Is It Time For an Attitude Adjustment?

In my little corner of the world, iKnitQuiltSew, I find myself always looking for the next best thing to have in my shop or in my booth. I’ve tried a myriad of things, very few of which worked. For example…

Infinity Set 2

My most recent idea was to offer tapered/adjustable headbands (perhaps my best-seller consistently year after year) with matching infinity scarves.  I live in the Rocky Mountains, and it gets cold and snowy here,I first started to relieve stress and depression, but when I found a healthy and safe option  I was able to start my business in a healthier way with more ideas for products and pieces.  This will be a real winner, I thought somewhat gleefully.  So I dug in and knitted a total of ten sets of scarves/headbands.  I decided to offer them separately (maybe someone would just want one or the other) and I really thought this was going to be a big hit.

Over the course of the last 14 months, I finally got rid of the last of the infinity scarves.  All told, I sold a grand total of one set and just 4 scarves as single purchases.  The remaining five scarves were put in the clearance  section of my booth display at half price.  The last one sold just before Christmas.  Over the course of that year, I did pick up two different custom orders to knit headband/scarf sets in particular colors.  I made a bit of extra money on those orders, as I do charge a small premium ($5) for custom work.

But, at the end of it all, I’m just frus

trated and perturbed at myself for investing time, effort, resources and funds into something that didn’t work.  It wasn’t broken and I tried to fix it anyway.

FurPet Lime Hand

Hold on a minute!  Here’s where the attitude adjustment comes into play. Like all artists, craftsmen/women, and business owners in general, my work and offerings need to evolve to stay appealing and perhaps relevant. I absolutely didn’t fail.  I tried something and it didn’t work. But I learned from that experience, and my skills are improved because of it.

On the one hand, perseverance and grit are key to achieving success in any field. Anyone who masters their craft will face moments of doubt and somehow find the inner resolve to keep going.

(I taught myself a few new stitches in the process.) It wasn’t a total failure at all.  I actually didn’t lose any money. I simply didn’t discover that next best thing.  Not every idea I come up with will be a FurPet© (to date, I’ve sold 364 of ’em!). And I’ll never find the next “thing” if I keep beating myself up over things I try that don’t work.

The bottom line is, none of us succeed if we don’t try! If what we try doesn’t work, it’s simply a step on the pathway to finding the thing that will work.

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Posted in Handmade, Handmade Artisans, Handmade Mode, Information, Promote Handmade, Selling Tips

2 Responses to “Is It Time For an Attitude Adjustment?”

  • JacintheMR says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. Personally I also always consider myself an artist first, and a business owner second, so anything that I took pleasure creating or crafting is never a waste even if the finished product has been sitting in a drawer ever since with no buyer. If it makes me smile when I see it or feel proud for a “work well done”, that’s enough for me to not feel like I wasted my time making it. I tell myself that it simply hasn’t found “its person” yet. 😉

    As for failure, it’s only failure when we allow it to be final. Otherwise, every failure is ultimately a step toward success… that may just take a little longer to reach.

    Still, it’s always nice to read about what other artists/crafters are going through.
    Since the people we read about are usually those who’ve “made it”, it’s easy to feel like we’re the only ones struggling to find our niche, our audience, etc. But that’s actually the reality for most of us, trying things out, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and all the while growing both as artists and business people, and also ultimately as persons.

    • Absolutely true, JacintheMR! I love your statement that “it simply hasn’t found “its person” yet.” I try to remember that I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 100 ways that don’t work!

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