Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Working To Be A Consumer

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. :)

Be Safe.


DeltaPurl said...

I make jewelry also. Right now I am working on some pieces for a friend who is getting married this weekend. I can say jewelry making was my first habit, I mean hobby and I really enjoy it. I have an etsy shop as well, but I don't promote it as much as I should, can't wait to see yours! Good luck.

Nettie said...

You have expressed something that has been on the edge of my consciousness but I couldn't reach. One of my goals for finding a part time job is to have more "spare cash". I like to lie to myself and claim that it will go to savings or towards debt, but this post is forcing me to be more honest. I really don't need more than I have right now, but it doesn't stop me wanting what I see :)

Woman of Destiny said...

OMG... nettie took the words and thoughs out of my mouth and head. Only thing I'd add is that I MUST find a way to STOP putting us into more debt. I thought getting a job would be the answer to debt relief but who am I trying to kid?!?!?! I have a spending issue that I HAVE to get under CONTROL! This might just be a cry for help...

Shanta Hayes said...

Nettie, we all want more (maybe monks don't) but aside from them the rest us want stuff. Lying to myself didn't work either, because I know that all money is to me is craft stuff, then clothes, I might think about my hair somewhere down the road, but really I know it wouldn't get saved. Excuse me...in the past I wouldn't have saved, but I am turning over a new leaf this very month. You'll see. Althea we'll get this together and you'll be out from under the beast of "buy me".

EB said...

A friend of mine wrote a book about high school students and the first year of college (First Year Out, by Tim Clydesdale)--one of the thing he found in his research was the enormous number of teens who feel the need to get a job, not so that they can save for school or help their families, but merely to be able to buy stuff they do not really need--to feed the consumer monster that our society tends to breed. The sad thing was that taking service jobs distracted these kids from studies, rarely gave them meaningful career experience, and made them stressed so that they did not really take advantage of the chance to think, learn and grow in college. It sounds like you are expressing a battle with the same beast: good luck! I hope that the time you have because you are not taking a job to "feed the monster" finds real purpose and joy.

geeky Heather said...

Good for you!!! Avoid the job if you don't need it...more time for processing the stash. =)

Speaking of, how's Zig Zag coming?? ;)