2.25.2007

Looking Back, Getting Ahead

Recently, a friend of mine posted an entry to her blog about some problems she'd encountered while selling her creations in brick and mortar shops. And she wondered why more people don't post about the troubles they encounter, too, in selling what they make. Specifically, she was curious why more bloggers don't talk about the rejection of their wares. I've been thinking about her question for a while now, and I've concluded that in my case, rejections from stores (or poor sales at some stores that have accepted my jewelry) is so frequent that it doesn't even phase me anymore. It's the success that I've had a a handful of shops that is somewhat rare and the great time that I've having with my etsy shop that seem exciting enough to post about.
I don't come home from work every day and tell Barry about the little boy in my class who tells me that he has a "bathroom emergency" every time I give his best friend permission to use the restroom. This literally happens every... single... day. But I did come home from work one day recently and went on and on to Barry about that same little weak-bladdered boy (it's a joke guys - I wouldn't make fun of a child's health condition - I do know some boundaries) who apologized to a little girl, whose feelings he hurt, without me having to tell him to do so. He and I have been working on the apology thing for months now, and finally - a breakthrough!
Likewise, I don't post pictures of the bowl of Kashi cereal with skim milk that I have five mornings a week for breakfast. But I do like to show you the special meals that I occasionally get a chance to whip up, like thec scrumptious proscuitto and ricotta paninis that I made for lunch today, using the bread that I swear I'll stop talking about someday soon. (By the way, Gloria is completely right - the bread is best when eaten right out of the oven, which is about how long it lasts at our place. It is, however, great in various toasted forms a day or two later.)

Similarly, I don't post about all of the times I've contacted shops about carrying my jewelry and have been told, "No, thanks. It's just not right for us." Or the number times that shops have sent my consigned merchandise back to me because it's not selling well. Although I just opened up my etsy shop around seven months ago, I've been selling my jewelry in stores for three years now, so I've been turned down plenty of times. I guess that I just see this rejection as a pretty regular part of the whole process of finding those special stores that "click" with my designs. And I don't take it personally (at least I don't take it personally now - the first few rejections were a little rough, I admit) when a shop owner thinks that my pieces and her store just don't fit. So if I don't post about all of the rejection, it's not because it doesn't occur, or that I'm trying to present a false impression of some overwhelming success I'm having, it's just that, well... it doesn't seem like much to talk about.
Anyhow, all that being said, I have found a few special shops where my jewelry seems to be doing well, and I am enjoying the whole etsy experience. If anything, more than the affirmation I get from knowing that there are people out there who like my designs, the best part of this whole sulu-design experience has been getting to know so many people - the unbelievable shop owners, the inspiring bloggers, and the wonderful customers with whom I've come in contact. It's those people who allow me to keep my chin up when I face rejection. It's those great people who encourage me to continue on...
and on and on and on...


Thanks to you all.

15 comments:

Brittany said...

wow, you're stuff is beautiful! please, let's be friends!

Robyn said...

Thanks for sharing that. Though I can't imagine others not liking your jewelry, I understand that ejection happens. And you're right, no one really mentions it. But I think we use our blogs a lot of times to share the successes because we want to share that with others, especially those who appreciate our work. Anyways, I love the story about your 3rd grade boy. :0)

Shona said...

Thank you for the link to your friend's post, I left her a comment.
You truly have a good head on your shoulders + deserve every bit of success you get.

cynic the lamb said...

