February 5, 2014

A Minor Triumph

I largely have ignored my Etsy shop for most of the past year. I check in daily to see if I need to ship any items that have managed to sell themselves (which only means I check my email), and sometimes remember to check the shop for expired listings that need attention. I have told myself this "hiatus" is due to the all-consuming process of house buying and renovating that began in November 2012. But that's only part of it.

I'm not sure what is behind my - what is the right word? reluctance, avoidance, disinterest? - lack of progress with Odd Bird Studio. As important as it is to just get working again, making and photographing and posting on Etsy, I think it is equally important to examine why I stopped. This isn't a new phenomenon for me. Back when I used to exhibit photography I worked steadily or not at all. Whether I was immersed in a specific project or just going through the motions until something created a spark, working in the darkroom felt good. Not working felt bad. But once stopped, it was difficult to get going again. I think something similar might be playing itself out with Odd Bird Studio.

While I puzzle through my - what? - hesitation, work stoppage, feet dragging, there's also the nagging doubt that retail is not a good fit for me. Perhaps more accurate would be the broader term sales. Internally I screamingly and protestingly reject and resist creating and marketing for the holiday retail schedule. The reasons for this are legion, from deeply held values to petty contrariness. Regardless of my reasons, rejecting the tried and true rhythm of successful retail marketing seems to be a straight shot to failure. Or is it? Maybe it is possible to rewrite the rules of retail to fit my nature and my comfort zone. While I do believe wonderful, creative, imaginative, energizing things are possible when one pushes the limits of one's comfort zone, it shouldn't be done at the expense of one's values. I struggle with this self-created retail sales dilemma.

With that garbled confusion by turns roaring and murmuring in the background, I consider it a minor triumph to have made a new item for the Odd Bird Studio line. Before I make more for the Etsy shop, I am testing the waters for interest at Art Shop. Wild Cat catnip toys feature reclaimed fabric and  sustainably harvested, locally sourced wild catnip (first seen here). Yes, I have made some of these toys before now, but this time I made a batch of 20, packaged them up, and took them to Art Shop for sale. Interesting turn of events for one who is reluctant to embrace retail and decidedly not a cat person, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I love the items on your etsy shop. Your works are so adorable. Those will be definite recommendations for friends looking for decor pieces and the likes. I totally understand where you came from on why you had to stop. But it's good that you were able to start-up the shop again. I hope it's doing good. More success to you and your shop!

    Mike LeMoine @ Maverick Web Marketing