M.O.
So this year I have vague plans. Journals, throws, bookmarks, wreaths … those sold well, I’ll be focusing on those products quite a bit. I’m not ready to throw in the towel with my art, though, and I’m planning on hiring assistance with titles/tags once the dust settles from the vague changes Etsy has promised us (I’m not upset about that, that’s retail. Constant changes to keep it fresh. It just means work for us shop owners). I want to try a Renaissance fair, since my work is similar to fantasy artwork and combined with leather journals I think I -could- do well.
I’m also looking forward to volunteering at our local art center. It takes me awhile to make connections, I’ve accepted this, and it looks like they need the time frame I can offer right now, so I’m finally going to be amongst artsy people (a year after discovering they needed volunteers … oh well)! I’m also going to submit my journals for the permanent gift shop jury … in our area we have lots of artwork but only one or two bookbinders. It’s really hard to get in, but I’m hopeful. And I’ll be participating in the various shows/fairs the art center heads up (assuming my work is accepted, as always;)
What I won’t be doing: I’m not yet launching my own website. I want time to refine the look I’ve got in my head, and when it’s ready I want to have an actual advertising budget, something we’re not wanting to swing right now. I don’t know that I want to continue on Amazon Handmade, although with that I’m waiting to see what kind of journals I come up with when I get back to work. I might only advertise that product since it’s my bestseller. I won’t be taking an art class: not because I don’t want to, but because we simply have no free time and I’m not putting pressure on myself.
And because I like to look back and see numbers, I’ve got some: I’d love to get to 500 sales on Etsy. I had 154 this year, and I’m sitting at 223 sales, so that means I’d be getting 277 sales, a number I believe to be attainable. I’m rather hoping to make a profit; I almost broke even this year, and I don’t need anything major … we’ll see. I like to try making new things; sometimes it makes it into the shop, and then I’m buying bulk quantities and my supply bill goes up and the profit potential is there but it takes awhile to realize it … you know how it goes.
So how is 2017 shaping up for you? I encourage you to start on your dream, no matter what it is … the smallest steps lead to unexpected gains.
And as always, Art On:)