I feel a little silly. It's like wishing yourself a Happy Birthday, but I couldn't let the day go by without some recognition. Today is the one year anniversary of my store opening. One year ago today, I logged onto Etsy and started an account. I think I only listed one item that day. It was after dinner and by the time I made my banner, picked out an avatar and wrote my bio and all, it was getting late. I refused to quit until I had at least one thing in my shop.
I started out with a huge inventory from my craft show days. My first couple months with Etsy was spent photographing and listing my goods. My goal for myself was to make at least 100 sales in my first year. I thought if I could just do that, I'd be happy. My business started off pretty slow; a sale here, a sale there. By March, I knew I needed to put more thought into it if I wanted to make my goal. I started thinking harder about it. Who shops at Etsy and what do I enjoy making that they would want?
Asking myself that one question really helped me focus my business. The fact is, crafty people shop on Etsy so I would reach out to my fellow crafts people. I started selling dyed roving and made the choice to sell it in small amounts. I didn't see anyone else selling roving by the ounce so I thought maybe that could be my niche. Spinners could pick out two or three ounces and design their own skeins of yarn and felters, who work with smaller quantites anyway, could have lots of colors to choose from. That's when I started getting busy.
Now, a year later, I have divided up my store. Wind Rose Fiber Studio was just getting too big. With all of my handmade and handspun mixed in with my fiber, it was hard to manage. I was up to over 300 items and 17 pages to search through. I'm heading into year two with new goals. I love that Wind Rose Fiber Studio is just fiber now. I plan to expand to include more types of fiber and offer more undyed options for those who like to do their own dyeing. For me, fiber is the heart of my business and will be my main focus.
That being said, I do love to make things too. I opened up Wind Rose Art Yarn so my handspun could have its own special place. When I comes to my own creativity, spinning is my favorite thing to do. I love designing yarn and with a fiber studio in my house, I have so many wonderful wools and plants fibers at my fingertips. The other funny thing is, I love it when I'm dyeing and a color doesn't come out quite like I planned. It's like a present for me and my spinning wheel. We'll make somehing pretty out of it!
My other handmade goodies have new homes too, all of those items I spent my first few months listing. I put my absolute favorites into Wind Rose Boutique at Etsy. I plan to keep the boutique small and keep an eclectic mix of things there. It's a place where you can by a formal Little Black Clutch or a one of a kind Baby Cozy or maybe a Felted Cuff. It's small and intimate and a unique mix of handmade creations. As if that were not enough I opened one more store over at Artfire. I needed a place for some of my vintage handmade. Artfire got my curiosity going and I like that there is an option for accepting offers on items or decreasing the cost over time. Customers can feel like they are getting a good deal and I can have some added control over my vast inventory. I think it will be a win win. I call my Artfire shop Wind Rose Fiber Studio too. I wanted people to be able to recognize me in my new space.
So here I am, one year old, 750 sales later. I would never have imagined that many sales a year ago and I especially would not have guessed that I would be running four shops! I want to thank everyone reading this for joining me on my journey. Thank you for your support, your business, your feedback. I appreciate you all so much! Wind Rose has become so much more than my home based business. It's where I have found kindred spirits and new friends. I am so grateful to Etsy for being a place that supports the arts. Thank you for providing a home for the artisans! Finally, to all my fellow Etsians, thank you for being a strong, positive and supportive community! What a great group of people you are!!!