Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of 2011

Here we are winding down another year. Native and Pilgrim, my humble Etsy shop, only had 17 sales during 2011. Despite how dismal that sounds, several of the sales had great stories behind them and left me feeling pretty good. One sale was to a childhood friend and her compliments on the earrings she bought really lifted my spirits. 

The last sale of the year (so far) was to someone in Florida who was giving the jewelry as gifts to foreign exchange students who love Native American items.  I joked in a post on my Facebook page that I hoped they didn't expect it in time for Christmas. This was before I read the anxious note from the buyer about wanting them for Christmas gifts...Note to self - remember to check Paypal AND Etsy for notes from the buyer next time.

You may have noticed (I really hope you noticed) that I've been absent the past month.  My bout with illness (sinus infection, pneumonia, etc.) went halfway into December. I barely made my deadline for designing the playbill for Heritage's production of A Christmas Carol and then was backstage during the show to help with props and costume changes. Then came preparations for Christmas...time really does fly!  For my own sanity, I just had to let the blog take a break for a bit.

Despite slow Etsy sales, we had some luck with selling at boutiques, markets, and other events this year. We failed to discover any guaranteed formula for success, but we still learned.  Talking to and making connections with your customers generally pays off.  Pricing things too cheaply is a bad strategy (customers assume the item isn't worth much), but grouping items by price gives the feel of a sale and customers seem to like that. (All items in this basket $5 each works great.)

Will next year be better?  Who knows...
We've learned a lot and it's enough to keep us going for a little bit longer.
How was your year?

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