Crafts are fun, right? Cleaning off the table, getting your cutting mat, sewing machine, scissors, and fabric out is exciting! Preparing your oils and butters and waxes for lotion making is exciting, too! Doing the Pinterest research of finding the best recipe for cupcakes/crockpot dinner/freezer batching -- all of this is amazing and fun, and I love it.
However, I am a professional crafter. I make handmade soap and skin care, and sell it. That's what I do. Maybe you would like to do this, too. I think that's fantastic! You should do it. I'm a big proponent of, "Now is all the time you have." If you have an idea and want to try something, go for it.
As a way to give you an idea of what's in store for you, I thought it would be good to have a weekly series about my life as a crafter, showcasing my thoughts, my activities (daily and weekly, sometimes hourly!), and my scheduling, to help you decide your best strategy for moving forward. You SHOULD move forward, if this is what you want. I'm not even going to say, "But remember! It's difficult!" No shit. You know it's difficult; most business is. It's also fun and rewarding, because you get to do things you love!
Here's the only "however" I'm going to throw at you: business is very different from crafting. That's what I hope to showcase for you, so you can prepare for it.
The things I'm going to share with you are my approach, and mine only. Everybody does things differently in their lives, and I acknowledge that this series is just one example. I am one person, doing things the best way I know how. If you can improve upon it, then I suggest you do. (Also, let me know in the comments how to improve, so I can have less stress, okay? THANK YOU)
I know it's January 9th, and this seems a bit random-ish, but that's exactly why I'm starting here. NOW is the only time I have. Did I mention that before? Yeah, get used to it. I do a lot of things NOW. I plan and schedule for things, sure, but some things have to get done before others. Also, I have a lot going on in my head. Also, let's just get started because I'm rambling, and it's getting weird. OH, and one more thing: I also have a full-time job as well as the crafting business. I would LOVE to be a crafter (and YouTube sensation, to be honest) full-time, but I'm not quite there yet. When you are starting out, you will still have a full-time job, I presume. If so, this is what you can expect it to be like.
Okay, okay! Here we go.
Week 1: January 3 - January 9, 2016
Sunday: Finish laundry. Get clothes ready for week. Watch football while doing dishes and preparing 5 days of lunches. Write and schedule newsletter because I told myself I'm going to send 1 email newsletter per week this year, solid. Talk with Izzy (my husband) about the weekly sale we are going to offer. (It's on! Check out soapcrone.com to grab your discount.) Update soap website for sale item. Schedule newsletter. Reschedule it because I changed my mind.
Monday: Planning day at school (I'm a teacher). During lunch, make list of things to do. Promptly misplace list. Go home and wonder where the hell the list went. Re-do list. Find blog planning binder for 2015 that I hardly used. Plan on purchasing new planner from same person, because if I used it it would actually work. Go to roller derby practice.
Tuesday: Professional Development day at school. Suffer through. Come home. Think about napping. Think, "I need to write down all the stuff I need to do." Cruise YouTube for some cool videos. Get child ready for school tomorrow.
Wednesday: Children are back at school, mine among them. Teach the children all the things. On my lunch break, check email. No sales yet. Go to gym, work hard and sweat. Go home, eat late dinner, help cranky sleep-deprived child with homework, collapse in bed.
Thursday: Go to school, teach the children all the things. On lunch break, purchase 2016 Blog Planner, swearing to myself that I WILL USE IT this year, and WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS MANAGED, and DAMN IT YOU HAVE TO GET ORGANIZED SOMEHOW AND ELECTRONIC "WRITING IT DOWN" ISN'T REALLY WORKING IS IT BECAUSE OF ALL THIS SHIT RATTLING AROUND IN YOUR HEAD. Take several deep breaths. Put Blog Planner download in Dropbox. Breathe again. It's going to be fine. At home, print out pertinent pages of blog planner and put them in the binder, replacing last year's (ha ha, not so many pages from last year because I failed). Find the page for analytics numbers. Fill them out for the whole of 2015, because data. Note the HUGE JUMP in traffic when I started blogging again in earnest in May. Resolve to continue the trend.
Friday: Teach, teach. Have longest meeting of my life. Eat lunch, print soap order packing slip and shipping label, and put them in my purse. Continue to have no breaks throughout the day, because teaching. Come home, make plan for weekend. No crafting work -- taking a break because tomorrow will be huge. Collapse at about 7:30pm.
Saturday: Off to the gym at 8am for superior fitness at CrossFit Kali! Think to self, "I'm not really into this today," as I enter the gym. Think to self immediately afterward, "You don't have to be into it, you just have to do it. You will feel better later." Work out, have a great time. Feel better afterward. Go home, drink all the water and eat all the good food. Take shower, and go shopping at Michael's. Use 40% off one item coupon strategically to purchase cupcake caddy. Pat self on back. Save the receipt for later. Note to self that I need to find a big envelope for all my 2015 receipts, so I can get taxes started. Promptly forget envelope as I walk to the car. Check email before driving off, see email from potential customer having a problem with payment for a Straight Up Skin Care order. Call customer, discuss situation and help him out, while sitting in my car in the Michael's parking lot. Go to Target, look at makeups. Buy some makeups, because YouTube is a thing and I am getting older. Buy baby book for baby shower tomorrow. In car, use iPhone to set reminders for myself to write this blog post and to schedule a sample drop for Straight Up Skin Care when I get home. Pat self on back for using iPhone as intended. Feel grateful to be able to afford a fancy phone, solid car, live in a house. Enjoy sunshine as I drive home.
Eat some lunch. Write this blog post. Check email, see that the Straight Up Skin Care order from my phone conversation went through. Print out order. Wait for husband and child to go to the movies, so I can make lotion for an order, and cupcakes for a baby shower tomorrow at the gym. Make lotion for order. Take photos of lotion and bottles for social media sharing (see above). Make cupcakes and get them ready for tomorrow. While waiting for cupcakes to cool, so that I can make the buttercream, eat dinner. Decide to make the buttercream tomorrow morning, take the rest of the night off. Realize that the social media posts have not yet been done. Do the social media posts. Finish this blog post Take the rest of the night off for real.
Come back to this blog post and put in the links. It's been a long day. ::sigh::
Whew! A very productive Saturday example. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments, and let's continue to have a conversation about life as a crafter.
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Who writes this?
Hi, I'm Amy Kalinchuk. I am an author, publisher, crafter, entrepreneur, roller derby skater, wife, mom, and friend. I try to be organized and maintain an air of enviable breezy elegance. I do not always succeed. But crafting? I can do that. And small business. I can do that, too. So can you! No, seriously, you can do this! I'll show you.