I have been blessed to be a Stay At Home Mom for the last seven years, and I love it. I also love clothes, and shoes, and jewelry and yarn. So over the course of time I "worked" (read - tried to figure out) to find something that I could do from home and generate my hobby money. Well down through the years, I have done several things. I have made gift baskets, Handmade cards, soaps, bath salts, candles, you name it I probably did it. However it was when I came upon jewelry that I found something that I really liked, (I think its the tools) and could make a decent profit with minimal investment for quality materials. Silver was about half the price that it is now, actually less than half, I remember starting out and it was $6.32 an ounce. That's a steal.
So I came up with SLHayes Designs, and made up a blog for it, which has been sorely neglected since I started my website http://www.slhayesdesigns.com/ . I've tried different things to promote the business, going to networking sessions, being a vendor in different places, email campaigns, of course word of mouth, and even once or twice eBay. Alas, business was slow and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it much longer. You must sell in order to make more, or get custom clients ( which happens occasionally). Such is the case currently- I have a groom I am designing some pieces for,as a wedding gift to his bride, hopefully he likes them.
Custom clients come sporadically for me, I still need to get the word out. But every since I joined Ravelry, I've been seeing Etsy a lot, and I decided to check it out. Its a great place for people who make handcrafted goods to showcase and sell their products. I will of course be getting my own etsy later in the day and will promptly let you all know when it is set up. In addition I have taken the Buy Handmade pledge, which you can also link to via the button on the side panel.
All that to say, this past weekend we (the hubby and I) were out "shopping" with some friends and I felt the need to get a job, so I could shop. Shameful isn't it? First off we were in Banana Republic, mistake number 1, I haven't been there since before I had children, when I did have a job. Oh the beautiful things. That silk cotton blend skirt was lovely, but I can't justify $68 "on sale". In some instances it seems like a job would help out a lot, (I could buy more shoes and clothes and yarn). But I don't necessarily need more shoes or clothes and until I use my stash, not too much more yarn. All of my needs are met, we live a comfortable life, with activities for the kids and dates for us. So why do I feel the need to get a job...just to be another consumer. Sickening. I had to leave the store after that notion crossed my mind, because honestly I don't want a job, not right now anyways. And I especially don't want a job, just so I can buy stuff that honestly I don't have room for. ( For some strange reason, donating clothes to charity twice a year hasn't made any room in my closet).
Bartering, I've been a fan of it, since I learned what it was back in middle school. The concept made sense to me, but I could never really find others that felt the same way, until....the swaps. I make a lovely product, you make a lovely product, I have something you like/need and vice versa, let's make a deal. I will be swapping and buying handmade this year, because I refuse to work (a job outside the home) to be a consumer.
And though I didn't buy anything on Saturday, I did have a great time, and saw that kids still know how to have good clean fun.
Some kids put bubbles in the fountain. :)