Friday, July 13, 2007

The joy of selling handmade items online

The joy of selling handmade items online

Don't get me wrong, I love to make items and have someone purchase them to use. The problem lies when you have obstacles between the process of getting the raw materials to actually selling the item Today is a prime example.
Yesterday I went to one of the very few left fabric stores in my area. They were having a great sale so I got some patterns, fabric and notions. The fabric I choose it a silky brocade with pretty butterflies on it. I thought it would be perfect for pillows but I remember having trouble sewing similar fabric a few years ago. I ask the clerk if she could help me find the proper needles to use. She tells me she doesn't sew. She works in a fabric store but doesn't sew. Ok can anyone else help me? Oh anyone older than me. So when I get to the cashier, I ask her for some guidance. She really doesn't know so has me buy a combination set of needles which set me back almost 5 dollars. Now if this were Walmart, I would think ok maybe they are not trained in this department but this is a FABRIC store. Ok ready to check out; of course these little things add up and 60 bucks later, I am ready to go home and start sewing. Ha! Life gets in the way. I start posting to forums, clean my computer room, do some paperwork. You get the idea, no sewing yesterday.
Today I am ready. I have my serger which takes a good hour to thread just right. Then I get my sewing machine ready. Do you think I can get that to make a nice closed stitch? Nooooooooo. So I figure I would clean it out. I pulled out enough dust to make a small plushie. Now I am ready so I take a scrap of fabric and try about 8 times to get it right. Tension too high, tension too low, rethread, rebobbin. Okay, good enough, not perfect, but noone would know but me. I am making pillows so most of the stitching is on the inside. As long as it is a strong stitch it will be fine.
So now, about 6 hours later the pillows are done. Nothing fancy but nice. The fabric is what makes them special. It is a beautiful asian inspired brocade with images of rainbow colored fancy butterflies.
Now to photograph them. I take several shots on my leather couch only to realize the dark black is coming out grayish and dull. I try adjusting the white balance with no luck. I really want to show how pretty the material is so I take a few photos outside. They are better but now what my eye sees.
Now to list them in my etsy shop. I try to think of 14 tags to use to make up they show up in various searches. This is always tricky because you want to be broad but not so much that you infringe on other's categories. I do my best and list them. They are in my shop priced at 20 dollars each. I am now feeling I have overpriced them. The fabric and form and thread and broken needles. ( Oh I didn't mention I broke 4 needles) come to about 12 dollars and I added 8 dollars for my time. That really isn't much, but are buyers willing to pay. Only time will tell.

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1 comment:

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Sigh---I can totally relate! Just thinking up cool things to sew is NOT the main part of this crazy business we are in, for sure. Your pillow is gorgeous!
Smiles, Karen