So a couple days ago I eluded to a project I might be working on and in between that time and now I have garnered the information to decide to proceed. . . So a few months back I was approached by a buyer at Fab(dot)com to sell a selection of my pillows. At first I said "Oh, thank you but I think you have the wrong gal." Not that I don't believe in my product, but because it is all custom made I didn't think it would work with their site model. But they assured me that nope, the custom aspect is what they want. They threw around numbers that immediately made me sweat and want to hide in the darkest corner of my Etsy shop. If you don't know about Fab yet it's an e-commerce flash sales site for design products, it has grown very fast with 11 million members to date since it started in mid-2011. You can read more about them and how it all works here.
But allow me to digress, I feel like a theme I have seen running in blogs lately is the "why I started a blog in the first place" topic. The reason I started my first blog (I gave that one the boot last year) was to promote my business. But I found from that experience I am not much of a self-promoter and blogging for that reason made me not like blogging so much - it just wasn't me.
Because I am not one of those fine people that are excellent at promoting themselves I fall into the "everything happens for a reason" category. I have shared this story before but I will share it again. When I started Plumed it was a total "make it work" moment. I tried Etsy previously and didn't feel connected to my product and gave it up. But I kept sewing whilst watching a lot of Project Runway and found Tim Gunn's voice constantly in my head saying "why don't you try to make it work." So I shot some photos of the pillows I had been making, launched my Etsy site and two days and one customer after I opened my shop Emily Henderson bought one of my pillows for her HGTV show. It was kismet. It was luck. It was validation. It was really freaking exciting. It was probably the first time I truly believed in myself. Don't get me wrong, I am still wrought with self-doubt on a daily basis but I try not to let it be the bigger part of myself, even when it is, if y'knowwhatimean. I try to remind myself that good things can happen when you take a chance.
Which leads me to my endeavor. I am a bit nervous (and excited too!) because it is going to be a lot of work without a guarantee of sales, though there is a sales goal. I am not sure how it will pan out; how much will sale; exactly how much to prepare for; how it will impact my current/future business. There are lots of unknowns and I like knowns, I am a total comfort-zone-junkie. But sometimes you just have to take risks, and, again, because I am not one who is innately comfortable taking risks with my own self-promotion, I have to be willing to walk through doors when they open, despite my natural inclination to say, whoa, you've got the wrong gal. But I have learned that if you aren't willing to fail you forfeit your opportunity to succeed. And again that success might look different than you plan. It may just be learning about oneself, or knowing that's not a road to travel again, or, or, or. It's all perspective and it all has purpose. I think the word failure has a bad reputation. For me it has no negative connotation at all. In fact Fab is a failure-to-success story in and of itself. It started as one thing which didn't meet their expectations but from that experience Fab was born which turned out to be a huge success. I bet they were super sad when their first website "failed" and now I bet they laugh at the word failure because they know first-hand where it can lead you.
I share all of this because I appreciate all the honesty of others that I have been reading lately on similar topics. It has inspired me to not run and hide from, well, myself really, or anyone else for that matter because I would never want anyone else to do that. For two, the logistics: this little (big?) venture will impact my product availability on Etsy. I will not be able to take many (if any) custom orders at some point in the near future (that makes me nervous!). It will also affect my prices as my items on Etsy are priced at wholesale not retail. I have known forever that this was something I needed to change but I have really been putting that one off. So those things are the crux of my nerves where this is all concerned. And last, it will probably impact how often I post on this here blog. I am hoping to go for a M-W-F schedule and do more when I can, or do less if I need to. Maybe have some guest posting for good measure. We all love guest posts, non? hint, hint :)