After evaulating my priorities recently, I found that I really do have spare time during the day to work on creating. Before doing this, I thought I had no free time at all. I'm still not making a dent in my projects and probably never will, lol.
After posting yesterday about the knits I made, they were picked up and she is very pleased. The feeling that came from that made me glow. Yes it was great getting paid to do something I love, but more important, I made someone happy. And already, I have someone asking if I can make an adult-size version of the cabled hat.
All of this is making my dream seem more real to me. I have always been hesitant because lets face it, working for yourself is a risk. However, I already tried to live the way my parents wanted me to, and that didn't work. I wasn't truely happy and ended up getting laid off from my job. That event coupled with the challenge of finding a new job in my field in this economy is what led me back to school. The only work at the time I could find was waiting tables. Not exactly where I want to be the rest of my life. Yes, I did enjoy working in restaurants in the past, but the stress of it is not what I want. During the years I either was in the kitchen or serving, I drank a lot. It's what everyone did anyway and was a good way to blow off steam. I have since stopped drinking completely.
Ok, I got a little off tangent there.
In doing research on selling items, I've read some books on that topic. The part where I am unsure of is how to create a brand. I don't know if I want to sell under my name or create a name. What do I want to focus on? I have a love of all fiber work, so how to I include that in my brand? I am sure I will end up selling on Etsy eventually (I'm considering sometime this winter or spring, eek!), but do I also want to sell at local craft fairs? Do I want to keep stock around my house, or should I make as things are ordered? How about designing? I do enjoy that, but my knowledge of computer programs is pretty basic. What would I need to know to put together a pattern?
The bookkeeping part will be a breeze for me. The first time around in college, I majored in accounting for a couple years before switching to human resources, so I do know a few things about how to keep books. If I have questions, my best friend is currently getting her accounting degree and I know she would help out.
One thing that I have started today is writing down the patterns I've been making up. At some point, I doubt I will be able to recall every detail about them.
In addition to the knits I did recently, I also designed a crocheted mohawk hat last spring. Here it is in all it's glory on my best friend. She saw one and asked if I could make it. There really weren't any free patterns out there for them, so I just started stitching. (I totally stole this from her Facebook, so Jen, if you're reading this, thank you!)
So these are the questions I need to start answering and getting to work on. One thing I for sure have decided on is that anything I sell has to be to the standards of something I would buy or make for myself.
Feel free to weigh in. What kinds of things do you look for when buying a handmade item? Do you buy things that you can make yourself? (My answer for the last questionis that it depends on quality of the item and free time I have.)