First, let me start by saying that I was not begrudging anyone their successes in my post. If it came across that way, or if I was not clear about what I was actually trying to say, then I apologize. As I said in my post, I am happy for my friends (and for strangers) when they have these successes. I was not in any way trying to make anyone feel badly about their little victories or to imply that anyone else has it so easy. I am glad that people choose to share these positive experiences with us all. And clearly, these experiences are hard-earned. There is a lot of work, creativity, and talent put into the mix in order to yield these results. It's not like success just fell into anyone's lap.
Secondly, I certainly do not expect anyone to dwell on the negative results of their endeavors. Yes, there is a lot of rejection out there. I can certainly understand everyone wanting to focus solely on the positive because really that is what ultimately drives us to strive for more. I do, however, believe that lessons can be extracted from the negative experiences, and one of those lessons which I felt the need to share with anyone who may happen to read my blog is one that I firmly believe to be very important. I wasn't sharing it because I wanted pity, or even sympathy, really, but because I feel that based on what we read on most crafting blogs, it is too easy to assume that everything is fun and games in the crafting industry, that there is no such thing as rejection and that everyone's story is an immediate success-story. The lesson I had recently learned that I think is noteworthy enough to share with anyone who may be interested in starting to sell their product or who is interested in crafting as a business is about finding the correct match between your product and a venue to sell it. Did it hurt when I was rejected by this shop? Yeah, a little, but I knew it wasn't working out. They could have probably been nicer about it, but who cares - it's done and over with. I have dust myself off and am shopping my toys around to shops here that are expressing a genuine interest in what I have to offer. We'll see what becomes of that. Perhaps I should have also stated that the most important trait a crafter can possess is perseverance.
Anyway, that said, I do see where you're coming from, and yes, it is far better to focus on the special stuff. (Very cute story about the little boy, by the way.)
Congratulations on the success of your etsy shop as well as your successful relationships with those select shops. As I have said to you before, you are a constant source of inspiration to me. Thanks.

Nadia said...

Wow! You're a tag making machine!

erin said...

look at all your tags lined up! thanks for sharing your thoughts on selling your designs...i think that out in blogland most people just put their best foot forward and don't talk too much about their negative experiences. for me, it has a lot to do with not wanting to be publicly negative about people i encounter. that i save for fatty's ears only!

amandajean said...

I enjoyed reading this post. It's good to hear your experience on this subject.

Your tags look great.

KSV said...

I have a huge appreciation for everything you had to say. Nadia is right you are a tag making machine, go on with your bad self girl! Unfortunately rejection is a part of the game, BUT it is good that you focus on the positive and not the negative. You can't let a few people saying no affect you. Did you watch the Saturday Night Live with Justin Timberlake a few weekends ago? He did this hiphop skit where this group of kids dance the negativity away. I just thought that was a great way to rid oneself of the icky way people make us feel sometimes, dance it off!

Gloria said...

I've had to stop making the bread because I really can't eat a whole loaf at a time, when it's at its best. (Or, I could eat the entire loaf at once, but really, I don't think it's a wise idea.)

Chickenbells said...

Oh rejection is a had thing to swallow isn't it? I sometimes feel it on a day to day basis as I have a brik and mortar shop...and you can't please everyone all the time. At least that's what I tell myself because sometimes I take people's comments a little personaly...it is wonderful though, when you finally find the perfect fit.

And you go with all those tags...

abbyjane said...

Hey lady. Your earrings arrived today and I'm wearing them now. Thank you. And you've got a cool apartment. I like your stuff.

Anonymous said...

It's sad your musing have been misunderstood. I thought you were kind, understanding, and speaking of your own feelings, and not being critical of others, or dismissive of their feelings.

kat said...

Thanks for sharing. You posted a realistic viewpoint here, which is much appreciated :)

I for one did not think you were being judgemental or dismissive here, but rather stating a genuine position for not dwelling on the negative.

I like a "glass is half full" viewpoint :)

How do you make all those tags :)
Seriously? Do tell!

http://afancifultwist.typepad.com said...

Fab Pad!!! Yes...I agree. And, I am glad youa re doing what is perrfect for you!!! YAY!!

Elaine said...

Good post. I have been wanting to write to thank you so much for your comments on my blog. I really appreciate them! So glad that you like reading it. (I put that "best of" post up with you in mind, actually.) Anyway, seeing your labels in the previous post, I realize I have seen your pieces in the flesh! Neat! I do like your things very much. Will be adding your blog to my list of ones I like.