I've been seasonally selling items on Etsy for a year or two now and I think I'm ready to take another step. I want to have my shop be active all year and not limit myself to August-October for Halloween. My problem is, where do I go from here? Could a Halloween shop be sustained year round? I have a lot of other marketable skills, but do I have the time and energy to constantly keep up with new stuff while still working a full time (and possibly part time) job? I think so.
Here's what I consider to be viable options for paths for my Etsy shop.
1. Graphic Design. This one is a no brainer because I am a professional graphic designer. My concern about this option is that is what I already do for 8 hours a day at work. While I really love designing, I can really only sit in front of a computer for so many hours in a single day. The benefit of going with graphic design is that the end goal of quitting the day job seems more realistic. Plus my dream has always been to have my own graphic design company, designing for me and people who love my aestetic rather than doing advertising and corporate design. The shop could be a combination of readymade and customizable designs.
2. Sewing. My grandma, mom and aunts all seem to sew in one capacity or another and I recently realized I really like sewing and I can do it for more than 10 seconds at a time without getting bored (an amazing feat for someone with the attention span of a gnat!) One of the drawbacks to this idea is that I like to make very affordable products and sometimes that's not feasible because of fabric prices and time involved. There are a lot of options that could be affordable and cute and fun to sew. Some ideas I've had include reusable grocery bags, iPod cases, lunch bags, gift bags and wine carriers. These are all simple sews that can look fantastic with the right fabric choices.
The last three I have experience with and enjoy doing, but don't really see being able to maintain the shop size, quality and afforability that I want.
So what now? Anyone out there have any suggestions? I think my plan is to spend now through December 31, 2009, figuring out what my niche is. I'll be posting links here to things I find and like and could possibly put my own twist on. Come January 1, 2010, I'm jumping in, probably head first, without plugging my nose.
The next few months, I am going to stock up on ideas and throw some out there for suggestions, see what sells, what works, what people are interested in. More importantly, see what I think I can sustain for a long period of time without getting bored or running out of ideas. If all goes well, my next goal will be to quit the day job and go full time. Now I'm getting ahead of myself.