I am a teacher by trade and an entrepreneur by choice.
On October 14, 2011, after months of resisting–mostly because I was scared to venture into unknown territory–I clicked “Publish” on the first product listing in my new shop on Etsy. My handmade business selling cash envelope system wallets made its way quietly into the world, bringing in a few hundred dollars in time to purchase Christmas gifts. Just over a year later, it was supporting our family full-time. My husband and I continued running this little cottage industry together for 2 1/2 years until he returned to his field and I shifted some of my focus from the handmade side of my business to education. He still helps me in the evenings and on weekends. 🙂
I have learned a whole lot since that day when I listed my first wallet. I’ve gone from doing things somewhat randomly to operating with intention because I understand how things work. And since the online world is constantly changing, I’m continuing to learn and improve all the time.
As I’ve grown in my understanding of how to run a thriving online creative business, I have found myself more and more frequently answering questions and sharing what I’ve learned in groups and forums. It has been so much fun. While I love the creative outlet my handmade business provides, I think I find just as much fulfillment in helping a fellow maker grow in her creative business, whether that’s figuring out a task or moving forward with more confidence.
Sometimes we creative business owners–those who are moms, in particular–just need to know that we don’t have to do all the things all at once to thrive. When you’re raising a family, it’s just not possible. And trying will most likely leave you frustrated and discouraged, comparing yourself to others who aren’t in the same season of life as you.
That’s why I started this site. I want to offer a peaceful place where Etsy sellers and other makers can be equipped and encouraged. I absolutely love the left-brained aspects of running a business, but I realize that’s not true of all creatives. Since whole-brained creativity is really the most fruitful kind, I want to assist you in keeping that side of your brain nimble. To help you navigate the details that you may feel keep you from creating but which are necessary and can hold you back if ignored.
I am an introvert and a thinker. (An INTP, for you kindred personality-type nerds.) I thrive on quiet and want to curl up in a ball when I’m surrounded by noise and chaos. I value conclusions based on facts and analysis rather than emotion-driven pitches. What does that mean for you? It means that in this online space, you’re going to find a whole lot of genuine & practical help… and little to no hype.
That doesn’t mean I don’t ever get excited, because I do! But if you’re looking for a motivational speaker (Does anyone else immediately think of Chris Farley in a van down by the river?) who is going to wow you with 10 guaranteed steps to [fill in the blank] or 3 proven strategies or the 5 surefire ways to get more sales on Etsy that no one is telling you, then you’re in the wrong place.
It’s not that I don’t have a list of ways to help you succeed or strategies that work. But it’s not my style to use a bunch of buzzwords and marketing speak just to try and make myself look like an expert. (I’ve heard it referred to so aptly as jargon-monoxide poisoning.) And really, there are no “secrets” when it comes to running an Etsy shop or other creative business. There are just things you haven’t yet learned and implemented.
That’s why I started Makery Space. To share my knowledge and experience so that you can learn a few new things as well and use the tools available to you as a creative business owner to grow, not just in sales and exposure but in confidence and feeling equipped.
This site was created because of you and for you. If there’s something you want to learn how to do or an area where you would like more clarification, please fill out this form. It’s important to me that the tips I provide here are relevant to you, so I will read and give consideration to every request when planning my tip videos, posts, and Q&A sessions.
I’m so glad you’re here. Grab your favorite drink and make yourself right at home.
P.S. Here are some random (and in some cases, quirky) facts about me, just so you don’t think I’m always so serious. 🙂
- I can’t drink water in the morning. It makes me gag.
- When I met my husband, he was in the middle of helping out another guy with the “perfect line” to use on his upcoming blind date. He was wise enough never to try and use it on me.
- I have an extra half of a wisdom tooth.
- I eat M&M’s from darkest to lightest, evening them out as I go until I’m left with exactly the same of each color. Then I eat one of each in this order–brown, blue, red, green, orange, yellow–until they’re gone. I also break the candy shell with my teeth and eat it first.
- I’ve been popping my knuckles since I was 10. Such an annoying habit.
- I got my driver’s license when I was 14. (I grew up in Idaho in the 80’s.) As soon as my first child turned 14, that fact sent shivers down my spine. But I do like to remind my husband who is 2 years minus 12 days older than me that I’ve had my license for 12 days longer than him.
- I get instant anxiety when the phone rings — not because I’m worried or antisocial, but because I really hate talking on the phone. I have to psyche myself up to return calls or even schedule a simple appointment.
- I didn’t start sewing or running until after I turned 40.
- When I go to sleep, I have to be curled up on my side with the sheet covering my ear. And my arms are crossed and tucked a certain way, but I won’t even try to explain that part. See? Quirky.
- I love research and have an intuitive ability to quickly find and relate the answer to almost any fact-based or how-to question, even in areas with which I’m not at all familiar. My husband has learned not to ask me a question when I’m in the middle of something, because he knows I cannot help but stop and dig for the answer.