Thursday, May 31, 2012

Small opportunities

It's been far too long between posts but I am still here, and I am still chugging along.
For some time now there's been something niggling inside my head, and inside my heart.
As you would know, Little Toot Creations stopped being a hobby and became a job for me a couple of years ago now. It's become my third baby. It's always there - my sewing room door, and the computer, is always open.
Like in every small business, every week is different. Demand for my products comes and goes. Some weeks it doesn't rain, but it pours. However during the past 12 months or so it seems that making a sale has become really hard work. Facebook is still a great marketing tool, but it isn't yielding the results it once did. I can count on one hand the number of sales I've made through my store this year.
To be honest, I'm growing tired of the 'hard sell'. I miss the days when people just loved my products, and wanted to buy them.
Of course, competition in the handmade industry is fierce these days. It's nothing for a hobby seller to undercut businesses like Little Toot Creations by 10, 20, even 30% on very similar products. The choice is endless. And although people are still buying, the whole marketplace has slowed significantly.
I love sewing. I love interacting with my (fantastic) customers. And I am oh so proud of my achievements.
But a few months ago now my little 5-year-old relayed to me a conversation she'd had with the mother of a very dear friend of mine. I'm not quite sure how the conversation came about, but I will never forget what Alice told her: "My mummy doesn't play with us. All she does is sew and work on her computer." It broke my heart.
And ever since, the mummy guilt has been terrible, and I've struggled to find my 'sewjo'.
So when the opportunity came up this week for me to step away from the computer, and away from the sewing machine, and get back out into the workforce, I took it.
Starting next week I'll be working part-time as shopgirl at a cute little children's boutique in the heart of Canberra.
I don't know yet what that means for Little Toot Creations. My intention is to keep the business running, and to sew again in the evenings (something I gave up when my husband finished studying late last year), but you may not see or hear as much from me online as you usually would.
I wasn't going to make any sort of announcement, but I saw this quote posted on Facebook this morning, and I inspired me to share:

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