Today’s guest post is by the awesome and talented Angelique! She’s a friend from the March 2011 The Bump group I’ve been a part of since shortly after I found out I was pregnant! Her son Ben is right around the same age as Noah!
I remember seeing the shower invites and thank you cards Angelique designed for her own baby shower months ago and wondering why this clearly talented woman didn’t have her own etsy shop. Well, now she does! And that’s what she’s writing about!
UPDATE: Today only, Angelique will offer readers of The Family Math 10% off items in her shop with the discount code HTGR2011. All the more reason to shop today!
Hi! I’m Angelique, but on the internets, I like to go by mrs ptb. Almost seven years ago I married PTB, and I wanted a cool no-vowel way to be referred to as well. This past March, we added Little B to the mix. He’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, but, man, that kid keeps me BUSY! Misty’s series on hitting the ground running has been a great tool in #1 keeping me focused, and #2 realizing, I’m not the only one treading and just trying to keep my head above water.
We did things the semi-less traditional way. We lived in a 1-bedroom loft-style apartment in the city. It was the good life. But I wanted baby. Rather than sort things out with a more reasonable home or car or anything like that first, I got pregnant. It has been one heck of a whirlwind year, and now that we are approaching the year mark for settling on our house, and there are still boxes to be unpacked…reality is hitting. But I find ways to keep avoiding those last boxes.
Before B was born, I was an avid blogger. Now, I am the occasional blogger. I actually contribute to an entertainment/pop culture blog, write a food blog, run a graphic design business that gets its own blog and now have a baby/home life blog. My husband calls me quattrobloggo. Oh, and try as I might, those “fun” sites produce no income, so I work five days a week as well, run the graphic design business in my “off” hours and now sew in my off hours!
Yes, I am finally getting to the point. Before I had Ben, I said randomly one day that I wanted a sewing machine. This day being immediately after we had purchase our first home and a couple new appliances, that was exactly what PTB wanted to hear. Oh, I should also mention it had been a good 18 years since I last sewed.
Then came baby. Baby was invited to a wedding. I wanted to get him one of those cute onesies you see on Etsy. I picked one out. It was going to be $38 with shipping! I could TOTALLY make one even cuter and spend less! So I did. Make a cuter one that is…
$55 later, I had this:
I put it together by hand, and it took me about 5 hours one night while watching TV. I had no idea what I was doing, so I faked it until I made it, and I think the results turned out pretty great. He was the hit of the wedding.
I bought enough fabric to make a few, but then did nothing. Then the sewing machine came up again. And it came up for the strangest of reasons. My sister-in-law is pregnant. I’m doing the clothesline full of onesies for her shower with her best friend … who spent $400! I can’t keep up with that! But if I made stuff for the clothesline, it would be more thoughtful and cheaper!
Now I sit here, $400+$600 later. With an Etsy store. Or the start of one at least. With enough encouragement from a group of fellow moms I adore and the help of my mom in purchasing an amazing sewing machine, I got started. My gifts to my sister-in-law and that first onesie were a hit. They HAD to be on Etsy. And that, is how it began.
I’m not looking to make a killing on Etsy. I think that’s the wrong idea to go into something like crafts. The initial investment sucks. Would it have been easier if I was always crafty and just built up a stash? Maybe. Maybe not. You do have to spend money to make money. Nothing comes for free. I like to think that maybe at some point, Etsy could pay for my sewing machine and pay for the crafts I make for myself or for the baby or for friends as gifts. I want Etsy to fund my habit. That means, I need to sell about 100 more hats before I can start sewing for myself.
My mom had these crazy visions that I could quit my job if my Etsy store took off. And maybe, one day, I could. But at that point it would be more than a full-time job, so is that what I even want? I could not sew enough hours in the day and charge prices high enough to make that kind of profit. That isn’t what this is about. Plus, I love my job.
If you are crafty in any way, shape, or form, use Etsy. Share your craft. But only if it is fun for you. And only if you are doing it as fun. As a designer, I do feel there is very little left in this world that is truly original. Etsy is good proof of that. Pinterest only makes it worse. We make our own versions of bits and pieces that inspire us. My first item on my Etsy store was my baby shower invitation. I love jungle animals and argyle. It was there for months. But in the end, it was the first item I sold. And it didn’t sell until I got my sewing machine. Go figure! And go shopping! 🙂
I love Angelique’s story of starting her own store on etsy because it’s such a great example of taking one of those wild ideas that everybody gets from time to time and making it a reality. And she has some super-cute stuff on there, as you’ve seen above. So go check her out!