TAKE THE FIVE-DAY MONEY MAKEOVER CHALLENGE

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{real christmas spirit}

so, last friday started just like any other day. my alarm went off. i hit snooze. it went off again and i contemplated throwing it across the room. i finally rolled out of bed. i got ready for work and decided that eh, makeup was not necessary today. which eventually turned out to be a good thing later. so i sat in front of the computer at 5:45 and read this.

waiting patiently for you to read that and come back here...

when i read it there were only 100 or so comments. i knew i wanted to help but i didn't know how i could possibly do it. i skimmed through, praying that if there were a way God would show it to me. and then, of course, He did. so i helped. and i emailed a bunch of you guys and you helped too. and last friday turned from an ordinary day into an extraordinary day. my heart was overflowing with blessings from you, who are called to be faithful servants, stepping up and doing what you could. it may not have been much, but you did something.

and now, when people ask me why i blog and why i have a "stupid" twitter account i have a legitimate answer. i am truly surrounded by a community of loving, like-minded people who wake up every day, go through the daily grind, and step up to the call when they are asked. you guys inspire me and thrill me and i cannot tell you how much it means to me to be allowed to participate in this community you guys have welcomed me in to.

it makes my heart flutter.

one thing that was clearly present in all of this was how hard it is to be a handmade shop owner.

you make something. you pour time, heart, creativity, love and materials (which can sometimes = $$$) into this product. whatever that product is. you create it because you want to create something. then, you stick it on the interwebs for the entire world to see. you create a pedestal for yourself to be mocked or adored, scorned or loved, laughed at or embraced. it is kind of like standing naked on the diving board.

for some of you (and i say you because this doesn't apply to me) your little handmade world is your only source of income. it is how you put food on the table. it is how you pay the electric bill and buy gifts for your babies. and this income depends on what kind of mood someone is when they find your shop. it can rely on the luck of the search on etsy. it can all come down to whether or not someone has a paypal account.

whether or not we like it, we constantly must compare ourselves to others. there are so so many handmade shop that sell similar items. we must find something that we can do differently and do it. we have to figure out what the competition is doing and do it better. only it is different in handmade because you are competing against a person just like you who is also trying to feed kiddos and pay the bills. it isn't against another corporation. in essence, you are competing against yourself. i want all the business i can get. however, am i willing to take business away from someone who actually needs so that i can make a little extra money? that is a tough pill for me to swallow sometimes.

anywho - i just wanted to vent a little and say what you are probably all thinking and let you know you are not alone. we all have struggles and problems and ups and downs in our shops. the problem with handmade is that we are the only ones who can pull us through the hard times. we can't hire marketing strategists and advertising specialists to get us through... its just us.

but one thing we can do, and we have already proven we can, is band together to support each other. unlike target and walmart, we have the ability to come together to benefit each other. we can stand in a huddle and cheer and fire each other up - even if it is only through the interwebs. so that is what this entire post is all about. i hope you made it this far because there is something special i want to invite you to...

my friend sarah, a fellow blogger and handmade gal, and i are partnering up today to virtual huddle with you. she is hosting a shop hop on her blog where you can link up your handmade shop. it matters not if it is etsy, storenvy, big cartel, or hosted on your blog. if you make something and sell it, go link up and tell us all about it. we have a button for you to share on your blog so you can tell others about it. we want everyone to get together to support each other through the holidays and beyond that too. but let's start now.


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please go visit sarah at the fontenot four and link up your shop. if you have a friend who has a shop that is struggling please tell them about it. we want to have as many shops as possible join in and get their name out there.

thank you so so so much for just being you, creating something to make the world a more beautiful place, inspiring others and being a brave soul.

♥ ♥ ♥

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so so much for partnering with me in this!! I hope to get exposure for as many handmade shops as we can!!

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  2. I love this post for so many reasons!

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  3. I love this so much. If at all possible, I try to purchase gifts and things from small shops or crafters on etsy or the internet. In fact, the present that Jarrod is most excited about this Christmas is something he bragged about buying some a "small business" - which in our house means someone poured their love and hard work into and posted on the internet for him to find and buy for me. ;-)

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