Do you make things to sell at craft fairs or online? Or are you like me and just love making things for fun? I often get told by friends and family that I should sell the things I make but they don't realise how long it takes me to make things. I'm currently working on my Hexagon Sewing Case pattern and it is close to being complete! This has led me to think about how it will feel to sell my pattern. I don't have a job at the moment as I am a stay at home Mum, so making a little bit of extra money would definitely be a help. Thinking about selling it got me thinking about a time in my life when I did make things to sell. I did a bit of digging around and found some old photos so I thought I'd share here.
Back in 2009 I was 26 and working as a Spanish teacher in primary schools. Even though I had a degree and a masters degree, I was working as an unqualified teacher as I hadn't done teacher training at this point. I had quite a lot of spare time and loved making things so I set up a website, an Etsy shop and I sold what I made at craft fairs. I sold nothing through my Etsy shop and nothing through my website because I had no idea about how to promote it or make it show up in google searches. However I did sell quite well at craft fairs. At one fair in Liverpool, a woman came over and bought all of the earrings I had on sale for her shop in the city centre which sold handmade items. I then later gave her a lot of my bags which she took on sale or return.
However, I never went back to her shop to see if she had sold any, I couldn't bring myself to go in. I even stood outside once, with the aim of going inside, but I couldn't do it. I loved what I made. I loved the fabrics and I put my heart into everything. So I think because of this, I was scared she might not have sold any and that she'd ask me to take them away. I was also afraid she might have sold some and then they might have been returned by the customer because they didn't like it or maybe it fell apart. I also felt so strange about asking her for money, I don't know why, it was just so uncomfortable for me. I was crippled by this lack of confidence so much that I never, ever contacted her and to this day I have no idea if she sold my bags or not. I also really struggled at the craft fairs. I loved being around other makers and I always received great comments from them and the customers about my things but I felt so awkward about selling I didn't enjoy it at all. I just wanted to curl up and hide.
Whilst my skills, style and tastes have changed a lot over the past 11 years, this feeling about selling my work has not gone away. When I exhibited my mini quilt in the art gallery over the summer, I put 'Not For Sale' on it. This was partially due to it being a very personal piece, partly because I had no idea how to put a value on it and also because I didn't think anybody would buy it. Or if they did, they might end up disappointed with it. The same negative thoughts as 11 years ago.
It feels quite emotional writing this because I can see how sad it is that this has held me back in some ways. But then the most amazing thing happened last week. After sharing the image of the second hexagon sewing case sample I made online (pictured at the top of this post) I mentioned in my Instagram stories that I might sell it. I was thinking about it but not entirely sure how to go about it. Within an hour I got a message from a lovely person who wanted to buy it and within no time it was sold! I could not believe it and it really made me happy. I could not be more grateful to the lovely person who bought the case and I hope she really loves it. This sale really boosted my confidence and I feel so positive now. I definitely won't be chaining myself to my sewing machine in order to churn out some products to sell, that sort of sewing isn't enjoyable to me. But if occasionally I have a some pieces that I do not need, I don't feel afraid of trying to sell them anymore. Have you ever sold the things you make? How did you find the selling process? I'd love to know, please leave me a comment. Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading!
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.