Monday, October 15, 2012

I have not given business people enough credit

One of the perks of leaving academia for me was having more free time - free time I did not feel guilty about not working. Now as a still-unemployed post-academic I find I have far too much free time. So, I had to do something with it.

I started an etsy shop. If you don't know about etsy, go there and procrastinate for a few hours. It's a site where people can sell vintage and homemade things. Anyone can start a shop.

I've always been crafty. It's one of the perks of growing up poor - you learn to make stuff on your own rather than paying someone else to do it for you. Though I have many crafty talents that lead to stuff everywhere (Boyfriend has been dealing with this remarkably well), I am only selling a few things on my etsy shop.

I make hand-sewn home-made books, the old fashion way. Right now I'm just using watermarked acid-free paper to make blank journals. Once I work all the bugs out I will hopefully be using my own homemade recycled acid-free paper for the pages and designing my own covers. As it is now, I'm using decorative paper and fabric I find to cover them.

I'm also selling jewelry that I make out of clay. So far it's just macabre and steampunk inspired stuff. I make no promises as to where I'm going with this but hopefully they'll sell to the other weird folks roaming the web.

That's why I haven't been here. I've been applying to jobs and building inventory. There has been some movement in the job front. If it turns into something, I'll share the tale with you. The whole etsy shop thing has been an eye opener though.

The shop is like having a storefront. You have to deal with supplies, inventory, pricing, advertising, shipping, traffic. Take whatever it is that you make in your free time. Try pricing it. Seriously. Think about how much the supplies to make it cost, how much time it took to make, how much your time is worth, and still be competitive. And try to be a good boss to yourself too.

On top of that, you have to advertise your wares. That means coming up with a title, some description, and pictures. Oh the pictures. Pictures will be the death of me. You only get one picture for each item to get people into your shop. You have to make it good. If this was the only way I had to make money, it would seriously be stressful.

As I was writing this, someone favorited one of my items. That's the most progress I've seen in a few weeks.


Currer Bell said...

Your stuff is gorgeous!

Looking forward to hearing good news from you on the job front soon.

Pi said...

Thanks! Eventually I may do a little more advertising on here for the shop, once I get more inventory in.

Some temping stuff is beginning to percolate so hopefully I'll have something soon on the job front.

Good luck on your job oscillations!

WTF have I done with my life? said...

Hey - what an awesome idea! That is a great what to do when you're unemployed option. Now you can pricing and inventory and advertising to your list of employability skills (assuming that Etsy doesn't make you enough to live off... yet!)

Pi said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence WTF! Alas, it does not yet make me enough to live off of - haven't sold anything yet. However, I am getting more views so hopefully I'll start getting sales soon. It is keeping occupied and giving me a creative outlet in the meantime.

Hope things are looking up for you down under!