I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Burning the candle at both ends

I opened my Etsy shop a couple of weeks ago and on the same day, I came across a job offer I just could not refuse. I casually mentioned my Etsy shop and talked about selling my hand work on-line, during break time at my new work place.............my boss asked if I could bring some in for her and the others to see..................which I did.................and I wound up selling half of my things that were meant for my Etsy shop. I was delighted, however, to be able to sell my items..................no matter how.
This is a set of pillowcases, I had designed a while back. I never finished the set...........just have one stitched. I brought this along..........and now I am in the process of finishing it for a lady who fell in love with it. Cooking at the diner is extremely busy and tiring, yet, I still get off in time to have quite a bit of day left to do the things I must do at home and time to stitch.
However, I am more tired than usual and I am much slower in stitching than what I used to be. I have other things in the process of getting stitched for Etsy. Once again, I find myself, trying to finish and to accumulate enough linens to sell.

I am finishing the set with a prairie point edging...................which the customer loved. I am torn with deciding if I should just give the folks at the diner a link to my Etsy shop or to keep taking orders. I really want to just sell what I have chosen to stitch.............I got tired of doing custom orders long ago. How about you? Do you work and still try to find time to create? I would love to hear.


Stephanie Suzanne Designs said...

Hello Kathleen,

Oh, I just knew if the opportunity arose that you would sell most of your stuff through the diner. I'm tickled PiNk over that...BUT...you are now facing the reality of how much time and energy you really have.

You don't ever want your stitching to become a burden. That is why I stopped custom orders many years ago.

I found myself constantly fighting a deadline and finally I had to say Thank You, but no thank you..."Please look at what I have available right now and check back often for updates."

People that do not hand sew haven't a clue how time consuming it is and that you really have to love what you are doing to bring out the beauty of the design and especially the finishing technique.

I think I'd continue to build up your stock and maybe pay attention to the things that seem to be the most popular with who has purchased from you so far. There may be some favorites that you wouldn't have realized without making the sells and having the feedback. Otherwise, I'd give them your Etsy address [for those that use the computer]. Those that don't use the computer can still see what you have on hand.

I'd just politely say that between the diner, your family, your gardening and your love for stitching that you don't have time to include custom orders right now.

I'm so glad this has happened for you..it really gives a feel for what may your most popular items.

Keep us updated!

Stephanie ♥

rustycupboard said...

I have a hard time with custom orders It does that the fun out of doing it...also I have the problem If I have done it once I don't want to do it again. good luck on selling your items...have fun

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Oh, Kathleen, it's good to see you here again. I've been praying for you.

Anonymous said...

i really likee that prairie point edging. just that on a plain case would be pretty too.

you probably don't want my advice...but, it's free.
i think you should just sew what you want to sew. and then show them around...they will sell.

something about seeing the stitching makes many of us just swoon. it is such an art.
and one that people can handle and touch and use. it becomes personal in their home life.

you just make what calls to your heart to make. an the right person will come along that it was made for.

that's my free advice.

GardenOfDaisies said...

Your work is always so beautiful!!! If taking custom orders is becoming stressful, maybe you should just give people the link to your etsy shop and let them choose from items you have made already. You probably have a good idea of what will sell, based on current orders, the season, what colors are in the stores, and what your own family and friends enjoy.
I'm just so happy for you, that you have found a job you like and that people are appreciating your embroidered pieces! Two good things! :-) Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathleen,

I received my pillowcases and LOVE them.

I agree with the others, stop taking custom orders. Stitch what YOU want to at the moment, and it will sell to someone. Over 35 people looked at the pillowcases before I came along and bought them.

You do beautiful work, don't get me wrong, but it could be a bit of a novelty at the diner right now with folks buying. Take the sales when they come, but with what you have.

I did hand painted children s furniture years ago and once I did custom orders, the joy went out the window. Deadlines are no fun.

I would still sell privately if possible, saves on fees and shipping, but no custom orders.

Don't push yourself with Etsy either. Maybe decide on x amount of new items per month and work with that for a bit.


Peonies & Magnolias said...

How exciting for you and I'm so happy. I'm like the others, stitch what you enjoy, they will sell and you will enjoy your stitching. I personally think custom orders take away from the enjoyment of stitching a lot of the time. Love your prairie points, they are the perfect finishing touch.


Gina E. said...

I tend to agree with the other comments here, Kathleen. I have only ever done one 'custom order' and it took me 8 weeks. I really sweated over that project and once it was done, I said 'no more!' I sew what I want to do now, and in whatever time frame suits me!

淑純淑純 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Kathleen, Your work is lovely! You are offering a unique beauty to people and don't sell that short! Are you able to get as much stitching done with this job? Never do custom work. It tend to think that those people don't truly appreciate what your doing when they just think you can 'whip' up their ideas or colors. Do what you enjoy, and leave the custom work to the next sucker! They'll learn. LOL Your work is gorgeous!

Conni said...

Somehow, I must have missed this post. I love the prairie point edging on the pillowcases. Beautiful!

I agree that you should just stitch things that you choose - things that make you happy...

Congrats on your sales!